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EAR 660 users: I'd love to compare thoughts!
Old 21st May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

EAR 660 users: I'd love to compare thoughts!

I use an EAR 660 for vocals and bass and that has been very easy & natural.

I recently acquired a second EAR 660 and I've linked them together to use as a stereo bus compresser.

Sounds amazing and can make throwing up the faders sound like a fat, glued mix, esp. if it's a basic rocka and roll track.

But to get the finesse and detail, it can be a bit brutal. Sounds like it has a very fast attack.

And what's with the COMPRESS to LIMIT pot? Obviously a ratio change as you move to limit but it DRAMATICALLY lowers the threshold as you go to compress.

Are most people using 1 to 2 db of reduction towards LIMIT on their stereo busses (Most people... um.. don't think most people use a 12K$ plus stereo compresser... i think i've graduated from slut to ho!)

Anyways I'd LOVE detailed documentation on this thing. A mimeographed "manual" is all it comes with... dollars at work.

Bent mixed w/ the pair today and ended up using it in parallell on most of the mix... bringing it in under the uncompressed mix to save the transients lost when inserting it across the 2 buss... and that was on a Rutles-sounding band!

I've been using (Gently!!!) an STC8 for the last few years on the 2 buss and love the transient response left in my mixes when I use it with a slow attack and fast release and alter the knee control to pump the drums a bit ( hard) or just very subtly compress things (soft).

I'm not a compress-the-crap outa the mix guy.... so the EAR 660 combo has me wondering if it's right for me.

But I LOVE the "sound" of the units!

I guess if you know the Fairchild 670's, you might relate to all this as well.

Thoughts and expreiences?
Old 21st May 2006
  #2
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripper
I use an EAR 660 for vocals and bass and that has been very easy & natural.

I recently acquired a second EAR 660 and I've linked them together to use as a stereo bus compresser.

Sounds amazing and can make throwing up the faders sound like a fat, glued mix, esp. if it's a basic rocka and roll track.

But to get the finesse and detail, it can be a bit brutal. Sounds like it has a very fast attack.

And what's with the COMPRESS to LIMIT pot? Obviously a ratio change as you move to limit but it DRAMATICALLY lowers the threshold as you go to compress.

Are most people using 1 to 2 db of reduction towards LIMIT on their stereo busses (Most people... um.. don't think most people use a 12K$ plus stereo compresser... i think i've graduated from slut to ho!)

Anyways I'd LOVE detailed documentation on this thing. A mimeographed "manual" is all it comes with... dollars at work.

Bent mixed w/ the pair today and ended up using it in parallell on most of the mix... bringing it in under the uncompressed mix to save the transients lost when inserting it across the 2 buss... and that was on a Rutles-sounding band!

I've been using (Gently!!!) an STC8 for the last few years on the 2 buss and love the transient response left in my mixes when I use it with a slow attack and fast release and alter the knee control to pump the drums a bit ( hard) or just very subtly compress things (soft).

I'm not a compress-the-crap outa the mix guy.... so the EAR 660 combo has me wondering if it's right for me.

But I LOVE the "sound" of the units!

I guess if you know the Fairchild 670's, you might relate to all this as well.

Thoughts and expreiences?
I have never had any success with my pair on the 2. Musta stuck them there 30 times over the last 3 years. Always changed my mind and yanked them off.

These are crazy boxes. When they are 'right'... they are deadly.

But they are VERY finicky, and they can KILL you deader than Dickens if you make the mistake of "set and forget" and ANYTHING changes in the signal path. The 'grab and let go' activity around the threshold point can really get BIZARRE on stuff like vocals. And when it does... the fidelity of the unit can really work against you, if you're not VERY CAREFULLY monitoring the outcome on a measure by measure basis. Great from a 'pure sonics' AE standpoint... but miserable from a production standpoint, at least in terms of where your going to expend your vigilant efforts(watching the meter activity or listening to the talents performance watermark). In addition... the adjustment of controls takes a while to get used to, and the single biggest achilles heel of the unit is NO BYPASS(!!!!????!!!!!!????).

Anyhoo. These things are "Hi-Fi" as all git-out, but NOTHING in practical ops like the Fairchild. Which is nowhere near as difficult to get the predictable behavior out of, in my estimation.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 21st May 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

thanks slipperman!

everything you posted, including fairchilds being way easy to use for this application, rang true to me.

i guess i wanted to make sure it's not just me losing it!

where do you usually use them when mixing? i'm going into experiment as i'm starting to mix 4 albums in a row today, so there should be room for trying lotsa things.

also, do you EVER have the ratio over towards COMPRESS or do you also find it whacks the hell out of everything unless your input is down to a trickle?

saw your posts on our temporary convict forum. when were you last down here in oz?
Old 22nd May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Send em up to us and well put attack controls in. Personally I couldnt use a compressor with no attack control on a mix - I think thats where half yer problems are coming from.

To make them line up properly for stereo youre probably going to need to run them in m/s. Thats how I run my Audimax IIs as they just arent matchable. Then you can also do neat things like having sepperate settings on the m and s signals. Oh the possibilities!

Does the ratio sound higher on compress than it does on limit? That shouldnt be so...


I totally know what you mean about the 'sound' of them. Its the same reason I love my Audimaxes even when theyre bad, and it makes me forgive them when I probably shouldnt. Theres just some undefinable magic they impart on a mix...its hard not to use them!

All of these issues can be fixed though, Ive heard a Mu comp that doesnt have them and it is beyond amazing...


M
Old 22nd May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

PS slipperman, its been a while! Hope you and yours are well and happy!
Dude you were right about my studio eating my own music as it expanded. I should have listened!


M
Old 22nd May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

Holy macaroni!

Using the linked 660's as a drum sub compresser.

driving the input hotter, turned the threshold way up and am over towards compress rather than limit... release on 1 or 2.

gobsmacking on this zep-ish track w/ 4038 rooms, a royer in the stairwell, etc.

just knocked the TG1 off it's drum sub comp perch.. Hard!

that's cool cause the Tg1's in parallell as a gtr comp and the 33609 is the parallel Hammond/leslie comp.

a little gentle (that's the way) 2 bus compression from the STC8 and oh my gawd!!!
Old 22nd May 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripper
thanks slipperman!

everything you posted, including fairchilds being way easy to use for this application, rang true to me.

i guess i wanted to make sure it's not just me losing it!

where do you usually use them when mixing? i'm going into experiment as i'm starting to mix 4 albums in a row today, so there should be room for trying lotsa things.

also, do you EVER have the ratio over towards COMPRESS or do you also find it whacks the hell out of everything unless your input is down to a trickle?
I really like the 660 on vocals, bass and acoustic guitar [for that Townshend kind of thing]. I like the tone of it when input gain is turned up and the ratio is in the 12 to 3 o'clock range. I find that it gets kind of mushy tonally below 12 for on most things. I also find that to get the tone I like, the output of the 660 is pretty hot, so i usually turn the line amp down on the return, or stick a good sounding line amp between the output of the 660 and the input of the return device...

Cheers,
John
Old 23rd May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

i hear ya. it does sound beaut w/ the input UP.

amazing on vocs and bass.

tried it on acpoustic ans it seemed a bit brutal... but for that strummy compressed townsend then could be a winner... i'll try it next tiem i do that sort of track.

found that the manley ELPO with it's 200hz detector sidechain in was wonderful for acoustic when i compared it w/ the more brutal 660.

the sidechain HP allowed the lo acoustic notes to not squish the highs!
Old 23rd May 2006
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Apemandan's Avatar
 

i LOVE the sound of the 660 on vocals..its always first choice for me. Its the comp/limit blend that usually holds the key to find the perfect vocal comp every time. It also rules for bass, drum ambience.
I'm about to take delivery on a Telefunken U73 which has been modded to include attack/release..I'll let you all know how i get on with that momma!
Old 24th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

been checking the mix i did using the 2 660's as a drum sub compresser... endind up sending a bit of voc, gtr's bass amp, etc. to it as well.

sounds amazing!!!

i think on a parallell is where it will live in mixdown.
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