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Dolby A as an Exciter Analog Processors (HW)
Old 13th June 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Dolby A as an Exciter

Posted on the Geekslutz forum got no replies, wonder if anyone on this forum would know anything about it here.

Heard Lucas of Apogee and Michael Brauer talk about it at TapeOpCon where you modify a Dolby A card by disabling the low freqency portion of the card and just use the high end and mid range part in encode (record) mode to act as a sort of a high end aural exciter for vocals and guitars.

Anyone know someone who can do this modification?

Thanks!
Old 13th June 2007
  #2
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_cham View Post
Posted on the Geekslutz forum got no replies, wonder if anyone on this forum would know anything about it here.

Heard Lucas of Apogee and Michael Brauer talk about it at TapeOpCon where you modify a Dolby A card by disabling the low freqency portion of the card and just use the high end and mid range part in encode (record) mode to act as a sort of a high end aural exciter for vocals and guitars.

Anyone know someone who can do this modification?

Thanks!
I used to use unmodified Dolby A (encode with no decode) for brightening sometimes. Very noisy but a sound that nothing else will give you. Mike Stone taught me that trick a long time ago and it can sound great, especially on dense mixes. not for sparse mixes because of the noise
Old 13th June 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
I remember doing that.....could be really effective at times.

I remember clients used to call and ask us to make dolby encoded cassettes, but label them non dolby for the same reasons.
Old 13th June 2007
  #4
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GYang's Avatar
I did it always with Dolby A and B (not C) when casette decks and portastudios were my studio weapons.
Funny to hear now, but some (noisy) recordings I made 20+ years ago sound so natural and pleasant to my ears today.
I think Dolby was part of that magic.
Old 13th June 2007
  #5
Led
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Led's Avatar
The Dolby A unmodified as a 'dynamic eq' is a great one. Mike Stone showed me this also when I was an assistant. He loved it on bv's. Assuming it's the same guy.
Cheers
Old 13th June 2007
  #6
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_cham View Post
Anyone know someone who can do this modification?

Thanks!
You can! The following info was sent to me from Dolby:

***********************************
Hello -

It is indeed theoretically possible to disable the low-frequency band ("band 1") of a model 360 or 361, but it means getting at the edge-connector into which the Cat.No.22 noise reduction module plugs.

With the top cover removed, and looking from above and from the front, the lower pins are numbered 1 to 16 from left to right. The upper layer is lettered A to T (omitting I and round letters, that is G, O and Q), again left to right. To disable band 1, you need to connect a link between pin F (6th from left) and pin T (ground, at the right hand end). Incidentally, bands 2, 3 and 4 are pins J, M and S.

In addition, in case it is useful, the output impedance at those pins is 2K2, so if instead of a wire you connect a suitable resistor (or even a potentiometer) from a pin to ground, you reduce the degree of compression in that band.

Finally, I strongly recommend that any links or resistors be connected to the edge-connector socket, not to the corresponding fingers on the plug-in module, because it is all to easy to ruin the module.

I hope this may be helpful.

regards

Dolby Customer Support
***********************************

Approach at your own risk.

War
Old 13th June 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Hi Warren,

Would you know any tech capable of doing it? Also is this a mod that anyone has done to their Dolby unit with any success? I remember Michael Brauer saying he had someone in LA modify his unit which he uses like a HF EQ.

Thanks
Old 13th June 2007
  #8
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Contact Michael and see where he sent his. The one time I witnessed this mixing technique it was the old 301A that you could physically pull the card from to disable it. The more common units must be modified, the 301A is almost impossible to find out there.

War
Old 13th June 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

Hmmm maybe he had a 301A . . . he did say it was impossible to find, but could not remember the number. I just assumed it was a standard 300 card and was wondering why he said that as the old Dolby 300 cards are still easy to source. I have several Dolby A units in my 361s from the old tape days but not the big 301 unit.

Thanks anyway War. Good to know in case I run into one in someones junk pile.
Old 13th June 2007
  #10
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deda's Avatar
 

Dolby A301

Not that it matters but the rare and sought after Dolby unit is Dolby A301, it might cause a miss on some search engines. I've had mine for 30 years and still gets considerable use, very sweet. ,,deda,,
Old 13th June 2007
  #11
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amino's Avatar
I have two big A301's, but unfortunately they both of need some small fixes before they are up and running. I'm very curious about what they can do...
Old 13th June 2007
  #12
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Sigma's Avatar
i know a few tracks there were uhh mixed by accident with the dolby's out


and then i know a few times when certain tracks dolbys were switched off on purpose

i used to run 361's thru non doly tracks and use the undecoded signal to add super sizzle to bkg vox [id mix the normal sig with the undecoded signal] as i hated the aphex exciter
Old 16th June 2007
  #13
Gear maniac
 

Plug-in Please!

The question is:

Who is going to make the first Dolby encoding effect plugin. I'd pay for that.
I used to run drumtracks out thru a JVC cassette deck that had a pretty wicked noise recuction circuit. It was called something like ANRS, if i remember correctly. Made the drums sound like a King Tubby track.

Sound Toys? Tritone? Massey? UAD?

- Rob
Old 16th June 2007
  #14
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mac black's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastula View Post
The question is:

Who is going to make the first Dolby encoding effect plugin. I'd pay for that.
I used to run drumtracks out thru a JVC cassette deck that had a pretty wicked noise recuction circuit. It was called something like ANRS, if i remember correctly. Made the drums sound like a King Tubby track.

Sound Toys? Tritone? Massey? UAD?

- Rob
Aural exciter ...

nothing like the real thing heh
Old 27th January 2013
  #15
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mixerguy's Avatar
The forthcoming Standard Audio STRETCH - - - 500 series module will do a similar thing, I think.
Old 27th January 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i used to run 361's thru non doly tracks and use the undecoded signal to add super sizzle to bkg vox [id mix the normal sig with the undecoded signal] as i hated the aphex exciter
I also did this exact thing on Bac Vox.
Old 27th January 2013
  #17
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastula View Post
The question is:

Who is going to make the first Dolby encoding effect plugin. I'd pay for that.
I used to run drumtracks out thru a JVC cassette deck that had a pretty wicked noise recuction circuit. It was called something like ANRS, if i remember correctly. Made the drums sound like a King Tubby track.

Sound Toys? Tritone? Massey? UAD?

- Rob
there was a recent UAD promo video and they showed some effects in a rack - I took it as a teaser of upcoming releases (as did a few other users). I believe I caught a glimpse of one of the dolby units.

oto
Old 10th July 2015
  #18
bee
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bee's Avatar
 

Any plugins do this now? I'm saving to get the Stretch.
Old 12th July 2015
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bee View Post
Any plugins do this now? I'm saving to get the Stretch.
U-he Satin has emulations of Dolby A, B, DBX type 1 and 2 also with a specific setting for the Dolby trick.

https://www.u-he.com/cms/satin

Here's a lil article on it.. is anybody using it on stuff other than vocals?

the AnalogRules - BASE Cool recording tips from the 70's ans 80's !!
Old 12th July 2015
  #20
Here for the gear
 

I have two dolby 361's and have tried a few different mods to the Cat-22 cards. The info is out there and pretty easy to find.

It just involves a couple of resistors and jumper connections to disable the low band. There was some question as to which version of the mod was the best, so I just bought several cards and tried different variations.

The mod is not that different from using a stock card if you hit it with the right amount of gain. The main difference with the mod is that it is not as gain dependent. You get pretty much the same sound regardless of the input level.

Using a stock card can be interesting in it's own way, because you can get more variations. Sometimes I have popped a stock card back in and actually liked it better than the mod.
Old 13th July 2015
  #21
bee
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bee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
U-he Satin has emulations of Dolby A, B, DBX type 1 and 2 also with a specific setting for the Dolby trick.

https://www.u-he.com/cms/satin

Here's a lil article on it.. is anybody using it on stuff other than vocals?

the AnalogRules - BASE Cool recording tips from the 70's ans 80's !!
Awesome! Thanks for the info.
Old 13th July 2015
  #22
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dfchandler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_cham View Post
Posted on the Geekslutz forum got no replies, wonder if anyone on this forum would know anything about it here.

Heard Lucas of Apogee and Michael Brauer talk about it at TapeOpCon where you modify a Dolby A card by disabling the low freqency portion of the card and just use the high end and mid range part in encode (record) mode to act as a sort of a high end aural exciter for vocals and guitars.

Anyone know someone who can do this modification?

Thanks!
Is this what you are looking for?

Dolby A as an ExciterVocal✮stressor Modified Dolby CAT22 | eBay

Denny
Old 13th July 2015
  #23
Old 13th July 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Or this fancier version, with many more controls, which we produce...

Dolby A as an ExciterStudio Electronics Dolby A Plus High Frequency Enhancer Processor Effects Unit | eBay
Old 13th July 2015
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kulka View Post
Or this fancier version, with many more controls, which we produce...
David... great idea! Just one suggestion, though -- put it in a proper box. Not just for physical protection, but to keep dust & stuff out. The price is pretty reasonable right now, so I don't think a little more for the box would be a deal breaker for most people.
Old 13th July 2015
  #26
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akai612's Avatar
 

A dolby 361 cat 22 will produce very pleasing results without the mod...just encode thats it!
Old 13th July 2015
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
David... great idea! Just one suggestion, though -- put it in a proper box. Not just for physical protection, but to keep dust & stuff out. The price is pretty reasonable right now, so I don't think a little more for the box would be a deal breaker for most people.
Thanks for your comment. A full enclosure would give additional protection but I don't think dust is really an issue. I built two of these to gauge interest and see whether it made sense to build more. I thought about using an enclosure instead of just a front panel, but it would have been 2 RU high instead of 1 to accommodate the transformer, and I wasn't sure it would be worth the additional cost. I still might do that some day, but I'm not sure.
Old 14th July 2015
  #28
A used Aphex Type III exciter will do all of this and more, with complete adjustability too.
You can sweep from odd to even harmonics too. Dolby can't do that.
Old 14th July 2015
  #29
Here for the gear
 

the U-he Satin without the decode is pretty close to my ears.

I always use an expander or gate for the noise generated with both the real dolby and the U-he satin.

the noveltech vocal enhancer is cool as well with no noise.

Vocal Enhancer | Noveltech

Last edited by Chris A.; 14th July 2015 at 10:19 PM..
Old 15th July 2015
  #30
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SK Note Make a DOLBY "A" Plug In & 500 Series Module with 1580/S DIM D, Dolby A.
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