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Is the Atomic Aqueezebox any good?
Old 20th June 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Is the Atomic Aqueezebox any good?

I've only heard about Atomic Squeezebox, but everyone who has any experience with it says it's fantastic.

Has anyone here used it? Is it as good as they say?

How does it compare to other quality preamps/compressors?


Regards;
Frequency.
Old 20th June 2005
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
I haven't used it as a pre-amp... but thinking about it, it could very well have enough gain to pull off that trick... have to try it someday.

As for the compression aspect, I think the thing is remarkable. The one thing I'd like Stayne to do is to add a "-20" switch to the VU meter so I can have an idea of how much gain reduction I'm actually doing with the unit [usually the needle is buried all the way to the left side when I have the meter switched into reading 'gain reduction'].

It's one of the very few compressors I've ever met in my life where I can do absolutely sick amounts of gain reduction and actually like the sound better than the uncompressed source tone... but YMMV.

Peace.
Old 20th June 2005
  #3
84K
Lives for gear
 
84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
I haven't used it as a pre-amp... but thinking about it, it could very well have enough gain to pull off that trick... have to try it someday.

As for the compression aspect, I think the thing is remarkable. The one thing I'd like Stayne to do is to add a "-20" switch to the VU meter so I can have an idea of how much gain reduction I'm actually doing with the unit [usually the needle is buried all the way to the left side when I have the meter switched into reading 'gain reduction'].

It's one of the very few compressors I've ever met in my life where I can do absolutely sick amounts of gain reduction and actually like the sound better than the uncompressed source tone... but YMMV.

Peace.

Ditto
Old 20th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
I haven't used it as a pre-amp... but thinking about it, it could very well have enough gain to pull off that trick... have to try it someday.

As for the compression aspect, I think the thing is remarkable. The one thing I'd like Stayne to do is to add a "-20" switch to the VU meter so I can have an idea of how much gain reduction I'm actually doing with the unit [usually the needle is buried all the way to the left side when I have the meter switched into reading 'gain reduction'].

It's one of the very few compressors I've ever met in my life where I can do absolutely sick amounts of gain reduction and actually like the sound better than the uncompressed source tone... but YMMV.

Peace.

Yo Fletcher,

I have been looking at this thing since a while just out of curiousity.
Reading the rave about it I am wondering about one specific point and it would be nice to hear fom your opinion on it.

I´m having the biggest problem with compression when it is about soft and emphasized vocals like in ballads.
The compressing types I have tried so far ( all software ) would make the singer sound excited and cheap. I conluded this might be just inescapable when the quieter parts being raised, accentuation being levelled out by the nature of compression.
So far it had me stay away from compressing single tracks like that and even dislike what happens when limiting the two track.

Would the Atomic Squeez box introduce some `sort of new physics´ and let enhance the volume without bringing in that dreaded flurry?

Thank you,

Ruphus
Old 20th June 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
Yo Fletcher,

I have been looking at this thing since a while just out of curiousity.
Reading the rave about it I am wondering about one specific point and it would be nice to hear fom your opinion on it.

I´m having the biggest problem with compression when it is about soft and emphasized vocals like in ballads.
The compressing types I have tried so far ( all software ) would make the singer sound excited and cheap. I conluded this might be just inescapable when the quieter parts being raised, accentuation being levelled out by the nature of compression.
So far it had me stay away from compressing single tracks like that and even dislike what happens when limiting the two track.

Would the Atomic Squeez box introduce some `sort of new physics´ and let enhance the volume without bringing in that dreaded flurry?

Thank you,

Ruphus
Why not split the parts on 2 tracks and mix then differently?(comingly done in your case).

Also i would never let a software comp touch a lead vocal during the mixdown.

Whatever comp you choose during the mixdown is crucial into the sound of the lead itself.
Old 20th June 2005
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
I´m having the biggest problem with compression when it is about soft and emphasized vocals like in ballads.

The compressing types I have tried so far ( all software ) would make the singer sound excited and cheap.

alright, i'll do my best to not get ranty. software compression is, compared to its analog counterpart, weak. when you run an acoustic guitar into a neve set up fast, you just barely need to make the meters move and the track sits beautifully. software, it's a whole different story, and the compression is generally very audible to me. not pumpy audible, just tonally audible. it sounds tweaked.

bear in mind a lot of these issues can be solved with a deft hand on the fader. use your daw's automation to manually pull back levels on the big parts.

that said, for vocals, you may be happier using 3 different compressors inline, each doing a little bit of compression. depending on the singer and how much squeeze you need it may still get thick, but not as thick as one comp doing it all. make your first one fast, in and out like a limiter. make the second slower, and the third one slow. or reverse that whole scheme, see what sounds best.

for transparency in the software world, try the sonalksis and the uad la-2a. they can be fairly unobtrusive, all things considered.

or, just get a trakker or similarly versatile box, and wear a smile forevermore.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 20th June 2005
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
that said, for vocals, you may be happier using 3 different compressors inline, each doing a little bit of compression. depending on the singer and how much squeeze you need it may still get thick, but not as thick as one comp doing it all. make your first one fast, in and out like a limiter. make the second slower, and the third one slow. or reverse that whole scheme, see what sounds best.


gregoire
del ubik

For a ballad?

How about the perfect comp that compliments the lead and some careful uses of automation.
Old 20th June 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Why not split the parts on 2 tracks and mix then differently?(comingly done in your case).
When I tried the mids and lower mids would add to each other ina blurring way. I tried shifting forth and backwards in milli steps to comply to phase, but to no avail.

Also tried adding only the lower FQ compressed and cutting the corresponding part of the original track, but in the end the single original track would just sound much better in its clearness and simplicity ( if I can say so ).

Next point is that I´m now trying to stay away from digital processing as much as possible. Except for one application which is the reverb box that I PMed you about.

BTW, (OT) I used it for such a delicate lead voice as mentioned above and went back to compare the result to the former reverb version.
I had been meticulous with the software apps like delays and reverbs and it had been sounding nice for what it was ( as I thought ), but the Roland showed to be a different story.

As you have been one of the guys who pointed to this old piece I want to thank you, Thrill, for that.

Gregoire, thanks for the tips. Maybe one day it would be a trakker for me. ( Need mics first before compressor though.)

Ruphus

PS: Were you guys saying that compression is possible without that "excitement factor"?
Old 20th June 2005
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
When I tried the mids and lower mids would add to each other ina blurring way. I tried shifting forth and backwards in milli steps to comply to phase, but to no avail.

Also tried adding only the lower FQ compressed and cutting the corresponding part of the original track, but in the end the single original track would just sound much better in its clearness and simplicity ( if I can say so ).

Next point is that I´m now trying to stay away from digital processing as much as possible. Except for one application which is the reverb box that I PMed you about.

BTW, (OT) I used it for such a delicate lead voice as mentioned above and went back to compare the result to the former reverb version.
I had been meticulous with the software apps like delays and reverbs and it had been sounding nice for what it was ( as I thought ), but the Roland showed to be a different story.

As you have been one of the guys who pointed to this old piece I want to thank you, Thrill, for that.

Gregoire, thanks for the tips. Maybe one day it would be a trakker for me. ( Need mics first before compressor though.)

Ruphus

PS: Were you guys saying that compression is possible without that "excitement factor"?
Sorry i meant split the vocal by verse/chorus/bridge on different tracks.

Good luck with the R-880 its a nice piece. thumbsup

I usually team my R-880 with an outboard predelay.

I normally do this with most of my reverbs.
Old 21st June 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Why not split the parts on 2 tracks and mix then differently?(comingly done in your case).

Yeah that`s the way to go. Compression can get annoying quick for me on a really dynamically sung tune so a lot of times I`ll break up the vocals into many different parts in a DAW (up to 15 or so sometimes but usually 5 -6) and give them each their own fader. That way if it gets loud for a second I can just quickly bring a fader down for that section. After listening a couple times through moving the faders I can usually get the vocal to sit pretty well without resorting to heavier automation and compression. Than once I DO throw a compressor on there it usually takes care of the little peaks within each of the vocal sections and I`m all set. I can get away with very little compression this way. Also every time I get to into volume automation in a DAW I end up taking a break and not liking what I hear when I get back. Tweaking a couple of faders at this point seems a lot easier to deal with than going back through and penciling in a bunch of **** in a DAW.

That`s just how I do it though and only when it`s really necessary to do all that. I like the idea of taking it further and actually processing some of these individual parts a bit different which I think is what Thrills talking about for the most part.


But back to the original topic though I think what people like about the Atomic SB and stuff like the STC-8 and GML 8900 is that they`ll take care of most of that stuff for you and eliminate the need for it. Basically rediculous amounts of gain reduction wth very little artifacts compared to the other stuff out there. So instead of having to ride the fader or automate everything to get it to sound natural through the comp it`s allready doing the work for you. Kinda what a compressors SUPPOSED to do that is. Still really hard to achieve and I`ll have to hear them all to believe it. (And I will hopefully)
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