The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
C544 | Mono Colour Processor with 4 Colour Slots
Old 19th May 2019
  #31
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
The implode ROCKS!
The tm79 is flipping AWESOME!
The 15ips is dope!

I’m waiting for my royal blue and MASS DRVR to arrive.
Old 19th May 2019
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlou View Post
Thank you for the detailed review ! I'll report on my experience with discrete sat, British console and us pentode soon. Strange that you need to feed them with weak levels, they sell it as capable of processing line level signals direct from daw...kind of a let down.
We have to remember that 0 dbu in analog in -18dbfs in our DAW. So gain staging is important. It would be nice if we knew what the proper level HRK set the 544's to receive.
Old 19th May 2019
  #33
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
We have to remember that 0 dbu in analog in -18dbfs in our DAW. So gain staging is important. It would be nice if we knew what the proper level HRK set the 544's to receive.
Hey Will so have you been able to make the discrete line driver and the DOPA 520 scream a little ? In the audio examples available online, their action is super subtle, I can barely hear it on the monitors..
Old 19th May 2019
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlou View Post
Hey Will so have you been able to make the discrete line driver and the DOPA 520 scream a little ? In the audio examples available online, their action is super subtle, I can barely hear it on the monitors..
No, I have them next to my API's and they are more tame in comparison. My guess is the transformers are very important so I would look to team the DOPA with an LTL Mass Driver if you want more bite.
Old 19th May 2019
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Well folks.....

I've run a bunch of testing and I'm seeing a pattern in what I want from these so I could see 544's filled with:

1. Some kind of transformer first.
2. Something with drive, bite, or EQ here.
3. A Tube, DOA, or Console card here.
4. Some kind of Filter last.
Old 20th May 2019
  #36
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
Well folks.....

I've run a bunch of testing and I'm seeing a pattern in what I want from these so I could see 544's filled with:

1. Some kind of transformer first.
2. Something with drive, bite, or EQ here.
3. A Tube, DOA, or Console card here.
4. Some kind of Filter last.
I'd love to see these compared with LTL Chromas. Also do you think there would be a big difference between a royal blue colour module and the british console module?
Old 20th May 2019
  #37
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChayaFFM View Post
I'd love to see these compared with LTL Chromas. Also do you think there would be a big difference between a royal blue colour module and the british console module?
I would like to have a pair of Chromas one day, and I suspect there will be a difference between the Royal Blue's and British Console as one is a 1081 transformer while the other is an attempt to mimic an older Neve console tone...... but I really want to hear them together.
Old 20th May 2019
  #38
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChayaFFM View Post
I'd love to see these compared with LTL Chromas. Also do you think there would be a big difference between a royal blue colour module and the british console module?
Somewhere on its website, LTL describes the differences between the A & N circuits in the Chroma and the Mass Drivr and Royal blue. They are related but not the same thing !

EDIT : here you go

https://support.louderthanliftoff.co...llet-mojo-amps
Old 20th May 2019
  #39
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
Well folks.....

I've run a bunch of testing and I'm seeing a pattern in what I want from these so I could see 544's filled with:

1. Some kind of transformer first.
2. Something with drive, bite, or EQ here.
3. A Tube, DOA, or Console card here.
4. Some kind of Filter last.
sounds a lot like a LTL mister focus could get a lot of this setup too...
Old 22nd May 2019
  #40
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
Discrete saturation : very effective, I feel like it could work on anything if used lightly.
British console is also very good, more noticeable than discrete saturation. Works like a charm on synth and drum machines. It compresses the signal, just like discrete sat.
US pentode : I like it but it's trickier : the gain staging is complicated, it craps out quickly, and (lucky me), one of the two in the pair makes an annoying sine at 5K, it's way to audible for my taste . I'll send a mail tomorrow about this. But it is really interesting, it makes some very good textures if cranked up.

Like Will said, gain staging is very important. -20 dbFS as stated in the C544 manual.

EDIT : HRK have offered me to send a new US Pentode for free with my next purchase (because, yes, I'm buying more colours :D ).
Old 23rd May 2019
  #41
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
hmmm guys I'm having fantastic results combining three colours on bass heavy Pro2 sequences. VERY tasty things are happening. Ok so I really recommend you look into these if you're after subtle-to-not-so-subtle-anymore saturation or very qualitative tone_sculptor. They impart something surnatural to the Pro 2. What's great is that they melt with the tone, you don't perceive them as a special fx. The way I hear it, they enhance the timbres and put them in a defined space. It's a match made in heaven because the Pro2 is a razorblade , and so the "sterile" becomes something else, very vivid and punchy. It breaks but in a musical and predictable manner. The british console on its own works great in this application. and then a combination of discrete sat followed by US pentode (triode mode) is also very interesting. Somehow they handle bass frequencies pretty well. A 808 kick might be more complicated, it would probably make the colours break quite early, but here, with basslines that go deep, it's impeccable (I say that, but it sounded good with the tanzbar also ^^').

So what's next... There is so much to choose from...

GT Console
Line driver
Royal Blue
Mass Drivr
Colourupter
CTX

... The list goes on'n'on.
Old 11th June 2019
  #42
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlou View Post
US pentode : I like it but it's trickier : the gain staging is complicated, it craps out quickly, and (lucky me), one of the two in the pair makes an annoying sine at 5K, it's way to audible for my taste . I'll send a mail tomorrow about this. But it is really interesting, it makes some very good textures if cranked up.
I'm having the same problem with the US Pentode - breaking up really fast. Having to feed really low levels of electric guitar. Transients are just killing it.

What was the replacement for - the 5K sine? Hows the new one you've received?


Michael
Old 11th June 2019
  #43
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirwood View Post
I'm having the same problem with the US Pentode - breaking up really fast. Having to feed really low levels of electric guitar. Transients are just killing it.

What was the replacement for - the 5K sine? Hows the new one you've received?


Michael
Yes I asked for a replacement because of this 5K sine. I received another Pentode, but sadly it was broken-sounding from the get go. It just sounded terribly bad, crap sound starting at 9 o'clock with -20 dBFS input signal. So I'm about to send the two defective units back to HRK in hope that he will -first- believe me (according to him, I do something wrong, two in a row is impossible), and -two- send a second replacement. In the meantime I ordered two Pentode from LTL, because I start to doubt I'll get a working stereo pair from Bart HRK...
IF I end up with a working pair of US Pentode, I'll use them in triode mode and I'll use the LTL's for heavier settings.

On a side note, I will soon receive the Soviet Pentode, Royal Blue, Mass Drivr, Colourupter, 15IPS, CTX, JFT sat. and TM79 Multistage sat. !! ^^'... Let's say I went all in...
Old 11th June 2019
  #44
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlou View Post
Yes I asked for a replacement because of this 5K sine. I received another Pentode, but sadly it was broken-sounding from the get go. It just sounded terribly bad, crap sound starting at 9 o'clock with -20 dBFS input signal. So I'm about to send the two defective units back to HRK in hope that he will -first- believe me (according to him, I do something wrong, two in a row is impossible), and -two- send a second replacement. In the meantime I ordered two Pentode from LTL, because I start to doubt I'll get a working stereo pair from Bart HRK..
If you could update this thread with what HRK say I'd really appreciate it.

All the other colour modules I'm using sound great, just struggling with the US Pentode. I'm using it with the HRK preamp.
Old 11th June 2019
  #45
Gear Addict
 
lowlou's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirwood View Post
If you could update this thread with what HRK say I'd really appreciate it.

All the other colour modules I'm using sound great, just struggling with the US Pentode. I'm using it with the HRK preamp.
What he answered is mostly out of topic because for some reason he thought I was talking about Soviet Pentode. He told me he had -max- three cases of defective US pentode.

Before sending me the faulty replacement, he wrote to me that the problem with the tone was probably due to a "faulty regulator". The replacement sounds even worse, it's not musical at all and I wonder what is wrong with it this time, and how such thing can pass thru the tests he says he performs before sending anything !
Old 12th June 2019
  #46
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlou View Post
Before sending me the faulty replacement, he wrote to me that the problem with the tone was probably due to a "faulty regulator". The replacement sounds even worse, it's not musical at all and I wonder what is wrong with it this time, and how such thing can pass thru the tests he says he performs before sending anything !
Thanks for the info.

I'll try it some more - but I've got it paired up with a mass driver at the moment and the Pentode needs such low levels that they're not going to work together.
Old 13th June 2019
  #47
Deleted b738100
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirwood View Post
Thanks for the info.

I'll try it some more - but I've got it paired up with a mass driver at the moment and the Pentode needs such low levels that they're not going to work together.
I have a pair of soviet pentodes and combined with the discrete line driver in the MPQ568C they can shine on vocals - like shown in his video.

I´ve yet to find any other use for them...
Old 14th June 2019
  #48
Gear Nut
 

I was in a writing session yesterday and we recorded the bass in through the US Pentode and it did sound great. We just had to be careful not to let it break up which it did a lot.
Old 13th August 2019
  #49
Lives for gear
 
vicenzajay's Avatar
 

So after several weeks of using a number of Bart's colours (in the 544 and 568c modules), Here are my thoughts:

1. British Channel - Bart recommends no more than -20dbfs going into his units, and this card will sound wonderful iff (if and only if) you obey that rule. I used it for drums in a recent mix, and it killed (with some other cards in series) - but I really had to watch levels coming out of the DAW. Do that, and this colour will shine.

2. GE EQ. This card rocks. It sounds good on everything...sometimes a little "too" good such that you wind up with too much top end especially. There are trim pots for this, and I probably need to tone down the highs and lows just a tad to have a more balanced sounding card. This colour will also tend to "boost" your level more than you think it will (might surprise you when you toggle it on).

3. VCA compressor - great card - sounds good. What we need, though, is for someone to do some calibrating and show us relative positions of the internal trim pots for various attack/threshold/gain settings. Out of the box, the trimpot for gain needs to be adjusted up a bit, as switching the colour into the signal path will significantly lower your level. This card is also sensitive to input gain - but not as much as the British Channel.

4. Discrete Saturation. A lot of folks like this - I might...but again this is a VERY finicky colour with regard to gain staging. I currently have these out of my units as they aren't super useful for my normal mixing applications. It will be a nice option to have, but be sure to feed it no more than -20db.

5. GT Console. Very aggressive console emulating circuit - needs careful gain staging (sense a pattern here?).

6. Discrete Line Driver - Money! Great transformer harmonics and weight. This is my favorite at this point (along with the Easy EQ GE). I should have gotten two pairs of these, two of the EQ, two of the compressor and two of the console/channels. For me, the discrete saturation cards aren't probably going to get much use.

As a note, I also have various LTL and DIYRE cards - but this isn't the thread to go into them. I will highly recommend Bart's products - he's a standup (and super smart) guy, and I love his designs. Just be very, very careful with your gain staging, and these will reward you with great sonics.

Does anyone have guidance as to the VCA compressor curves/recommended settings for standard program material? I'll experiment on my own, but it would be nice to not start at zero.
Old 13th August 2019
  #50
Lives for gear
 
vicenzajay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
Does anyone have guidance as to the VCA compressor curves/recommended settings for standard program material? I'll experiment on my own, but it would be nice to not start at zero.
So I decided to answer my own question. I used a couple of DIYRE 500 extension cables (everyone who runs 500 series modules needs these) and got the two C544 units out of the rack and running where I could tweak everything real time. I used a combination of drum loops and pink noise to work on balancing and figuring everything out.

For the Easy EQ GE - I wound up backing off (from the "middle" position on the trimpots) both the bass and treble. Note that "backing off" means clockwise movement on these pots. The bass is back about 1/4 of the available "down" travel", and the treble is only back about 1/6 of the available travel. This still gives a nice thump and air "boost" to the signal (drums in this case), and actually makes a fairly convincing Pultec'ish effect on the signal passing through it (but still quite different - this is a germanium-based circuit after all with fixed eq points).

For the VCA compressor, it was a bit more complicated. Stock the unit has the gain trimpot all the way "down". I wound up (in the end) raising this to about halfway, maybe just a bit less, of the 180 degrees of travel.

For the ratio and threshold pots, it took me a while to figure out that they are completely "out" of the circuit when fully clockwise. This means you can crank either of them up all the way (by themselves) with ZERO effect on the sound. This was verified with pink noise and program material. Stock they come completely out of the circuit, so if you just put these in a module and run signal through them, you're not getting any compression - just the sound of the circuit itself (which is quite nice on its own).

Okay - after figuring out that both trimpots had to be put into play "together" to make a difference, I used the pink noise to roll the ration CCW about 1/5 of the 180 degrees of play in the trimpot. The threshold trimpot is just under 1/3 of the full 180 degrees CCW now. Hopefully this makes sense. Both trimpots are not backed off very much - only about 20% on the ratio and about 30% on the threshold. I "think/guess" that I've got things set on about a 4:1 ratio, but there's really no way to know the db setting of the threshold without more careful calibration (and I want to get some sleep).

This gave me 3-4 db (approximately) of very musical sounding compression and really tightened up the drum program material I was using to do "real world" confirmation of what I was seeing with the pink noise signal.

I then sweetened up the output gain to just shy of 50% on the gain trimpot - my goal here was to level the output with the DIY Colourupter module that's in there as well. That way I have nicely gain-matched options for different flavors of compression at the same drive/module volume settings.

Gotta say that the VCA compressor sounds VERY, VERY nice once dialed in. Tight but alive with a massive soundstage - this was with the drum material I was running through it. I'm going to be using this chain a *lot (British Console to Easy GE EQ to VCA compressor). Crazy nice sonics - super detailed with punch for days.

Hope this helps someone at some point.
Old 23rd August 2019
  #51
Gear Head
 
Bart_UK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
So after several weeks of using a number of Bart's colours (in the 544 and 568c modules), Here are my thoughts:

1. British Channel - Bart recommends no more than -20dbfs going into his units, and this card will sound wonderful iff (if and only if) you obey that rule. I used it for drums in a recent mix, and it killed (with some other cards in series) - but I really had to watch levels coming out of the DAW. Do that, and this colour will shine.

2. GE EQ. This card rocks. It sounds good on everything...sometimes a little "too" good such that you wind up with too much top end especially. There are trim pots for this, and I probably need to tone down the highs and lows just a tad to have a more balanced sounding card. This colour will also tend to "boost" your level more than you think it will (might surprise you when you toggle it on).

3. VCA compressor - great card - sounds good. What we need, though, is for someone to do some calibrating and show us relative positions of the internal trim pots for various attack/threshold/gain settings. Out of the box, the trimpot for gain needs to be adjusted up a bit, as switching the colour into the signal path will significantly lower your level. This card is also sensitive to input gain - but not as much as the British Channel.

4. Discrete Saturation. A lot of folks like this - I might...but again this is a VERY finicky colour with regard to gain staging. I currently have these out of my units as they aren't super useful for my normal mixing applications. It will be a nice option to have, but be sure to feed it no more than -20db.

5. GT Console. Very aggressive console emulating circuit - needs careful gain staging (sense a pattern here?).

6. Discrete Line Driver - Money! Great transformer harmonics and weight. This is my favorite at this point (along with the Easy EQ GE). I should have gotten two pairs of these, two of the EQ, two of the compressor and two of the console/channels. For me, the discrete saturation cards aren't probably going to get much use.

As a note, I also have various LTL and DIYRE cards - but this isn't the thread to go into them. I will highly recommend Bart's products - he's a standup (and super smart) guy, and I love his designs. Just be very, very careful with your gain staging, and these will reward you with great sonics.

Does anyone have guidance as to the VCA compressor curves/recommended settings for standard program material? I'll experiment on my own, but it would be nice to not start at zero.
Thank you very much for a very nice review of my Products!!! I'm glad that you have followed my advices. So many users forget how important the RTFM rule is...
Old 23rd August 2019
  #52
Lives for gear
 
vicenzajay's Avatar
 

My pleasure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_UK View Post
Thank you very much for a very nice review of my Products!!! I'm glad that you have followed my advices. So many users forget how important the RTFM rule is...
Thank you!

It's been good talking to you over email as well (I'm "Jay"). I'm *really* looking forward to the new product releases you hinted at in our conversation.

Old 23rd August 2019
  #53
Gear Head
 
Bart_UK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
Thank you!

It's been good talking to you over email as well (I'm "Jay"). I'm *really* looking forward to the new product releases you hinted at in our conversation.

Please stayed tuned! Cool new products are on the way.
Old 10th September 2019
  #54
Gear Addict
 
analogsynth's Avatar
@ Bart_UK I have a marginally OT question, namely about the C2584 and not the C544. How are the Colour slots of the C2584 wired, are the two slots per channel just connected directly or are there any buffer stages in the C2584 between the slots?

The reason why I'm asking is because I'm building a few simple DIY Colour modules and I wonder if I can squeeze two different circuits on to one Colour module (the circuits would be seperated with a TL071 based buffer as part of the Colour design), and if this would be the same as using two slots in the C2584 with the circuits on seperate Colour module boards?
Old 11th September 2019
  #55
Gear Head
 
Bart_UK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsynth View Post
@ Bart_UK I have a marginally OT question, namely about the C2584 and not the C544. How are the Colour slots of the C2584 wired, are the two slots per channel just connected directly or are there any buffer stages in the C2584 between the slots?

The reason why I'm asking is because I'm building a few simple DIY Colour modules and I wonder if I can squeeze two different circuits on to one Colour module (the circuits would be seperated with a TL071 based buffer as part of the Colour design), and if this would be the same as using two slots in the C2584 with the circuits on seperate Colour module boards?
The colour modules in each channel of the C2584 are connected in series without any buffer between the colour 1 and the colour 2. Therefore I recommend designing colour module which will have at least 10k input impedance and a max of 100R of output impedance, which means that the output of you colour module should have the low impedance output buffer made with opamp or the emitter follower. This way you will avoid any level problems caused by the impedance mismatch.
Old 11th September 2019
  #56
Gear Addict
 
analogsynth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_UK View Post
The colour modules in each channel of the C2584 are connected in series without any buffer between the colour 1 and the colour 2. Therefore I recommend designing colour module which will have at least 10k input impedance and a max of 100R of output impedance, which means that the output of you colour module should have the low impedance output buffer made with opamp or the emitter follower. This way you will avoid any level problems caused by the impedance mismatch.
Thanks Bart,

The output stage of the Colour module doesn't have an op-amp buffer in the current design, it's just a 1:1 (600/600 Ohm) transformer and it sounds great as it is, so do I really need an op-amp output buffer?

Also, would the 100 Ohm output buffer you're suggesting change the sound, and if so in what way?

And, is there any impedance mismatch with that 600/600 transformer output stage I've got when using it in a C2584?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #57
Gear Head
 
Bart_UK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsynth View Post
Thanks Bart,

The output stage of the Colour module doesn't have an op-amp buffer in the current design, it's just a 1:1 (600/600 Ohm) transformer and it sounds great as it is, so do I really need an op-amp output buffer?

Also, would the 100 Ohm output buffer you're suggesting change the sound, and if so in what way?

And, is there any impedance mismatch with that 600/600 transformer output stage I've got when using it in a C2584?
Apologies for the delayed reply.

If you wish to use just the transformer, without any driver, you should install the module in the first slot. The first slot is driven directly from the opamp output.

I didn't suggest the 100R buffer. I suggested that the output impedance of any colour module should less than 100R, ideally 0R... Which can be achieved with opamp buffer or the emitter follower.

The transformer should be driven from the lowest possible impedance to avoid any loss in LF and rise of the THD.

You can use 1:1 transformer, the impedance mismatch might be caused only by the input or output impedance and it is easier to match the driver impedance or the input impedance than to design the custom matching transformer.
Topic:
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