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Shadow hills optograph 500 series Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 7th July 2009
Gear Head

Shadow hills optograph 500 series

Anyone out there worked with the 500 series Shadow Hills Optograph? Have you used it to track vocals? What are your thoughts about features, capability, sonic footprint and comparison's to other similar comps. Has it replaced anything in your rack?
Old 23rd July 2009
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espen askelad's Avatar
Just got one in. Only had a couple days with it, tracking only, so limited usage thus far. Has a tone, definitely, and the attack bites a little harder than I expected it to. Still finding the levels it likes to get hit with. I've really liked it gently working on male vocals and slightly driven electric guitars. Used it on some keys as well (bass synth) with nice result. The desaturate setting is a nice option.

after a mix session, liking it on electric bass a lot as well, and at heavier settings than previous sources.

Last edited by espen askelad; 25th July 2009 at 01:46 AM.. Reason: more experience with unit
Old 24th July 2009
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I just got a pair of them about a month ago. There has been so much gear swapping, setup action going on in my studio, I haven't had a chance to put it through any refined testing. Just some experimenting with it on the Drum bus and 2Bus which has turned out nicely. I haven't had an opportunity to do any tracking with it until a couple days ago. Ran a stereo out from a Roland V-Drum kit, and I was able to get a pretty punchy and balanced sound with it on a 3/24 compression setting with Desaturate and the 250 Hz Sidechain on. Nice and punchy. If you boost the comp level more, you can really squash things but at the lower levels it has a nice glue to it and a sort of gloss to it. I don't have enough experience with very much hardware, so I can't liken it to any other units. It's pretty smooth souding though, and you can get good punch by messing with the side-chain. I also really like the Elma switches since you can match the settings easily. Although, I have the the models with serial 007 and 009 and the output was not the same on both units. I was able to talk with Ryan at Vintage King who was able to put me in touch with Peter at Shadow Hills to find out what was up. Apparently they started setting things a bit differently after 008, so nothing was wrong with it and he explained to me how to adjust it with a jewelers "greenie" flat head screw driver. Easy fix, and now they are matched within .01 dB and I'm happy. I've been messing around with 2 Little Devil Compressors and 2 Inward Connections VC-5 compressor as well. They are all quite different from each other though.
Old 29th July 2009
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espen askelad's Avatar
Worked fantastically on kick drum the other day at mix time. So far my favorite usage. Attack and release just fit what I needed from the kick in that song perfectly and the tone of the MO sounded great.
Old 21st August 2009
is this box stereo linkable?
Old 21st August 2009
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by shaneoconnor View Post
is this box stereo linkable?
Unfortunately not.
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