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TL-Audio M4 Tube Console
Old 3rd August 2005
Here for the gear
tweaknads's Avatar

TL-Audio M4 Tube Console

This desk looks sweet, and since the Gorilaz mixed there last album on the TL-Audio VTC, I am very interested in hearing the M4 in action.

Has anybody out there tested the TL-Audio M4?

1. How does it compare to the VTC Console?
2. Can you compare it with Manley 16x2 for clarity and headroom?
3. Can you overdrive the valve on each channel?
4. How does it sound?

Has anybody read this review?
Old 24th December 2009
Lives for gear
Tube World's Avatar
TL Audio M4 impressed me

I went to a studio in Kentucky where they used the M4 console for tracking and mixing. I was very excited to finally check this mixer out after seeing photos and reviews of it.

First off, it appears to have been constructed with quality behind it. Due to good ventilation, it does not get too hot. This is a hybrid tube/solid state console. It offers a gentle smoothness to your signal that really helped mixes in Pro Tools sound more pleasant. The pre's worked great for duties such as drums, keyboards, and acoustic guitars. Jason, the main engineer also uses Great River, and 2 Cranesong Flamingo's pre's as well. I really liked the Flamingo pre's as an alternative when you wanted to hear a little more detail and sparkle in the top end. EQ's were also very nice on the M4 for gentle boosting or reduction. A stereo Great River EQ, and 2 Portico compressors were also used in the studio as well. Throwing these together with a Dangerous unit ( I forget which one) made his studio a real treat to work in. Everyone has different ways of working, but I have to tell you I would not mind working with a M4 in my studio in addition to the gear I have.
Old 25th December 2009
Old 25th December 2009
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar

Positively viral, boys!

Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 25th December 2009
High End?
Old 5th December 2010
Gear Maniac
Pliplo's Avatar

Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
High End?
isnt it?
Old 5th December 2010
Lives for gear

I use a 24 channel M4 on a regular basis. I would say the ups and down, IMO are:

• It sounds really nice. As said, in the modern age of DAW recording, the valve stage just adds a little bit of smoothness which makes the recorded signal a bit more pleasant than an all-transistor sterility.
•*The EQs are very responsive, and easy to get a good sound with. They are also smooth and not as 'sharp' as Amek EQs I often use. But they are really nice for getting a pleasing, old skool sound particularly in Rock & Blues genres but also for fattening up the sound of any record. Listen to 'Melancholy Hill' (Gorillaz) to see what I mean about a track that I would consider really warmed up - probably by the VTC.
•*It is very well built, and very well cooled. It doesn't get hot at all and it's quiet. And if it does go wrong, TLAudio offer a very personal and professional service to get it fixed.

• It's quite expensive for a small desk with no tape returns.
•*Having split L+R main faders with +20 post-gain is a pain, because it is near impossible to get them both matched to the same thing. You can put tape across the -0- line to push the faders up to but I still find that unsatisfactory.
•*Only 4 auxes.
• Connections not available on d-sub. annoying on the bigger desks.
Old 5th December 2010
Lives for gear
LeMauce's Avatar
No Tape return's? Mhzz so you use TO TAPE, with "track out" jack connection for recording to MTK. And mix from FROM TAPE you can use the line in's with the tube pre-amp?
You have to figure out a bit the recording/mix schema like recording with a ssl aws900 and not creating a nice loop. I'm right>?
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