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First Venture - Culture Vulture or some 500 Series? 500 Series EQ\'s
Old 1st March 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

First Venture - Culture Vulture or some 500 Series?

Hi all,

I've saved up around $2000 for my first venture into high end outboard. I've been doing research and have narrowed it down to one of the two options:

1. Thermionic Culture Vulture

2. 500 Series Rack with the following:
- Rupert Neve R6
- elysia nvelope 500
- elysia mpressor 500

I'm making techno and electronic music, as well as doing mixdown engineering in my studio. I know that both of these options would be great for what I want to produce - the question is which one would be the better place to start in the grand scheme of purchasing outboard?

The CV would be awesome distortion that you can't fully achieve in the box, and also be used maybe for subtle warming and excitement. However I've heard less than optimal things about the build quality.

The 500 rack would be more flexible and creative for dynamic shaping, and will also be more useful for my mixdown engineering, but they are processors I can already more closely emulate in the box. Is the margin of processing power and sound quality THAT much better on these 500 units compared to plugins? I wouldn't know since I don't have outboard yet, and it's hard to say outside of first hand experience.

As more experienced purchasers of high-end outboard, which route would you recommend I go for my first high-end purchase?

I understand it might not be a question that can be answered but I'm also up for the philosophical debate in true GS style.
Old 1st March 2017
  #2
Gear Nut
 

The 500 mpressor does not have a side-chain filter and does also not have the headroom of the big brother. Sidechain is important for the punch ...

I'd recommend two API 550Bs. You will not regret. Turn up bottom, take out low-mids, open top-end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddn View Post
Hi all,

I've saved up around $2000 for my first venture into high end outboard. I've been doing research and have narrowed it down to one of the two options:

1. Thermionic Culture Vulture

2. 500 Series Rack with the following:
- Rupert Neve R6
- elysia nvelope 500
- elysia mpressor 500

I'm making techno and electronic music, as well as doing mixdown engineering in my studio. I know that both of these options would be great for what I want to produce - the question is which one would be the better place to start in the grand scheme of purchasing outboard?

The CV would be awesome distortion that you can't fully achieve in the box, and also be used maybe for subtle warming and excitement. However I've heard less than optimal things about the build quality.

The 500 rack would be more flexible and creative for dynamic shaping, and will also be more useful for my mixdown engineering, but they are processors I can already more closely emulate in the box. Is the margin of processing power and sound quality THAT much better on these 500 units compared to plugins? I wouldn't know since I don't have outboard yet, and it's hard to say outside of first hand experience.

As more experienced purchasers of high-end outboard, which route would you recommend I go for my first high-end purchase?

I understand it might not be a question that can be answered but I'm also up for the philosophical debate in true GS style.
Old 1st March 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Okay, that is somewhat tangential to the original question but I'll take that as "go with 500" lol.

Re: API 550, what about Elysia xpressor?
I'd eventually like stereo compression anyways.


Quote:
Originally Posted by decurion99 View Post
The 500 mpressor does not have a side-chain filter and does also not have the headroom of the big brother. Sidechain is important for the punch ...

I'd recommend two API 550Bs. You will not regret. Turn up bottom, take out low-mids, open top-end.
Old 1st March 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddn View Post
Okay, that is somewhat tangential to the original question but I'll take that as "go with 500" lol.

Re: API 550, what about Elysia xpressor?
I'd eventually like stereo compression anyways.
I have all four of Elysia's 500 series. They're all great and represent great value.

I'd go with the Xpressor over the Nvelope, as it's more versatile - and you can do transient shaping ITB just as well. I'd also go with the Xfilter, as you can put outboard EQ to good use on many different tasks.

I'd also get 2 of the new Louder Than Liftoff's Chromas - as having a pre/line amp with mojo will definitely be useful and handy, plus there's a slot for DIYRE's colour modules, so you can have myriad analog doohickeys at your disposal if need be.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-...ns-colour.html

IME, that'll make for a very versatile 6-pak...
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Old 2nd March 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
maxhype's Avatar
Culture Vulture is great, irreplaceable for what it does. But it's a color piece for me, not what I use for subtle warming and I definitely don't use it on every track.

My work changed dramatically for the better when I finally got into outboard compressors. I know many can achieve the same things with ITB compression but for me the distance between what I heard in my head to what I heard from my speakers shortened immediately with that choice.
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Old 2nd March 2017
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhype View Post
Culture Vulture is great, irreplaceable for what it does. But it's a color piece for me, not what I use for subtle warming and I definitely don't use it on every track.

My work changed dramatically for the better when I finally got into outboard compressors. I know many can achieve the same things with ITB compression but for me the distance between what I heard in my head to what I heard from my speakers shortened immediately with that choice.
Ah okay, interesting. The feeling I get is that I should start with processors that do more of the "meat and potatoes" work in the mix, i.e. compressor, EQ. And then look into effects/specialty units later. I was originally looking at a pair of Portico 542s alongside the Elysia 500 stuff to take care of color duties, but then I realized that at the same price for a pair of 542s I can get a Culture Vulture. But it looks like I should save looking into those units for later down the line.

For compression, I've heard the xpressor is really clean, although highly precise in a way that's very suitable for electronic music. Just how clean is it? I can do really precise compression with Fabfilter Pro C2 right now but it's not the first compressor plugin I reach for since it's such a clinical sound; I use that mostly to fix problems.

Would you recommend starting out with a clean, versatile, "swiss-army-knife" compressor like the Elysia xpressor to start out with, or something with some more mojo and color? I had also been looking at the IGS Tubecore 19" rack compressor as it sounds like you can get some real nice pumping/breathing on that unit in a way that's harder to replicate ITB, also with the benefit of M/S processing.

Again, I know this matter can be subjective but the exchange of opinions and brainstorming with people who have more experience in this realm is helpful.
Thanks!
Old 2nd March 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 
radiumboy's Avatar
 

I have the thermionic culture vulture sp15 and find it indispensable when working on any form of
electronic music, great for getting a bit more average level out of synths and drum boxes without
driving stuff into oblivion, its a lot more versatile than the standard vulture as it has a bunch of extra settings available
as well as the usual drive and bias controls.
I often find i dont need much in the way of compression if i get it right with it.
With regards to the build quality of the unit i have no complaints.
Good luck with your equipment quest and your music.
Old 5th March 2017
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Hey all,

Decided in the end to just go UAD route. I'd love to have outboard to touch and interact with but for mix duties, the recallability, multiple instances, and Softube Console One mk2 integration of UAD made this more worth the money for my needs. I realized I just wouldn't get enough utility per cost out of outboard compared to plugins, since it seems the greatest benefits are gained when tracking live instruments and mastering which I'm not doing, and for mixing I can see outboard and having to always print stems individually becoming a noticeable impedance on my current workflow.

Maybe I'll be in a good position to buy outboard someday ~

Thanks all, cheers
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