The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Budget Pre
Old 13th June 2006
  #31
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Yes, I am a dink. Guilty as charged. Thankyou. heh

And yes, a compressor would be a much more on-the-money suggestion, considering that a compressor's main function is to alter the sound through manipulating the dynamics in potentially pleasing ways. My first thought would be to run it in to an LA2A. Drive it a little for some added grit, perhaps get it pumping and breathing a little during more percussive pieces, and that sort of thing. The next thing that pops in to the head -- and possibly the most obvious -- would be something like the Fatso, Jr.

Either one of these would be capable of anything from all-out bombastic compression to mild distortion effects. And it could be accomplished in a much more "humanely" from an audio standpoint (no need for messing with the impedence and stepping up/down the gain in order to feed another type of input).

Now obviously, these are some expensive pieces, so your most realistic option would be to look at something like an ART PRO VLA, which can give you some really decent opto compression and possibly some mild tube fuzz effects if worked properly. Another possibility might be to look at something from Bellari. Now before you laugh, keep in mind that Bellari stuff isn't the worst-designed. You've got transformer inputs and tubes running at full plate voltage, the way it's supposed to; two things you can't say about the ART.

A few more suggestions:

*Try running your keys out to a Fender Bassman ... mic it up and combine with the direct signal. In my not-so-humble opinion, this will probably get you, by far, the most lively, easy-to-mix tracks I can think of.

*If you'd like to try some mild distortion, then look in to the Sansamp pedals. Specifically, the bass driver might have something to offer that would be of use.

*Peavey / AMR Tube Sweetener. I have one, and I like it and use it on some things here and there. The AMR / Peavey line, including the VMP-2 mic pre, includes some very formidable tube audio equipment. And the Tube Sweetener, in particular, might actually be specifically designed for the exact application that you're currently looking for. You can get 'em on Ebay for cheap every once in a while.
Old 13th June 2006
  #32
Gear Nut
 
mavertron's Avatar
 

from one dink to another

Well it takes one to know one heh
yep,l i just got a vla, and it really is a lovely piece for the dough,
i havent tried it on synths yet, but i just got my best di'd bass sound ever
chain >>fender jazz>>germanium>>art pro vla>>
amping up cabs in great for synths, it makes them more distant and dirty sounding (depending on mic), and they seems to sit in the mix better.
i think di boxes dont do *that* much for synths, ive di'd synths into my germ, and though it does add a certain something, its subtle, much more brutal results from coloured compressors.

moon unit, i salute you, i takes a man to accept that he is a dink,
i accept it about myself at some point every day

mavertron.
Old 13th June 2006
  #33
Lives for gear
 
DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

An absolute killer unit would be a Culture Vulture (tube distortion unit, comes with DI inputs), too bad a bit above your budget...

I'm tempted to check that one out myself tho heh
Old 13th June 2006
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I have wanted to try a Bellari for a long time. I am sure its probably a bit noisey, but its the only REAL tube pre at that price point, except for the brick... And the brick seems to be more suited for DI, live and/or studio.

I have a few higher end pres, but nothing tube.
Old 13th June 2006
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Actually I forgot, the EH pre is also full voltage tube......hmmmm...
Old 13th June 2006
  #36
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud
Actually I forgot, the EH pre is also full voltage tube......hmmmm...
I don't think it's transformer input, though.
Old 14th June 2006
  #37
Lives for gear
 
by-tor's Avatar
 

I always thought a dink was

Dual Income No Kids

DINK

?
Old 14th June 2006
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Herman Munster's Avatar
 

May I ask what kind of synth you are using? There may be a very simple solution to your problem without having to spend the $$$, unless you are, of course, a slut like the rest of us and just want some more gear. For instance, I have a Motif ES8 and if I want a little distortion on a Rhodes it's quite easy to add that and the effects are quite good. I know Triton's, Fantoms and even some other more low end synths at least have one insert effect if not more per voice. Just a thought. I do not however, agree with the dink that you should by a new board, especially if you like the sound. I would make sure you're making the most of what you've got.
Old 14th June 2006
  #39
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
Radial's stuff is clean and he's asking for his sound to change. If you've ever heard the output section of any Phoenix Audio device you'd realize that
Warren, I don't disagree with your characterization of the gear. But the larger context is that he's not happy with the sound he's getting, and it's not clear he has tried any high-quality signal path to get from his instruments to his converters.

There is nothing more "sweetening," in my view, than substituting an inadequate signal path for a high-quality signal path. So you will forgive me, I hope, for recommending something half the cost and every bit as good. Is this not the low-end forum anyway?

For a person accustomed to Mackie preamps, would a Grace preamp not be "sweetening?"

JSL
Old 14th June 2006
  #40
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

"sweetening" to me sounds like color/mojo/softening the edges/

In that case...the Grace is anything but..It sounds like a cheaper millennia . nothing "sweet" about it. pendulum/hamptone maybe..but Grace is more in the "cold" category, IMHO.
Old 14th June 2006
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

The 101 is pretty clean... no sweetening there.
Old 14th June 2006
  #42
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin
Warren, I don't disagree with your characterization of the gear. But the larger context is that he's not happy with the sound he's getting, and it's not clear he has tried any high-quality signal path to get from his instruments to his converters.

There is nothing more "sweetening," in my view, than substituting an inadequate signal path for a high-quality signal path. So you will forgive me, I hope, for recommending something half the cost and every bit as good. Is this not the low-end forum anyway?

For a person accustomed to Mackie preamps, would a Grace preamp not be "sweetening?"

JSL
This is an open forum, no reason for anybody to have to forgive anyone around here I hope!

Like I said, he's looking for the sound to change and DrDeltaM nailed it with the Phoenix Nice DI. Nothing sounds like the output section of any Phoenix stuff, there is a large range of push that can be acheived with their transformer outputs that is just..."sweet" for lack of a better word. You can get a nice clean sound, push it subtly...or you can just ram your signal into if for a somewhat compressed overdriven sound that is just hard to describe. It is beautiful though.

I think we may all have a slightly different understanding of what he's looking for. To me, it was the Nice DI that made sense based on what I hear anyhow.

War
Old 14th June 2006
  #43
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Apparently I am being too subtle.

Someone who has never heard their stuff -- mics or instruments -- through a high-quality signal path may ask for "sweetening" when all they really want is for their sound to be better.

You guys have tried a bunch of quality gear and are debating which ones you would tend to associate with the word "sweetening." This guy hasn't done that, from what he's said -- he's got a Mackie Onyx at this point.

I never recommend somebody start thinking about "flavoring" their sound until they actually know what it sounds like with good equipment. I find that when someone talks about "sweetening," generally either there's something wrong with their signal path or they've gotten too lazy to fix their mic technique and source material.

I've got my own theories about "nicerizing." They involve making good recordings of good musicians playing good music with good instruments.

JSL
Old 14th June 2006
  #44
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

HAHAH!

tutt

"Apparently Im being too subtle", means,

You are having a bad day

Just see it my way, and shut up

Just shut up period

also may scream "armchair quarterback"

If he wants a different sound, it may very well be what he wants!
Old 14th June 2006
  #45
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin
Apparently I am being too subtle.

Someone who has never heard their stuff -- mics or instruments -- through a high-quality signal path may ask for "sweetening" when all they really want is for their sound to be better.

You guys have tried a bunch of quality gear and are debating which ones you would tend to associate with the word "sweetening." This guy hasn't done that, from what he's said -- he's got a Mackie Onyx at this point.

I never recommend somebody start thinking about "flavoring" their sound until they actually know what it sounds like with good equipment. I find that when someone talks about "sweetening," generally either there's something wrong with their signal path or they've gotten too lazy to fix their mic technique and source material.

I've got my own theories about "nicerizing." They involve making good recordings of good musicians playing good music with good instruments.

JSL
This is his signature line:

JohnyC

Audio Engineer - WABC New York
House, Trance, Progressive Music Producer


I went the path of assuming that a guy who is engineering audio for WABC NY and is producing music has a pretty good set of ears and knows what a quality signal path is. You can assume he's too lazy or has ****ty source material all day, but in the end I still think DrDeltaM made a good suggestion. At this point, I don't know what's left to argue about. I have a feeling he and others here consider good musicians and good music and good instruments to be most important as well, but also realize that some boxes tend to "sweeten" the signal. The Onyx is actually a decent board, but doesn't give any options other than basically a clean, tight sound.

Peace man, nobody's trying to get your goat here.

War
Old 15th June 2006
  #46
Gear Nut
 

Tube pre or tube emulation plugin is the way to go

I had good results with either tube pres (which sound nice when you put them into slight overdrive; might get you a more fuzzy/warm synth sound; sounded great with my MOOG synth), or even easier: get the PSP vintage warmer plugin which can deliver a warmer sound or a grungier sound depending on how hard you drive it. None of the clean pres recommended above will alter the signal. That would be a waste of money. I think plugins are the way to go since they allow you to change the sound of your synths post recording and give you more flexibility (and its way cheaper).

Here is another interesting method -- even though tidious: record your synth sounds through a tape or reel-to-reel recorder and sample that back into your DAW. Nothing beats a true subtle tape distortion. If you get a reel-to-reel recorder you don't even have to bother with buying expensive tapes because you can record the sound on the fly back into your DAW.
Old 15th June 2006
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
JohnNy C's Avatar
 

Whoa, this thread blew up. Thanks for the input gentlemen. This purchase is going to be later, later on. I was juut getting input for now, so I know what I have to look forward to.

Warhead, if I may, I was merely starting a convorsation to see what you guys would come up with. I don't have to prove myself to you, but my job and music speak for me.

Quote:
I have a feeling he and others here consider good musicians and good music and good instruments to be most important as well, but also realize that some boxes tend to "sweeten" the signal.
Isn't that the reason we buy 100,000 mixing boards? Or do you have a feeling about that too?

BTW, some of you took the whole sweetening thing just alittle too seriously. Haha.

Quote:
I've got my own theories about "nicerizing." They involve making good recordings of good musicians playing good music with good instruments.
Well that's good and all, if there were mics involved and musicians playing instruments, that would really help that theory along in my situation. There is ME, playing the KB and Sequencer.

Quote:
For a person accustomed to Mackie preamps, would a Grace preamp not be "sweetening?"
Apparently not to some of the "super-pros".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giganova
I had good results with either tube pres (which sound nice when you put them into slight overdrive; might get you a more fuzzy/warm synth sound; sounded great with my MOOG synth), or even easier: get the PSP vintage warmer plugin which can deliver a warmer sound or a grungier sound depending on how hard you drive it. None of the clean pres recommended above will alter the signal. That would be a waste of money. I think plugins are the way to go since they allow you to change the sound of your synths post recording and give you more flexibility (and its way cheaper).
This is probably the best way to go. I should have said ALTER my sound, instead of SWEETEN my sound. You know, give me more options at mix down. But apparently, people like to put words in your mouth. Yum.

This thread is dead, thank you to the ones that enjoyed the discussion and to the rest, you have shown some true colors in these posts. And some of you concider yourselves pros? Interesting.

P.S. Moon, what exactly do you sell? You must be starving.
Old 15th June 2006
  #48
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNy C
Warhead, if I may, I was merely starting a convorsation to see what you guys would come up with. I don't have to prove myself to you, but my job and music speak for me.
Now I can't tell if you misread my message, my message was "this guy seems to know sound" because of your sig line. I certainly didn't feel that anyone assuming you don't understand sound was correct!

War
Old 15th June 2006
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
JohnNy C's Avatar
 

In that case, nothin' but love bro.
Old 15th June 2006
  #50
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNy C
P.S. Moon, what exactly do you sell? You must be starving.

Brains. Sorry you missed out. Try getting in line earlier next time.

.
Old 15th June 2006
  #51
Lives for gear
 

fwiw

i seem to be in the minority hen i mention this one but i have a dbx368 i love as it has tubew/200volts on it... low/hi imp inputs .... 24/96 conv... and limiting in the front end...i use it with alot of different sources including my live keyboard rig... pc88/386/166xl/cross/crown/jbl sounds great and i can feed the house from the low side output and the rig from trs.... versatile... imo
Old 15th June 2006
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
JohnNy C's Avatar
 

What do you guys think of getting an RME ADI-2 and running everything from my Onyx to the ADI, then running the SPIDF out to my MBox 2 for tracking. I have read a couple reviews on the ADI and all were positive. Would it give me a significant of a boost in quality to justify spending $600 on it? Any thoughts.
Old 15th June 2006
  #53
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
JohnNy C -- Glad you seem to have enjoyed the input you got.

Members of the Sweetening Gulag -- It's okay for us to disagree, and all of this is hypothetical anyway. In a session situation, we might make very similar decisions. You will note that my responses start not as criticisms of others' suggestions, but as a response to crticism of my suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNy C
Well that's good and all, if there were mics involved and musicians playing instruments, that would really help that theory along in my situation. There is ME, playing the KB and Sequencer.
I was well aware of that, and it's no different. Still a tune and arrangement, still a player, still an instrument ... still the need for a quality signal path. My assumption is that the player and material and instrument are not the problem.

I own an Onyx 1220, and I think it sounds remarkably good in its range. But if you're not enjoying what you're getting out of it for keyboards, I would suggest that the first thing to look at is overall quality rather than personality.


Quote:
Apparently not to some of the "super-pros".
Yes, to some. The common thread here is fetishism -- or "taste" if you want to be more diplomatic -- not level of expertise.

Going back to your original note -- what a novel idea -- I wonder if something like a Presonus MP20 might not be what you're looking for. I should state upfront that I know it only by reputation, but it's within your budget, it does some hybrid-tube thing that some people like, and obviously would work as a mic pre which you stated as one of your goals. Might be worth an audition.

JSL
Old 15th June 2006
  #54
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
You can assume he's too lazy or has ****ty source material all day
Just to be clear, I never for a moment assumed that. But re-reading, I can see where you might have gotten that impression.

Peace.

JSL
Old 15th June 2006
  #55
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

I use my DAV BG-1 for synth/sampler sweetening, it's one of the best things I've found yet for that. It can handle a lot of level, especially when you put the -26 dB pads in. But if your sources are real hot you can push it too far, and the output can distort the gear following it. That is easily solved by putting a couple channels of DI ahead of the BG-1.

Another signal path I use for synth sweetening is the ART PRO VLA through a Peavey Tube Sweetener.

The other unit that I've liked for synth sweetening is the ADL 300G dual channel tube DI.
Old 15th June 2006
  #56
Gear Maniac
 
JohnNy C's Avatar
 

jslevin, I wouldn't b e where I am if my source material wasn't good. I merely wanted a discussion on what other pros are using to molest the different areas of their speakers. But hell, most of you guys on here are mad cool and extremely helpful. I posted this earlier but I think it was over-loooked:

What do you guys think of getting an RME ADI-2 and running everything from my Onyx to the ADI, then running the SPIDF out to my MBox 2 for tracking. I have read a couple reviews on the ADI and all were positive. Would it give me a significant of a boost in quality to justify spending $600 on it? Any thoughts.
Old 16th June 2006
  #57
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Johnny, I would work on your knowlege, as well as those mad skillz of yours, before I worried too much about A/D converters.
.
Old 16th June 2006
  #58
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin
Just to be clear, I never for a moment assumed that. But re-reading, I can see where you might have gotten that impression.

Peace.

JSL
Old 16th June 2006
  #59
Gear Maniac
 
JohnNy C's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit
Johnny, I would work on your knowlege, as well as those mad skillz of yours, before I worried too much about A/D converters.
.
Just when you thought he was gone.
Old 16th June 2006
  #60
Lives for gear
 
DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNy C
Just when you thought he was gone.
The point of AD convertors not making the biggest difference is true tho, but there are nicer ways to say that instead if implying that you lack skills.

If you feel everything else in your signal chain is as good as it should be, you can consider upgrading convertors, just for getting that extra last % out of it.

As said, I'd rather consider a coloring DI/pre then just a better convertor. Plugins can alter the sound yes, but nothing works as good as some nice analog treatment
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump