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PorticoTM 5042 Two-Channel "True Tape" Emulation and Line Driver
Old 21st July 2005
  #1
PorticoTM 5042 Two-Channel "True Tape" Emulation and Line Driver

Hi Michael

How is the

PorticoTM 5042 Two-Channel "True Tape" Emulation and Line Driver?

Folks are DYING to know!!!



http://www.rupertneve.com/porticorange.html

Two-channel “True Tape” Emulation. An actual tape drive circuit is used to drive a tiny magnetic circuit and fed to a replay loop and actual replay preamp. “Record” and “Replay” levels are counter-ganged to keep overall gain approximately constant that only varies, as a tape would, with saturation level. The frequency response is tailored to that of an actual tape recorder. The result is a remarkable simulation of true tape sound, providing the nostalgic rounding and compression that offsets the harshness of poor digital recorders. Use with care! The dynamic range of a tape recorder was a lot less than that of the high resolution Portico Line circuit in which it is nesting!
Each of the two 5042 channels is equipped with the following:
- Input Level control.
- Tape Saturation Level control.
- 10 segment Meter reading input or saturation level.
- “7.5/15 IPS” switch
- Independent Bypass per channel

Old 21st July 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
cfjis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Hi Michael

How is the

PorticoTM 5042 Two-Channel "True Tape" Emulation and Line Driver?

Folks are DYING to know!!!
Count me as one of those folks.
Old 21st July 2005
  #3
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Well, I have a Beta version of the unit and so far only have done some limited testing on vocals and guitar. There are some issues with the Beta unit, as in switches going the wrong way, so the production version will have slight changes, some of which I don't know.

First off: I like the sound of the unit, it does what it promises to do. The tape emulation is more subtle than the HEDD, but it's a different kind of sound, really more tape like. At first I was constantly "overdoing" the effect, because I wanted hear more of it (remember: everything worth doing is worth overdoing) but after a while you get used to what it really does and even little amounts change the sound in a very positive way. It's hard to describe the sound, but I would say it's "warm" for lack of a better term. It doesn't seem to add as many harmonics as the HEDD does, but it seems to round off the edges in a pleasant way. Very useful unit if you record digital (...and don't we all) I'll give it thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Old 21st July 2005
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

How the hell do you give something three thumbs up?

Interesting....

War
Old 21st July 2005
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Okay, so for the million dollar question... actually I guess it's a $3,000 question...

If you wanted that kind of effect, and the choice was between the HEDD and the new Portico box... which would you choose?
Old 21st July 2005
  #6
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Well, as a true gearslut I have to say: get both (it just became a $4,500 question) heh

They are different types of effects, not interchangeable. I like them both. The HEDD gives you a set of converters for the extra money. If you're looking for a box that smoothes out the digital front end, the 5042 is great, if you need converters plus a tape/tube fx box the HEDD is the way to go.
Old 21st July 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
Never put your self in a position to have to choose, or at least that sounds very gearslutzy doesn't it heh

Thanks for the quick reveiw Michael!
Old 21st July 2005
  #8
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
We're now in overdub mode on the HYDROGYN project and the 5042 will see more and different use. I'll report back...
Old 21st July 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Brandino221's Avatar
 

Thank you very much for sharing.
Old 21st July 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I think a more fair comparison is the Neve and the Fatso. I've actually never heard a fatso but I have heard tape. A nicely maintained studer with some Basf 900 does a really cool color and compression to the sound, especially vocals and guitars and snare. And kick. And toms too. But I never liked how cowbell sounded on tape. Anyway, my new console is going to be nice and clean so I'm looking forward to stuff like the Neve tape box to add some new colors. Cool.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 21st July 2005
  #11
Gear Addict
 
krid's Avatar
 

Did you try it on the master stereo bus ?
Old 21st July 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 
airmate's Avatar
 

count me in for the comparison between the fatso and the portico - i'm looking forward to hear any comments!
Old 21st July 2005
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Can´t wait to get my hands on a 5042. That product makes a lot of sense to me. The whole Portico range is very attractive, ay ?!

Once again : does anyone of you know where I can get a deal on a 5012 in Germany / Europe ? Thanks,
Bill
Old 21st July 2005
  #14
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by krid
Did you try it on the master stereo bus ?
Not yet.
Old 21st July 2005
  #15
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
I think a more fair comparison is the Neve and the Fatso. I've actually never heard a fatso but I have heard tape. A nicely maintained studer with some Basf 900 does a really cool color and compression to the sound, especially vocals and guitars and snare. And kick. And toms too. But I never liked how cowbell sounded on tape. Anyway, my new console is going to be nice and clean so I'm looking forward to stuff like the Neve tape box to add some new colors. Cool.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
I never liked tape period. I jumped on the first digital machines when they came out, finally my kick and snare came back the way I send 'em in. That said, I do like having the ability to use a box which smoothes some of the digital edges in a controlled way. (tape is pretty uncontrolled to me, and yes, we have messed with bias and other setups for weeks and months)

The FATSO is even more subtle in it's coloration. Again the FATSO has the "warmth" function which comes in very handy for slight de-essing. Also the FATSO has compressors (which I don't use very often). So if you want to compare from a price standpoint, we are actually comparing apples and oranges. In terms of which one comes closest to "real" tape, I would pick the Portico, in terms of which one has the most variety, I'd pick the HEDD. Also, I have had the HEDD for quite a while now and have used it extensively and wouldn't mix without it. The Portico has been at WireWorld for a little over a week (and it's a Beta unit), so, I'm sure as time goes by, I will find a ton of uses for the little guy.
Old 21st July 2005
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 

I have a Fatso and I love the way it definately "improves" my digital sound. But the Fatso doesn't sound exactly like tape and there's that little subtle magic touch of 15is tape that I'm still after.

I'm curious about the 7.5"/15" switch on the 5042. How's the difference?

Does the 5042 reduces the highs?

Does it actually compress the sound?



Does anyone have both Fatso and 5042?
Old 22nd July 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
First off: I like the sound of the unit, it does what it promises to do. The tape emulation is more subtle than the HEDD, but it's a different kind of sound, really more tape like....snip.
thank you very much michael. i'm thinking of an ATR102 but don't have space to spare, so i'd prefer the 5042 + tascam DVRA 1000 or similar if i could get the same results. seems the portico could be great for softening crashes, snares, etc., but i really would like to see if it can pull off the ATR trick. for 'tape like' we have phoenix plugs and fatso now.

so... any chance of trying that kind of scenario? and thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #18
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
thank you very much michael. i'm thinking of an ATR102 but don't have space to spare, so i'd prefer the 5042 + tascam DVRA 1000 or similar if i could get the same results. seems the portico could be great for softening crashes, snares, etc., but i really would like to see if it can pull off the ATR trick. for 'tape like' we have phoenix plugs and fatso now.
Mixing to tape has the major advantage of having the final master be the first AD since the tracking stage and there is something to an analog deck that glues mixes better than any compressor.


I've yet to get my 5042 but even if it rounds some edges and has the right harmonics (which I bet it does!) you're still looking at 2 digital conversions more than with tape ... and no PHYSICAL signal-on-tape compression of the whole mix.

An ATR Service analog deck, with or without ARIA, is the way to go if you can.


Plus, their new tape will sound amazing and be a stable archive medium for decades.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
Mixing to tape has the major advantage of having the final master be the first AD since the tracking stage and there is something to an analog deck that glues mixes better than any compressor.


I've yet to get my 5042 but even if it rounds some edges and has the right harmonics (which I bet it does!) you're still looking at 2 digital conversions more than with tape ... and no PHYSICAL signal-on-tape compression of the whole mix.

An ATR Service analog deck, with or without ARIA, is the way to go if you can.


Plus, their new tape will sound amazing and be a stable archive medium for decades.
thanks lucey. i suspect you're right -- the physical tape compression could maybe still be the only thing lacking... but it sure would be cool if the duo-tape unit plus compressor (or something) could pull it off!
Old 22nd July 2005
  #20
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
thanks lucey. i suspect you're right -- the physical tape compression could maybe still be the only thing lacking... but it sure would be cool if the duo-tape unit plus compressor (or something) could pull it off!
I'm sure you could get a great sound ... but you still have 2 additional passes ... AD and DA.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #21
Quote:
and no PHYSICAL signal-on-tape compression of the whole mix
Well.... I guess this is splitting hairs because technically there is no signal to tape here but the Tape Channel marketing blurb clearly says....

Quote:
An actual tape drive circuit is used to drive a tiny magnetic circuit and fed to a replay loop and actual replay preamp. “Record” and “Replay” levels are counter-ganged to keep overall gain approximately constant that only varies, as a tape would, with saturation level.
While you are technically correct there is no tape involved there is a physical process at work here unlike a virtual process like the math in the HEDD or a plug-in.

Again splitting hairs but there is an analog process going on here that should be able to replicate the physical properties of recording to tape without the actual storage medium.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #22
Oh and I know most everyone would agree with this, I think anyway....

I don't give a rats ass how I get there as long as the end result is good and I imagine the end result of the 5042 will be pretty cool.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #23
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
I cant speculate further on it's sound, need to hear it ...


Just saying that looking at the subtleties, I'd have no hope of going AD with a Portico and DA at mastering and having that match a tape mix to mastering.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #24
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
thanks lucey. i suspect you're right -- the physical tape compression could maybe still be the only thing lacking... but it sure would be cool if the duo-tape unit plus compressor (or something) could pull it off!

Have you looked at the price of used 1/4" machines lately? There was a guy here selling a Studer B67 on eBay for $400 and said he's take less from a Gearslut.

All respect to Mr Neve, (I'm excited by the Portico line too) but just buy a fukking deck if you want the sound of tape.

All this Line 6 of tape stuff is really getting on my nerves!
Old 22nd July 2005
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Have you looked at the price of used 1/4" machines lately? There was a guy here selling a Studer B67 on eBay for $400 and said he's take less from a Gearslut.

All respect to Mr Neve, (I'm excited by the Portico line too) but just buy a fukking deck if you want the sound of tape.

All this Line 6 of tape stuff is really getting on my nerves!
lol. the reason i'm being kinda stubborn about this is the space in my studio. but if there's no way around it, i'll be getting an ATR 102, probably 1/2", definitely not 1/4".
Old 22nd July 2005
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Just surrender the space, you'll be a happy fella!

And don't knock 1/4"...
Old 22nd July 2005
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Have you looked at the price of used 1/4" machines lately? There was a guy here selling a Studer B67 on eBay for $400 and said he's take less from a Gearslut.

All respect to Mr Neve, (I'm excited by the Portico line too) but just buy a fukking deck if you want the sound of tape.

All this Line 6 of tape stuff is really getting on my nerves!
And you plan on tracking overdubs on the Studer do ya?? How can you do that??

I want to use the 5042 in frount of my tracks into Samp and then not leave digital unless I finally can afford slutty EQ and comps. 2 channels of 5042 give me 999 simulated tape tracks. The quality of that simulation is up for debate but the value of the 5042 is well above the B67 in my book.

Also let us not forget, as much as I love the sound of tape it is a pain in the ass. Admit it, tape sounds GREAT but tape cost and upkeep is a bummer.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #28
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
And you plan on tracking overdubs on the Studer do ya?? How can you do that??

I want to use the 5042 in frount of my tracks into Samp and then not leave digital unless I finally can afford slutty EQ and comps. 2 channels of 5042 give me 999 simulated tape tracks. The quality of that simulation is up for debate but the value of the 5042 is well above the B67 in my book.

Also let us not forget, as much as I love the sound of tape it is a pain in the ass. Admit it, tape sounds GREAT but tape cost and upkeep is a bummer.
I'm sure you'll be happy with the portico and Samp ...

But tape dubs are easy ... just let the tape machine run and monitor SYNC, then go back and dump the track to Samp off Repro and slide it to match the time.

Or mult the input for monitoring and print THROUGH the tape to the digital in real time, and slide it to match.



More work for dubs, but you'll have a 2 track 1/4" or 1/2" deck for mixdown!


The saturation, non linearities and bias elements are as much the sound as the electronics.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #29
Oh and it is not "Line6" of tape. Line6 of tape is tape plug-ins and math like the HEDD, this is more the Randall MTS system, an analog representation of a mechanical analog system.

Also as I said above.....

Quote:
I don't give a rats ass how I get there as long as the end result is good and I imagine the end result of the 5042 will be pretty cool.
So why the venom against tape emulation? If it sounds good then use it, if not the market will force someone else to make a new design that will sound better. This is the answer to the market looking for a better solution to that "Old Time Tapie Sound" in our new fangled digital world.

It is a good thing not negative. If you don't like it then I guess you don't have to buy it right??

Old 22nd July 2005
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Just surrender the space, you'll be a happy fella!
you're prolly right.

Quote:
And don't knock 1/4"...
... was talking to chris bellman at bernie grundman's the other day and he said the same thing. in fact when i asked him about his opinion on 1" he said they maybe get 3 or 4 a year, and rent a machine when that happens. basically told me he didn't think it was worth the difference, and told me he thought 1/4" sounded great. but we used to have a studio in hollywood in the 80s and i remember sooo clearly the difference between 1/4" and 1/2". at least to me it seemed so much bigger. we had both ATR 102 and studer A80. i preferred the ATR (the studer seemed more 'pristine', but the 102 had austin powers extra mojo IMO).

anyway thanks.
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