The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Liquid Channel vs the Real Thing Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 7th April 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 
vinco's Avatar
 

Liquid Channel vs the Real Thing

Hi there,

I wish I could try the Liquid Channel from Focusrite but none of my dealers have them for rent.

Do you use it and are you happy with it?
How does it compare with the real thing?

I always rented my preamps/compressors for my sessions and I'd like to purchase one of them. I mainly do guitar/vocal and woodwinds recordings.

Thanks for your input!
Vincent
Old 7th April 2005
  #2
84K
Lives for gear
 
84K's Avatar
The Liquid Channel is a scam.... it is one of the worst cases of false advertising....
Old 7th April 2005
  #3
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 

That's a just a plain stupid remark. It may not be an exact copy of all the modelled pre's and comps but most are pretty close.
I've been using this box since december and I'm very happy with it.
Saying it's a scam is like saying convolution reverbs are a scam.
I've AB-ed it to a focusrite red, and I couldn't tell the difference.
When I get the chance to compare it to any other gear modelled in this box I'll let you know.

Cheers ,Julian
Old 7th April 2005
  #4
1484
Guest
Nothing against anyone on the forums, but you don't know any of them from Adam, and many of not heard them first hand.
Lynn did a good review in EQ magazine, and there is a very in depth review in Sound on Sound. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul0...riteliquid.htm

I have used one first hand and have compared them against the real thing. The Focusrite pre's sound so close to the real Focusrite pre's of course. The Avalon were pretty close too. Other pre's though like the Manley pre's and compressors sounded like a plug in copy. They were ok, but not like the real thing. Go to search and you will see previous threads on this. Hugh Robjohns from SOS replied on this forum about some saracasim regarding this. Hugh is an engineer who used to work with the BBC, and I have met him and even had him at my house helping me with my studio. I have the highest respect for him as a person with ingerity, and his knowledge of audio.

We are not at the point where we can mimic all the pre's and compressors that you cannot tell a difference. Personally I would prefer to have the real thing. I felt overwhelmed with the Liquid Channel, there are just so many options that I didn't know where to start. If you love the Avalon clear sound, get an Avalon, if you want a warm smooth sound look at Manley or Pendelum. However if you want a box with a lot of good sounds and you can spend the time to learn the differences between the pre's and to work with the harmonic knob, I can highly recommend the Liquid Channel. Just remember, you won't get a real Vipre sound out of it, but it will be a good sound that sounds like a pre that is trying to sound like one. But maybe if you can just get the Focusrite Red, Green and maybe 5 or 7 other pre's that sound like the real thing, it may be worth it.
Old 7th April 2005
  #5
Gear Addict
 

I have one and I am happy with it I put stuff in and what comes out sounds very good to my ears. I wish I had two for Sterio. Hopefully for my sake with more posts like the "scam" one above the L.C will become a bit of a "Studio Leper" and I'll be able to go sterio for cheaper.

My only real niggle with the L.C (I wrote to Focusrite about this) is that the EQ is not connected dynamicaly to the Pre's. That would be ideal, i.e you bring up a Neve pre and then the EQ would change to that curve/characteristic as well. I kinda wish I could overdrive the EQ as well. I'm sure they could do this but I think that they are saving eq for another unit to make more $$$.

However The folks at Focusrite have been doing a good job of spitting out hotter&hotter replicas and I can imagine the replica's will get better over time as they are learning what people want in the amount of drive/replicas and what works well and what doesn't. I really like the remote control, saves twisting and turning. And make life easy saving presets of takes so I can go back and do it again with ease.

C.B
Old 7th April 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
SnakeCained's Avatar
 

When do we get the multichannel version? AES?
Old 7th April 2005
  #7
Gear Nut
 
vinco's Avatar
 

Thanks for the feeback guys.

Another question.

Since I'm probably going to buy an external A.D converter (Apogee AD16X0, is there a way to bypass the A/D conversion on the liquid channel and go directly through the AD16X Converter instead?

Thanks again!
Vincent
Old 7th April 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
zimv20's Avatar
 

for those who have one, have you tracked an entire song using nothing but the LQ? if so, did those tracks mix together nicely and how was the result?
Old 7th April 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianBrightnes
Saying it's a scam is like saying convolution reverbs are a scam.
Dear Julian,

Can you please elaborate ?

I have used convolution reverbs, I have used the sony, the Audio Ease. I have also tried the Liquid channel. I liked the convolution reverbs (even if I did experiment some limitations). I just found the Liquid channel very disapointing, especialy when I compared some of the emulation with the actual real thing in the rack.

I'm not saying that the principle sucks, I'm just saying that THIS piece of gear does not worth the price you have to take out of your wallet.

Let's not compare apple with oranges

Old 7th April 2005
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Hiwatt's Avatar
 

I see it as being to mic pres and comps what the pod is to guitar amps and stomp boxes. Personaly I would never buy it. To me it sounded very plasticy, flat, and lifless... basicaly like most plug ins for pro tools. As the fletchmeister allways says... YMMV
Old 7th April 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Tetness's Avatar
Owned a Liquid Channel. Sold a Liquid Channel.
Old 7th April 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Lifeless is the key word here

Latency would be a solid contestant

poor AD conversion comes close


IMHO, FWIW, AFAIC etc ...
Old 7th April 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Tetness's Avatar
I really wanted to like my Liquid Channel, then I heard it against a real Neve 1084 and recorded a simple bell strike. The liquid channel barfed, unable to comprehend the wonderful harmonics and overtones, and the 1084 embraced the richness and all of its magic.
Old 7th April 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
I really wanted to like my Liquid Channel, then I heard it against a real Neve 1084 and recorded a simple bell strike. The liquid channel barfed, unable to comprehend the wonderful harmonics and overtones, and the 1084 embraced the richness and all of its magic.
Something must be very wrong with the dynamic part of the emulation.

I would have said that it could be related too poor electronic design, but to be honest, I was not that impressed with Syntefex either ...

the concept is appealing, but we ain't getting close enough yet
Old 7th April 2005
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation
Nothing against anyone on the forums, but you don't know any of them from Adam, and many of not heard them first hand.
Lynn did a good review in EQ magazine
I believe you can find that one at EQ Mag.com. (I found it here: http://www.eqmag.com/story.asp?secti...storycode=4681) But if you want the unabridged version without all the negatives gleaned, then you can go here:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...&f=24&t=000016

It is available as a pdf for 3D VIPs. ($30 annually)

Also, you can search for "liquid channel" at 3dB (http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi) and find some authoritative comments from users and owners. I just checked and there are probably 20-30 mentions or threads. That would be helpful, I'm sure.
Old 8th April 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
Hey Lynn , did you mean "gleaned"? (which means 'gathered') or did you mean expunged or removed?


I never had any negatives removed from any reviews I've done.. they just sometimes don't RUN the piece if it's not complimentary enough. (which is only a LITTLE better)



The Liquid Channel to me sounds almost if not completely unlike the pres it models...
some seem to like it for its"Variety of colours" (ugh) but only those seriously fooling themselves think it sounds LIKE the originals; and especially the big deal obvious originals that peple mostly think they would buy it for.
In other words, if you want an API or a 1073, buy one.
Old 8th April 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
Also, you can search for "liquid channel" at 3dB (http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi) and find some authoritative comments from users and owners. I just checked and there are probably 20-30 mentions or threads. That would be helpful, I'm sure.
you mean this

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...&f=14&t=001203

or this :

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...&f=14&t=001436


or this part I like where you are all debating wither George Massenber is indeed pretentious or not because he doesn't belive in Liquid Channel technology yet:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=000796


This one is interesting cause it raised about the most annoying problems of this unit, including latency : 4ms, for a pre, it's a no go, in my world:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=000820


finally (but I could go on an on), I like this one when the ONLY potential buyer is someone claiming to be "fairly new to recording".

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=000944


great, kid is going to spend $3500 in a pre that is not sounding better than that, 4ms of latency, a comp that is clearly under it's analog counterpart, and with an EQ sounding like a "good" pluggin (your words Lynn)

I'm not attacking you Lynn, but would you please answer a couple of questions:

By "authoritative", do you mean that 3d members are better qualified to say something about this box than the fine people of gearslutz ?

Did you buy a LC ?

Do you use a LC often ? Do you prefer it to record a lead vocal against the pres comp and converters you were using before that ?
Old 8th April 2005
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Yawwnn- I am getting bored and tired over the endless cyclical debate over the LC. I would be more interested in discussing what it does do well and the possiblities instead of limitations. I refuse to believe just cause it "does not sound exactly identical" (depending on who you ask and which replica) it should be written off as a fraudulent or somehow inferior.
.......For Example Virtual Analog Synthesizers did not sound "Identical" to their analog counterparts yet somehow they thier punchy "new" sound have become very popular among producers even those who own analogs synths because they sound different and modern and are very flexible. I am sure when the first VA's came out there would have been similar resistance.

Anything that sounds good,saves my back from pain, allows me to save settings, and keeps my recording real-estate small and inexpensive is welcome in my Studio.
Old 8th April 2005
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
Hey Lynn , did you mean "gleaned"? (which means 'gathered') or did you mean expunged or removed?

I never had any negatives removed form any reviews I've done.. they just sometimes don't RUN the piece if it's not complimentary enough. (which is only a LITTLE better)
Got me. Instead of gleaned, maybe it should be cleaned. I think it's stilll a very honest review, there were just things that were "sterilized" a bit by excluding some of my words. (In EQ's defense, after spending several months with a piece of gear, I like to put all I've learned on the table. It's easy for me to turn in 5000 words instead of 2000. Something's gotta give.)

Here's one of my favorites from the LC review which didn't make it to print. Offered in context.

Although the manual says it is "loosely based on the classic Focusrite sound of the original ISA 110," I would say the operative word is "loosely." Paraphrasing the immortal words of Vice Presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen in the debate with Dan Quayle "I know the ISA 110 equalizer; the ISA 110 is a friend of mine. You, Liquid Channel, are no ISA 110 equalizer." The equalizer rounds out the feature set of the LC, but it is primarily "designed to allow small amounts of corrective shaping" quoting the LC manual again. I think that sums it up fairly well. The EQ seems an afterthought to round out the box and is not something I would use other than for small corrections.
Old 8th April 2005
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Lurk
I'm not attacking you Lynn, but would you please answer a couple of questions:

By "authoritative", do you mean that 3d members are better qualified to say something about this box than the fine people of gearslutz ?

Did you buy a LC ?

Do you use a LC often ? Do you prefer it to record a lead vocal against the pres comp and converters you were using before that ?
1) No.

2) No.

3) No.
Old 8th April 2005
  #21
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogBob
My only real niggle with the L.C (I wrote to Focusrite about this) is that the EQ is not connected dynamicaly to the Pre's. That would be ideal, i.e you bring up a Neve pre and then the EQ would change to that curve/characteristic as well. I kinda wish I could overdrive the EQ as well.
C.B
Forgot about that in my reply, but I fully agree with that!

Cheers, Julian
Old 8th April 2005
  #22
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I Lurk
Dear Julian,

Can you please elaborate ?

I have used convolution reverbs, I have used the sony, the Audio Ease. I have also tried the Liquid channel. I liked the convolution reverbs (even if I did experiment some limitations). I just found the Liquid channel very disapointing, especialy when I compared some of the emulation with the actual real thing in the rack.

I'm not saying that the principle sucks, I'm just saying that THIS piece of gear does not worth the price you have to take out of your wallet.

Let's not compare apple with oranges

I wasn't very clear there, what I meant was that the LC models the real thing with the help of a.o. convolution, just like for instance Altiverb models 'Sydney Opera House' or a 'Roland Space Echo', if you like. That's not a scam, that's just a helpfull audio-tool. They're never gonna be excatly the same. I mean: if I slightly kick my Roland Space Echo it goes: ' Kggraaatch' , can't do that with Altiverb, but the Roland IR is still great. For me that's the same with the LC: it's not gonna replace the REAL thing, but I can't afford loads of different pre's but since I work in audio-post the LC can model loads of different sounding boxes at an acceptable level for my needs.
Get what I's trying to say? Sorry for being a bit unclear....

Cheers, Julian
Old 8th April 2005
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianBrightnes
Forgot about that in my reply, but I fully agree with that!

Cheers, Julian
Maybe if enough people write to Focusrite about this they could be "encouraged" to work somthing out in firmware update. Wink Wink Nudge Nudge. I definetly agree that the "EQ was an afterthought" and a dynamic EQ section, would make the channel much more "Fluid" indeed. I think a product as contraversial as the LC, should not have been released with any weak points whatsoever. Even if the EQ was not able to be made dynamic a couple of different EQ models would help with getting closer to the sound of the originals. I.E Neve Pre... Neve Curve, Eveything else is such a Pandora's box why drop the ball with EQ?

Other improvements I thought up.

-A low cut at 45 would also be handy as well.
-LC remote app would be nice if the knobs were mouse scroll wheel compatible. i.e ( URS/Sonalksis )
-"hot replicas" of compressors that are being driven not just pres.
-The LC automatable from DAW. Load up the remote as
a plugin. (Access Virus TI) does this, blurs the line between functionality/convenience of Plugin Automation and benefits of somthing OTB.


A.B
Old 8th April 2005
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianBrightnes
I wasn't very clear there, what I meant was that the LC models the real thing with the help of a.o. convolution, just like for instance Altiverb models 'Sydney Opera House' or a 'Roland Space Echo', if you like. That's not a scam, that's just a helpfull audio-tool. They're never gonna be excatly the same. I mean: if I slightly kick my Roland Space Echo it goes: ' Kggraaatch' , can't do that with Altiverb, but the Roland IR is still great. For me that's the same with the LC: it's not gonna replace the REAL thing, but I can't afford loads of different pre's but since I work in audio-post the LC can model loads of different sounding boxes at an acceptable level for my needs.
Get what I's trying to say? Sorry for being a bit unclear....

Cheers, Julian

I hear you now Julian. And I can relate to what you are trying to explain.

However, I still find difficult to find some use for a pre that induce latency. It's too much of a toy to me for that reason, like a line 6 gtr. Something a bit expensive to decoy the pre you should use on a typical situation. Latency is not such an issue with reverb because it can be compensate during the it's main application: mixing.

Now if you ask me, advertizing this product without mentioning this very limitation is by itself a scam.

but that is just me
Old 8th April 2005
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
1) No.

2) No.

3) No.
I rest my case heh
Old 8th April 2005
  #26
Gear Nut
 
vinco's Avatar
 

Hi there,

I just want to thank you all for your comments. This definitely helped me!

Vincent
Old 8th April 2005
  #27
1484
Guest
If I had a liquid channel, I could not say, let me dial up a Neve mic pre. I would have to say, let me dial in a pre that sounds similar to a Neve pre. That does not give me a good feeling inside like I am getting the sound I want. However if you can't afford a lot of different pre's, I can see this being very useful.

Personally I prefer to have a Langevin DVC, or Focusrite ISA 428 which are more neutral sounding pre's with a little color. Then I can add some more color with EQ's and compressors later on. I know George Mass. likes to do it this way too. Though there is not one right way to do things mind you, but what works best for your setup.
Old 8th April 2005
  #28
Gear Addict
 

LATECY

I am running it at 192khz and the latency is not an issue. I am also clocking it with a BIG BEN which seems to make the box sound more convicing.
Old 17th April 2005
  #29
Jay
Gear Head
 

After testing one of these out, I felt that the sonic benefit from using one or two real mic pres was much greater than having dozens of modeled ones at my disposal. The LC is a close emulation, but it's still the first of its kind. I found it to be much less 'living' than the actual devices it emulates. It will be interesting to see how far this technology can go.

I didn't have the opportunity to do any large multitrack sessions with the LC unfortunately...has anyone compared the cumulative effect of tracking with an LC modeled Neve vs. a real Neve...or any other real vs. modeled pre?
Old 17th April 2005
  #30
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
A client had an LC in on a session and for kicks the artist tried tracking a song demo with it,gtrs,bass,vox,piano,then retracked it using real neve 1073's..no comparison.
the 1st demo sounded pretty lifeless in comparison.No thanks....the LC was put back in it's box and went home stike
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Empty Planet / So Much Gear, So Little Time
10
CorkyTart / High End
107
simple / So Much Gear, So Little Time
21
RainbowStorm / So Much Gear, So Little Time
19

Forum Jump
Forum Jump