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Multiple compressors and eq 500 Series Preamps
Old 17th May 2016
  #1
Multiple compressors and eq

Looking to upgrade the studio wit some outboard gear.
Looking to get the steven slate dragon, an LA2A, and a Pultec EQ.
So my chain will be:
u87> adl 600>dragon>la2a>Pultec EQ>b2 >Reaper

I primarily do vocals and don't wanna use use hardware inserts in my DAW.
(but ill experiment with them im quite sure) anybody recording thru that much hardware??
will this present a latency issue?
AND yes i know i don't have to create such a long chain, but i heard a vocal recorded thru an 1176 and an la2a at the same time and thought it sounded very close to finish going in the DAW. Plugins are great don't get me wrong, but id rather use the hardware going in and adjust in the digital realm later.
Old 17th May 2016
  #2
Gear Addict
 

You should ask yourself if you need such a long chain while recording.
It's very easy to screw up if you don't have a lot of experience and know what you are doing.
I say use the U87-Slate (very little compression)-Reaper.
Later on mixtime I would try that long chain but never while recording. And if I like it I would print that track.
And no there is no latency in analog gear, It's fast, that's why plugins always are a step behind.
Old 17th May 2016
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mequaz View Post
Looking to upgrade the studio wit some outboard gear.
Looking to get the steven slate dragon, an LA2A, and a Pultec EQ.
So my chain will be:
u87> adl 600>dragon>la2a>Pultec EQ>b2 >Reaper

I primarily do vocals and don't wanna use use hardware inserts in my DAW.
(but ill experiment with them im quite sure) anybody recording thru that much hardware??
will this present a latency issue?
AND yes i know i don't have to create such a long chain, but i heard a vocal recorded thru an 1176 and an la2a at the same time and thought it sounded very close to finish going in the DAW. Plugins are great don't get me wrong, but id rather use the hardware going in and adjust in the digital realm later.
You won't get any noticeable latency if you stay in the analogue domain.
If you are happy with the sound that chain gives you, then it's the right chain for you.
Old 18th May 2016
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You won't get any noticeable latency if you stay in the analogue domain.
If you are happy with the sound that chain gives you, then it's the right chain for you.
thanks i figured once i got the gear i could try both ways.
a whole chain and then switched certain pieces as inserts.
Old 18th May 2016
  #5
You won't get any latency.

I do record vocals with a relatively long chain and it depends on the source and the music, but many times it is: Daking 52270H>Dave Hill's Titan>Manley ELOP Sometimes switch to different compressors (like an SSL Buss compressor or a CharterOak or a 1176 clone) or different EQs but rarely two chained EQs.

You should be careful, but IMHO compression is less noticeable if done in small steps with different devices.
Old 18th May 2016
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
SonicAxiom's Avatar
my usual vox tracking chain is tlm170 -> BAE 1084 (or BAE 312a or Electrodyne 510 or Triton D2O) -> Purple MC77 -> ADL 1500. Sometimes I even add SSL 611EQ and/or SSL 611DYN. Results sound pretty finished. I keep the chain shorter if I want to have more options/freedom during mixdown.
Old 18th May 2016
  #7
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JayTee4303's Avatar
I'll comp on the way in, and I'll comp on a loop in post, no noticable probs either way. Often an 1176>La2a.

I'll eq to artist's monitors, but not to a track, unless I know it's gonna be a chore in post and even then, I'd rather fix it a different way.

EQ is a filter...and it muddies things up w phase probs. I want info on tape...I can chop later...but adding what isn't there is much more difficult. So is unscrambling the egg after it's cooked.

I dunno if I'd run multiple DAAD passes in post thru colored converters...your call.
I don't hear issues w timing or degradation w a single pass. I do like to check that box off before the heavy CPU hitting plugs get into the mix.
Old 20th May 2016
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
sharkboy's Avatar
I take a slightly bolder approach than Jaytee4303. What I want to record is to have the track in the box "reasonably neutral sounding"- that when I mix, there's still someplace to go if I need to and that I can additionally compress and EQ if I need to. The trick is to go lighter than is warranted on multiple comps and 1 EQ- moving incrementally toward the goal in recording through mixing. For EQ into the box, I try to keep to only cutting. If I need to boost a frequency, I try to only do that in mix down, but I've done every possible combination. The big value is that when you have a fairly neutral sound, then you can cut out frequencies that cause problems when there is mud in a thick mix, etc.

To use a golf analogy, the recorded sound is to be on the green and it takes a careful, light touch in the mix to put out. Over-compressing and over-EQing is like hitting over/off the green and possibly into a water hazard or losing the ball. Okay, or even driving the golf cart into the lake.
Old 20th May 2016
  #9
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12ax7's Avatar
 

.
I like to print a "stereo track"; with a "raw track" (straight from the mic pre-amp) right alongside the track with all the "gizmosity" on it.
(I use a "stereo" track for this only because it makes housekeeping easier.)
That way, I can get as adventurous as I wish with the processing that everybody's interacting with at the tracking session, and have it printed...

...While still at the same time retaining the "raw feed" from the pre-amp, as well (just in case I later wish I hadn't gotten so carried away with it all).
.
Old 20th May 2016
  #10
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
.
I like to print a "stereo track"; with a "raw track" (straight from the mic pre-amp) right alongside the track with all the "gizmosity" on it.
(I use a "stereo" track for this only because it makes housekeeping easier.)
That way, I can get as adventurous as I wish with the processing that everybody's interacting with at the tracking session, and have it printed...

...While still at the same time retaining the "raw feed" from the pre-amp, as well (just in case I later wish I hadn't gotten so carried away with it all).
.
By 'stereo track' are you actually using a stereo track in the DAW or just recording two mono tracks side by side, one processed and the the other unprocessed?
Old 21st May 2016
  #11
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
By 'stereo track' are you actually using a stereo track in the DAW or just recording two mono tracks side by side, one processed and the the other unprocessed?
You could do either, but I use a stereo track just for easier housekeeping while comping tracks, etc.

I DO NOT play them "in stereo", however.

I choose which channel I want, and run it mono.

Its just for housekeeping.
.
Old 21st May 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
I agree with 12ax7. Split at the preamp out, record one "flat" track and one with whatever chain makes your heart happy. It's a simple arrangement that will save you from ever regretting your input processing.
Old 21st May 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
Great idea!

I would love to employ this technique for safety but how would I do so? Currently all my gear and i/o is patched into a patchbay. How would I split the signal, send one straight to protools and the other to my outboard 1st?




Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
.
I like to print a "stereo track"; with a "raw track" (straight from the mic pre-amp) right alongside the track with all the "gizmosity" on it.
(I use a "stereo" track for this only because it makes housekeeping easier.)
That way, I can get as adventurous as I wish with the processing that everybody's interacting with at the tracking session, and have it printed...

...While still at the same time retaining the "raw feed" from the pre-amp, as well (just in case I later wish I hadn't gotten so carried away with it all).
.
Old 21st May 2016
  #14
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ghostwriter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
I would love to employ this technique for safety but how would I do so? Currently all my gear and i/o is patched into a patchbay. How would I split the signal, send one straight to protools and the other to my outboard 1st?
Google "patchbay sniff and break".
Sorry, I'm just heading out the door, or I'd try to describe it quickly.
Old 24th May 2016
  #15
Lives for gear
Dude...

Google was extremely unkind to me regarding this topic. It would be a breeze if I recorded through a 500 series pre, but elsewhere I am baffled.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostwriter View Post
Google "patchbay sniff and break".
Sorry, I'm just heading out the door, or I'd try to describe it quickly.
Old 24th May 2016
  #16
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
Google was extremely unkind to me regarding this topic. It would be a breeze if I recorded through a 500 series pre, but elsewhere I am baffled.
All About Patchbays

If you skim through this there is some useful info amongst the rest of the waffle
Old 24th May 2016
  #17
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Slug1's Avatar
If you have a u87, just grab a 1073 and a CL1b. If you can't record vocals with that chain, it's not the gear.
Old 24th May 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Hey twenty. If your patchbay is half normaled with outputs of pre or console channels to your ad you can split the signal there and have it go straight to ad and also to another chain which culminates on a different ad input
Old 24th May 2016
  #19
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ghostwriter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrenceames View Post
All About Patchbays

If you skim through this there is some useful info amongst the rest of the waffle
Yes.

That article describes the "sniff and break" I was talking about.
Old 24th May 2016
  #20
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12ax7's Avatar
 

.
There are basically three ways to go when splitting a signal:
The first is what "patchbay people" refer to as a "Mult":
This is just fancy "patchbay-speak" for what regular folks (who might wear tennis shoes, or an occasional python boot) would call a "Y-Adapter.

...The only difference being that its ready to go pre-wired on your patch (instead of being a self-contained "adapter" rolling around in the bottom of your gig-bag).

THIS IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO (MOST OF THE TIME).
The second is to use multiple taps on a transformer to split the signal:
This doesn't happen so much in the modern world because:

Transformers that do this well are devilishly expensive, heavy, etc.

...And usually completely unnecessary with modern gear designs.

(However, they CAN be the best choice when interfacing with old 600-ohm "legacy" gear.)
The third approach is to use some kind of "distribution amp":
This is nothing more than an amp with multiple outputs, usually with a level-set on each output.

They can come in quite handy when splitting signals to go to destinations of diverse (or unknown) input designs.

The cheapest thing I know of in this category that does't outright suck is this one:
ST-DA3 ‐ Line Level Distribution Amplifier - 1x3
.
Old 24th May 2016
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

U47/C12 ->V76/1073->LA2A/1176/CL1B -> Pultec here all day long
Old 24th May 2016
  #22
Lives for gear
Welp!

Thought I had it for a second. Now I have a headache. All of my outputs are over there corresponding inputs except for 8 orion outs normalled to 8 summing inputs. Splitting the signal is baffling.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Hey twenty. If your patchbay is half normaled with outputs of pre or console channels to your ad you can split the signal there and have it go straight to ad and also to another chain which culminates on a different ad input
Old 24th May 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
I usually go U87 into either a Neve 1073lb or an API 512c into a Retro Doublewide into Langevine Pultec into my DAW. If what you're using sounds good to you then use it. My advice would be to bypass each part of the chain you can to see what if anything it's adding or possibly taking away from the sound. You don't need a convoluted chain of hardware just because someone else used it. Sometimes, many times, less = more.
Old 24th May 2016
  #24
When I track my U87 I run it in to a UA M610 then to a Blue Stripe 1176 to knock down any heavy Transients, then on to an LA2A then out to my 192 Converter. I have found running a Jfet or VCA comp before the LA2A works wonders in keeping the unit from going to heavy into reduction with loud vocals. Personally I do not run hardware on vocals while tracking other than a Hi Pass Filter. I dont want to commit to EQ that could change later in the session.
Old 26th May 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
Regarding the split to processed/unprocessed... It is extremely simple. Perhaps you are overthinking it. Put a TRS Y-cable on the preamp out. One side goes back into the input of whatever device (EQ, compressor) is normally next in your chain. The other side goes directly to an interface input. There is seldom any kind of problem with splitting outputs on modern equipment.
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