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-   Q+A with Jonathan Little & Alan Smart (

Jules 31st January 2003 11:56 AM

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Anyone had their hands on one of these yet?

I know FX Rentals UK was looking at getting one a while back..

Dunno if they ever did in the end...


8 Bands of EQ*, Sampled Analogue and Digital Dynamics on each of channel in Surround, Stereo or Multi-channel mono, Sampling of analogue signal paths, Classic Compressor and EQ library, Sampled signal paths recreated, Stereo/multi-channel delay line up to 32 seconds per channel. 10 Stereo or Multichannel reverberation algorithms (available up to 48k) 32-bit floating point throughout. 24-bit AES interface, SPDIF coax and optical and ADAT light pipe 8-channel interface, 96kHz operation, 24-bit A-D and D-A conversion. (*4 bands digital EQ, 4 bands sampled analogue EQ)
New Software v2.2 adds compressor sidechain EQ to the features of v2.1, including reverberation, improved digital EQ (precision 4 band shelves and bandpass), soft bypass with optional delay compensation for click free A/B, precision Compressor Slope mode (in 0.1:1 steps), Linear phase Classic EQ etc

Dave Martin 31st January 2003 05:58 PM

A couple of guys on the Mastering board say that it's absolutely wonderful, but I haven't played with it yet.

Messiah 31st January 2003 07:13 PM

I'm going to rent one in (from FX) in a few weeks for a session.

I notice that they're designed by Mike Kemp- who used to be an engineer ( and started Sadie). A friend of mine told me he went up to his studio in Cambridge many years ago - he was like a nutty professor - he built his own Digital Multitrack machine in about 1982 out of those huge IBM computer drives! Check out his engineering C.V. on the website ......Iron Maiden, Gary Numan & Morecambe & Wise --- wow!!

Boy of Z 31st January 2003 10:14 PM

Mike Kemp
Would that be the Mike Kemp of Spaceward Studios - I believe he used a desk with custom micro-processor controllered routing in 1979, way before it's time.
Must be the same guy.

Dailydb 1st February 2003 07:17 PM

spaceward....I hadn't put it together. I played on a session using that console and it was really visionary.

Though, as with all good prototypes not more than half the modules were working at any one time.

Optimism ripples for the replicator.....


Jules 1st February 2003 09:08 PM

Hmmm, wouldnt you be more than a little ticked off if they modeled your compressors on it?


chrisso 1st February 2003 10:11 PM

Now there's a name from the pastjkthtyrt
I did an album there in '83. It sounded pretty bad, but I was too much of a newbie to know whether it was the equipment or the engineer.

Boy of Z 1st February 2003 11:14 PM

The stuff I did at Spaceward sounded pretty bad as well, but I am damm sure it was the Lyrics that killed it for me.
Mike Kemp seemed very ahead of his time to me but it was a very cheap (£250 for a weekend) place - only a demo studio after all.

How old where you when you did sessions there Al?

Dailydb 2nd February 2003 08:41 AM


Originally posted by Jules
Hmmm, wouldnt you be more than a little ticked off if they modeled your compressors on it?


so guess why I started this thread...!.

Q: You're Alan Moulder: would you rather have:
a) room full of vintage amps mics and compressors?
b) an Amp Farm?
c) A room full of vintage amps mics pedals compressors, oh, and and Amp Farm ?


chrisso 2nd February 2003 11:21 AM


Originally posted by Dailydb
so guess why I started this thread...!.

Q: You're Alan Moulder: would you rather have:
a) room full of vintage amps mics and compressors?
b) an Amp Farm?
c) A room full of vintage amps mics pedals compressors, oh, and and Amp Farm ?

My answer would be a).
I'd be looking for a mix including current models as well though (I don't regard Smart or SSL as 'vintage').
I haven't found a simulator device that has been able to capture the sound of hardware. I particularly found Amp Farm to be dissapointing although I see a lot of people are using it quite successfully.

jazzius 5th February 2003 12:13 AM


Originally posted by 2busdriver
Anyone know the $USA list or USA source on the 8000?
Dunno the price on your side of the pond, but over here it's about 7000 euro for the 2-channel FX8000......if think the price goes up steeply from there.

Dailydb 6th February 2003 03:54 AM

Erik.....thanks for that informative post....cross fading between discrete 'states' because it's based on snapshots rather than modelling....each one of limited simulation accuracy....surely not an ideal method for re-creating analogue electronics ?


BrianT 6th February 2003 06:47 AM

Well, call me crazy, but I'm fond of actually listening to a piece of gear before deciding that I know what it will sound like. Just old fashioned, I guess.

I suppose it's always possible that someone has a fresh sounding approach to a given technology. Didn't someone, somewhere once, claim to advance the state of the art in audio software modelling? I believe it was mostly compressors they focused on, though plugin compressors had tended to not be so hot up to that point.

Lucky for them, people were open minded, eh?

Brian T

Messiah 6th February 2003 11:05 AM


Originally posted by bombguy
I'm also curious to see how they cross-fade between patches. Basically every knob position would have to be a different patch. I'm assuming that all of the phase cues that allow me to sweep an EQ would be gone because they'd have to cross-fade the audio (with delay) in order to prevent audible popping and zippering as you turn knobs.


Erik, I sense some lip well done.jkthtyrt

I think "curious" sums up the Sintefex to most who haven't yet heard it. I've heard some truly positive reports about it from Abbey Road, but I haven't yet heard or used it myself.
I'd imagine that both Alan and Erik would view the Sintefex background in different ways, initially, to the rest of us, but for me personally, I'd probably judge it more on it's own merits than compare it against the units that it's targeting. In fact, I don't understand any company/product who put out a unit and give it such an uphill battle straight away, especially when it's trying to cover such a broad range of classics.
If it does do what it's claiming to do well though, it could prove to be a very handy piece to have, but I feel like it could only compliment, not replace, the "usual suspect" units that I know and expect to have in the studio.

To briefly change subject, I was in Rockfield studios recently and had my first encounter with Alan's C1. FWIW, I think it's a great unit, and for obvious reasons, it felt instantly familiar. When I mix on SSL's, I tend to now mix in stems because I like to use the Quad comp differently and separately on drums, vox, guitars, etc.., so I'm going to hire in a few C1's for my next mix!! I may even buy one.kfhkh

sammygee 6th February 2003 07:30 PM

I had a sintefex to check out for a couple of months and though it was kinda "cool" I decided it simply wasn't worth the coin. Almost everything in my rack is analog and of varying ages. Compared to my gear the sintefex seemed to lack a "depth." I could a/b it with my maselec or massive passive and though sometimes it was neat in an effecty way the real gear always sounded clearer and well. real. Do plug ins do the same thing?

chrisso 6th February 2003 07:38 PM


Originally posted by sammygee
Do plug ins do the same thing?

In my opinion, yes.
I've seen Erik's theory on the difference between virtual gear and the hardware originals a couple of times now and I agree with it 100%.