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Mostly-ITB people, what outboard stayed in your studio?
Old 2nd October 2015
  #1
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proxy's Avatar
 

Mostly-ITB people, what outboard stayed in your studio?

I'm all ITB currently and am very happy with the quality of modern plugins.

I think most of the gap between where I am now, and where I want to be is skills growth, not gear acquisition.

That said, I curious to hear from this crowd...

Of you mostly-ITB people, is there one piece of outboard you just can't let go of?
Old 2nd October 2015
  #2
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kafka's Avatar
I tend to commit to a sound when tracking, and don't like to change it dramatically when mixing. It's just a more direct workflow for me. Mixing isn't a fascinating process for me. I kind of want to go almost straight from tracking to pressing play and hearing how the arrangement worked. So, that means a handful of hardware EQs and compressors.

For EQ, the only one I'm totally in love with is the Manley Massive Passive. That gets repurposed for mixing more often than my other HW EQs. ITB EQ is really pretty good, so I never really feel the need to patch in a GR 32EQ or 1073LB. But the Manley is a different beast altogether. You could be happy with the UAD MP, which is pretty close. UAD really did do an excellent job with it. It's not exact, though, and the Manley on the 2buss is a beautiful thing.

HW compressors are harder to replace ITB. I put them through the cans, so I respond to the sound of the compressor as part of the performance. For that, the LA3A, APA Leviathan, and RND 5043 get heavy use, often in combination with each other. The 5043 will often make an appearance during mixing on the drum buss or 2buss.

I agree that gear acquisition is a distraction, whether it be hardware or software. It's always better to know how to get the most out of your tools than it is to acquire a lot of them.

Last edited by kafka; 2nd October 2015 at 04:46 PM..
Old 2nd October 2015
  #3
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I mainly mix and my converters are about as outboard as I get anymore.

For me it's about workflow, in 2015, people can and will expect same day mixes as well as on the fly edits afterwards. Not to mention, I can mix the bulk of the song at the studio, pack it up and finish edits at home, zero fidelity loss, same plugins AND i can kick it in my pajamas? Can't beat it. I couldn't imagine life anymore having to recall a mixing board and dialing in a rack of gear every time i loaded a session.

Last edited by Claborn; 2nd October 2015 at 04:47 PM..
Old 2nd October 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
- WA76 Compressor (for tracking)
- LA2A (for tracking)
- Lexicon PCM90 (actually kept it for live use, but will more than likely use it on some recordings)
- TC Electronic D-Two Delay (just seems to work better than plugins for some tracks)
Old 2nd October 2015
  #5
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charlieclouser's Avatar
 

- UBK modded Fatso. I had the regular Fatso but I actually like the UAD software version better than the original hardware unit. The UBK (brown-face) unit, however, is a different beast altogether and will put the Portishead-like HURT on a signal like no plugin I have (yet).

- AMS-Neve reissue 1084 mic pre / eq pair. Still something about these I like. Mostly for tracking though.

- Distressors. I have a few. Still different to plugins.

- Cheap TC reverb (M200? M300? I forget). Cheap and cheerful and just gives me an alternative to plugin verbs.

- Sansamp PSA-1 and RBI bass thingie. Still sound a bit different and more alive than the plugins.

- UA 6176 tube mic pre and 1176 compressor. Still a good box.
Old 2nd October 2015
  #6
I mostly do things 'in the box' (ITB) for VSTi's... though my version of ITB is actually another box (my slave computer) but with full benefits of recall, instances etc. Basically 'in the box/out of the box' (ITB/OTB)

When in creation/tracking mode, I always use software based VSTi's, even if used as temporary/surrogate sounds. If later on I need to use my outboard keyboard, or sound module for instrument sounds to replace my surrogate sounds, I won't hesitate. Going out of the box disrupts my flow while creating/tracking... but later on when mixing, I feel it's a worthwhile effort when it brings something better to the table. Most of my tunes have at least 'something' in the way of an outboard instrument, used from either my keyboard or a sound module.

All effects that I use are directly in whichever DAW box I'm using (ITB)...whether it's my dedicated audio machine, or VSTi slave machines. I just about never use outboard gear for just effects...the only time I ever have, was a guitar effect that can't be done on anything but my old Digitech multi-effect guitar processor.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 2nd October 2015 at 08:55 PM..
Old 2nd October 2015
  #7
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proxy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieclouser View Post
- UBK modded Fatso. I had the regular Fatso but I actually like the UAD software version better than the original hardware unit. The UBK (brown-face) unit, however, is a different beast altogether and will put the Portishead-like HURT on a signal like no plugin I have (yet).

Interesting. I used to have hw Fatso, and loved it.

Even though I'm a huge UAD fanboi, I felt the Fatso emulation didn't give me what I used to like about the hw.

Which mode of the UBK Fatso does the Portishead thing for you? Can the UBK still cop a good SSL bus comp?
Old 2nd October 2015
  #8
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proxy's Avatar
 

Some nice choice examples from mostly digital peeps.

Keep them coming!
Old 2nd October 2015
  #9
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charlieclouser's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
Interesting. I used to have hw Fatso, and loved it.

Even though I'm a huge UAD fanboi, I felt the Fatso emulation didn't give me what I used to like about the hw.

Which mode of the UBK Fatso does the Portishead thing for you? Can the UBK still cop a good SSL bus comp?
The original Fatso was too subtle for me - I'm not doing records anymore, only scoring, so I'm not trying to get the SSL bus comp sound or whatever - I need to put the HURT on the signal, just ruin it. If I was going after subtleties of tape, or trying to get that Foo Fighters kick sound or whatever then maybe the original Fatso would be good for me, but I'm 1,000% in the box so the only outboard that stayed around was those couple of pieces that were good for tracking or special effects.

I don't even know what settings I use on the UBK Fatso, or even what the buttons all mean - I just mash buttons until it's on destroy mode. Take any lame, mildly roomy slow drum loop with ride cymbal on it and the UBK will get you to Portishead's first album in a jiffy. I don't know if it will still do the SSL thing, but I imagine it does and that's part of what it's for. To be honest, I bought it without trying it out after seeing a YouTube video demonstrating it. I think I swapped a 2-1176 and some cash for it at Vintage King. Good trade.
Old 3rd October 2015
  #10
Still use my UA 610 Solo and with all the keyboards, I still run it through my Mackie 1642VLZ line inputs. Since it's just me, I use the 4 busses to route various mikes and instruments to my Steinberg UR44, then onto the computer. Just easy for routing purposes and I can add some nice hardware reverb in the cans that doesn't print if routed correctly.
Old 3rd October 2015
  #11
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nyandres's Avatar
I think some of the stuff that has come out tells a better story..


API 2500 (wasn't quite the red3)
Obsidian Dramastic (wasn't quite the red3)
Focusrite Red3 (wasn't quite different from the Slate Red 3 plugin which is still my favorite second to the hardware, but still)

So as you can see most of the stuff I had in the bus, hasn't quite matched the Slate FG-RED. The hardware certainly did, but at what it cost, it also wasn't worth it for me.

Now, the stuff I use during tracking however, is really a must as like some others here, I like to track with my sound on the way in.

Kenetek 1176Ln (Many of the same exact parts and even transformer as found in the original UREI): Excellent FET sound
Buzz Audio SOC20: This one will never ever leave my studio. Tracking throught this is amazing
Vintech 273: There is also nothing like tracking through a really good pre.
Buzz Audio: another excellent pre, which I use when I want transparency.
Kemper profiling amp.
Guitar FX: The Wet, TC Electronics (I have a ton more pedals, but these are two I actually use a lot on mixing)

My tracking gear though I will forever keep. Mixing gear I think can easily be replaced with plugins.
Old 7th October 2015
  #12
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proxy's Avatar
 

I just picked up a 747 again.

I owned one before, and while it isn't the most dramatic box in the world, my memory is that it does bring a certain something I don't find in the box.

Back when I owned it previously, plugs weren't quite as good though.

Maybe I'll find I could cop it with a UAD Manley VariMu and Massive Passive after all.
Old 7th October 2015
  #13
Here for the gear
 
Andy K's Avatar
- EL Distressor for kick, snare, drum room, bass, guitars and vocals. Very impressive and versatile. Sly-Fi Deflector is great but still different.
- Millennia STT-1 Origin for overheads, hat, ride, keyboards and backing vocals. Very flexible and colored channel strip. Millennia NSEQ-2 equalizer plug-in (Brainworx, UAD) isn't even close to the real thing.

Last edited by Andy K; 7th October 2015 at 01:33 PM..
Old 7th October 2015
  #14
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Most of this stuff I've bought/built after using the plugins (UAD and Waves') for years and loving them so much that I wanted the hardware version of it.

To me the 5 minute 'hassle' of recalling settings is soo worth it (besides a lot of these units have semi-fixed settings throughout different projects)

DIY LA-3a (4x)
33609 J/D
Manley stereo pultec
DIY 1176 (2x)
DIY Neve EQ (2x)
Kush Elektra (2x)


DIY SSL Comp to be added real soon.

(I also have an RNC and RNLA and while they're ok I mostly use plugins that have a little more character over these two)



Herwig
Old 7th October 2015
  #15
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UBK Fatso here as well, 2 x Kush Elektra's, DBX560a's (160a 500 series) and some hardware Eventide multi fx rack units. Rest is in the box
Old 7th October 2015
  #16
Here is the hardware that I currently use:

- Lunchbox with some good preamp: (2x Dakings, 2x RND 511's, Phoenix Audio, Purple Audio Biz). Eventually will get a bigger 10-slot lunchbox and will probably have a good compressor and eq module for tracking on the way in. But the preamps alone I think help make thing sound better right off the bat.
- Burl summing mixer: Really does add some weight and glue. Also makes it easier to mix because it can handle hotter levels so you're not constantly worried about clipping your master bus when ITB. I'm only using 12 out of the 32 channels available but it already makes a difference.
- Stompboxes: I love the tactility of them and you can get sounds that you can't do as well ITB. Delays and reverbs are covered pretty well ITB, but I like using some parallel FX chains for tracking without having to do any ITB routing that would add to latency. Fuzz and distortion pedals are pretty indispensable and has a sound that is not easily replicated by any plugins (depending on the pedal of course)
- Kemper: I generally use this in my home/mixing setup for my own music, or for reamping prerecorded tracks, whether that's DI signal, synths, drums machine, samples etc. I have yet to use any plugin that comes close to how realistic it sounds.

I use an Apollo rig so I also have the ability to track and mix with UAD stuff. I find that i'm very happy using them for the vast majority of mixing situations.

One main consideration I have is recallability My general goal is to have good hardware to use for tracking that will get printed and thus does not need to be recalled, and to get some good hardware for the master bus chain. That way if I need to recall anything I only need to keep track of the settings on a few pieces of gear. I also want to avoid unnecessary AD/DA trips. For parallel FX chains it's not a big deal, but i'd much rather use a plugin as an insert than have to add an extra round of conversion.
Old 7th October 2015
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I didn't get rid of anything, for a number of reasons. I like to do something on the front end, while tracking. I like having a bunch of compressors there, if needed/desired. I really like the sound of my effect boxes, so I use them in mixing, but print them back into PT for recalls. I sum through my console and use an outboard mix bus compressor. Also, I still have my tape machines, and am happy to do analog projects, which I couldn't do if I sold off the other stuff.
Old 8th October 2015
  #18
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proxy's Avatar
 

Man. I'd love to try a real 33609 some day.

I love the UAD model of it, but it's one of the few great outboard comps I've never owned.

J



Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post
Most of this stuff I've bought/built after using the plugins (UAD and Waves') for years and loving them so much that I wanted the hardware version of it.

To me the 5 minute 'hassle' of recalling settings is soo worth it (besides a lot of these units have semi-fixed settings throughout different projects)

DIY LA-3a (4x)
33609 J/D
Manley stereo pultec
DIY 1176 (2x)
DIY Neve EQ (2x)
Kush Elektra (2x)


DIY SSL Comp to be added real soon.

(I also have an RNC and RNLA and while they're ok I mostly use plugins that have a little more character over these two)



Herwig
Old 8th October 2015
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
Of you mostly-ITB people, is there one piece of outboard you just can't let go of?
Yes, multiple pieces actually:
Tube mics
Tube preamps
Neve 1073's
Old 8th October 2015
  #20
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proxy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madriaan View Post
Yes, multiple pieces actually:
Tube mics
Tube preamps
Neve 1073's
Haha. As opposed to the ITB microphones you're tempted by?
Old 8th October 2015
  #21
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Preamps. End of. Never thought I would be entirely happy ITB but I pretty much am.
Old 8th October 2015
  #22
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Fanu's Avatar
Akai s3200XL
EMU e6400
EMU e5000 Ultra
EMU ESI-32
DBX 266XL
Moog Minitaur
Access Virus C
Soundcraft 200SR desk
Monacor EEM-1200 analog delay
Old 8th October 2015
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Eventide Eclipse, Kemper KPA.

Actually, I'd love to work on an analogue desk again, both hands on faders or eqs. Not for the "sound of analogue", but to "grab the sound", if that makes any sense. On the other hand, total recall is a wonderful thing.
Old 8th October 2015
  #24
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spectrasound's Avatar
Just can't let go...

My Manley Vari-Mu !
Old 9th October 2015
  #25
Gear Addict
 
smackmastering's Avatar
I work mostly ITB now. 5 years ago, id never thought that day would happen. With the modern wave of modeled plugins sounding as good as they are, it was hard to justify being tied down to hardware.

I still have patched in my rack:

1-SSL X-Desk (Which is probably next to go, Any Takers?)
1-Pair of Neve 8028 Output transformers wired up in a "color box".
2-vintage DBX163 compressors
1-Lexicon PCM41 Delay
1-API Lunchbox with an SSL EQ and a VinTech 573 (Neve 1073 clone)
1-vintage Orban 622B

When I use my outboard gear, I like to send to them and print the return back into ProTools. That way, i can take the sessions on the go and enjoy the benefits of ITB production.
Old 11th October 2015
  #26
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proxy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHagen View Post
Eventide Eclipse, Kemper KPA.

Actually, I'd love to work on an analogue desk again, both hands on faders or eqs. Not for the "sound of analogue", but to "grab the sound", if that makes any sense. On the other hand, total recall is a wonderful thing.
Ha. I just started another thread about that very thing. Something so nice about the tactile experience.
Old 11th October 2015
  #27
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proxy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackmastering View Post
I work mostly ITB now. 5 years ago, id never thought that day would happen. With the modern wave of modeled plugins sounding as good as they are, it was hard to justify being tied down to hardware.

I still have patched in my rack:

1-SSL X-Desk (Which is probably next to go, Any Takers?)
1-Pair of Neve 8028 Output transformers wired up in a "color box".
2-vintage DBX163 compressors
1-Lexicon PCM41 Delay
1-API Lunchbox with an SSL EQ and a VinTech 573 (Neve 1073 clone)
1-vintage Orban 622B

When I use my outboard gear, I like to send to them and print the return back into ProTools. That way, i can take the sessions on the go and enjoy the benefits of ITB production.

I'm the same way. I'm perfectly happy with the latest generation of plugins.

To the extent that I sold my Neve pre because of UAD unison.

What remains for me OTB is my Neumann U87 at the very front, and my recently purchased 747 at the very end.

The difference that the 747 brings is subtle yet not.

I equate it to TVs. You know those TVs that make anything look like you're watching a soap opera?

It feels vivid, and detailed, yet something feels different. It's like the magic of the movie is gone and now I'm somehow on set. A certain magic that feels "narrative" seems missing.

The 747 for me is like you fixed the refresh rate on the TV and it feels like magic again.
Old 11th October 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
I think it depends on your tracks. If you're mixing all real instruments then completely ITB works well.

Because I'm using mostly VI for drums and piano/ keyboards then I feel the need for some analog
Seperation so I mix into a HEDD 192 with some TAPE and PENTODE fx then into a hardware bus compressor
Then back into Cubase.

That little touch of analog distortion gives a 3D depth I cannot get from completely ITB.

Plus the HEDD 192 fx although digital sound nothing like their plugin counterparts and simply impart
an extremely analog like texture to the program material, how Mr Hill does that I don't know but I consider
The HEDD 192 to be outboard also.
Old 17th October 2015
  #29
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proxy's Avatar
 

Been so pleased with the 747 bringing something that I still can't quite get out of digital, as wonderful as it's become.

Have a Manley Vari Mu and a C2 on order to continue the experiment.

I want to minimize recall, but these three seem to be really good condenders for that trade off.
Old 7th July 2016
  #30
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dougb415's Avatar
UA LA-610, Warm Audio WA12 pre, AEA TRP pre, Dangerous D-Box
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