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Chandler Microphone Cassette - My Review Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 15th October 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Chandler Microphone Cassette - My Review

Been two moths since I’ve got my new pair of Chandler Microphone Cassettes and I wanted to share my opinion about it.

First of all let’s say that it has almost all the features of the TG2 preamp, TG1 limiter and Curve bender, for the price of just one of the three separate pieces. So if someone is between the two options, I would recommend to steer clear from the separate pieces option and buy this combo channel strip. (Never the less I’ve would love if the curve bender section had one more midrange band.

Si let’s start talking about the sound. Compared to my API’s, Silver Bullet, and tube Altecs, the sound is very thick and warm. Just as the TG2 is. Very smooth highs, with thick but clear low end, and a very beefy mid range. Perhaps it could be to dark for some applications, but great for tracks which need extra smoothing and slightly controlled transients.

The preamp section is exactly like the TG2 and it just sounds the same. Nothing new here. It just blows your hair off when used on electric guitars, drums and bass guitar. Almost any voice will fit perfectly without minimum eq, but a very dark voice or mic may benefit from the eq section. The DI high Z input on the front is very usable for line clean guitars, synths and bass. Specially on electric clean sounds and thick huge bass guitars.
This things have a lot of gain, and can provide from a very clean sound (with all its signature sound, forget Millenia Clean) to heavily distorted sound by using the gain and fine gain knobs.
It also has a very usable HPF that I use almost all the time.
Line in can benefit from the use of the pad just to lower the input gain in the microphone mode instead of the line in mode, where I think it just sounds better, and by pushing the pad you can achieve very nice coloration and saturation by turning up the gain, for thickening the sound with lots of harmonics without distorting.

The curve bender section has a 3 band equalizer. It has fixed frequency points for bass and treble bands (I would have loved it even more if both frecuencias where selectable), and a mid range (called presence) where you can actually choose between lots of frecuencies (it has a stepped pot for choosing them).
Sound wise I think it sounds so **** good that it makes me wonder if my need for another mid-band is not a stupid idea. Also the output knob from the equalizer is very useful to feed the compressor/limiter which is next in the signal change.

I love the fact that it has separate outputs for the preamp/eq section and the compressor, but I almost always keep them in the same chain by using an XLR-XLR cable on the back. Even when not compressing, the compressor gives the track or buss a very nice rounding edge sound.

The compressor is fantastic (better than my la2a and 1176 for some sources), but it has a strange layout. I won’t be explaining it but the hold knob took me a while to understand it and getting usable. Both attack and release knobs are very responsive and has a quite large margin from slammed ultra fast attack and release yo very smooth slow compression. The output knob is very usable for hitting your AD or next hardware outboard with the right amounts of level after being compressed.

On the master bus or for printing stems or full mixes this thing is GLUE!!! It just shaves and shapes the sound in a very pleasant and musical way, even when using it without active compression or eq, all flat.

Highly recommended just like any other chandler piece of gear. And as I say before, same price as only one of the 3 sections it includes.

The quality/price relationship is by far the best in my studio among the silver bullet and Zulu. Very happy with it.
Attached Thumbnails
Chandler Microphone Cassette - My Review-b5303af5-9bee-414a-a151-2ba3f506d814.jpg  
Old 16th October 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DougS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranciscoFrugoni View Post
Been two moths since I’ve got my new pair of Chandler Microphone Cassettes and I wanted to share my opinion about it. ...
Great review.

When you run stereo tracks through the two units are you using the link feature to link the compressors? If so, how is that working for you?

Are your two Microphone Cassettes a matched pair (Does Chandler even offer matched pairs of the Microphone Cassette channel strip?).
Old 16th October 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS View Post
Great review.

When you run stereo tracks through the two units are you using the link feature to link the compressors? If so, how is that working for you?

Are your two Microphone Cassettes a matched pair (Does Chandler even offer matched pairs of the Microphone Cassette channel strip?).
I keep both compressors linked all the time, even when I use a mono track and one single compressor working (the other one just follows the lead). I never tracked two mono inputs which needed different compression settings. So they are always linked.

The units are not paired, Chandler doesn’t offer this feature, and I bought each one from different sellers.

Nevertheless, the matching is pretty correct. Maybe the output from the compressors need to be just slightly different to achieve level matching between the two units, but otherwise both preamp, eq and compressors, are exactly the same.
Old 16th October 2018
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranciscoFrugoni View Post
I keep both compressors linked all the time, even when I use a mono track and one single compressor working (the other one just follows the lead). I never tracked two mono inputs which needed different compression settings. So they are always linked.

The units are not paired, Chandler doesn’t offer this feature, and I bought each one from different sellers.

Nevertheless, the matching is pretty correct. Maybe the output from the compressors need to be just slightly different to achieve level matching between the two units, but otherwise both preamp, eq and compressors, are exactly the same.
I'm glad you love the Chandler stuff!

I'm pretty sure compressor in the cassette and the 500 series are the same, but are different (and sound different) than the TG1 and the Zener.

I think the Cassette and 500 series are straight Opto compressors.

I've heard that lots of people are digging the Opto flavor even more than the Zener on some sources...
Old 16th October 2018
  #5
Thank you for the nice detailed review!
I demo’d this unit for a few weeks a while back and would agree with everything you wrote. It’s a super sweet and flexible sounding chain. The TG2 pre sounds fantastic, and the fine gain really openes up possibilities as a tone control, but there was no way to make it sound bad at all. The EQ absolutely smokes, and makes you want more points, but it’s also plenty useful just as it is. The comp is a little tough to wrap your head around at first, but if you straight ignore the hold pot at first you realize that it works like pretty much every other comp with an input knob.. just think of the output pot on the pre/eq as your input and you’ll immediately get a handle on it. Then you can start to mix in use of the hold pot to set dynamic range. I found the killer feature on this box is how it all works so well together. It’s nothing short of sublime sounding and to use. I wasn’t acutally in the maket for a strip when i had the opportunity to demo it, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and might well trade up for it in the future. If i had room in the rack (and wallet) today I’d already own one.

If chandler ever gives the Redd.47 the cassette treatment I’m in big trouble .)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranciscoFrugoni View Post
Been two moths since I’ve got my new pair of Chandler Microphone Cassettes and I wanted to share my opinion about it.

First of all let’s say that it has almost all the features of the TG2 preamp, TG1 limiter and Curve bender, for the price of just one of the three separate pieces. So if someone is between the two options, I would recommend to steer clear from the separate pieces option and buy this combo channel strip. (Never the less I’ve would love if the curve bender section had one more midrange band.

Si let’s start talking about the sound. Compared to my API’s, Silver Bullet, and tube Altecs, the sound is very thick and warm. Just as the TG2 is. Very smooth highs, with thick but clear low end, and a very beefy mid range. Perhaps it could be to dark for some applications, but great for tracks which need extra smoothing and slightly controlled transients.

The preamp section is exactly like the TG2 and it just sounds the same. Nothing new here. It just blows your hair off when used on electric guitars, drums and bass guitar. Almost any voice will fit perfectly without minimum eq, but a very dark voice or mic may benefit from the eq section. The DI high Z input on the front is very usable for line clean guitars, synths and bass. Specially on electric clean sounds and thick huge bass guitars.
This things have a lot of gain, and can provide from a very clean sound (with all its signature sound, forget Millenia Clean) to heavily distorted sound by using the gain and fine gain knobs.
It also has a very usable HPF that I use almost all the time.
Line in can benefit from the use of the pad just to lower the input gain in the microphone mode instead of the line in mode, where I think it just sounds better, and by pushing the pad you can achieve very nice coloration and saturation by turning up the gain, for thickening the sound with lots of harmonics without distorting.

The curve bender section has a 3 band equalizer. It has fixed frequency points for bass and treble bands (I would have loved it even more if both frecuencias where selectable), and a mid range (called presence) where you can actually choose between lots of frecuencies (it has a stepped pot for choosing them).
Sound wise I think it sounds so **** good that it makes me wonder if my need for another mid-band is not a stupid idea. Also the output knob from the equalizer is very useful to feed the compressor/limiter which is next in the signal change.

I love the fact that it has separate outputs for the preamp/eq section and the compressor, but I almost always keep them in the same chain by using an XLR-XLR cable on the back. Even when not compressing, the compressor gives the track or buss a very nice rounding edge sound.

The compressor is fantastic (better than my la2a and 1176 for some sources), but it has a strange layout. I won’t be explaining it but the hold knob took me a while to understand it and getting usable. Both attack and release knobs are very responsive and has a quite large margin from slammed ultra fast attack and release yo very smooth slow compression. The output knob is very usable for hitting your AD or next hardware outboard with the right amounts of level after being compressed.

On the master bus or for printing stems or full mixes this thing is GLUE!!! It just shaves and shapes the sound in a very pleasant and musical way, even when using it without active compression or eq, all flat.

Highly recommended just like any other chandler piece of gear. And as I say before, same price as only one of the 3 sections it includes.

The quality/price relationship is by far the best in my studio among the silver bullet and Zulu. Very happy with it.
Old 16th October 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
I'm glad you love the Chandler stuff!

I'm pretty sure compressor in the cassette and the 500 series are the same, but are different (and sound different) than the TG1 and the Zener.

I think the Cassette and 500 series are straight Opto compressors.

I've heard that lots of people are digging the Opto flavor even more than the Zener on some sources...
It is in fact an option compressor (not like the la2a sound wise)

I never tried the Zener but I would love to. Did you?
Old 16th October 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
Thank you for the nice detailed review!
I demo’d this unit for a few weeks a while back and would agree with everything you wrote. It’s a super sweet and flexible sounding chain. The TG2 pre sounds fantastic, and the fine gain really openes up possibilities as a tone control, but there was no way to make it sound bad at all. The EQ absolutely smokes, and makes you want more points, but it’s also plenty useful just as it is. The comp is a little tough to wrap your head around at first, but if you straight ignore the hold pot at first you realize that it works like pretty much every other comp with an input knob.. just think of the output pot on the pre/eq as your input and you’ll immediately get a handle on it. Then you can start to mix in use of the hold pot to set dynamic range. I found the killer feature on this box is how it all works so well together. It’s nothing short of sublime sounding and to use. I wasn’t acutally in the maket for a strip when i had the opportunity to demo it, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and might well trade up for it in the future. If i had room in the rack (and wallet) today I’d already own one.

If chandler ever gives the Redd.47 the cassette treatment I’m in big trouble .)
Same happened to me with the Hold knob, at first I want really sure what it did, even after reading the manual. So basically I did the same same as you, I used the output of the eq as input and the output of the compressor as... well... output!
Old 16th October 2018
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranciscoFrugoni View Post
It is in fact an option compressor (not like the la2a sound wise)

I never tried the Zener but I would love to. Did you?
Of the compressors, I have a Zener and a TG1 and a pair of Germs. They all sound different.
Old 17th October 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
Of the compressors, I have a Zener and a TG1 and a pair of Germs. They all sound different.
But can you do with the tg1 the “limit” style of compression of the Zener?
Old 17th October 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranciscoFrugoni View Post
But can you do with the tg1 the “limit” style of compression of the Zener?
No. They all sound similar, but different. The Zener has the most control and I’d say is most hifi and polite sounding. I like the Zener on mix groups and vocals.

The tg1 is the most “accurate” to the originals, and is the one I use when I want to smash stuff. This one has the most mojo.

The optos don’t sound the same. You can tell they are in the same family, but they are opto and sound different. Awesome, and arguably more useful, but different.
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