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IK Black76 and White2A vs Hardware 1176 and LA-2A Dynamics Plugins
Old 3rd June 2011
  #1
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
IK Black76 and White2A vs Hardware 1176 and LA-2A

This test compares the new IK Black76 and White2A vs a hardware Teletronix LA-2A (original) and hardware UA 1176 (reissue) on heavy gain reduction settings.

Test 1: Black76 vs UA 1176 Vocal

Notes: We use a Lynx Aurora A/D/A. Therefore, we first ran the vocal first out the D/A and back into the A/D of the Aurora so it would mimmick the trip taken to go into the hardware and make the test as fair as possible.

This is the setting used on the hardware 1176:


We matched the ratio, attack, release, and input settings on the Black76, but then reduced gain to level match:


Vocal Original:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxoriginal.wav

Vocal Hardware 1176:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/vox1176.wav

Vocal Black76:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxb76match.wav

However, for reasons we could not determine, there was MUCH less gain reduction with the IK plugin. Therefore, we tried to match the gain reduction as close by ear, and we ended up with this setting:



Here is the IK Black76 on the vocal with these settings used to match the amount of GR of the Hardware:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxb76ear.wav




Here is a mono drum loop.. again we printed this through the Lynx D/A/D so that it would travel the same path as the hardware path.

Setting of the UA 1176 Hardware:




and here is the IK Black76 with everything matched as close as possible, except gain matched:





Original Drum Loop:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsoriginal.wav

Hardware 1176:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drums1176.wav

IK Black76:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsb76match.wav

Once again, for reasons we could not figure out, the gain reduction was much less, so to make it more fair, we altered the input gain of the Black76 so that it was compressing the same amount as the hardware so these were the new settings:


IK Black76 on the above setting, to match GR of Hardware:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsb76ears.wav




Now the Teletronix LA-2A vs the White 2A on vocals:

LA-2A Setting:


and here is the setting used on the IK White2A:




Original Vocal:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxoriginal.wav

Hardware LA-2A:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxLA2.wav

IK White 2A:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/voxw2.wav


Note: For the White2A, the amount of gain reduction was not varied like that of the the 1176 vs the Black76 so we did not have to do another pass.

Drum Loop Hardware LA-2A Setting:





Drum Loop White 2A Setting:



Original Drum Loop:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsoriginal.wav

Hardware LA-2A:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsLA2.wav

IK White 2A:
www.stevenslate.com/compare/drumsw2.wav
Old 3rd June 2011
  #2
SEB
Lives for gear
 

Great test!

I would think the 76 is close enough for rock`n roll. IMHO the best 1176-plug by far.

Not so sure about the White, sounded a little flatter, but it was a bit lower in volume too, so...
Old 3rd June 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Cool test

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 3rd June 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEB View Post
Great test!

I would think the 76 is close enough for rock`n roll. IMHO the best 1176-plug by far.

Not so sure about the White, sounded a little flatter, but it was a bit lower in volume too, so...
Exactly my thoughts.

But I may add that the hardware 1176 distorts more, and is more pleasant on that side.

For the 2A, well, it sounds flat, "controlled". But the hardware seems to give little more punch to the transients.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 
PitchSlap's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEB View Post
Great test!

I would think the 76 is close enough for rock`n roll. IMHO the best 1176-plug by far.

Not so sure about the White, sounded a little flatter, but it was a bit lower in volume too, so...
My thoughts too. The one matched by ear was definitely close enough for rock 'n roll.

Hardware LA-2A noticeably 'better', but also seemed loader than the IK version.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #6
Registered User
I'm just listening on my laptop through "decent" earbuds, but I couldn't tell a damn difference tonally. I agree that the IK plug was a little lower in volume on the drums, though...

BTW - why is Slate Digital doing this? Is Fabrice friendly with the other I-talians?

BTW2 - there's definitely an input issue with the IK76
Old 3rd June 2011
  #7
Gear maniac
 
Brian @ IK's Avatar
 

Steven, in our plugins, -18 dBFS corresponds to 0dB VU in the analog domain, which tends to be a fairly standard trim level. Perhaps calibrating the level going into hardware along these lines would produce more matched results.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #8
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
BTW - why is Slate Digital doing this? Is Fabrice friendly with the other I-talians?
i agree - very weird
Old 3rd June 2011
  #9
M2E
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After listening on the Mac Pro little speaker, they did not sound the same. Not even close. It has to be something wrong with the settings I hope.
The tone is not even close. Just my thought.
I was just about to purchase the LA2A but, I'll have to wait as I'm not sure how close these may sound to the exact unit.
Also, I own the Waves Version in TDM. Why don't they make TDM.
RTAS is cool but, very frustrating for a TDM user when wanting to use it on the Master/Busses(Aux) but, has latency and takes up extra voices.
I use RTAS on Audio Tracks and that's cool but really wish they would port their plugin over to TDM.
What's the hold up?
By the way, I own all of their other single plugins.

Marc
Old 3rd June 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
BTW - why is Slate Digital doing this? Is Fabrice friendly with the other I-talians?
I see it more like Steven, as a user of all kind of plugins, is doing this.

Not under the Slate Digital flag.

And that's not like if Slate Digital had 1176 and 2A plugins, so I don't see what's wrong here, just saying.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #11
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
After listening on the Mac Pro little speaker, they did not sound the same. Not even close. It has to be something wrong with the settings I hope.
The tone is not even close. Just my thought.
I was just about to purchase the LA2A but, I'll have to wait as I'm not sure how close these may sound to the exact unit.
Also, I own the Waves Version in TDM. Why don't they make TDM.
RTAS is cool but, very frustrating for a TDM user when wanting to use it on the Master/Busses(Aux) but, has latency and takes up extra voices.
I use RTAS on Audio Tracks and that's cool but really wish they would port their plugin over to TDM.
What's the hold up?
By the way, I own all of their other single plugins.

Marc
Obviously, I don't have the golden ears that I thought I did...because I can't hear a huge difference in the LA2A Drum loop at all.

EDITED: OK - I can hear a difference in the cymbals...they're not blooming as much as in the hardware example. BUT - I think the IK sample is a little quieter too...I just don't hear a HUGE amount of difference.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #12
Gear maniac
 
Brian @ IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
After listening on the Mac Pro little speaker, they did not sound the same. Not even close. It has to be something wrong with the settings I hope.
The tone is not even close. Just my thought.
I was just about to purchase the LA2A but, I'll have to wait as I'm not sure how close these may sound to the exact unit.
The plugins match our exact units. But every unit sounds different. This is particularly true of the LA2A.
Likewise, different 1176 revisions sound different. Ours is an 1176LN rev. E.
Both are original vintage units.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #13
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
The reasons I posted this are the following:

- As someone who has been working with analog modeling for two years now, the subject interests me

- I use and love the hardware pieces that were modeled on a daily basis, and thought that it would be interesting to see how well these emulations could recreate what the hardware does.

- Brian from IK suggested in another thread that he and his company welcomed shootouts

- I had a free hour today due to a cancelled meeting and the XBox isn't working

BTW, I'd think the only way to do this listening comparison is to put both audio files on two tracks in your workstation and then A and B quickly between them.

I've received a lot of requests to do the Waves CLA compressors, and if I have time tomorrow I'll run the same vocal and drum files through them at the same settings.

I agree with Brian that many of these units, especially when they are the vintage units, can vary in tone.

Cheers,
Old 3rd June 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian @ IK View Post
Steven, in our plugins, -18 dBFS corresponds to 0dB VU in the analog domain, which tends to be a fairly standard trim level. Perhaps calibrating the level going into hardware along these lines would produce more matched results.
The amount the input had to be driven for moderate gain reduction (relative to both the hardware units I've encountered and almost every emulation I've tried) also struck me as odd. Otherwise I'm pretty sold (although it would be nice if the upgrade from the previous generations of the full version of TRackS was a little lower).
Old 3rd June 2011
  #15
M2E
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M2E's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
Obviously, I don't have the golden ears that I thought I did...because I can't hear a huge difference in the LA2A Drum loop at all.

EDITED: OK - I can hear a difference in the cymbals...they're not blooming as much as in the hardware example. BUT - I think the IK sample is a little quieter too...I just don't hear a HUGE amount of difference.
Sorry, I didn't see your post. Not saying anything against you at all or the way you've listened to these samples as I was just commenting on what I saw and heard from the samples.
I was over a friends house that had a Mac and was showing him that IK came out with an 1176/LA2A plugin and we saw the shootout.
I'm now back in my studio and will give it a proper listen.
You may be right, but by the sound of the Mac Pro speaker, the tone was way different in the snare. Couldn't really tell be the kick and other instruments.
Thanks for giving your opinion though.

Marc
Old 3rd June 2011
  #16
M2E
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M2E's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian @ IK View Post
The plugins match our exact units. But every unit sounds different. This is particularly true of the LA2A.
Likewise, different 1176 revisions sound different. Ours is an 1176LN rev. E.
Both are original vintage units.
Hey Brian,

Maybe I should have waited til I got back into the studio to give my opinions.
Anyway, I kind of explained what I was hearing from. Mac Pro Speaker.... :(
I'll take a proper listen now in my studio to see the character and tone as well as the width.
I really like your companies plugins and really really wish that you guys stepped up and made TDM plugins as I end up using the CLA76 and CLA2A most of the time for vocals if not all the time.
Do I really care if they sound the exact same as the originals? Not really but,
since you are basing your plugins after that sound stage then I would love to hear how close you guys get.
By the way, do you have any .wav files that show the original unit you emulated and your plugin?
I'm on your site now and see .mp3's but can you upload some .wav files here?

Thanx

Marc
Old 3rd June 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 
PitchSlap's Avatar
 

With identical settings, the IK76 sounds nothing like the UAD version. I would venture to say its the same issue Slate was seeing vs the hardware as there is MUCH less compression happening.

Increasing the input by about 6dB seems to get them close, but I prefer the UAD. This is just a quick test on the Amen break in 4 button mode, but the way the sound breaks up is much more pleasing on the UAD version.

Maybe I can post some examples later, but for now I actually need to work ...
Old 3rd June 2011
  #18
M2E
Lives for gear
 
M2E's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
The reasons I posted this are the following:

- As someone who has been working with analog modeling for two years now, the subject interests me

- I use and love the hardware pieces that were modeled on a daily basis, and thought that it would be interesting to see how well these emulations could recreate what the hardware does.

- Brian from IK suggested in another thread that he and his company welcomed shootouts

- I had a free hour today due to a cancelled meeting and the XBox isn't working

BTW, I'd think the only way to do this listening comparison is to put both audio files on two tracks in your workstation and then A and B quickly between them.

I've received a lot of requests to do the Waves CLA compressors, and if I have time tomorrow I'll run the same vocal and drum files through them at the same settings.

I agree with Brian that many of these units, especially when they are the vintage units, can vary in tone.

Cheers,
Yes, I agree as well. I have 2 Amek CIB Pure Path units that sound amazing and they both sound different.
I'm going to A/B them tonight in PTHD an make sure they are no more then a .01 db apart.
I'll also A/B them against the CLA's as I use them all the time.
I see that you have .wav files up there....
That's great...

Thanx

Marc
Old 3rd June 2011
  #19
Gear maniac
 
Brian @ IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubster View Post
The amount the input had to be driven for moderate gain reduction (relative to both the hardware units I've encountered and almost every emulation I've tried) also struck me as odd. Otherwise I'm pretty sold (although it would be nice if the upgrade from the previous generations of the full version of TRackS was a little lower).
Steven, I reproduced your settings with the Black 76 using the drums shootout track in Studio One. On one track, I imported your 1176 track, and on another, the original unprocessed drums. On the unprocessed drums, I matched your setting from the photo. I rounded to an even -12.0dB for the INPUT and -21.0dB for the OUTPUT, ATTACK 1.0, RELEASE 7.0, and RATIO 4. I then placed the Presonus Mixtool plugin in front of Black 76, and boosted the input by 18dB, and set the channel fader to -6dB. At these settings, the 1176 and Black 76 are indistinguishable, even in rapid solo/mute swapping. In fact, the 2 tracks even phase cancel up to about 12dB.


This is as I suspected. As I said earlier, in our software -18dBFS = 0dBV, which is standard software trim level, and as Dubster has discovered, is standard for just about every other developer as well.


To get that British Drum sound like you do, you have to slam the output to the 1176, (particularly at 4:1) which is common to do in the analog domain. So you need an analog, so to speak, when working ITB. There is no harm these days in pushing into the red in the digital domain, with 32-bit float and even 64-bit internal processing. You won't get clipping, instead you should get something analogous to doing it with hardware.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian @ IK View Post
Steven, I reproduced your settings with the Black 76 using the drums shootout track in Studio One. On one track, I imported your 1176 track, and on another, the original unprocessed drums. On the unprocessed drums, I matched your setting from the photo. I rounded to an even -12.0dB for the INPUT and -21.0dB for the OUTPUT, ATTACK 1.0, RELEASE 7.0, and RATIO 4. I then placed the Presonus Mixtool plugin in front of Black 76, and boosted the input by 18dB, and set the channel fader to -6dB. At these settings, the 1176 and Black 76 are indistinguishable, even in rapid solo/mute swapping. In fact, the 2 tracks even phase cancel up to about 12dB.
Post them!
Old 3rd June 2011
  #21
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian @ IK View Post
Steven, I reproduced your settings with the Black 76 using the drums shootout track in Studio One. On one track, I imported your 1176 track, and on another, the original unprocessed drums. On the unprocessed drums, I matched your setting from the photo. I rounded to an even -12.0dB for the INPUT and -21.0dB for the OUTPUT, ATTACK 1.0, RELEASE 7.0, and RATIO 4. I then placed the Presonus Mixtool plugin in front of Black 76, and boosted the input by 18dB, and set the channel fader to -6dB. At these settings, the 1176 and Black 76 are indistinguishable, even in rapid solo/mute swapping. In fact, the 2 tracks even phase cancel up to about 12dB.


This is as I suspected. As I said earlier, in our software -18dBFS = 0dBV, which is standard software trim level, and as Dubster has discovered, is standard for just about every other developer as well.
.
Hi Brian.. I'll try adding 18db to the file that goes into the IK Black76 and see if I can match the hardware. But as I said in our PM, the 1176 sounds best when you really nail it. But with -18dbFS being 0dBV on the software model, it takes way too much input gain to get a comparable gain reduction to what you would get to that of the hardware unit. It doesn't seem convenient to use a plugin to add 18db of gain before the IK Black 76 in order to get the needle slammin. Something you might want to consider. Just my opinion of course. In the meantime, can you post your file?

What's still odd is that I was able to match the Gain Reduction of the IK White2A and the Hardware LA-2A without having to add extra gain.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #22
Wow, thanks Steven!

There is a more audible difference with the a 1176. The hardware sounds more open and with more live. The IK plug-in is missing some of the harmonic distortion of the hardware. The same difference I had also with CLA 1176 to IKM... So I expect that the CLA 1176 sounds closer to the hardware.

LA2A is very close.

Now I'm waiting for the CLA examples
Old 3rd June 2011
  #23
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
Hi Brian.. I'll try adding 18db to the file that goes into the IK Black76 and see if I can match the hardware. But as I said in our PM, the 1176 sounds best when you really nail it. But with -18dbFS being 0dBV on the software model, it takes way too much input gain to get a comparable gain reduction to what you would get to that of the hardware unit. It doesn't seem convenient to use a plugin to add 18db of gain before the IK Black 76 in order to get the needle slammin. Something you might want to consider. Just my opinion of course. In the meantime, can you post your file?

What's still odd is that I was able to match the Gain Reduction of the IK White2A and the Hardware LA-2A without having to add extra gain.
Maybe it would be a good idea to add the possibility [on the plugins pref panel] to adjust the gain-settings..!?

::
Mads
Old 3rd June 2011
  #24
Gear maniac
 
Brian @ IK's Avatar
 

Steven, I'll email you the audio files and a screenshot. Unfortunately I don't have any way to post 24-bit .wav that I can think of.

I added one more element to the phase cancellation test: a single sample of delay to the Black 76 track. Feel free to post these if you want.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Theres is something weird with the black and white latency compensation.

1. route audio track to a second track insert IK's black or white comp.

2. flip phase of one track

3. hit black or white's own bypass switch

-> not completly cancelling audio




4. hit host's bypass switch -> full cancellation



(happens at least in reaper 3.76 32 bit)

EDIT: exactly 1 sample offset.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #26
SEB
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"What's still odd is that I was able to match the Gain Reduction of the IK White2A and the Hardware LA-2A without having to add extra gain"

This is a little odd to me too trying them out on some mixes here. Any way you can give an answer to this, Brian?
Old 3rd June 2011
  #27
Gear maniac
 

Great test
Old 3rd June 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop666 View Post
Theres is something weird with the black and white latency compensation.

1. route audio track to a second track insert IK's black or white comp.

2. flip phase of one track

3. hit black or white's own bypass switch

-> not completly cancelling audio




4. hit host's bypass switch -> full cancellation



(happens at least in reaper 3.76 32 bit)

EDIT: exactly 1 sample offset.
It's not really weird - using the bypass within the plug just seems to keep the reported and actual latency consistent so a/b-ing with and without the compression in a parallel context won't cause any issues. My guess is that bypassing from the host stops the plug in from reporting the delay, but doesn't change the delay incurred by the plug.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #29
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
Hi Brian.. I'll try adding 18db to the file that goes into the IK Black76 and see if I can match the hardware. But as I said in our PM, the 1176 sounds best when you really nail it. But with -18dbFS being 0dBV on the software model, it takes way too much input gain to get a comparable gain reduction to what you would get to that of the hardware unit. It doesn't seem convenient to use a plugin to add 18db of gain before the IK Black 76 in order to get the needle slammin. Something you might want to consider. Just my opinion of course. In the meantime, can you post your file?

What's still odd is that I was able to match the Gain Reduction of the IK White2A and the Hardware LA-2A without having to add extra gain.
Absolutely agree!! I want my plug to be just as if I was routing a signal through hardware.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #30
Steven, it would be great if you could post tests like this without labeling which is plug and which is hardware - as in your VCC tests, removing the Gearslutz-bias could be seriously illuminating. That said, thanks for taking the time to make the tests!
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