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Mix buss compressor Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 20th April 2003
  #61
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi
Hey Alpha, I've noticed that you appear to be fairly uhmm, shall we say, less than impressed with Manley gear, in general...

Is your opinion based on a lot of personal experience with several examples of their various offerings, or one or two exposures to one particular piece? Just curious...
everytime i either try and use their gear, hear someone else use manley, or have it used on my mixes in mastering, i HEAR it. its been various pieces of theirs... although i havent used or heard the slam, but its somewhat easy to identify their sonic signature and it fully doesnt agree with my ears. hell, even on that preCD that lynn put together, i could identify that one immediately... the worst sounding pre on the whole CD to my ears. its a complete lack of decent highs and a muddy bottom and indistinct midrange with an overall choked feeling. of course YMMV... but i dont even bother trying their stuff anymore. its just not for me. what can i say if it doesnt impress me? keep using it until it does? there is just too much other gear i like more.
Old 20th April 2003
  #62
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Cool. Thanks for the explanation.

To each his/her own.
Old 20th April 2003
  #63
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 

Thanks for the STC-8 tips. There is something about the lack of a normal ratio selector that throws me. I know I will get used to it (aka learn to love it) but for now It makes me feel uneasy, like I don't really know what the comp is doing.

Hari-kari is awesome and wonderfully unpredictable. It does sound different depending on the source material.

What's the deal with the side-chain conectivity?

Charles
Old 20th April 2003
  #64
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Dave,

When it first came out(remember Dave Hill was making them), the majority of major releases was still tracked to 2 inch. Yeah it was noisy(no make up gain), but mixed with the noise from a 2 inch, you actually lived with it.

I know that a lot of live guys are still using them - at least, according to PSN and Mix... But even Dave says that his Summit designs were barely useable (Ask him about it some time - fairly interesting.), but were the best that he could do under the circumstances.

And I'll use mine on a snare or sometimes on a dobro, where the bite seems to work, but I just haven't had much luck wth them anywhere else. I had better luck with Summit's half-rack TLA50, which does seem to be nice on a lot of diferent things.
Old 20th April 2003
  #65
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by TinderArts
The "Gorn" says API 2500!!!
TA, I need the picture from your avatar in the form of a rock band size poster! It's been a long time since I've seen the "Gorn" anywhere!!

Anyone know where to get goofy cult posters of stuff like that? I'm serious.
Old 20th April 2003
  #66
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
The older ones are OK, but I think Manley started winding their own transformers a while back - that's about the time I thought they started sounding mushy...
What's year was the cutoff point? I got mine in '97 so I kind of expect that it has the wound transformers. EveAnna, if you're around, please let me know.

I used to hit it pretty hard and it never did sound right. Low end mush is a good description. Only letting it grab an average of 1-2db with a 4db peak has made a big difference. I try to follow it with the L2 in PT, sometimes sucessfully. If that doesn't work, I'm actually getting great results with very careful tweaking of RenComp used as a limiter. I let the peak indicator in RenComp mildly hit yellow in the loudest sections of a tune. Works great.
Old 20th April 2003
  #67
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
I know that a lot of live guys are still using them - at least, according to PSN and Mix... But even Dave says that his Summit designs were barely useable (Ask him about it some time - fairly interesting.), but were the best that he could do under the circumstances.
.
Well that tells you something about Dave's designs.

Back around that time the three options you saw in most NYC studios were: Tubetech CL1B,Summit TLA100a and the original ADL compressor(La2a copy) for vocals and bass.

I liked the Summit and the CL1B the best for vocals, the TLA100a and the ADL for bass.

Right now 10 years after I don't use any of them.heh
Old 21st April 2003
  #68
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Manley Variable Mu® spotter's guide:

Serial Numbers MSLC000 - 123
6386, 12AX7, 12BH7 Sowter trannies.
Built from August 1994 - October 1995

No more GE 12BH7A available.
Started Manley xfmr production

Serial Numbers MSLC7124 - ~242
6386, 12AX7, 7044
Built from November 1995 - June 1996

Ran out of 6386 tubes. Amazing they lasted as long as they did.

Serial Numbers MSLC5243 - present
5670, 12AX7 or 5751, 7044
Built from July 1996 to present.
There are over 1300 of these out there to date.
The ones MSLC5575 and up (started 10/1997) with the power tranny sticking out the back are about 20dB quieter than the earliest ones.

Coming soon to a theatre near you: another revision and some clever ideas perhaps a whole new animal.

In the meantime, ask my service man Paul about his secret T-Bar mod.

With regard to bass, try using the INPUT less and use the THRESHOLD more if you don't want mush. Drive too much in, smash the hell out of it, and yes, everything will turn to mush.

"We build guns. We don't pull triggers."
Old 21st April 2003
  #69
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AudioGaff's Avatar
Hey EveAnna,

What about us Mono-Mu dudes? Can we get a Spotters Guide for tubes and xformers? Don't forget that 1-1/2 space puppy with the big-o-honkin GR meter.
Old 21st April 2003
  #70
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Thanks, EveAnna. You rock!
Old 21st April 2003
  #71
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley
"We build guns. We don't pull triggers."
but guns are MADE to KILL. you should really take up gardening instead of building guns.
Old 21st April 2003
  #72
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 

nice guns

Hey EveAnna,
Keep up the good work.
I recently inherited a project fraught with problems.
It's the comeback record of a famous 'diva' and it's on a major label. They rejected the 1st 2 versions of the record done by famous, expensive producers. After listening, I could hear why.
They failed to capture her voice and instead had a boys club party to show off all their hip tricks (oohh, a drum loop!).

I noticed some distortion on a vocal track and asked her about it. She told me about the vintage Neumann and the fancy vintage pre amp yada yada.
I asked her if she would give it a go right now at my place. Being a gamer, she said yes. I also realized that the distortion was there because she can go from sensitive whisper to blowtorch in a sentence.

I put up the Gold Ref into the SLAM!, set up for a hair of compression and got ready to ride gain and fet. She knocked it out in one take. She came in the control room and said that this is the best she's ever heard her voice..ever. We did more vocals over and she is now fully on my side. Thanks for the guns. You saved the day.
cheers,
Jim Chap........
Old 21st April 2003
  #73
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

As a lifetime NRA member, I'll tell you those stickers work wonders for home security.... nevermind. Let's keep politics outta here.

MONO Manley Variable Mu® Spotters guide:

First version was the 1 1/2 U thing which called itself "Limiter Compressor Amplifier," first built back at the VTL factory in around 1991. I don't have serial number records for those. But if your unit has a VTL serial sticker starting with "LIMCOM###" then that's what you've got. I believe there were about 20 of those units. It was basically the same as what we carried on building after the VTL-Manley split in 1993 until December 1994 when we started with the 1U machine. The 1 1/2U units built at Manley Labs carried the serial number prefix MLIMCOM001 - 024.

All the 1 1/2U units used Sowter trannies and 6396, 12AX7, 12BH7A in the audio path. Sidechain rectifiers were the 6AL5 (6 volt version of the 12AL5 used in the stereo unit.) Additionally there was a vacuum tube regulated B+ power supply section using the 6GF7A and OD3.There were no ATTACK controls on these things. The pot that sez "ATTACK THREHOLD" is really just the threshold control. The "RECOVERY" 3 position switch was labelled SLOW, MED, FAST, but in real life it was SLOWEST, SLOWER, and SLOW.

These units were kinda funky. Good thing Hutch came along and suggested some practical changes which were first incorporated into the new Stereo Variable Mu® in August 1994. By December 1994 the first new 1U Mono version came out and it was a mono version of the stereo unit. Serial numbers MMLC025 - 030 and unit 054 that Dave Martin owns used 6386, 12AX7, 12BH7A and Sowters like the earliest stereo ones. Those were built during 1995.

For some reason our serial number database doesn't have any description for units MMLC031 - 40 and I can't remember what was going on there. Maybe someone will tell me what we were doing in 1996.

Units MMLC041 - 053 used 5670 for the action. That was 1997's production total. We killed off the mono version after several years of only selling 10 to 13 units in a year. That kind of volume doesn't justify keeping a model in production. Our stand-alone DeEsser also was killed off for the same reason.

Thanks to you guys for all your comments.
Old 21st April 2003
  #74
Lives for gear
 
AudioGaff's Avatar
Quote:
For some reason our serial number database doesn't have any description for units MMLC031 - 40 and I can't remember what was going on there.
Of course I'm the one who asked for the info, and then I'm the one with sn 031 and sn 033.

Quote:
But if your unit has a VTL serial sticker starting with "LIMCOM###" then that's what you've got. I believe there were about 20 of those units.
My 1-1/2 mu is sn 025 with an unidentified toggle switch on the front panel between the output knob and the meter?
Old 21st April 2003
  #75
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

That toggle is for making a pair of those link or not. But since you only have one, then it ain't doin' nuthin.

If you have time, Email me with the tube complement of your 1U units and I'll update our database and complete the spotter's guide.
Old 21st April 2003
  #76
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley

Serial numbers MMLC025 - 030 and unit 054 that Dave Martin owns used 6386, 12AX7, 12BH7A and Sowters like the earliest stereo ones. Those were built during 1995.
Wow - your records are beter than mine... I had to go look at it to see that you were right... And that means that I have the last Mono Vari-Mu that Manley made? Cool!
Old 24th April 2003
  #77
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
I'll get more into it later... (late night vox tracking)
I've always marveled at other engineers contradictions of praise of the DCL200... For example, Butch Vig once said (& I remember verbatim I found it so awkward) "It colors the sound very subtly, while retaining its warmth and transparency... ..." Now... It colors the sound, retains warmth, yet maintains transparency? Bull****. The DCL is great, and I love it particularly on background vocals, and electric (layered distorted) guitars, and drum buses but transparency ain't what I look for in this unit. The DCL is also one of the most consistent pieces of gear that does what it does. If I do a recall with a different rental unit, I need not worry about whether the unit will sound different even if it has a different serial #. I also love using this unit when I have a really catchy instrument that I don't want to turn down, but I want to get out of the way of the vocal by sidechaining the vocal to to (so it compresses everytime the vocal sings). A lot of compressors don't do this function as well as they should IMO. Using it as a desser is also incredible, but I always seem to use it for something else. For me, it's all about finding the right slope with this unit, and once you get it, it's gravy. I just don't like the way it reacts to my entire mix.

As for the 1969... Now this is one I've never really gotten on the 2 mix. There's a lot of people that dickride it online, and if it works for them, word to their mothers. I had so much hope for it: The Brown Burr op amps (which the much cheaper 4 channel Sytek, and even 2 channel moded Mic Max whomped in a blind-shoot out with mic pre's alone)... The fact that it's been refered to as the "Fletcher Compressor" (a very knowledgeable man). The "BIG" position... (um, yeah, big... sure, aka Big Roll Off side chain) It is a great improvement on the 1960, which I never liked to start with (too British sounding?), but it's not a useful compressor on my 2 mix, no matter who likes it. If you dig really slow attack and release times (separately) similar to the Fairchild stuff and want a cleaner, cheaper version, you might love it. I always thought the sound of the 670/660 sounded best with a time constant under 4, and think the 1969 has similar characteristics. I'd rather do my own individual perfected fader rides for anything slower than that. It reminds me of listening to waves at the beach. I tried the 1969 several times, then actually rented one (which was very difficult for the studio manager to track down) out of my own pocket some months later to give it a second shot (paramount in Hollywood). The assistant told me she wasn't feeling it either (we ended up using the Ren Compressor as an insert, which sounded better). I think it would be a decent value at $500 (us) less, than even street price because of it's multiusage. The "big" is good for engineers that don't want to waste resources on sidechains and fixed 100 htz filters, but If I'm going to filter my side chain input, I'd like more control than a fixed roll off on the sidechain (freq, slope, etc) and with the Manley, SSL and Neve, I hardly ever need to do this anyway. I'd be curious to know what, if any, mastering engineers actually use this unit for legit hi end mastering apps.
Old 24th April 2003
  #78
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littledog's Avatar
 

I'm just a small nondescript guy with no credentials, but I'll echo e-cue. It's always interesting how you can find someone somewhere raving about any particular piece of gear, especially in mag reviews. Reading and hearing a lot about the 1969 when it first came out, I borrowed one for a while, but just couldn't get into the color. In my case, I usually attribute any dissatisfaction with a particular unit to my own lack of skill. (Proof: I had the same feelings about the FATSO, and ended up trading it for an API 3124+). But since I'm the one who has to use the ****, I buy stuff that even I can get to sound good.

That time, I ended up buying the Millenia Media TCL-2. It's not a substitute for an LA2A or Distressor, but I love its transparency, and use it all the time. On the other hand, i recall Fletcher describing it as (not an exact quote) one of the most boring pieces of crap he ever used.

No revelation here. It's all subjective, and there's little unanimity when it comes to taste. Which, in the end, is a good thing.
Old 24th April 2003
  #79
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
I'd be curious to know what, if any, mastering engineers actually use this unit for legit hi end mastering apps.
I'm no ME but I can't imagine the 1969 being used for that job. I liked mine (sold it), but it was a good drum submix and bass compressor, and that's about it. Plus it sounds kinda indistinct and muddy, so while it handled the aforementioned jobs pretty well (it did have balls), I always had force some eq in as an effect for clarity.. which never sounds right either. People were surprised that I was selling it, like it's a holy grail piece, but I have to doubt that those folks ever used it before they expressed that surprise. My next area of interest is for something clearer with a lot of spank and 'tude. Probably a Smart C-2 or similar. The API 2500 has my attention as well. I admit I kind of expected that personality from the 1969 because it would seem to have that approach (at least the 'tude) associated with it (ala Fletcher), but I was dissapointed.
Old 25th April 2003
  #80
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
The Vari Mu and SSL compressor is much easier for me to rock with and I always got better results when a/bing them. I've had better results with the 200, mainly learning how to really tweek the slope. Also, I think the 200 is better suited for mid range intensive rock/metal stuff, which I don't do as much as Hip Hop, RNB, and Pop.
Right, I can see that. I do mostly that midrangy rock/metal stuff, very little R&B. But, the 200/1969 and an SSL/Smart are very different beasts. One day I'd like to add an SSL to my rack for that thang it does.
Old 27th April 2003
  #81
TML
Lives for gear
 

Anyone have any favorite settings for an SSl comp...or C2 on the 2 bus. I'm I the only one who likes the auto release with a fast attack not more than 4 bd down..2:1 or 4:1? Any other suggestions. I know it varys on the tempo.
Tim
Old 27th April 2003
  #82
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Kent
He also had ALL of the Moogerfooger pedals and would use them instead of the plugs in PT. I have to admit that the 'real-deals' sounded better, but not by that much. The emulations are quite good within the context of a mix.
i have all the moog pedals too, actually moving on multiples of them.



i find them to be a WHOLE lot better than the BF "emulations"... and a lot more versatile [by way of the backpanels and CP251]

BUT, i find that the STOCK MOTU multimode filter to be just as good if not BETTER than the BF LPfilter.
Old 28th April 2003
  #83
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
i have all the moog pedals too, actually moving on multiples of them.



i find them to be a WHOLE lot better than the BF "emulations"... and a lot more versatile [by way of the backpanels and CP251]

BUT, i find that the STOCK MOTU multimode filter to be just as good if not BETTER than the BF LPfilter.
I just hurled a pile of choice expletives atcha. That's the pertiest crop of twelve-tuplets I'll ever see. If you wanna sell some of your 'overstock', let me know.
Old 28th April 2003
  #84
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
I just hurled a pile of choice expletives atcha. That's the pertiest crop of twelve-tuplets I'll ever see. If you wanna sell some of your 'overstock', let me know.
between me and my friend i work with, we have 26 of them.
Old 28th April 2003
  #85
Jax
Lives for gear
 

usonofabitch
Old 29th April 2003
  #86
Lives for gear
 
TinderArts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
TA, I need the picture from your avatar in the form of a rock band size poster! It's been a long time since I've seen the "Gorn" anywhere!!

Anyone know where to get goofy cult posters of stuff like that? I'm serious.
Here's the site where the gorn avatar came from. There are some links you might like.

http://www.trek5.com/caps/tos/19_ARENA/index.htm
Old 29th April 2003
  #87
Jax
Lives for gear
 



I'll have to check it out later, but thanks!
Old 27th May 2003
  #88
Here for the gear
 

Re: Mix buss compressor

Quote:
Originally posted by everglass
Hi All,

I'm looking for a good mix buss compressor that is not rediculoulsy expensive. The music we do is mainly rock/pop (U2 /Pretenders/Coldplay/Eurythmics ish) so I thought the Al Smart C2 might be a good choice. Our console is the Euphonix CS2000/3000. Any other choices or opinions? Any comments on the Smart C2 compressor?

Everglass
Did you get A C2 in the end ? Do you know where I can find them in the UK secondhand ?

Cheers

Matt
Old 27th May 2003
  #89
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Anyone here who is not a mastering engineer should not be thinking about what to strap over the 2 mix, or EQ either. Why in the world would you want to do something that is completely undoable under circumstances that are more than pessimistic. It's like driving home drunk at 4:30 in the morning wearing sunglasses and razzing the fuzz.
Use your compressors for tracking, or taming a poorly recorded or performed track. If you compress and eq something somebody is only going to have to expand it then re-compress and eq it, if they can. For sound business purposes they'll never tell you but it would be a lot easier for them if they had something useful to do on their session except falsely compliment you by saying "**** this don't need to be compressed" as they're patching in the secret expander.
Old 27th May 2003
  #90
Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
Anyone here who is not a mastering engineer should not be thinking about what to strap over the 2 mix, or EQ either. Why in the world would you want to do something that is completely undoable under circumstances that are more than pessimistic. It's like driving home drunk at 4:30 in the morning wearing sunglasses and razzing the fuzz.
Use your compressors for tracking, or taming a poorly recorded or performed track. If you compress and eq something somebody is only going to have to expand it then re-compress and eq it, if they can. For sound business purposes they'll never tell you but it would be a lot easier for them if they had something useful to do on their session except falsely compliment you by saying "**** this don't need to be compressed" as they're patching in the secret expander.

In cases where you don't know what you are doing or you are not sure I would say yeah that's not bad advice.

But if you understand your tools and how they work for you than it shouldn't be a problem.

Its like saying you shouldn't use any EQ or compression when tracking because it will hamper the mixer when he's trying to do your mix. Again I've seen cases where this applied and also where it helped.

It's up to the user.
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