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1176 Shootout - Hardware, UAD, VMR, NI, IK
Old 23rd November 2014
  #1
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Taurean's Avatar
1176 Shootout - Hardware, UAD, VMR, NI, IK

Originally I started doing this test for myself because I couldn't understand the discrepancies of FG116, between what I would hear on my workstation and comparing them to others' posts. Usually settings are published including a GR value on the hardware as the reference. The other emu's when set to these values got in what one would consider their ballpark. But FG116 kept bugging me because from what I kept hearing from other files and just in general assuming a particular 'bigness' and/or action, and it wasn't getting there. So a couple of days I figure it out that setting FG116 by trying to match GR reduction was not as useful as just going by ear. Today I was awaiting Andreas G.'s settings to confirm and he indeed confirmed what I was hearing. So then I got closer to what I was expecting. I did include a 'normal' FG116 file which is doing 10 dB GR so you can hear the difference.

So now you can hear 5 different 1176's which includes hardware on two extreme release settings. Oh and I am not doing it blind this time since you guys were too chicken the original thread lol

See which one you like and why.

Fast group

10dB GR, except FG116.
Attack 4
Release at 7
Ratio 8:1

Slow group

10dB GR, except FG116.
Attack 4
Release at 1
Ratio 8:1
Attached Files

FG116 - Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1318 views)

FG116_normal_- Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1165 views)

HW - Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1337 views)

IK - Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1182 views)

UAD76AE - Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1234 views)

VC76 - Fast.wav (4.24 MB, 1184 views)

FG116 - Slow.wav (4.24 MB, 1087 views)

FG116_normal_- Slow.wav (4.24 MB, 1082 views)

HW - Slow.wav (4.24 MB, 1109 views)

IK - Slow.wav (4.24 MB, 1093 views)

UAD76AE - Slow.wav (4.25 MB, 1064 views)

VC76 - Slow.wav (4.24 MB, 1097 views)

Dry Bass.wav (4.24 MB, 1143 views)

Old 23rd November 2014
  #2
interesting test - so did you find the 116 needs more GR to match is that what you are saying?
Old 23rd November 2014
  #3
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Thanks for this! I'll listen to them when I get to the studio. I have the Uad, NI and waves versions. Uad is great NI is almost as good and waves don't get used...at all.

I'll be demoing the Slate's stuff but the word is he didn't deliver after all of the smoke he blew down our necks?
Old 23rd November 2014
  #4
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Taurean's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
interesting test - so did you find the 116 needs more GR to match is that what you are saying?
hey steve, it was more the inherent expectation of a larger-than-life sound I had for Fg116. So naturally, as with the other emu's, setting it to a reference HW file setting regarding the GR I was a bit taken back that I was getting that. So it let me to push the GR more. There always some give and take though. I get more low end and bigness but may be slightly more rounded transients.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classictunz View Post
Thanks for this! I'll listen to them when I get to the studio. I have the Uad, NI and waves versions. Uad is great NI is almost as good and waves don't get used...at all.

I'll be demoing the Slate's stuff but the word is he didn't deliver after all of the smoke he blew down our necks?

I suppose I am still in the air about it. I'm not perplexed by the above mentioned any longer so that's good, and I like the sound I can get. but do any of them sound like that HW unit?
And if not different sounds can still serve a purpose. But utility and matching are different things. It's all interesting to me though!
Old 23rd November 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by TranscendingM View Post
hey steve, it was more the inherent expectation of a larger-than-life sound I had for Fg116. So naturally, as with the other emu's, setting it to a reference HW file setting regarding the GR I was a bit taken back that I was getting that. So it let me to push the GR more. There always some give and take though. I get more low end and bigness but may be slightly more rounded transients.
Ah I get it...to me the plugins sound a bit more compressed than the HW but the 116 normal sounds closer...its not bad

one thing that strikes me as discussed is the way the hardware grabs those low notes...punchy and solid...I find these plugins - seems a little bit that they crap out and the low end is just bloated and fuzzy...its def a challenging source a bass track like this...
Old 23rd November 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Ah I get it...to me the plugins sound a bit more compressed than the HW but the 116 normal sounds closer...its not bad

one thing that strikes me as discussed is the way the hardware grabs those low notes...punchy and solid...I find these plugins - seems a little bit that they crap out and the low end is just bloated and fuzzy...its def a challenging source a bass track like this...
I still think the converters play a role in that low end thing.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #7
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No Softube FET? And Stillwell the Rocket.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the test ! with the fast settings the hardware sound different, more natural and the plugs sound all similar to me, hard to describe it, sound is not as clear with the plugs, anyone hearing this? the hardware grab in a way that keep the sound natural sounding.

Sound almost like a other recording, frequency response are not the same, some maybe all (just listened briefly) plugs make it worse to me .

Maybe my mind is tricking me...

It would be intresting to hear nebula in a test like this.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Hw release seems longer in the fast test ? that could explain some of the differences i was hearing.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #10
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Taurean's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Ah I get it...to me the plugins sound a bit more compressed than the HW but the 116 normal sounds closer...its not bad

one thing that strikes me as discussed is the way the hardware grabs those low notes...punchy and solid...I find these plugins - seems a little bit that they crap out and the low end is just bloated and fuzzy...its def a challenging source a bass track like this...
yep I am always looking for that type of sound. I think like we were saying they're seems to be tradeoffs as they are now. Either bigness or transient punch at the cost of bigness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classictunz View Post
I still think the converters play a role in that low end thing.
It's questionable. Although converters may be more prone to coming off vastly different when comparing each other. But in a signal chain it may not impart enough character to matter. I smell another shoot out lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
No Softube FET? And Stillwell the Rocket.
Bring them on if you like. There are the settings and the dry file. Run them through, send them to me, and I'll get them matched and up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthetic Wav View Post
Thanks for the test ! with the fast settings the hardware sound different, more natural and the plugs sound all similar to me, hard to describe it, sound is not as clear with the plugs, anyone hearing this? the hardware grab in a way that keep the sound natural sounding.

Sound almost like a other recording, frequency response are not the same, some maybe all (just listened briefly) plugs make it worse to me .

Maybe my mind is tricking me...

It would be intresting to hear nebula in a test like this.
Indeed, and you could easily say where there might be more transient info and where there might be more thickness or bigness.
Let me check on the nebula one, may be get that up too.


Thanks for your thoughts!
Old 23rd November 2014
  #11
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I imported in my daw to match the levels, Uad and Slate both sound brighter than the hardware to me(which is good). I have a Sub in my studio with bass traps and a treated room but i dont hear the bass advantages of the HW here. it sound like something got loss getting converted twice? Plus the HW lacks life in comparison. Also i have more bass apply my 1176AE to the dry file than any of the clips that i imported. Give me all of the settings so i can get it exactly how you have it.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

if the same gain reduction is applied i m not sure you should match peaks level, different peaks level indicates different compression/caractere behavior in this case . otherwise the brighter one with the less low might win when peak are matched but it don't mean it's the best .

Would be intresting to hear your 1176 with similar settings, i might try with a distressor just to ear if it can sound similar.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #13
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Taurean's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by classictunz View Post
I imported in my daw to match the levels, Uad and Slate both sound brighter than the hardware to me(which is good). I have a Sub in my studio with bass traps and a treated room but i dont hear the bass advantages of the HW here. it sound like something got loss getting converted twice? Plus the HW lacks life in comparison. Also i have more bass apply my 1176AE to the dry file than any of the clips that i imported. Give me all of the settings so i can get it exactly how you have it.
Careful though, you may have skewed something level wise because all files are meticulously matched to may be a .1 dB tolerance.
EDIT: as mentioned above, don't peak match these.

Also there is a difference between bass, such as sustained bass versus punchy bass. Important to distinguish the two. But yea all the settings above that you see, is what you get as far as the HW and the other emu's go.

Another thing to keep in mind, I am utilizing audio clips that are from the unit Andreas G used in the shootout from the VMR thread. After the details were given I thought too many variables and not to mention a different factor was in play there: namely utility. I felt the sentiments about matching and utility cross pollinate and I want to keep them distinct. So here with this simple shootout you can discern both for yourself without other variables getting in the way. Although I wouldn't be against a simple, rough mix using only 76's across each track so that it is all that is being evaluated, like my 73 shootout. But even then, within even a simple rough mix the tracks dictate what you like or dislike about a given processor in that given mix.
Old 24th November 2014
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

imo: My impression is that the fast settings reveal all inherent characteristics of those compressors most obviously in these examples:
UAD AE sounds really good: even at 'fast': great texture and compressor action
NI VC76: good as well
Ik Black 76 tries to show character by showing roughest, crudest texture ( interesting but unfortunately a bit over the top and thus unlike 1176's)... and - that's an issue- paying this with less contour/flatness.
Slate VMR 116: at 'fast' the bass line is well defined but with a rounded countour, more 'polished' texture and thus a bit bouncy now. (Red hot chilly pepper sound esthetics came to mind)

thanks for these interesting files.
regards,
Old 24th November 2014
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

drived harder it would show more difference i guess , to compare the transformer saturation
Old 24th November 2014
  #16
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Yes great shootout! Plus in a busy certain things will not be heard, I'm glad I went the plugin route, they sound awesome!
Old 24th November 2014
  #17
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Hey Bob,

while I appreciate your effort I'm not sure of how much use your test is. The thing is that all units acts and sound so different at the same setting and or GR metering.

Here is a more distorted file from the HW attack 7, release 7, Ratio 1:4.
I tried to match that with the Softube FET but I could't get the lowend. Therefor I did a second file with the HP at 20 Hz from the side chain setting. This one now has a little to much lowend but that's the closest I could get with the FET.

Now try to match the result just by ears with your plugins as good as you can. I think that might tell something about the particular plugin.

Cheers,
Andy
Attached Thumbnails
1176 Shootout - Hardware, UAD, VMR, NI, IK-fet_hp20hz.png  
Attached Files

HW_1:4_ATT7_REL7.wav (4.31 MB, 1452 views)

FET_1:4_ATT7_REL7.wav (4.31 MB, 1461 views)

FET_HP20Hz_1:4_ATT7_REL7.wav (4.31 MB, 1496 views)

Old 24th November 2014
  #18
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Taurean's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
Hey Bob,

while I appreciate your effort I'm not sure of how much use your test is. The thing is that all units acts and sound so different at the same setting and or GR metering.

Here is a more distorted file from the HW attack 7, release 7, Ratio 1:4.
I tried to match that with the Softube FET but I could't get the lowend. Therefor I did a second file with the HP at 20 Hz from the side chain setting. This one now has a little to much lowend but that's the closest I could get with the FET.

Now try to match the result just by ears with your plugins as good as you can. I think that might tell something about the particular plugin.

Cheers,
Andy
Hi Andy!
Thanks again for supplying the HW files to me, much appreciated.

I mentioned the two aspects of gear comparison that I think get mixed up often.
One is utility: that is what you can get out of a processor, plugin or hw. The other is the matching quality: this applies mostly to plugins and software emulating a hw counterpart. "Matching" is a fast and loose term here of course. Nothing really matches 100% just like no two hw units can 100%. But there is a spirit and feel to something that one can consider as "matched." You know, the questions how transferable are the settings? and the sound? how faithful is it all? all come to mind. At any rate, posting these shootouts help with these two things at the very least to the extent that one can make a more informed decision. Just like posting these distortion examples you have here, you walk away understanding some aspect of that given processor. Otherwise then why even post that, right!?

Then, having heard the fundamental comparisons, adding more scenarios, like you did here with the distortion aspect, makes it even more comprehensive! and fun
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