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D&R orion eqs vs high-end plugs Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 7th May 2008
  #1
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D&R orion eqs vs high-end plugs

hey there

i have a chance to get a really good deal on a D&R orion. below 2 grand.
i don't really need a console but i am wondering if it would be worth it just for the 32 eqs id get.
at the time i use the ssl classic studio bundle and UAD. could people who worked on this console give some opinions regarding how the D&R compares to modern plugs?

cheers
jak
Old 7th May 2008
  #2
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
below 2 grand.
No brainer. Or you can get 2 or maybe 3 API's for the same price. The Orion's EQ is good. Great even. The weakest link is that the mid bands do not have switchable or adjustable "Q" and there are no HPF/LPF's. But few consoles under $100k (My orionX is at about $65k right now if I bought it new) DO have adjustable Q and Filters.

I've done "EQ matching" experiments between my API 550A's and the D&R, and I can get the D&R very close.

The EQ is versatile though as the high mids sweep up to 15k and the HF shelving EQ goes up to 22. Shelving lower and doing a peak/dip type EQ above the shelving makes this EQ really sweet sounding.

Same thing with the low mids and LF shelf. The shelf goes down to 10Hz and that makes for a smooth bump. boosting the LMF band down around 40-60 gives a nice sound that's tighter than a LF shelving EQ.

They are versatile and obviously a bargain. What's to loose?

bp

PS - My Orion is NEVER going to be sold and if I die and she's still running, I want one module in the casket with me..... heh heh Or maybe just my rackmount portableized D&R Vision.

Oh yeah, and my Gefell's and Neuman 87/84's...... heh heh heh
Old 7th May 2008
  #3
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PS - I don't know if you track, but the mic pre's are stellar as well. I've chosen them over the Martech pre's before in shootouts.
Old 7th May 2008
  #4
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I have been mixing for a few years on a D&R series 4000 (older than the Orion) and the EQs sound better than any EQ plug ins I have ever compared them against. I certainly have not compared them to all the plugs out there but I like them much better than any of the standard waves stuff.

I really dig the sound of D&Rs. I just bought another one this week. Less than 2k for an Orion is a great deal.
Old 12th August 2009
  #5
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For you guys with an Orion, is it as good as a Neotek, or trident 70 maybe?

I have no experience with them, all I know is that they have a Neotek at electrical audio studio but the D&R seems more reliable.
Old 12th August 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
For you guys with an Orion, is it as good as a Neotek, or trident 70 maybe?

I have no experience with them, all I know is that they have a Neotek at electrical audio studio but the D&R seems more reliable.
I finally got rid of my D&R, but it was to buy another D&R (a Triton), you are really talking about degrees of preference between all these consoles. I would gladly make records on any of them, but I prefer D&R
Old 12th August 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
I finally got rid of my D&R, but it was to buy another D&R (a Triton), you are really talking about degrees of preference between all these consoles. I would gladly make records on any of them, but I prefer D&R
How different is the triton?
thanks
Old 12th August 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
How different is the triton?
thanks
Different from what?
Old 12th August 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Different from what?
From your old model, does it sound different or does it only have different features but with the same sound?
Old 12th August 2009
  #10
Matskul, you really can't compare hardware eq's in consoles beyond feature sets. Someone's already posted a pretty concise explanation of the Orion's eq section. Typing about the sound of eq is like dancing about painting. Not very useful, often misleading.

I'd second all of the above - I used/owned an Orion for many years, and still use it at my old place. I rarely if ever use the Neve or API pre modules when working there, and often track with the Orion's eq in, enabling me to mix without more eq plugs. It's clean, good sounding, very tweakable semi-parametric (no Q) eq.

-d-
Old 12th August 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Davis View Post
Matskul, you really can't compare hardware eq's in consoles beyond feature sets. Someone's already posted a pretty concise explanation of the Orion's eq section. Typing about the sound of eq is like dancing about painting. Not very useful, often misleading.

I'd second all of the above - I used/owned an Orion for many years, and still use it at my old place. I rarely if ever use the Neve or API pre modules when working there, and often track with the Orion's eq in, enabling me to mix without more eq plugs. It's clean, good sounding, very tweakable semi-parametric (no Q) eq.

-d-
I am not interested in the eq only, I'm more looking for info about those console's "tone" and workability in general, pres, eq, summing, routing, etc...

Does the fact that it has no Q bother you?
From what I understand those console are pretty clean, transparent, with good features, even if they're transparent, can they be more rock n roll if you crank the gain?

thanks for the help
Old 12th August 2009
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
I am not interested in the eq only, I'm more looking for info about those console's "tone" and workability in general, pres, eq, summing, routing, etc...
Its really clean, very vanilla sounding, your typical clean slate type of board. Nothing really exciting about the tone but some guys like it for that. To me you might as well stay ITB if really clean is what you are after.

By the way the Neoteks, newer SSL's, Amek 9098, RN5088 and Euphonix consoles are all clean sounding as well. All different kinds of clean.
Old 12th August 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Its really clean, very vanilla sounding, your typical clean slate type of board. Nothing really exciting about the tone but some guys like it for that. To me you might as well stay ITB if really clean is what you are after.

By the way the Neoteks, newer SSL's, Amek 9098, RN5088 and Euphonix consoles are all clean sounding as well. All different kinds of clean.
Ok thanks for the description.
I'm OTB allready with a mackie 32 8, it sounds ok to me but what really bugs me is that it's a pain to repair, so I want something modular for that very reason.

What would be a good inline rock and roll (that could also work with anything you trhow at it) console for around 8K?
Old 12th August 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post

What would be a good inline rock and roll (that could also work with anything you trhow at it) console for around 8K?
My personal advice it to save your cash in the bank until you can afford something that's real or book block time in a pro studio with all the goodies.

Unless you want to take on a fixer upper which might deplete you for a while unless you can do your own repairs and then you could save some cash.

Or you could buy into something you grow into like a Tonelux or the Aurora console and just expand as you grow. The only problem is if it took you a long time to save up what you have now which lets face it in this economy is not as easy to come by, then buying something you will build up to may never happen.

Being in the middle or the low end in terms of funds has always been about getting squeezed in the hi end studio business unfortunately. I can harken back to the days where being in the middle was having $30K-$50K for a console and still having to feel like you were compromising based on what the choices were available.
Old 12th August 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
My personal advice it to save your cash in the bank until you can afford something that's real or book block time in a pro studio with all the goodies.

Unless you want to take on a fixer upper which might deplete you for a while unless you can do your own repairs and then you could save some cash.

Or you could buy into something you grow into like a Tonelux or the Aurora console and just expand as you grow. The only problem is if it took you a long time to save up what you have now which lets face it in this economy is not as easy to come by, then buying something you will build up to may never happen.

Being in the middle or the low end in terms of funds has always been about getting squeezed in the hi end studio business unfortunately. I can harken back to the days where being in the middle was having $30K-$50K for a console and still having to feel like you were compromising based on what the choices were available.
I can solder and clean switches, basic stuff like that, I wanna spend more time recording then troubleshooting and repairing though.

Right now I don't have any money so I'd have to borrow some if I'd find a good used console.
The 8K budget is a limit that I try to fix for this next console, I don't run a pro studio so I can't invest too much.

I'm not asking for a neve, I just want an inline console that sounds good, has a good realibity and that is easy to fix if something breaks.

I've been suggested the following:
-Trident 70
-Soundtracs IL 3632
-Neotek Serie II or III, not sure
-D&R Orion

They seem to fit this budget limit that I fixed, apparantly sound good but I don't know a lot about theire maintenance...

Thanks
Old 12th August 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post

I've been suggested the following:
-Trident 70
-Soundtracs IL 3632
-Neotek Serie II or III, not sure
-D&R Orion

They seem to fit this budget limit that I fixed, apparantly sound good but I don't know a lot about theire maintenance...

Thanks
Of that group its like choosing the lesser of the 2 evils.

In terms of repairs the Neotek would be the easiest. Parts are still available and they are still supported. By the way i think a Series III will set you back more than $8K.

In tems of sonics you are talking about extremes here. Trident on the far left and D&R on the far right. The Neotek would be center right. I would stay away from Soundtrac boards.

Probably the Neotek would be the best compromise. They can sound good at times especially with rock. Its not an SSL or a Neve but you can definitely work on one.

I don't envy you buddy. Whatever choice you make don't look back.

Commit to it wholeheartedly or the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome will start to creep in. And i've seen many a GSlut been done in with this. Chasing the never ending "ideal record sound of my hero" and buying gear after gear, mod after mod on the console always wondering why doesn't it sound like "X". The reason is that its not an "X".

Its a "Y".
Old 12th August 2009
  #17
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
I am not interested in the eq only, I'm more looking for info about those console's "tone" and workability in general, pres, eq, summing, routing, etc...
In case you haven't figured it out (you probably have), the D&R's are about ultimate transparency in their signal path.



Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Does the fact that it has no Q bother you?
No. Neither does my Eisen lilPeqR which is even MORE basic, or a 1073 which is very basic as well. They are all good at what they do. If I need a surgical EQ, I usually take care of that ITB or outboard.



Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
can they be more rock n roll if you crank the gain?
No. D&R's don't work that way. They'll stay transparent, right up until they crap out. Very unlike, say an 80 series where you have to be very careful with the input or they start to saturate on you little by little. If you want to color the sound, you're better off getting it while tracking or via outboard with a D&R.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Its really clean, very vanilla sounding, your typical clean slate type of board.

By the way the Neoteks, newer SSL's, Amek 9098, RN5088 and Euphonix consoles are all clean sounding as well. All different kinds of clean.
Agreed. Clean is clean.



Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Ok thanks for the description.
I'm OTB allready with a mackie 32 8, it sounds ok to me but what really bugs me is that it's a pain to repair, so I want something modular for that very reason.

What would be a good inline rock and roll (that could also work with anything you trhow at it) console for around 8K?
A D&R or any of your choices will sound 100X's better than a Mackie 8 buss. Like you said, also easier to service. If you're interested, PM me - I know of a D&R with motor fader automation on 48 in-line modules that's coming up for sale. Just a little out of your range, but a very impressive console that you could grow in to. It will be factory re-furbed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
I'm not asking for a neve, I just want an inline console that sounds good, has a good realibity and that is easy to fix if something breaks.

I've been suggested the following:
-Trident 70
-Soundtracs IL 3632
-Neotek Serie II or III, not sure
-D&R Orion

They seem to fit this budget limit that I fixed, apparantly sound good but I don't know a lot about theire maintenance...

Thanks
D&R is still in biz, and their tech support is top notch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
In terms of repairs the Neotek would be the easiest. Parts are still available and they are still supported. By the way i think a Series III will set you back more than $8K.
Like I said above, D&R is still in business and great about supporting customers. Just as easy to service as a Neotek.

Good luck on your search. It's a fun one and perhaps the best time to buy a used console that has ever been seen. They truly are pennies on the dollar right now....
Old 12th August 2009
  #18
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
From your old model, does it sound different or does it only have different features but with the same sound?
I moved up to a bigger balanced board with more routing options and a more flexible EQ. My current board is also newer. It seems to have a bit more open sound than the earlier D&R I had.

I love my D&R and I think the EQs are great. I have highend outboard as well and I put the D&R EQs on park with them, but just different.

I can not think of another board under $100,000 I would prefer over it. I would taking over mixing in the box any day of the week. I use it for everything from Jazz albums to extreme metal.
Old 12th August 2009
  #19
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Thanks guys, I'm really starting to get the picture.

Basically a Trident would have a cool tone, always, which might be good or not so I'd have to try one by myself, and it might not be as easy to repair because of their age.

Both the D&R and the Neotek would be easier to repair because of parts availability and both company are still in business which is great imo.
I'll forget about the soundtracs, it looks awesome but it doesn't seem appreciated at all.

The D&R would be super clear while the Neotek would be a little more colored but not much, I red somewhere that the Neotek Serie II sounds punchy and agressive while remaining pretty clean...anyway.

The Neotek has a larger footprint than the D&R which might look cool but I only have 7 feet available in my room so I'm restricted.

The Neotek is used by Steve Albini, which could possibly attrack some client, but then again I do this mostly for myself.


Up to now, that's what I understand, correct me if I'm wrong.

I red that the Neotek Serie II uses some "custom" parts like custom knobs and switches and that it can make it harder to find replacement parts, is it true?
Old 13th August 2009
  #20
Gear Head
 

I've been working on a D&R Orion for the last few years. While it is an excellent, clean console with clear preamps and excellent headroom, I've almost always used a plugin EQ before the console EQ, unless I want to add a little top end. The Q on the midband is far too giant for me to find usable on most things past a db or 2 nudge.



This console doesn't really have a "tone" and that's kind of its strong point.
Old 13th August 2009
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Does the fact that it has no Q bother you?

thanks for the help
It would for me.

Its part of the reason that i don't like mixing on API consoles. Even mixing with older Neve EQs can feel like a handicap. Every one is different and looks for their own personal needs when choosing a console on which to mix.
Old 13th August 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
It would for me.

Its part of the reason that i don't like mixing on API consoles. Even mixing with older Neve EQs can feel like a handicap. Every one is different and looks for their own personal needs when choosing a console on which to mix.
That is the great thing about hybrid set ups. I can use plug ins for narrow scoops in the mid range and then do big sculpting with the console (or my outboard)
Old 13th August 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
That is the great thing about hybrid set ups. I can use plug ins for narrow scoops in the mid range and then do big sculpting with the console (or my outboard)
But what if you have to do further sculpting after the processing which is alot of time the case to make things fit together? Especially when sculpting effects on the console. I shoot to do 95% of all of the processing on the console itself(EQing and compression) or ITB for digital centric tracks and only reach for outboard stuff when absolutely crucial or if necessary. This keep the flow more centralized and makes doing recalls a breeze.
Old 13th August 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
It would for me.

Its part of the reason that i don't like mixing on API consoles. Even mixing with older Neve EQs can feel like a handicap. Every one is different and looks for their own personal needs when choosing a console on which to mix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
But what if you have to do further sculpting after the processing which is alot of time the case to make things fit together?
Thrill,

I don't think anyone would argue that having variable Q is a plus on the console. But given the scope of the OP's request in looking for a console in this price range, don't you think that it's a moot point? I use the Orion EQ all the time, and rarely feel the need for more surgical EQ. Just my opinion of course..... But without paying a LOT more for a console, variable Q is something that most here will never see (or hear)....unless it's on their plug-ins.
Old 13th August 2009
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Thrill,

I don't think anyone would argue that having variable Q is a plus on the console. But given the scope of the OP's request in looking for a console in this price range, don't you think that it's a moot point? I use the Orion EQ all the time, and rarely feel the need for more surgical EQ. Just my opinion of course..... But without paying a LOT more for a console, variable Q is something that most here will never see (or hear)....unless it's on their plug-ins.
Again everyone's requirements are different and i was just responding to his question. To me if you do mixing exclusively especially music you don't personally track or produce not having it on the board itself could get in the way. But again everyone requirements are different. Having different point of views to a question is not a bad thing. Just gives you more to consider.
Old 13th August 2009
  #26
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It's funny, my 32 8 has a Q knob on the hi-mid eq lol
Old 13th August 2009
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
It's funny, my 32 8 has a Q knob on the hi-mid eq lol
And it sounds like crap.

The most useful place to have a variable Q is in the low mids for scooping out build up between 250hz-330hz.
Old 13th August 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
And it sounds like crap.
lol, it's not great but I can work with it.
Old 13th August 2009
  #29
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I don't think anyone would argue that having variable Q is a plus on the console.

What kind of thread would it be if I didn't argue with you!?

But seriously, I don't like the q, never did, still don't. Too much fiddling. I don't even want the sweep.

I love eq's where I have a few well-chosen freqs to pick from, and my job is to grab a freq and push or pull it. Extra big thumbsup to things like the Cinema Engineerings and 550a's of the world, where I have 2db increments like it or lump it. Saves me the trouble of thinking too hard.

Thinking hurt brain.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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Old 13th August 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
The most useful place to have a variable Q is in the low mids for scooping out build up between 250hz-330hz.

My new thing is I've begun boosting ~250 on the vox and hi-shelving almost every element down 2 or 3 times as things bounce from track to track getting submixed and processed every time, getting darker and smoother and more defined with each bounce.

That 250 on the vox with the right eq is so 1975-in-the-closet-with-the-singer. It's amazing how 2 or 3 times hitting tape along with a transformer or two on each pass will alchemize mud into tight packed dirt. It's also amazing how little top you need for clarity when your low-mids are completely stiffened. Not sculpted with eq, just tightened with saturation.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
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