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Best high end boxes for color / maximizing that make you go wow (not subtle) Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 25th June 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
tobyemerson's Avatar
Best high end boxes for color / maximizing that make you go wow (not subtle)

I'm in the market for a color / processing unit that really transforms the sound. Something that is not subtle at all where even a noob can hear the difference. Perhaps some kind of multiband compressor or sonic maximizer. The primary use would be for transforming synths to really give them some color and make them sound huge.

I'm a big fan of multiband compressors for these (IL Maximus - max loudness preset, VMS Multiband compressor, OTT) - something about the way the multiband filters transform the sound can be really interesting for bass sounds especially.

I'd be using it for electro, dub techno, minimal style tracks. Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Culture Vulture sounds pretty cool, although I'm not entirely sure a distortion unit is what I am after (although maybe, given the right one). I own an API2500 & EL Fatso, & Analog Heat at the moment but looking to expand my palette a bit (and go for something even more extreme sounding than these).
Old 26th June 2017
  #2
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

reamping?
Old 26th June 2017
  #3
For color on synths ... not counting eq and compressors, I currently use Moog external filters like the Ladder, API 565 filters, effects such as moogerfoogers, and Elysia distortion - ymmv.
Old 26th June 2017
  #4
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDBILL View Post
reamping?
+1!
Put a stereo mic to a nice tube amp (Fender custom 15 or a Mesa), pass your keys and synths through it and the difference will be huge.
You could also use to effect some vocals with the spring reverb of the amp.. Doesn't work for everything but for some stuff it's cool.

a tape machine like an MCI 2track that Mara Machine refurbs?

Maybe also the Gyraf Vari Mu, from clean to quite a bit of colour for the 2bus.



Cheu
Old 26th June 2017
  #5
Fairchild 627. Huge girth set flat. Fabulous tube distortion on tap. Winner.
Old 26th June 2017
  #6
The "Color" series format from DIYRE - modules made by louder than liftoff amongst others. Options for days there.
Old 26th June 2017
  #7
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Louder Than Liftoff Silver Bullet.
Old 26th June 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Fairchild 627. Huge girth set flat. Fabulous tube distortion on tap. Winner.
It might be the winner, but aren't there something like 8 in existence in the whole world?

It might be the best, but none of us will likely ever know it.

EDIT: O.k., I see now that you've started an entire thread on one of these Fairchilds. I'm glad you're happy to have one. And it seems like I overestimated the rarity of the unit by perhaps as much as 100%.

I'm not sure how it helps the OP, however.

EDIT EDIT: O.k., now I see that what you have is a Fairchild 627 clone. I now see how that suggestion helps the OP. As long as he knows he can get a clone. Now I'm going to go back to that thread and see how I can get one.
Old 26th June 2017
  #9
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyemerson View Post
I'm in the market for a color / processing unit that really transforms the sound. Something that is not subtle at all where even a noob can hear the difference. Perhaps some kind of multiband compressor or sonic maximizer. The primary use would be for transforming synths to really give them some color and make them sound huge.

I'm a big fan of multiband compressors for these (IL Maximus - max loudness preset, VMS Multiband compressor, OTT) - something about the way the multiband filters transform the sound can be really interesting for bass sounds especially.

I'd be using it for electro, dub techno, minimal style tracks. Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Culture Vulture sounds pretty cool, although I'm not entirely sure a distortion unit is what I am after (although maybe, given the right one). I own an API2500 & EL Fatso, & Analog Heat at the moment but looking to expand my palette a bit (and go for something even more extreme sounding than these).
So many options and choices, though most folk are interested in subtle effects rather than the unsubtle transformation you seem to be asking for.

The Thermionic CV, which you've mentioned, can do a fair bit that imparts flavour without obvious distortion (though, obviously, it can also do distortion). For straight color imprint, I quite like the Retro Sta Level and even the 176, though maybe the effect would be too subtle for you. Then there's the Anamod gear (ATS-1, AM660 etc). And the RND 542/5042.

My take is that if you want anything much beyond the above, you're probably more in the market for EQ or an effects box rather than just coloration.
Old 26th June 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
+1!
Put a stereo mic to a nice tube amp (Fender custom 15 or a Mesa), pass your keys and synths through it and the difference will be huge.
You could also use to effect some vocals with the spring reverb of the amp.. Doesn't work for everything but for some stuff it's cool.

a tape machine like an MCI 2track that Mara Machine refurbs?

Maybe also the Gyraf Vari Mu, from clean to quite a bit of colour for the 2bus.



Cheu
This.

Plus record your master outs to DSD. DSD playback software is free for Mac and Windows. Most impressive.
Old 26th June 2017
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
Elektron Heat is awesome.

Didn't Overstayer make a distortion box once?

Vermona makes a reverb with a balls knob
Old 26th June 2017
  #12
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Black Box HG2.
Old 26th June 2017
  #13
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drpeacock View Post
Louder Than Liftoff Silver Bullet.
@ tobyemerson

We have sound clips if you'd like to hear what the box can do:

https://store.louderthanliftoff.com/...et-sound-clips

Also I'm getting ready to ship a 500 series version of the Silver Bullet called Chroma, which also incorporates the Colour modules that @ psycho_monkey mentioned. So while Chroma lacks the full feature set of the Silver Bullet, it will do something the Silver Bullet can't.

Feel free to give me a call if have questions. I'd be happy to answer them.

Brad
Old 26th June 2017
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
tobyemerson's Avatar
Some really great suggestions here so far guys thanks (love the re-amping ideas) - keep em coming!

Here is the level of *not so subtle* I am hoping to achieve on a simple square wave: https://www.dropbox.com/s/04z0nwtw8n...ubtle.wav?dl=0
(The levels aren't matched but you can hear the overall tone and feel of the sound has changed quite a bit)
Old 27th June 2017
  #15
Chandler Curve Bender EQ. Just beautiful sound.
Old 27th June 2017
  #16
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyemerson View Post
I'm in the market for a color / processing unit that really transforms the sound. Something that is not subtle at all where even a noob can hear the difference. Perhaps some kind of multiband compressor or sonic maximizer. The primary use would be for transforming synths to really give them some color and make them sound huge.

I'm a big fan of multiband compressors for these (IL Maximus - max loudness preset, VMS Multiband compressor, OTT) - something about the way the multiband filters transform the sound can be really interesting for bass sounds especially.

I'd be using it for electro, dub techno, minimal style tracks. Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Culture Vulture sounds pretty cool, although I'm not entirely sure a distortion unit is what I am after (although maybe, given the right one). I own an API2500 & EL Fatso, & Analog Heat at the moment but looking to expand my palette a bit (and go for something even more extreme sounding than these).
For what you're asking, seems putting your synth through an amp in a nice room might do the trick.
Old 27th June 2017
  #17
Tube Tech SMC2B
HAMMER
Manley Vari Mu
Old 27th June 2017
  #18
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Surprised no one has asked where in the chain you wished to use this?
Is this all one series connected 2 mix chain ?
Have you considered active summing where you can match the stem to the magical box you seek ?
I hope at any point at which you convert to analog you are paying attention to converters.

Btw..also a fan of SMC2-BM and Vari-Mu...5500 & Shelford.
Old 27th June 2017
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
tobyemerson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmss View Post
Tube Tech SMC2B
That tube tech SMC2B sounds awfully delicious
Old 27th June 2017
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
tobyemerson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Surprised no one has asked where in the chain you wished to use this?
Most likely will be at the end of the chain on single instruments, however I'm all about experimenting and finding interesting sound design uses so I will most likely be trying it all over the place.
Old 27th June 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmss View Post
Tube Tech SMC2B
HAMMER
Manley Vari Mu
The HM2EQ is nice, for sure, but I wouldn't list it under the heading of "not subtle".
Old 28th June 2017
  #22
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What do you guys think of the Chandler Germanium for this ?
Regards
Sergio
Old 28th June 2017
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Looptrotter? Never used it but might be an option.
Old 28th June 2017
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I'm getting ready to ship a 500 series version of the Silver Bullet called Chroma, which also incorporates the Colour modules that @ psycho_monkey mentioned. So while Chroma lacks the full feature set of the Silver Bullet, it will do something the Silver Bullet can't.
Now THIS sounds interesting.
Old 28th June 2017
  #25
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceVandergraph View Post
Now THIS sounds interesting.
We think so!

Old 29th June 2017
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceVandergraph View Post
Now THIS sounds interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
We think so!

So do I...I've got one on preorder!
Old 29th June 2017
  #27
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
NY2A ... Blooming Tube / Optical Colors !!!
Old 29th June 2017
  #28
Gear Addict
 

It is worth taking 5 minutes to check out the Handsome Audio Zulu.

For me it is off the charts for value and a very broad palette of beautiful color modeled on tape. If you are in search of tone and color, give it a listen.
Old 29th June 2017
  #29
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illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan View Post
It is worth taking 5 minutes to check out the Handsome Audio Zulu.

For me it is off the charts for value and a very broad palette of beautiful color modeled on tape. If you are in search of tone and color, give it a listen.
Thanks for your kind words Steven!

Thanks
-L.
Old 29th June 2017
  #30
Gear Addict
 

I fall in love with new settings and different input sources and levels every week.

Keep jamming toward the rack version!
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