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REDD 47 & Line Input Handling Studio Accessories
Old 11th October 2018
  #1
Gear Head
REDD 47 & Line Input Handling

hello everybody

I just received my pair of REDD.47 Chandler Preamps and i am extremely happy with the sound, the punch, the presence, the ''3D'' sound that i get when i record through it. It is a piece of gear which truly lives up to the hype and price tag surrounding it. Well done Chandler

However, i do admit that there is one issue that the REDD 47 has, which i had known before i purchased and which i thought i'd be able to address, as it has been the case with my other valve gear (i.e. my stereo preamp by Analogue Addicts or Culture Vulture).

As i work mostly with electronic music, when i send line level signals from my drum machines, modular or mainly my DAW & Prism Orpheus, the REDD 47 seems to have a very (very!) steep / exponential distortion slope, which in turn makes processing line level signal really tricky. To the point that if i turn up the AUX send from my DAW, it distorts excessively within a few dBs, whereas if i turn up the Voltage Gain from the REDD. 47 instead (past 28Db) i get quite a lot of noise. This isn't a problem when i processing claps, snares, hihats or percussion but on bass, synths and full mixes it can be quite annoying. Some noise is obviously to be expected from valve units, but for such an expensive preamp, i think that a dedicate line input would have benefited the processing of line level stuff.

The manual says: '' To use the REDD.47 at line level, begin with ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ at ‘16,’ ‘FINE GAIN SET’ at ‘0,’ and engage the 20db ‘PAD.’ Apply source signal via the XLR input, bring up ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ if needed, and adjust the ‘FINE GAIN SET’ for the desired color.''

At those settings, the output of the preamp is quite low, even though i am sending it material which is recorded above average level. The 20dB Pad isn't that useful, as it feels like it doesn't really tame the mic input quite right. When i engage it, i get the same type of distortion, but 20dB more quiet!
One would expect that once the pad would be engaged, you'd have plenty more ''flavors'' given by the headroom given, but all it does is bring down the signal yet the distortion occurs within the same dB range like when pad isn't engaged. This was really disappointing to hear.

It's not like i cannot process line level stuff - it stills makes my sounds jump out of the speakers. It's a fantastic sounding machine! But it seems that it requires quite an effort to get to that point and the results are mixed, not straight forward and unpredictable.

Could anybody comment or share some thoughts on all the above? Is it successive pentode & triode combination of the REDD that gives it this aggressive & quick-to-distort characteristics? My triode based Analogue Addicts in comparison, responds in a more linear way, which makes processing stems and mixes much more comfortable. Obviously its'a different design, but i am surprised also, as it much less noisy that then REDD despite being a high gain unit.

The sound of the REDD is truly next level, i absolutely love it and i want to find a way to somehow make my DAW and REDD work more seamlessly so i can process line level stuff with more ease.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated~!

Thank you

Last edited by Socrates86; 11th October 2018 at 05:04 PM.. Reason: Typos & amendments
Old 11th October 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I've got no direct experience of the unit but it sounds like the distortion you're hearing occurs before the -20dB pad. If so, that's a bit of a design engineer's schoolboy error, but I've not seen a schematic so it may not be the case.

If it is the case then a -20dB passive attenuator or transformer on the input (or perhaps less) might resolve it, although it's a bit of a bodge.

Regarding the distortion, set up a tone generator in your DAW and create a 0dBV sinewave at say 500Hz (less unpleasant than 1KHz). Drive the REDD with no pad, starting with the DAW channel output fader at -inf. Return the REDD output back to the DAW and raise the sine drive level from -inf until you find the point at which distortion sets in on the peaks (a blunting of the peaks, not flat-topping).

Make a note of the source level then engage the pad on the REDD. Firstly, check that the new REDD output level is indeed -20dB from previous. Secondly, recover the 20dB with the audio interface input level (?) and observe the waveform for distortion comparison. If it looks very similar, the distortion is created earlier in the signal path that the pad circuit. If not, continue to raise the level of the sine source until similar distortion is observed (reducing the gain of the return accordingly).

Hope that helps....
Old 11th October 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

....and regarding valve characteristics, and EF86 can be configured with significant gain and to get 'gritty' quite suddenly but I would only do that for guitar products. Also, different manufacturers and eras of EF86 behave quite differently. The modern ones often tend to behave less subtly.

Also, the input transformer type, design and ratio is critical but I don't know what they're using so can't comment further.
Old 12th October 2018
  #4
Contact @ adam_f of chandler.
he'll help you out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates86 View Post
hello everybody

I just received my pair of REDD.47 Chandler Preamps and i am extremely happy with the sound, the punch, the presence, the ''3D'' sound that i get when i record through it. It is a piece of gear which truly lives up to the hype and price tag surrounding it. Well done Chandler

However, i do admit that there is one issue that the REDD 47 has, which i had known before i purchased and which i thought i'd be able to address, as it has been the case with my other valve gear (i.e. my stereo preamp by Analogue Addicts or Culture Vulture).

As i work mostly with electronic music, when i send line level signals from my drum machines, modular or mainly my DAW & Prism Orpheus, the REDD 47 seems to have a very (very!) steep / exponential distortion slope, which in turn makes processing line level signal really tricky. To the point that if i turn up the AUX send from my DAW, it distorts excessively within a few dBs, whereas if i turn up the Voltage Gain from the REDD. 47 instead (past 28Db) i get quite a lot of noise. This isn't a problem when i processing claps, snares, hihats or percussion but on bass, synths and full mixes it can be quite annoying. Some noise is obviously to be expected from valve units, but for such an expensive preamp, i think that a dedicate line input would have benefited the processing of line level stuff.

The manual says: '' To use the REDD.47 at line level, begin with ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ at ‘16,’ ‘FINE GAIN SET’ at ‘0,’ and engage the 20db ‘PAD.’ Apply source signal via the XLR input, bring up ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ if needed, and adjust the ‘FINE GAIN SET’ for the desired color.''

At those settings, the output of the preamp is quite low, even though i am sending it material which is recorded above average level. The 20dB Pad isn't that useful, as it feels like it doesn't really tame the mic input quite right. When i engage it, i get the same type of distortion, but 20dB more quiet!
One would expect that once the pad would be engaged, you'd have plenty more ''flavors'' given by the headroom given, but all it does is bring down the signal yet the distortion occurs within the same dB range like when pad isn't engaged. This was really disappointing to hear.

It's not like i cannot process line level stuff - it stills makes my sounds jump out of the speakers. It's a fantastic sounding machine! But it seems that it requires quite an effort to get to that point and the results are mixed, not straight forward and unpredictable.

Could anybody comment or share some thoughts on all the above? Is it successive pentode & triode combination of the REDD that gives it this aggressive & quick-to-distort characteristics? My triode based Analogue Addicts in comparison, responds in a more linear way, which makes processing stems and mixes much more comfortable. Obviously its'a different design, but i am surprised also, as it much less noisy that then REDD despite being a high gain unit.

The sound of the REDD is truly next level, i absolutely love it and i want to find a way to somehow make my DAW and REDD work more seamlessly so i can process line level stuff with more ease.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated~!

Thank you
Old 12th October 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
Hi

I don't have the Chandler, but I have DRIP REDD47 units.

The margin between nice saturation and massive distortion is small with full line level into the mic input.

EDIT: It actually isn't! I just tried with an 808 clip at all settings. I have to hit it pretty hard to get full on distortion. Noise stays the same (non existant) whether I choose 34, 40 or 46.

On a side note, I have an Analogue Addicts tube spring unit that I adore. Highly underrated stuff they put together!
Old 12th October 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
adam_f's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates86 View Post
hello everybody

I just received my pair of REDD.47 Chandler Preamps and i am extremely happy with the sound, the punch, the presence, the ''3D'' sound that i get when i record through it. It is a piece of gear which truly lives up to the hype and price tag surrounding it. Well done Chandler

However, i do admit that there is one issue that the REDD 47 has, which i had known before i purchased and which i thought i'd be able to address, as it has been the case with my other valve gear (i.e. my stereo preamp by Analogue Addicts or Culture Vulture).

As i work mostly with electronic music, when i send line level signals from my drum machines, modular or mainly my DAW & Prism Orpheus, the REDD 47 seems to have a very (very!) steep / exponential distortion slope, which in turn makes processing line level signal really tricky. To the point that if i turn up the AUX send from my DAW, it distorts excessively within a few dBs, whereas if i turn up the Voltage Gain from the REDD. 47 instead (past 28Db) i get quite a lot of noise. This isn't a problem when i processing claps, snares, hihats or percussion but on bass, synths and full mixes it can be quite annoying. Some noise is obviously to be expected from valve units, but for such an expensive preamp, i think that a dedicate line input would have benefited the processing of line level stuff.

The manual says: '' To use the REDD.47 at line level, begin with ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ at ‘16,’ ‘FINE GAIN SET’ at ‘0,’ and engage the 20db ‘PAD.’ Apply source signal via the XLR input, bring up ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ if needed, and adjust the ‘FINE GAIN SET’ for the desired color.''

At those settings, the output of the preamp is quite low, even though i am sending it material which is recorded above average level. The 20dB Pad isn't that useful, as it feels like it doesn't really tame the mic input quite right. When i engage it, i get the same type of distortion, but 20dB more quiet!
One would expect that once the pad would be engaged, you'd have plenty more ''flavors'' given by the headroom given, but all it does is bring down the signal yet the distortion occurs within the same dB range like when pad isn't engaged. This was really disappointing to hear.

It's not like i cannot process line level stuff - it stills makes my sounds jump out of the speakers. It's a fantastic sounding machine! But it seems that it requires quite an effort to get to that point and the results are mixed, not straight forward and unpredictable.

Could anybody comment or share some thoughts on all the above? Is it successive pentode & triode combination of the REDD that gives it this aggressive & quick-to-distort characteristics? My triode based Analogue Addicts in comparison, responds in a more linear way, which makes processing stems and mixes much more comfortable. Obviously its'a different design, but i am surprised also, as it much less noisy that then REDD despite being a high gain unit.

The sound of the REDD is truly next level, i absolutely love it and i want to find a way to somehow make my DAW and REDD work more seamlessly so i can process line level stuff with more ease.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated~!

Thank you
Hi, please pm me and I’ll help get you sorted, and save you going down rabbit holes. Folks use REDD.47s for post processing routinely and also on mix bus without issue.
Old 24th January 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Mr. Bars's Avatar
Hey Socrates86, interesting to hear what solution you found. Did you try to use your REDD.47 pair without 20 dB pad engaged, but with external devices like DW Fearn LP-1 (I have that one and use it with Neve 1073 pair with total success).

I am considering the purchase of REDD.47 pair and stereo bus processing is about half of the planned use. I would like to hear any additional inputs about post processing on mix bus / stereo groups from REDD.47 owners.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates86 View Post
hello everybody

I just received my pair of REDD.47 Chandler Preamps and i am extremely happy with the sound, the punch, the presence, the ''3D'' sound that i get when i record through it. It is a piece of gear which truly lives up to the hype and price tag surrounding it. Well done Chandler

However, i do admit that there is one issue that the REDD 47 has, which i had known before i purchased and which i thought i'd be able to address, as it has been the case with my other valve gear (i.e. my stereo preamp by Analogue Addicts or Culture Vulture).

As i work mostly with electronic music, when i send line level signals from my drum machines, modular or mainly my DAW & Prism Orpheus, the REDD 47 seems to have a very (very!) steep / exponential distortion slope, which in turn makes processing line level signal really tricky. To the point that if i turn up the AUX send from my DAW, it distorts excessively within a few dBs, whereas if i turn up the Voltage Gain from the REDD. 47 instead (past 28Db) i get quite a lot of noise. This isn't a problem when i processing claps, snares, hihats or percussion but on bass, synths and full mixes it can be quite annoying. Some noise is obviously to be expected from valve units, but for such an expensive preamp, i think that a dedicate line input would have benefited the processing of line level stuff.

The manual says: '' To use the REDD.47 at line level, begin with ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ at ‘16,’ ‘FINE GAIN SET’ at ‘0,’ and engage the 20db ‘PAD.’ Apply source signal via the XLR input, bring up ‘VOLTAGE GAIN’ if needed, and adjust the ‘FINE GAIN SET’ for the desired color.''

At those settings, the output of the preamp is quite low, even though i am sending it material which is recorded above average level. The 20dB Pad isn't that useful, as it feels like it doesn't really tame the mic input quite right. When i engage it, i get the same type of distortion, but 20dB more quiet!
One would expect that once the pad would be engaged, you'd have plenty more ''flavors'' given by the headroom given, but all it does is bring down the signal yet the distortion occurs within the same dB range like when pad isn't engaged. This was really disappointing to hear.

It's not like i cannot process line level stuff - it stills makes my sounds jump out of the speakers. It's a fantastic sounding machine! But it seems that it requires quite an effort to get to that point and the results are mixed, not straight forward and unpredictable.

Could anybody comment or share some thoughts on all the above? Is it successive pentode & triode combination of the REDD that gives it this aggressive & quick-to-distort characteristics? My triode based Analogue Addicts in comparison, responds in a more linear way, which makes processing stems and mixes much more comfortable. Obviously its'a different design, but i am surprised also, as it much less noisy that then REDD despite being a high gain unit.

The sound of the REDD is truly next level, i absolutely love it and i want to find a way to somehow make my DAW and REDD work more seamlessly so i can process line level stuff with more ease.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated~!

Thank you
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