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Lunchbox ideas for Drum Room 500 Series Preamps
Old 25th January 2019
  #1
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timtoonz's Avatar
Lunchbox ideas for Drum Room

I'm looking for some 500 series pre's that would be ideal for drum-room mic inputs. Something I can overdrive or squash or otherwise 'mess up' in nice and interesting ways.

It'd be awesome if there were a single space unit with a pre AND a comp to give me added 'squash' options, but I have a hunch that might not be a product that exists.

The one contender I found so far that looks interesting - and surprisingly affordable - is this..

https://www.frontendaudio.com/cranbo...p-stereo-pair/

Thoughts? Options? Amusing anecdotes?

THANKS

Old 25th January 2019
  #2
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Joao B.'s Avatar
 

Not a preamp, but the Level-Or from Standard Audio can do wonders on drum room mics
Old 25th January 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 

CAPIvp28 on everything other than overheads...CAPI VP312 for those...
Old 25th January 2019
  #4
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timtoonz's Avatar
Interesting thoughts, keep'em comin.

Makes me think that maybe instead of 2 pre's I could get one 'colour' pre like the CAPI and an agressive comp like the Level-OR.

My other drum channels are Snare: API 512 -> API 550, Kik: OSA-L -> API560, Overheads - Avedis MA5, Ribbon (AEA-R88) - AEA TRP....

Toms usually just go through 4 channels of my UAD Apollo.

So I've got 'clean' and punch generally covered. But it would be great to have something a little messier and more aggressive for the room mic(s). It's a smallish old-school drum booth, but i like to drop an 'extra' mic somewhere in the corner or behind the door to get something a little different.
Old 27th January 2019
  #5
Level-ors are super cool, but they go from 0 to 100 with very little in-between, so I wouldn't recommend them unless you actually want ONLY extreme smash. Also, they're noisy as hell (the mk 1 versions...haven't tried the mk 2 yet, but i hear they're better), so if you keep your drum rooms up high in the mix, or like to add a buncha top, those level-ors might not be your best bet.

I've got a comp called the Hippo at the studio. I forget the manufacturer, but it's pretty freaking awesome on drum rooms. It's a two-space comp. Has a wet/dry control, and a cool "warmth" control that does a blown-up tranny sorta thing. The stereo linking options are nice too.
Old 27th January 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
CAPIvp28 on everything other than overheads...CAPI VP312 for those...
VP28’s are AMAZING on overheads though...
Old 27th January 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Mangum View Post
VP28’s are AMAZING on overheads though...
All I know is that my 6 VP28s are nowhere near enough...
Old 27th January 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
All I know is that my 6 VP28s are nowhere near enough...
Yeah, I guess that’s what I was driving at... a whole kit through 28s would sound killer!
Old 28th January 2019
  #9
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timtoonz's Avatar
Great - now even though I have some nice API's with vintage EQ and Avedis MA5's on my kit, you've got my jonesin' for CAPI V28's! Gearslutz at its finest. :-)

I assume the trick is to drive the CAPI's a little for some harmonic mojo, then use the output fader to tame the level?
Old 28th January 2019
  #10
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
Great - now even though I have some nice API's with vintage EQ and Avedis MA5's on my kit, you've got my jonesin' for CAPI V28's! Gearslutz at its finest. :-)

I assume the trick is to drive the CAPI's a little for some harmonic mojo, then use the output fader to tame the level?
More Avedis MA5's.. They have a nice heft on the kit..
And maybe a pair of valley people dynamite 500 for squashing..





Cheu
Old 30th January 2019
  #11
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Joao B.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Level-ors are super cool, but they go from 0 to 100 with very little in-between, so I wouldn't recommend them unless you actually want ONLY extreme smash. Also, they're noisy as hell (the mk 1 versions...haven't tried the mk 2 yet, but i hear they're better), so if you keep your drum rooms up high in the mix, or like to add a buncha top, those level-ors might not be your best bet.

I've got a comp called the Hippo at the studio. I forget the manufacturer, but it's pretty freaking awesome on drum rooms. It's a two-space comp. Has a wet/dry control, and a cool "warmth" control that does a blown-up tranny sorta thing. The stereo linking options are nice too.
The Level-Or mk2 is indeed less noisy. I agree that they’re a bit extreme but when they work on a source they’re very cool.
Old 30th January 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
api 512v king of drums
Old 30th January 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
Great - now even though I have some nice API's with vintage EQ and Avedis MA5's on my kit, you've got my jonesin' for CAPI V28's! Gearslutz at its finest. :-)

I assume the trick is to drive the CAPI's a little for some harmonic mojo, then use the output fader to tame the level?
Exactly. LOTS of shades of variation between those two gain stages. Takes only seconds to dial in the perfect vibe for the situation.
Old 30th January 2019
  #14
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
Something I can overdrive or squash or otherwise 'mess up' in nice and interesting ways.

It'd be awesome if there were a single space unit with a pre AND a comp to give me added 'squash' options, but I have a hunch that might not be a product that exists.
May want to peruse the Louder Than Liftoff Chroma preamp then. Has a switchable Neve and API preamp circuits, which is a cool feature and if it stopped there it would be worth the price. But then it also has a space for a "Colour Module" which is a new standard that a number of different manufacturers are making stuff for, including Louder Than Liftoff and DIYRE. For example, a color module can add a very simple compressor, EQ, tube saturation, slapback delay, tape emulation, etc. etc. There's only one knob to control the color module, and another knob to blend it in parallel 0-100% wet. So parallel squash for example is super easy, two knobs.

It's also got fixed bass and treble boosts available as well, can change the freq point inside via dip switch.

I got one recently and am still getting to know it. By far the deepest set of options I've ever seen on a single slot preamp. And especially depending on what Color Module card you select, you can certainly mangle the hell of stuff but do it quickly with just a knob or two.

Sound-wise the preamp itself is really good, the Neve preamp is very familiar but doesn't seem to "mess" with the source as much as my other Neve-style/Neve-inspired pre's. And the API side is in comparison immediately recognizable with that more punchy/in-your-face style you'd expect, but again it messes with the signal less than my CAPI VP28's. It's kind of hard to describe, because it's not "clean" that would be the wrong word... but it just "messes-with-the-source-less" which is hard to describe. You can then proceed to mess with it into oblivion with the color module and EQ, etc.

Def a keeper for me, wanted to see for myself and I'm glad I'm did. It's less "mega mojo vibe city" than I was expecting and just a really sober good tool. I'm going to pick up a second to make a pair, and experiment with it on busses. Oh yeah, it can handle line level too for use during mixing.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #15
Anybody use the SSL talkback compressor?

I’ve been thinking to buy it for drum squash mics.

SSL LMC+ 500 Series Listen Mic Compressor and Filter - Vintage King
Old 11th February 2019
  #16
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unphased's Avatar
 

Burl B1D. Its an all Class A preamp. It has an iron output transformer you can saturate a little to control dynamics, or saturate heavily to really crush the sound.
Old 12th February 2019
  #17
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timtoonz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KabbySoundStudio View Post
Anybody use the SSL talkback compressor?

I’ve been thinking to buy it for drum squash mics.

SSL LMC+ 500 Series Listen Mic Compressor and Filter - Vintage King
I remember there used to be a pretty cool plugin version of this, from SSL I think... but sadly it never seemed to make the transition to 64bit. I'm liking alot of these preamp suggestions tho...

Might give the LouderThanLiftoff Chroma a test with their 1176 style 'plugin' added in. And if I can swing it, a CAPI V28 is on the wishlist too.
Old 12th February 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
I know you are looking for lunch box. What I am about to suggest is not.

M12 from Revive audio. API clones for about the same cost/channel as the 500's you liked.

VINTAGE AUDIO, M12 MK2, QUAD MIC PREAMP, DISCRETE, CINEMAG TRANSFORMER IN/OUTS

The only combo preamp/compressor I have used in the Avalon 747. It was ok at kick and snare but no color help like the API or Neve flavor stuff.
Old 28th February 2019
  #19
Gear Nut
 

I highly suggest you check out the JHS Colour Box 500 series preamp. I was in this exact situation a couple years ago and ended up with a pair of JHS Colour Box's. It's essentially two Neve 1073 preamp circuits wired in series so it can go from clean to colored to all out destroyed. It also has a hpf and very flexible EQ. I have some excellent analog gear in my rack (SSL G-Comp, Rupert Neve 535 and 551, Elysia Mpressor, Overstayer SFE etc) and the Colour Box's are among the most used pieces of gear I have. They're really versatile and give you the ability to dial in as much or little saturation as you want... and even all the way into distortion territory. If I recall Sweetwater had several decent videos posted on their site showing a small taste of what these things can do. I'll try to post the link below.

YouTube

YouTube

YouTube

Last edited by Jsolo; 28th February 2019 at 02:55 AM..
Old 28th February 2019
  #20
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timtoonz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post
I highly suggest you check out the JHS Colour Box 500 series preamp. I was in this exact situation a couple years ago and ended up with a pair of JHS Colour Box's. It's essentially two Neve 1073 preamp circuits wired in series so it can go from clean to colored to all out destroyed. It also has a hpf and very flexible EQ. I have some excellent analog gear in my rack (SSL G-Comp, Rupert Neve 535 and 551, Elysia Mpressor, Overstayer SFE etc) and the Colour Box's are among the most used pieces of gear I have. They're really versatile and give you the ability to dial in as much or little saturation as you want... and even all the way into distortion territory. If I recall Sweetwater had several decent videos posted on their site showing a small taste of what these things can do. I'll try to post the link below.

YouTube

YouTube

YouTube
Wow, that looks really cool. Thanks for the heads up!

The only thing is, since I'm replacing a 2-space stereo lunchbox unit, I kinda wanted to get 2 single space modules to fill the space... I'm leaning towards a CAPI V28 and the Louder Than Liftoff Chroma (with their 1176 'plugin').

But I wish I could try this 'Color Box' coz it sure looks like a very unique and flexible tone shaper.

thanks
Old 2nd March 2019
  #21
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axisdreamer's Avatar
Another flavor is Electrodyne. I used original API 312's and variations of them for years on everything and later found me some vintage Electrodyne pres and love the thick sound of them...
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