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Am I crazy to think? Shadow Hills MC.
Old 28th November 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Am I crazy to think? Shadow Hills MC.

Ok, so maybe it's the overflow of gravy in my gut hitting my head. But I'm thinking of a significant studio shift/streamline.. but want some Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor owners to chime in if they could be so kind.

I've gotten to the point where I'm really getting closer to being in the box. BUT in the process of this, I'm still finding that I really like a great outboard 2 buss comp at the end. A big fan of the Obsidian and was thinking of adding that to the mix... but just had a crazy thought after being blown away by the SHMC.

I could pass on the Obsidian, and relinquish a couple of my other comps.. then the SHMC's hefty price tag might not seem all that outlandish if it essentially becomes my main comp. I'm a multi-instrumentalist, but the only things I'm really tracking with outboard comps is Voice, Bass and Acoustic Guitar. To this point I've been using a Retro Doublewide, an API525, and sometimes an 1176. I recognize this is a good assortment of flavor, but would I be missing any of these if I had the SHMC's versatility for the above (given that it has both comp modes?)

I mean, I tend to double up vocal tracking with an opto and a fet more often than not, the acoustics are usually just touched with the 525, and Bass I certainly squish the heck out of.. but usually only in the mix.

I'd love to get a users input who has used the SHMC for tracking as well to give me some insight as to whether I'm just getting nuts or if this might make sense. I realize having more comps for the mix would provide different flavors, but I'm trying to simply in the box a bit and was thinking this could be justification for plunking down the cash

Thoughts?

Last edited by bink; 28th November 2014 at 12:28 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 28th November 2014
  #2
All your questions are subjective/a matter of taste. If you like the flavours the SH gives, and you think it would make you more creative... do it!
Old 28th November 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bink View Post
Ok, so maybe it's the overflow of gravy in my gut hitting my head. But I'm thinking of a significant studio shift/streamline.. but want some Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor owners to chime in if they could be so kind.

I've gotten to the point where I'm really getting closer to being in the box. BUT in the process of this, I'm still finding that I really like a great outboard 2 buss comp at the end. A big fan of the Obsidian and was thinking of adding that to the mix... but just had a crazy thought after being blown away by the SHMC.

I could pass on the Obsidian, and relinquish a couple of my other comps.. then the SHMC's hefty price tag might not seem all that outlandish if it essentially becomes my main comp. I'm a multi-instrumentalist, but the only things I'm really tracking with outboard comps is Voice, Bass and Acoustic Guitar. To this point I've been using a Retro Doublewide, an API525, and sometimes an 1176. I recognize this is a good assortment of flavor, but would I be missing any of these if I had the SHMC's versatility for the above (given that it has both comp modes?)

I mean, I tend to double up vocal tracking with an opto and a fet more often than not, the acoustics are usually just touched with the 525, and Bass I certainly squish the heck out of.. but usually only in the mix.

I'd love to get a users input who has used the SHMC for tracking as well to give me some insight as to whether I'm just getting nuts or if this might make sense. I realize having more comps for the mix would provide different flavors, but I'm trying to simply in the box a bit and was thinking this could be justification for plunking down the cash

Thoughts?

Not worth the price soundwise, but maybe looks wise. One of the coolest looking pieces of gear ever. The main attraction otherwise is the multiple transformers and compression styles. But if you are looking for something in that range, I'd go for the massive passive, which is the best piece of studio gear I have ever heard. You best thing about the MP is being able to drastically change the sound but still not being harsh even at the extremes.
Old 28th November 2014
  #4
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

Shmc is just another ssl flavour with custom transformers at the output and yea 2 la3a clones that i never used on the 2bus. I let it go because i didnt want boutique bling bling gear in my racks any longer. Bread and butter. It has a sound and i you dig it go for it.
Old 28th November 2014
  #5
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Miles Flint's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
But if you are looking for something in that range, I'd go for the massive passive, which is the best piece of studio gear I have ever heard. You best thing about the MP is being able to drastically change the sound but still not being harsh even at the extremes.
He wants a compressor and you suggest an EQ..?

Besides that, I also love the Massive Passive for what it does.
Old 28th November 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Flint View Post
He wants a compressor and you suggest an EQ..?

Besides that, I also love the Massive Passive for what it does.
The MP is also an digital to analog converter.
Old 28th November 2014
  #7
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Miles Flint's Avatar
 

No.
The Manley Massive Passive is neither a compressor nor a converter!

You mean the Manley SLAM?
Old 28th November 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Flint View Post
No.
The Manley Massive Passive is neither a compressor nor a converter!

You mean the Manley SLAM?
It converted me.
Old 28th November 2014
  #9
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roger's Avatar
 

Nicely setup there!
Old 28th November 2014
  #10
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
The MP is also an analog to digital converter.
A little too much 420 there?
Old 28th November 2014
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Nickelironsteel - I appreciate the feedback as a former user. I do dig it's discrete section as I'm an "ssl type 2 buss guy," and I found myself liking the trafo output options. But I'm surmising from your tone that maybe the rest of the beast might be less usable. I certainly wouldn't use the opto on a mix either as I don't do anything quite that delicate in terms of movement, but I was wondering if you felt it was a good enough section for other tracking scenarios where you might utilize an opto (or a combo)? I really liked the discrete section followed by some nickel and steel (actually felt the iron has a bit too much of a low mid bump)... but if I can accomplish that with just an Obsidian followed by some of my outboard pre's (phoenix, and API's).. then maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks for the input.
Old 28th November 2014
  #12
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Slug1's Avatar
I've also been intrigued by the SHMC. But the more I look at the price the more I think about what I could get. You could get the Obsidian, a used Manley Vari Mu, and a pair of Warm 76's, and have all of you bases covered. And if you shop wisely you may have enough left over for an Elysia Xfilter! Or maybe the Obsidian and a Neve Master Buss Compressor. Or an Obsidian, used Vari Mu, and a pair of Dave Hill Titans. This would give you CRAZY flexibility for tracking, mixing, and some 2buss tools. Just saying.
Old 28th November 2014
  #13
Gear Addict
 

The SHMC is a great vca/opto compressor its deep wide with tons of goo and butter.
I had Peter do a mod where I can you all the channels separately
I can put the vca sestion on the 2 mix and use the optos for other elements
Also Peter is a great guy and gets on the phone with you when there is an issue with the box

great box def worth the money.
Old 28th November 2014
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Oh, that's a nice mod indeed Stephen. I'm VERY tempted by this thing. Although a part of me is still thinking of an Obsidian and maybe a a great 2 buss EQ.
Old 28th November 2014
  #15
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roger's Avatar
 

"....when there is a problem with the box" !!!
....er at the hefty price of entry & the fact that I'm in London I don't want ANY problems with the box EVER! ......but I have heard reports that this compressor DOES quite often suffer problems (on another thread quite a few users have found the need to send their units back for servicing etc)....and I have also noticed that unless you're Stephen: with a bitchin, busy, neve-console-equipped studio or Roundbadge: respected pro & prominent GS-poster; the Shadow Hills guys aren't quite so easy to catch on the phone & emails can kinda get lost in transit somehow.
I'm not meaning to hate on this amazing LOOKING bit of gear. I'm just stating why I resisted my at-one-time considerable urge to splash out on this black beauty.
However if you've got the coin, if you think it's gonna earn for you (commercially by drawing business &/or artistically - by helping you creatively/sonically), & if you live ~local to the SH repair shop.......then go for it!!
Old 29th November 2014
  #16
QRS
Gear Maniac
 

i think: dont buy the shmc if you cant keep/afford the other units. its a great piece and flexible on its own but its not flexible enough to displace all the others.
and the shmc is quite different to any ssl and also obsidian. simply put i'll say it (sh) always has more weight/ is rounder to the sound.

when i bought my shmc i thought the same as you: one big boy using for almost anything i use a compressor on and selling most/all of the other pieces to justify the price.
i was wrong.
maybe it works for you, i dont know, but i learned a lot and after two years i sold the sh.
1176, 525, retro, dramastic.. do sound so good and have so much funky different flavors i can't live without. and its great fun to have them.
personally i think when i work itb (what i dont do) and search for just ONE analog stereo compressor and that one is just for the masterbus... the shmc would be on the top of my list (with two pultecs in the chain - boy that combo is tasty).
there is something i like what the sh is doing to the itb sound.

however, i liked the optical section on the sh for bass/vocals/acgit. what's not to like... it does what you expect from a very good optical solidstate unit!
and the vca section... loved it and sometimes miss it.
i wish p.reardon released just the stereo vca section of the mc in a 19" version with the same features and not limited like on the vandergraph (where i think he nailed quite a great sounding unit with just a few preset like features!)
or maybe i should just buy the shmc again...........
Old 29th November 2014
  #17
QRS
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bink View Post
I certainly wouldn't use the opto on a mix either as I don't do anything quite that delicate in terms of movement, but I was wondering if you felt it was a good enough section for other tracking scenarios where you might utilize an opto (or a combo)? I really liked the discrete section followed by some nickel and steel (actually felt the iron has a bit too much of a low mid bump)... but if I can accomplish that with just an Obsidian followed by some of my outboard pre's (phoenix, and API's).. then maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree?
i found the combo (opto/fet) interesting but missed a "reverse" switch fet > opto.
and i liked one section of the sh in combo with a second compressor (1176 f.example) always better.
the opto sounds great and is very useful. it wouldn't surprise me when you use that section quite often when you have access to and never thought about it before (specially in recording) instead of the other units you have named.

i think you will have a hard time getting the sh's sound out of a dramastic/preX combo.
i tried exactly the same. if you like the sh you have to take that one.
man, you have a heavy nut question here...haha..it's going up and down!
rent/buy that monster and check it all out for you.
you see.. even if i had that beast and sold it i'm still not sure if it was a good decision.
reliability: i had an ex demo unit (8 months old and some shipment pre me) and in the two years i used it there where zero problems. the guy who bought mine - its still rocking he told me, no repair.
but i've heard other storys too - specially in the beginning.
maybe just write an email to peter reardon and have a talk.
Old 29th November 2014
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

QRS and all... Thanks so much for the great input. Seems I'm not the only one that wrestled with a similar decision or one that's been ventured before. Very helpful insights and nice to have some balanced thought from those who've had the piece. Thanks so much to all. I'm going to wrestle with this for a few more days and make a slow decision on this one.
Old 29th November 2014
  #19
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
It converted me.
FTW!
Old 29th November 2014
  #20
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

Get a pair of real la3s and a good sounding ssl

No mods needed and the dev might even reply to emails
Old 30th November 2014
  #21
Gear Addict
Figure I'd chime in here as a SHMC owner myself. I've had my unit for the last year with no problems to date (knock on wood). I think the price scares most people away if not makes ppl completely hesitant to buy. But that aside, I 'be found it to be a unique and versatile box that is built like a tank, looks cool, and most importantly sounds fantastic!

I will say that just bc I own a SHMC I didn't get rid or use my other comps any less. I will use units in succession at times. My other main 2-bus comp is a Neve Master Bus Processor that get equal time/use in mix/mastering applications alongside my SHMC. Is it a absolutely necessary piece of gear? No. But if you can afford it and want to expand your compressor inventory, it worth at least demo'ing.
Old 1st December 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
Get a pair of real la3s and a good sounding ssl

No mods needed and the dev might even reply to emails
totally. i have just seen the SHMC in the shop and had to start laughing. what an absurd design from an asthetic point of view. those cheap plastic knobs trying to imitate bakelite - although this doesnt even make any sense looking at what type of comp is inside. it might sound great. but it looks like a joke to me

ps: im just "reviewing" the looks here. haha. so please ignore my post. but i have seen the guts as well. its pretty darn empty for such a case. it would easily fit in a 2RU case. but it would not sell as well then i guess....
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Am I crazy to think? Shadow Hills MC.-shmc.jpg  
Old 1st December 2014
  #23
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Old 1st December 2014
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
what? i said ignore my post !
Old 1st December 2014
  #25
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
what? i said ignore my post !
Haha
I couldn't!
Old 1st December 2014
  #26
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unit7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
totally. i have just seen the SHMC in the shop and had to start laughing. what an absurd design from an asthetic point of view. those cheap plastic knobs trying to imitate bakelite - although this doesnt even make any sense looking at what type of comp is inside. it might sound great. but it looks like a joke to me

ps: im just "reviewing" the looks here. haha. so please ignore my post. but i have seen the guts as well. its pretty darn empty for such a case. it would easily fit in a 2RU case. but it would not sell as well then i guess....
I own one and totally agree. It's a nice compressor, but imo looks way more interesting than it sounds. I still think it looks awesome, but the plastic knobs and the amount of air in this box.. That's why I call it the bimbo or airhead of my rack. Use it all the time though!
Old 1st December 2014
  #27
Registered User
 

But soul and mojo need its space too, at least an extra 2U of air.

But seriously, I'm sure Peter had a very good reason for this design aspect. My Chandler Germaniums have extra space inside too but I remember Wade saying something about needing that space to not compromise on the sound. I am not an electronics expert but their must be some reasoning behind these decisions.

-dd
Old 1st December 2014
  #28
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

"Alle 17 Drehschalter sind gerastet und die Knöpfe bestehen aus Bakelit.” - Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor

nope they were indeed cheap plastic knobs. at least they felt like it.
Old 1st December 2014
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
Get a pair of real la3s and a good sounding ssl

No mods needed and the dev might even reply to emails
I emailed a while back about the SH Dual Optograph. Never heard back...purchased other stuff.
Old 1st December 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Demulling View Post

But seriously, I'm sure Peter had a very good reason for this design aspect.

-dd
Yep...looks. If it didn't look the way it does, they wouldn't sell for $7k.
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