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SPL Transducer - Shipping Next Week
Old 17th May 2007
  #1
SPL Transducer - Shipping Next Week

Ok, I know we sell SPL but I was seriously blown away by this one. It's absolutely incredible, and I'm a stickler for properly mic'ing guitar amps and taking serious time setting things up to get the perfect tone/sound for the song. I had a very long discussion with SPL about this today and went over tons of different scenarios for its use. They had already thought of everything I could think of (which is actually a pretty rare occasion).

Hearing what the SPL Transducer can do is nothing short of amazing. Of course you can still mic the cabinet if you wish but you can also run either mic-out into the pre of your choice or line out directly into your A/D. You can choose between condenser and dynamic mics, close or ambient mic'ing scenarios, how hard you are pushing the speaker, etc. The best thing is, it's not digital. The whole thing is analog so none of the problems that we've all been dealing with using POD's, plug-in modeling, etc. rear their ugly heads. SPL really nailed it with this design.

There's some audio samples on the SPL website and I found myself listening to one after the other in awe. Then I read how they did the demo recordings and it was straight into an Edirol USB interface using a notebook. I could only imagine how amazing this thing is going to be when you run it into a great pre like the Chandler TG2 (my fav for recording guitars).

We've got it available on our website as of today and the entire first shipment is already almost sold out (there are still a few left however) so anyone who has been looking at this puppy and wants it asap, let me know.

(sorry to be a complete pimp on this one but there are very few situations where a new product is this exciting and will completely change the way you work in the studio, and live for that matter)
Old 18th May 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

The SPL Transducer does look promising for those looking to record amps without all of the volume. Your post stated that you had a long conversation with SPL regarding performance, set ups, etc, but have you used it yet in your studio enviroment? I am curious to hear your thoughts vs micing with a 4x12 cab using the same head and the results that you had.

Thanks
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #3
I've got mine on order so I get it with the first shipment that comes to the states but no, I haven't heard it in person as of yet (in fact I don't believe anyone, with the obvious exception of the people at SPL and anyone who may have been included in the beta testing have seen/heard it in person).

I was given quite a few audio examples as well as listened to all of the ones that are posted on the SPL website. The long discussion was me asking a ton of questions (i.e. what if you want to do x.... or will it work like x....., etc.) and getting the full tutorial on how it was designed, how it works, potential uses, etc. The audio examples that I was given are phenomenal and I honestly couldn't tell whether each was a mic'd amp or the Transducer.

The thing I liked the most is the flexibility. It's not just for people who don't have the ability to mic a guitar amp (or can't play an amp loud for whatever reason). In fact that was one of my big concerns because I thought it would be great if you could run the Transducer in line (i.e. head->Transducer->cabinet) and still mic the cabinet while you are also recording the output of the Transducer. It is possible and it's actually one of the things they built into the design.

Certainly this isn't going to do away with all mic'ing applications for guitar amps, but it does provide a heck of a solution both in the studio and on stage. The thing that truly blew me away, and as I mentioned in my original post, was that it isn't a digital piece and doesn't sound digital or "modeled" at all. It actually sounds like an extremely well mic'd guitar amp.

I invite everyone to go to SPL – Sound Performance Lab and click on the Transducer (it's in the middle of the front page). On the right hand side of the page are the publicly available audio examples. Take a listen for yourself. It's pretty impressive.
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the quick reply. I did listen to the samples on their site and was impressed. Please keep us posted of your results after you recieve your unit.

Thanks
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 

im am also very interested
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
jwnc's Avatar
kittonian: Have you ever tried the Motherload? www.motherloadusa.com its the same kind of device. I have one and its pretty amazing. I am curious how they stack up against each other.

How much was the transducer?

Thanks
Jason
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwnc View Post
kittonian: Have you ever tried the Motherload? www.motherloadusa.com its the same kind of device. I have one and its pretty amazing. I am curious how they stack up against each other.

How much was the transducer?

Thanks
Jason
I hadn't actually ever heard of the Motherload until you gave the link. I went to the site to check it out but it took forever for the front page to load and then when I click on "enter" it just sits there eternally.

As far as the Transducer, pricing and info is available at:
SPL Transducer - Pro Audio Sales - AudioLot Records
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
jwnc's Avatar
Joshua,

hi, I tried it too and it took awhile.. must be something wrong with the server.. but it did go through.. check it out and let me know what you think about the samples.

Jason
Old 18th May 2007 | Show parent
  #9
I went back to the site and finally got through. After listening to the audio examples I'm just not hearing the realism and depth of mic'ing a guitar cabinet like I do with the Transducer. It almost felt, hmmm, "squeezy and spongy" are the only two words I can think of to describe it, whereas the Transducer sounds so open and airy. Could just be my ears though, you might like it better, I don't know.
Old 19th May 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
3rdeyeKnight's Avatar
 

Hey Joshua,

This Transducer looks really cool. I work mostly in the box using a lot of VST's with Sonar and lately I've been thinking of micing up a cab to add some air and girth to my soft-synths. But looking at this thing, I'm thinking this might be a more convenient solution. I still sum outside of the box using the Rolls Folcrom and an A-Designs MP2A.

How do you think something like this would work with Guitar Rig 2 or any one of the other amp-plugs? Would it be worth it with a set up like mine?

Also, I checked your web-site for pricing and I couldn't find it. How much is this unit going for exactly?

Thanx,
Julian

Edit:Okay, I see the additional info on your site now. I'm using my BlackBerry. Sometimes the pages don't load up properly. I received your other reply also. Thanks Joshua.
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
lematrix's Avatar
just got mine today...... its a great piece of Gear. Sounds pretty good and its fast to find a useable sound for the track.....


i´ll report more in a few days...


Greetings from Berlin, Mathias
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #12
tdr
Gear Head
 

great, let us know more as soon as possible. clips would be great!

I am mainly interested how well this thing will do in the high gain rhythm area, which is were I would mainly need it. I liked all clips on the spl website except the high gain ones. hope this thing can do better than in those clips, because this could really be the solution to the problem of my volume issues.
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
TheSweetener's Avatar
 

The problem of the hi gain files on the SPL website is that they have too much gain. It sounds kinda muddy which is of course niot the fault of the cab simulation.

For me convincing hi gain tones are still the trickiest for cabinet simulators. So it would be nice to hear some hi gain clips of the SPL machine!
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
jwnc's Avatar
Here is a clip I just recoded really quick with my Carvin V3 and the motherload. Obviously once its in a mix the freq, etc would be alot different but this is with my master volume on the amp about half. Its all relative to how it sounds in a mix more then by itself, but its just for kicks.

www.soulfulterrain.com/media/V3.mp3

Jason
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #15
After listening to your example, I heard the same thing that I heard in the online examples on the motherload website. To me, it sounds like there is a squashed sort of quality to the distortion on the guitar and it doesn't sound like the amp being properly mic'd with the open and airy texture. I'm not saying it sounds bad, I'm simply stating my opinion after listening to it and comparing your example to the ones on the motherload website and the samples on the SPL website.

I also wanted to mention that this product has received such a huge response that we are completely sold out of the first two shipments (the second which arrives tomorrow). There are only two units left in the next shipment which arrives next week and so, after talking with SPL, we've decided to put together an order list. Anyone who places an order for a Transducer will be put on the list. The list will be arranged first come first served. I encourage anyone who is interested in getting one of these to place their order with us as soon as possible so that you won't have very long to wait before we have SPL ship you your Transducer.
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
lematrix's Avatar
Hello again........

Here my expierences after 2 days working with the Transducer.
In Hi Gain Mode it sounds compared to a mic´ed Box more dull and a kind of thin. But it´s ok in the mix, ok not "great". I don´t care bout that, because i seldom play " Hi Gain" more crunchy stuff, and for that it´s very good.
When i record electric Guitars, i always mix different Mics together. The Transducer is new "color" for that, it has a good and a "clean" type of midrange tone, very usefuel.... I´m sure that i´ll find out more "sounds" when i work more with that unit, you can shape a lot of sounds with that both knobs. But after all, its easy and fast to work with, and that is very importent for me.


Greetings from Berlin, Mathias thumbsup
Old 24th May 2007 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
lematrix's Avatar
Sound file

here is a littel File.... you can here that i seldom play "distorted"

its a Yamaha Pacifica over a Vox AC30, Transducer, Neve Portico and a TC Gold Channel as AD. nO FX, no EQ or Comp.
Attached Files

SPL Transducer Test.mp3 (1,002.2 KB, 865 views)

Old 24th May 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
preben's Avatar
 

Lematrix - that sounds like a bunch of very useable sounds from the Tranducer in my opinion... hard to say without trying it hands on but to my ears it sounds like the kind of thing that would actually work well inside a mix. I'm very curious to hear more
Old 24th May 2007 | Show parent
  #19
tdr
Gear Head
 

yep, thanks for posting that clip. while those may not be the tones I am after, you definitely have shown that the transducer sounds very realistic. I guess I will have to try one for myself and see how well it will work for me.

more clips from you and other people are highly appreciated, since those units are selling so well, I hope more people will chime in with their experiences.
Old 28th May 2007 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lematrix View Post
here is a littel File.... you can here that i seldom play "distorted"

its a Yamaha Pacifica over a Vox AC30, Transducer, Neve Portico and a TC Gold Channel as AD. nO FX, no EQ or Comp.
unfortunately sounds not as nice as I have wished - but maybe just an unlucky example. Those samples from the homepage from SPL are sounding much better
Old 30th May 2007 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
preben's Avatar
 

I respectfully disagree - the fact that it's a 'less than perfect' (whatever that may be) is EXACTLY what fills me with hope for the SPL Transducer....

Anyway - time will tell. The UK distributor is dropping one off here tomorrow morning and as soon as I've tried it out I'll be back with my take on it. I like what I've heard from lematrix and the words 'easy' and 'fast' in the same sentence regarding more or less anything to do with distorted guitars (possibly apart from the playing heh) always excites me
Old 31st May 2007 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Let's hear more samples of the Transducer please! Distorted, clean, whatever...
Old 31st May 2007 | Show parent
  #23
tsd
Gear Maniac
 
tsd's Avatar
 

I love the consept of this... i used to use this old thing called a cab tone, but i had to give it back and they stoped making them.

I wanna put one of those 4 modules in 1 Randal amps into a transducer for an all analog/ heaps of great amps action!!!
Old 31st May 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Melodioso's Avatar
 

Would somebody be interested in comparing this box with a software emu? If somebody could post samples from their direct out, I can run them trough the speaker and mic simulation of Amplitube 2 and Guitar Rig 2. Or I could record some stuff through a ENGL 570 pre as well, but not before next week.
Old 31st May 2007 | Show parent
  #25
SawSlut
 
OzNimbus's Avatar
 

I'm curious if it can do an 57 on/off axis spit... or just what type of "speaker" it's pretending to be. Not to mention cabinet. There's some pretty big differences between a Greenback, GT75, & Vintage 30. Not to mention cabinet materials.

-0z-
Old 1st June 2007 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 

bump

any updates from users?
Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
lematrix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cl516 View Post
bump

any updates from users?

I´m still Happy with that unit. Come on guys !!! what did you all expect ?
A peace of gear sounding like Van Halen or SRV ? haha

It´s just a great tool that delivers a few sounds and for people like me it´s great because it´s saves my time. My job is to be fast, and it does sound better like a pod or something like that. I´m sure when a good player ist playing that unit it will sound great in the mix. I know nothing beside the Transducer that will do that job except a silent recording box (i have one, god that thing is heavy and big !!). I really dont know how good this thing is for all the metall Heads out there - please let me know how it works. For the "normal day" work this Thing is perfect !
Old 2nd June 2007 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
preben's Avatar
 

SPL Transducer thoughts...

First impression: Solidly built and absolutely beautífully designed. Looks a lot better in real life than it does in photos - mainly because one gets the impression in photos that it's fairly small. It isn't. It's a full 19" two unit piece which just looks great. If Bang & Olufsen did pro audio gear this might be what it would look like. Hermann should be pleased with himself (the guy at SPL who designed it).

Feature-wise the Transducer very nearly has everything you could possibly wish for. It can be set-up for a multitude of purpose for live and studio work and it's a GREAT feature that the writing on the back is duplicated upside-down so you can read it from the back or from a position of looking over the top if you're leaning over a rack.

Where I personally feel that SPL may have missed a trick is in the fact that if you want to run a speaker of your amp through the Transducer there is an ever-present level of attenuation which is always set at 8dB. In an ideal world I would have preferred to be able to choose between no attenuation at all and possibly a few setting such as 6, 12, and 18dB of attentuation - a bit like the Marshall SE-100. Or an attenuation control like the one that's found on the Motherload (although that doesn't give you the option of no attenuation either - far from it).

So will we still be miking up our cabs in the future? Well, probably YES is the answer. If we have the space for the cabs, the mikes and the pres and the time to set it all up and tweak it to get the sound we want. And obviously provided that the neighbours/girlfriends/pets aren't too unhappy about the sound of a Dual Rectifier at full throttle interfering ever so slightly with what's on the Telly. But if all of these factors aren't a problem you probably wouldn't be reading this post in the first place.

Anyway - there's still something about the sound that's being transmitted through a 12" speaker and subsequently picked up by a microphone that gives the recorded sound a presence and dynamics and density which in my opinion is yet to be fully matched by any direct recording device - analog or otherwise.

Guitar sounds are notorious for making people disagree - especially the overdriven ones - and one man's celing is REALLY another man's floor in this case. I personally find that I can get better results with a cab and a '57 for WHAT I WANT TO HEAR from my guitars. Other may find it's the other way round and I know loads of players who say that they have never been more happy with their recorded tone than after buying the Sequis Motherload - and I am totally convinced that the same will apply to the transducer. And quite possibly even moreso than with the Motherload.

Compared directly to the Motherload I agree with Kittonian's observations that the Motherload is more squeezed. For certain things it is actually quite nice with a bit of squeeze and pushed correctly you can easily get a squeezed (compressed) tone out of the Transducer. The Motherload is also A LOT harder to dial in and you can really get some totally terrible sounds out of it - especially if you've been at it for a while with no ear-breaks.

Not so with the Transducer. Operation is super simple and they've even got the guts to include example settings for a lot of classic speakers and cab combinations in the manual. Playing the Transducer is the closest I have been to getting a 'feel' out of my ADAM's for direct guitar - and in fact when I first plugged it in I found myself playing for more than two and a half hour (Tele through my Tweed Deluxe) simply because it was great fun. This does NOT happen often anymore (unfortunately!).

Does the EV setting sound the same as the EV I've got in my Deluxe? No, I wouldn't say so. It's a different sound - brighter and fresher but not harsh - and obviously there's a million and one parameters that have to be taken into account - which mike are we comparing to (I was using a 57) and where is it placed? What kind of cabinet is it in the first place - types of wood etc etc.

In general the Transducer has a very nice transparent quality to it whilst not sounding harsh - which in my opinion is a first in these kinds of products. It also does NOT have too much boomy low end which sits lower than you'd normally be able to get from a 12" - another problem which has always marred previous efforts (including the Motherload unless you take good care in dialing it out which IS possible but requires patience and possibly an additional eq).

This transparency (a big plus-word here!) translates into the Transducer being very sensitive to the amp you hook it up with. As an example the slightly shot output valves in my 2204 JCM800 really showed themselves up with the Transducer - just like they do with a real speaker. So if you have a crap sounding guitar and amp (or tone!) you'll have a crap sounding recording. This ain't no POD - there is actually some connection between what you put in and what you get out. And to some extent moreso than with the Motherload.

If it makes any sense the Transducer sounds more like playing your favorite cab in front of a mike whereas the Motherload sounds like playing your favourite cab POST some on-board eq'ing - which can be good or bad depending on who you've got on the board. A little bit the same as a Boogie MkIV kinda sounds like a 'recording of' a great guitar amp whereas a Marshall sounds like a great guitar amp - if you know what I mean. And I like Boogie's as much as the next man - it's just a different beast.

But for straight-forward - and quickly obtainable - guitar sounds that almost can't go wrong the Transducer wins hands down. The Motherload is more of a tweaker's delight... and I think it's fair to say that there's a particular kind of realism in the sound from the Transducer that the Motherload cannot touch! The Motherload does some larger than life sounds extremely well and can get a monstrous low end, but despite the many possibilities I actually feel that the Transducer is more flexible because it reacts in more true fashion to the amp you put in front of it. It's definitely more realistic than the Motherload which in a way is more of an idealised version of a recorded guitar. Horses for courses. If I had to live by D.I. alone I think I'd go with the Transducer but the adjustable attenuator (and the tweakability) in the Motherload makes it slightly more useful for certain things in MY particular way of doing things. But at least there's a real choice in the analog department which is great.

The sound samples on the SPL site are very true to the unit's performance. This is exactly the way it responds and sounds in 'real life'. I still find that there's an un-homogenous quality to the (distorted) sounds and I don't really WANT to hear each string individually when I play a power chord so the reservations I had in my original post when this unit was first introduced still remain - BUT you must remember that my point of reference for distorted sounds is somewhere between Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous and Chinatown albums, Keith Richards and 'Life In The Fast Lane' for the Fender department - so not exactly what you'd call current. And the clean sounds I like are probably even 'older'.

If you're in the market for something like this you really should check it out. The great thing about it is that unlike the Motherload you really don't need a couple of weeks to 'get used to it' - it works straight out of the box and it's VERY quick to work with in general. And just for the record: it obviously still urinates handsomely on all the digital emulations I have tried. It'll be on a LOT of records - and no doubt also records that I will hear and subsequently go: "I bet you that's a mike... you just can't get that sound with a D.I.".

(In fact this has probably already happened with the Motherload and others (Mutt Lange's tones on one of the Shania Twain springs to mind for starters)... Which tells you what READING and generally 'speculating' too much about this stuff is worth when it comes right down to it... )

Hope this is of some use...


EDIT: I thought I'd give the Motherload a fair chance after having been experimenting so much with the Transducer so I've just played around with it a bit.... and to be perfectly honest I don't know which one I prefer... they are different flavours and both have their place... For certain tones I'm even finding that the Motherload sound more realistic now - or at least closer to what I personally prefer to hear. But I'll happily admit that I'm confused. I'm afraid it's down to that old terrible thing: Listen and judge for yourself is possible - and then buy both hehheh

Last edited by preben; 2nd June 2007 at 11:25 PM.. Reason: Confusion rules. Note to self: NEVER A/B test EVER AGAIN heheh
Old 4th June 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Do you think this unit could work in conjunction with some of the emulators? As i feel alot of them are lacking in both the amp and even more so the room/mic/cab departments, but i notice alot of, off the wall more edgy tones seem to work better if they sound properly miced up with a nice room/mic feel, i wounder what it would be like to run even some software plugin amp sims though it, but with the plugins cab disabled using the transducer for the room feel. Has any one tried this yet?
Old 5th June 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekn0 View Post
Do you think this unit could work in conjunction with some of the emulators?
I'd be interested in this as well. Guitarist usually bring a small Koch Pedaltone or H&K Tubeman to my home-studio. These units have a "To Power Amp" Output, bypassing the (not so good) built-in amp simulator, which could be replaced by the Transducer.
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