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rediscovering the SPL Vitalizer
Old 16th July 2009
  #31
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
The entire point of the Vitalizer is to induce lots of phase distortion. It's how it works. It's in fact a parallel processor by default with onboard controls to mix dry signal (control marked "output") with the processed signal (control marked "process depth").

If you're trying to preserve the existing stereo image it's probably the worst thing you could possibly put in line.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Yes I do know about phase, I have the bigger tube one, I was making a reference to a conversation Ben and I had about running it in parallel.

FWIW I like my tube vitalizer - it doesn't have a spreader, and it's a weird bestie, but it earns it's keep.

The King
Old 16th July 2009
  #32
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Ben F's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Yes I do know about phase, I have the bigger tube one, I was making a reference to a conversation Ben and I had about running it in parallel.

FWIW I like my tube vitalizer - it doesn't have a spreader, and it's a weird bestie, but it earns it's keep.

The King
But what about the 'phase'? Tell 'em about the phase son!
Old 16th July 2009
  #33
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Ben F's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
The entire point of the Vitalizer is to induce lots of phase distortion. It's how it works. It's in fact a parallel processor by default with onboard controls to mix dry signal (control marked "output") with the processed signal (control marked "process depth").

If you're trying to preserve the existing stereo image it's probably the worst thing you could possibly put in line.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Thank you Spock! I meant Steve
Old 20th July 2009
  #34
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beingmf's Avatar
 

You might not want to hear it: but Nebula's "Vital EQ" does the job more than perfect. Me loves.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #35
I always use it on the mix buss,before slightest compression(tube mainly) tiny amount of low boost(circa 40) tiny hint of high end(less than a freekin hair!) ...Sounds more like a record to me. Kick,bass gets upfront. Even used it on Nick Drake acoustic thing, shelved lows appear full again yet no mudd (less need for pushing lows later) sounds great. I use algorithmix for master eq but the SPL just gets lows where nothing in the box quite can.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balcony View Post
I always use it on the mix buss,before slightest compression(tube mainly) tiny amount of low boost(circa 40) tiny hint of high end(less than a freekin hair!) ...Sounds more like a record to me. Kick,bass gets upfront. Even used it on Nick Drake acoustic thing, shelved lows appear full again yet no mudd (less need for pushing lows later) sounds great. I use algorithmix for master eq but the SPL just gets lows where nothing in the box quite can.
Which model are you using? I have the SX2 and love it, but I also got my hands on this older rare SPL unit called an EX5. It has separate knobs for even and odd harmonics. That thing sounds pretty cool.
Old 22nd September 2009
  #37
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MrVelvet's Avatar
 

Now come on guys! We need a sound sample before anyone has to jump and lay down 150 bucks. heh
Old 22nd September 2009
  #38
Yea I have the SX2(balanced) I run the mix thru a Lawson(handbuild) EQ into 2 different tube units after the mixer. Verily tiss hard for me to part with $150.

You can listen to acoustic songs here(no point in posting "clips" I feel they are not subjective)

Seacon on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos
Old 24th September 2009
  #39
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Does anyone know of any gear that adds harmonics to stereo tracks without messing up the phase? In other words... applies the same amount of harmonic changes to 2 channels using one knob?
Old 24th September 2009
  #40
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Cellotron's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beneficial View Post
Does anyone know of any gear that adds harmonics to stereo tracks without messing up the phase? In other words... applies the same amount of harmonic changes to 2 channels using one knob?
To be clear the reason why something like the SPL Vitalizer changes the perception of the stereo image post processing is not because it is difficult to match the sides for the processing (although granted it's not the easiest ergonomically to do this for) - but because it like any minimal phase equalizer (meaning any analog eq) imparts delays at specific frequencies in order to actually do it's equalization. Add to this the fact that the Vitalizer mixes in an amount of it's processing from one channel phase inverted with the opposite channel then you can see why it shifts the stereo image by default as it does. Often this image shifting can be very desirable as with the proper settings often you can gain definition for the image with each instrument in easily identifiable places instead of things more "shmooshed" together. As always how well this works is subject to the original source material and desired end results.

I suggest if maintaining the exact stereo image is critical to you then use a digital linear phase EQ.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th September 2009
  #41
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I actually use the SPL Stereo-Q equalizer which does a remarkable job of keeping the phase perfect when eq'ing stuff. I guess I'm really looking for a tool that will let me add even or odd harmonics to a stereo signal as needed without altering the phase... if something like that exists.
Old 25th September 2009
  #42
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Yes I do know about phase, I have the bigger tube one, I was making a reference to a conversation Ben and I had about running it in parallel.

FWIW I like my tube vitalizer - it doesn't have a spreader, and it's a weird bestie, but it earns it's keep.

The King
I tried a tube vitalizer recently but found that even in full bypass, there was a significant gain and sound change. I found that rather confusing because the manual claims the bypass is fully relais switched, yet there was a 0.7 dB difference in level and even when compensating, I couldn't even get a close null with the vitalizer-out-of-chain-signal. The change in sound introduced in bypass (listening level compensated) was quite audible in the low end too.

That was with the unit switched on. So I guess there must still be an active stage working. In bypass... More annoyingly though, even with the unit off, I still couldn't get a null and had (very) slight distortion on peaks.

Have you noticed similar behaviour with yours by any chance?
Old 25th September 2009
  #43
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dietrich10's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beneficial View Post
Does anyone know of any gear that adds harmonics to stereo tracks without messing up the phase? In other words... applies the same amount of harmonic changes to 2 channels using one knob?
I am not sure the exact signal path of the Cranesong HEDD but the tape/tube effects are controlled stereo with one control.

You should try to find the schematics to see how the saturation effects the stereo signal for both left/right.

BTW-have my 2nd SPL Dynamaxx finally hooked up(gave back other after a few months on loaner from shop). It is very underrated piece
Old 25th September 2009
  #44
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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2 Reviews written
Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
I tried a tube vitalizer recently but found that even in full bypass, there was a significant gain and sound change. I found that rather confusing because the manual claims the bypass is fully relais switched, yet there was a 0.7 dB difference in level and even when compensating, I couldn't even get a close null with the vitalizer-out-of-chain-signal. The change in sound introduced in bypass (listening level compensated) was quite audible in the low end too.

That was with the unit switched on. So I guess there must still be an active stage working. In bypass... More annoyingly though, even with the unit off, I still couldn't get a null and had (very) slight distortion on peaks.

Have you noticed similar behaviour with yours by any chance?
Hi Robin, yes with the unit patched in but (supposedly bypassed) I've found that the level increases by exactly 0.7dB (I'm guessing yours goes up not down?). Putting the tube side in further seems to boost the level though you can fiddle with the crap pots which I still haven't got around to bypassing yet (on the list). Bypass is definitely not bypass in this unit. In my case though if I do use it it's mainly just mixing a bit in in parallel - call me crazy. I have on occasion used it over a mix, but rarely as it does too much on most stuff.

Not for the purists but:

Try it in parallel , drive set to zero, tubes optional, process level around 4-5, bass soft LC in (just a little, maybe 11o'clock or less and maybe some light comp action), hi mid freq to about 12-13, and all the top end boost stuff (the top row) off.

Then mix a bit in and see what happens, it's pretty radical on the imaging and the tubes make a vast difference to the centre, you may also find if you have a bass heavy program you might want to roll some off on the main program first. Also watch the cloud in the lower mids if you process a bit more. Depending on the material you may then play with the top row of knobs - I give you my permission!

I don't use this box as a rule of thumb - it's more a creative thing, but on Dub it can sound amazing and I use it a bit on Hip Hop sometimes. You may also notice a strange compression effect by putting it in parallel too which isn't pumpy at all, more like a kind of 'flattening' effect.

Altenatively you could get that Lavry gold mate, it's almost the same colour and only double the price (but well worth it)!!!!!

The King
Old 25th September 2009
  #45
kdf
Gear Nut
 

I sometimes have to remaster really old tracks from or 1/4" or vinal which has lost its top end. The best plug-in I have found is Ozone's exciter. Tried the BBE but it is very grainy and degrades the signal too much. I used to have a SPL 2 and I have not found a plug in to come close. I will try the CUBE. But first I think I will dig out my SPL and have it fixed and serviced.
Old 25th September 2009
  #46
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Hi Robin, yes with the unit patched in but (supposedly bypassed) I've found that the level increases by exactly 0.7dB (I'm guessing yours goes up not down?). Putting the tube side in further seems to boost the level though you can fiddle with the crap pots which I still haven't got around to bypassing yet (on the list). Bypass is definitely not bypass in this unit. In my case though if I do use it it's mainly just mixing a bit in in parallel - call me crazy. I have on occasion used it over a mix, but rarely as it does too much on most stuff.

Not for the purists but:

Try it in parallel , drive set to zero, tubes optional, process level around 4-5, bass soft LC in (just a little, maybe 11o'clock or less and maybe some light comp action), hi mid freq to about 12-13, and all the top end boost stuff (the top row) off.

Then mix a bit in and see what happens, it's pretty radical on the imaging and the tubes make a vast difference to the centre, you may also find if you have a bass heavy program you might want to roll some off on the main program first. Also watch the cloud in the lower mids if you process a bit more. Depending on the material you may then play with the top row of knobs - I give you my permission!

I don't use this box as a rule of thumb - it's more a creative thing, but on Dub it can sound amazing and I use it a bit on Hip Hop sometimes. You may also notice a strange compression effect by putting it in parallel too which isn't pumpy at all, more like a kind of 'flattening' effect.

Altenatively you could get that Lavry gold mate, it's almost the same colour and only double the price (but well worth it)!!!!!

The King
Double the price for half the gold... I think you got ripped off there

Good to know it's the design that's a bit ... ummm... wonky, not just my unit here. Means I can either put a relay board in it, buy myself a console / switcher / router / patchbay or forget about the unit. A colleague suggested we should add it to the line-up, so I thought I'd give it a try. So far, to me, it seemed mostly like a smiley EQ with some mojo and an overly complicated interface, but he swears there's some magic in the box that can work wonders on electronic tracks that need some livening up.
Then again, it's hard to put to use gently, it has no hardwire bypass, and on first impression, it's one of those boxes that tempts you to turn the knob just a little bit too far...
Old 26th September 2009
  #47
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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2 Reviews written
It is a bit magical Robin, I know plenty of guys with the Mk-2 T which is the cheaper unit though but I got the big brother pretty cheaply. For a long time I've had a console (Muth mixer) and a patchbay so parallel was easy to implement. Now I use a Manley backbone so all the basic stuff is hardwired and I have 3 inserts floating so I still have the ability to change the flow quite a bit. It's wonderful to be able to bypass my entire TG console at the push of a button and very educational too.

I also know guys who think the vitalizer is a piece of rubbish, I think it's a quirky box myself but it's not just an eq.

Again, try it in parallel before you send it back.

The King
Old 26th September 2009
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
You might not want to hear it: but Nebula's "Vital EQ" does the job more than perfect. Me loves.
Hey thanks for mentioning that, I tryed it and yes instantly everything sounded more balanced from low-mid to highs. But its a little dangerous as easyly someone can go overboard with it.

With reaper seems best when highest freq. is selected and mixed 50% with reapers plug-in function thingie
It sort of reminded me of jb smash pro when warmth is selected.
Old 21st December 2010
  #49
Tried this thing out and it's great. I run it on the 2-bus before my fatso and it's great. Granted it's best used in moderation, but a touch really does help.
Old 12th January 2011
  #50
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
 

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hehI've rediscovered my 9530 last night, had it on sale, but decided to give it another go, after not giving it enough love in the past 8 months or so.

I was hooked on VCC and WAVES API collection. But after i received my API-2500 hardware unit last week, i decided to give the 9530 another go as well and it seems a mariage in heaven

For some reason the 9530 does something weird with the lows, thump seems to move to sub bass, not neccecary less, just smoother, rounder.
even with low compression off and soft/hard knob neutral.

It seems to come because of the spectrum shift in the overall mix towards mid/highs. BUT putting an API 2500 straight behind it, with medium thrust and 2:1 ratio just brings back a tad of slammmm and I (for me) found best of both words.

The 9530 now sort of does what VCC does (never thought i would compare a hardware box to a plugin heh ) But with attitude, I think what best decribes it: BIG console sound, nice fluent smoothness and real nice tube texture. It pushes everything gentlly a bit back on stage, so you loose that "boxy upfront in your face" ITB edge, which i consider nice.

I am in love again.

Listen to this soundcloud master, though 128kbit you just feel the smoothness, i am impressed again.



SHOOT!
Old 21st February 2011
  #51
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Andy Hamm's Avatar
 

I just dug an SX-2 out of the old gear pile in my garage and was going to throw it in the bay. I did a quick search, found this thread, now I'll have to try this thing out.
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