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Buzz Audio SOC-M
Old 18th April 2019
  #1
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Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

Buzz Audio SOC-M

Hi everyone!

We have begun shipping the SOC-M, a mastering version of our SOC-20 optical compressor that a lot of people have asked for for quite some time. So we have adjusted the ratios to suit modern mastering requirements (all with the soft knee characteristic) plus a 10:1 limit setting for when you need a bit more control. Elma stepped controls, MS matrix, balanced side chain insert. The gain can be adjusted in 0.25dB steps up to 2dB then 0.5dB steps after that.

Full details can be read here

The unit is available for order now with a grey (silver) or black front panel. I will post a photo of the black shortly. As always, if you have any questions about our products we are always happy to answer them!

Thank you
Tim.
Attached Thumbnails
Buzz Audio SOC-M-socmmedium.jpg  
Old 18th April 2019
  #2
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the fxs's Avatar
 

beautiful!
Old 18th April 2019
  #3
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ionian's Avatar
Looks slick! Can't wait for mine to arrive - it'll look sharp as hell under my DBC-M.
Old 18th April 2019
  #4
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daaronhoffman's Avatar
How much more than the unmastered version?
Old 18th April 2019
  #5
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daaronhoffman View Post
How much more than the unmastered version?
The unmastered one is listed at $2450 USD and the Mastering one at $2850, so it's $400 more, which is actually pretty decent when you consider in the price of 4 high quality switches and the additional labor that comes with switches, over detented pots.
Old 19th April 2019
  #6
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Now isnt that a beautiful looking unit.

Price is quite good.

Lucky you Frank.

Cheers
Old 19th April 2019
  #7
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
Now isnt that a beautiful looking unit.

Price is quite good.

Lucky you Frank.

Cheers
Thanks, man! I'm really excited to get it. I really love my DBC-M; both the tone and compression action and the minute I saw that a mastering version of the SOC was available, I checked my credit card and saw I had enough room to squeeze it on, minimum payments be damned! haha

I'm in the middle of mixing a pop album for a young woman and I called her and told her something came up and the final mixes are going to be delayed a few weeks, which she was cool with since she just started college and is kinda busy with that so she's not on top of me. The timing is perfect because I want to jump right in at the deep end and start using it on her album.

I know the SOC gets a lot of respect so I'm eager to really try it all over her tracks. If it has half the magic that the DBC does, it's gonna be awesome.
Old 19th April 2019
  #8
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Awesome addition, Tim.

Gustav
Old 20th April 2019
  #9
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

So here is a snap of the black front panel version of the SOC-M mastering compressor!

Thanks
Tim.

And a few more.
SOC-M Mastering Compressor
Tim
Attached Thumbnails
Buzz Audio SOC-M-socmmediumblack.jpg   Buzz Audio SOC-M-socmleftsideblack.jpg   Buzz Audio SOC-M-socmrightsideblack.jpg  
Old 2nd May 2019
  #10
Black face looks excellent as well Tim!!
Old 1st June 2019
  #11
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ionian's Avatar
My Soc-M arrived I haven't had a chance to really dig in too much - right after I posted, I got asked to go out on a tour for a few weeks so I had to put things on hold. That young woman I was talking about though is back from college and eager to mix so we're starting next week, but just doing some preliminary experiments so I can get acquainted with it before we start mixing Monday, and I'm very impressed. I've tried out on some string parts on one of her songs, a nice legato string pad and it really added a richness to the whole thing. She also has a rhythmic marcato part and I was really able to make it groove with the Soc-M. This definitely has some impressive tricks under its sleeve, especially for an opto.

This unit is a different color than the DBC, but like the DBC it has an uncanny ability to really smooth out harshness in the upper mids and the highs like a butter knife smoothing out some cream cheese. Seriously. The girl I'm mixing has a strong character to her voice and a pointy nasal quality (Any other New Yorkers hanging in the thread, she's a Long Island Jewish chick - that's a strong accent to work with! Any non-New Yorkers, go watch an episode of Coffee Talk from SNL but imagine it younger because she's like 19) I thought I was gonna have to really start carving into her with EQ after hearing the initial vocal takes just to smooth out some of the pointiness but I tried running a vocal of hers through the DBC into the SOC and I'm not lying, it worked some magic on her. I'm not going to have to do a tenth of what I thought I was going to have to do. This isn't some messing with the sidechain and trying to compress the honk kind of thing - both the DBC and the SOC just have this magic in the upper mids and highs that they can just make things there sound so smooth and classy.

I'm still scratching the surface of the SOC but so far I'm really happy. I'll be back with more as the mix goes on!

Here's a shot of it with the DBC. I went for the silverface. I love that classy look. I have too much blackface gear anyway. It's nice to have them both stand out. And they match really nice.



I realize you can't see the meters on the SOC! Here's another shot with the exposure dialed down!

Old 5th June 2019
  #12
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ionian's Avatar
Just popping in to keep updating. Started mixing yesterday for the album for the young girl. She attended the mix session for the first song and I got to really push the Soc-M through some paces. It really performed great so far and I'm loving what I get out of it. It has a really groovy release curve and it's easy to make things "dance" with this comp. I know I had experienced it with the string part, but this girl's song also had a 16th note hi hat pattern in a pre chorus and on the outro, and it was really easy to add a nice groove, accenting certain notes. Put it in bypass and the hi hat was dead. Even the young girl was impressed - her exact words were, "wow, when you bypass that thing, the hi hat sounds sterile". I took that as a good review!

Also used it in a chain with the DBC-M for her vocal. But I've already talked about how impressive it was with that as well.

So far, I'm really liking a lot what the SOC-M brings to the table, and along with the DBC, it feels like a 1-2 punch.
Old 7th June 2019
  #13
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Continuing the update - Just wanted to say that the SOC gave me a stunning result on Acoustic guitar yesterday while mixing the album for the girl, who has been attending. I also ended up putting the DBC on drums. It was a shootout between the DBC and my favorite on drums, the Elysia Xpressor, but the DBC brought some serious boom to the drums and both me and her agreed that was the comp going on drum bus yesterday.

I tried the DBC on acoustic guitar and got a great result - it was firm and kept the acoustic under control with great tone, but the SOC just had this "relaxed" quality that kept the acoustic under control, but gave it this nice dimensionality that really helped it to peek out during the chorus in the pop tune and add a gorgeous texture.

So the girl got some massive tooth pain today and went to get checked out and it turns out she has impacted wisdom teeth so we're taking a week and the half off or so so she can get all her wisdom teeth yanked and has time to recover. So my annoying updates are gonna slow down. But I just wanted to say that since getting my Soc-M, it's really impressed me in a lot of ways.

Like I said, the DBC and the SOC are both like a 1-2 punch and I swear I could mix a whole album with just those two.

Hey @ Tim Farrant , have you ever thought about bringing the Potion back in a mastering version in a one or two space rack? That'd be killer. Is a mastering FET even a thing?
Old 7th June 2019
  #14
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daaronhoffman's Avatar
IGS Volfram is basically a mastering FET 1176...I’ll have one at my place in about 4 weeks.

I’m very tempted by these Buzz Audio units though! Gonna have to try them...thanks for the updates!
Old 7th June 2019
  #15
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daaronhoffman View Post
IGS Volfram is basically a mastering FET 1176...I’ll have one at my place in about 4 weeks.

I’m very tempted by these Buzz Audio units though! Gonna have to try them...thanks for the updates!
The Volfram is a sharp looking unit. I've had my eye on that one for a long time. The only thing that made me pause was that I thought the Volfram was a more feature filled version of the Alter, but for some reason the attack on the alter is faster.

The fastest attack on the Alter is 20 microseconds, the fastest on the Volfram is 100 microseconds. Nonetheless I'd love to hear what you think of it when it comes. I'm sure it'll sound as sharp as it looks.
Old 7th June 2019
  #16
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daaronhoffman's Avatar
I never noticed that lol. I’ll look into more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
The Volfram is a sharp looking unit. I've had my eye on that one for a long time. The only thing that made me pause was that I thought the Volfram was a more feature filled version of the Alter, but for some reason the attack on the alter is faster.

The fastest attack on the Alter is 20 microseconds, the fastest on the Volfram is 100 microseconds. Nonetheless I'd love to hear what you think of it when it comes. I'm sure it'll sound as sharp as it looks.
Old 7th June 2019
  #17
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daaronhoffman's Avatar
Just emailed Igor at IGS and he responded:

“This must be some mistake. Both units have 20-800 microseconds.

Thanks,
Igor”

Woohoo!
Old 7th June 2019
  #18
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daaronhoffman View Post
Just emailed Igor at IGS and he responded:

“This must be some mistake. Both units have 20-800 microseconds.

Thanks,
Igor”

Woohoo!
Wow - that's making me kick myself. I saw one come up new like 3 years ago for $1200 on Ebay from a retailer and I passed on it over the difference in the attack speeds. I should have jumped on it regardless

By the way, I had gotten the specs for the attack of each unit off their website.

On a more serious note, I can't believe he responded that fast. I have a question about some repair on a piece of IGS audio gear and over the last 5 days I've tried messaging him through his website, sending him email, and reaching out to him on facebook and he has yet to respond which makes me really question their customer service.

To keep things more on track with the Buzz Soc-M, today I have a day off at the studio and I really want to dig in more with the Mid / Side capabilities and experiment a lot with it to hear what kind of results I get. I've used VCA compressors with mid / side but the curves and motion of the Soc-M are different than I get with VCA so I'm really curious to see how this translates to mid / side compression.
Old 7th June 2019
  #19
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tengu's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post

To keep things more on track with the Buzz Soc-M, today I have a day off at the studio and I really want to dig in more with the Mid / Side capabilities and experiment a lot with it to hear what kind of results I get. I've used VCA compressors with mid / side but the curves and motion of the Soc-M are different than I get with VCA so I'm really curious to see how this translates to mid / side compression.
I don't have the Mastering version, but this is one of it's absolute strengths I feel. I use my SOC-20 at the end of my mastering chain. I'll use it to absolutely tickle transients on the mid, with HPF slow attack and fast release at 2:1. With the sides, I won't use the HPF and possible quicker attack times, with auto release, and maybe at 4:1. Apply gain to just rein things in.

Sometimes I get mixes with excessive use of stereo widening plugs. The SOC does something magic with these, alone with a couple of other pieces. It helps to pull things to the middle, without the stereo field collapsing. It's quite fantastic.

Last edited by tengu; 10th June 2019 at 01:11 AM..
Old 8th June 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tengu View Post
I don't have the Mastering version, but this is one of it's absolute strengths I feel. I use my SOC-20 at the end of my mastering chain. I'll use it to absolutely tickle transients on the mid, with HPD slow attack and fast release at 2:1. With the sides, I won't use the HPF and possible quicker attack times, with auto release, and maybe at 4:1. Apply gain to just rain things in.

Sometimes I get mixes with excessive use of stereo widening plugs. The SOC does something magic with these, alone with a couple of other pieces. It helps to pull things to the middle, without the stereo field collapsing. It's quite fantastic.
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing some starting values so I'm not totally wandering around blind!
Old 10th June 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

IO, are you able to make any sonic comparisons of the boxtone vs. something like a Manley/Knif Mu type compressor? (I.e. do transients seem less tizzy, sharper, or rounded off?)
Old 11th June 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UH417 View Post
IO, are you able to make any sonic comparisons of the boxtone vs. something like a Manley/Knif Mu type compressor? (I.e. do transients seem less tizzy, sharper, or rounded off?)
I don't have any vari mu comps so I can't make a comparison there, and I haven't specifically listened to the boxtone, as in just playing something through it. I tend to listen to it in the context of it doing the compression and consider that the sound - I haven't just listened to it not compressing.

But in that context, of it compressing, I've noticed that the top end gets kind of silky or smooth. Harshness tends to feel smoothed out in the upper mids and highs. There's a certain dimensionality that comes out which might be the lundahl transformers. I don't notice so much in the lows - the color of the DBC seems to enhance the lows more, but on the SOC, it just sounds open and smooth but not rolled off or anything. Just clear, which is really nice coming from a compressor because so many seem to dull the top a little when they compress and I haven't noticed that at all with the SOC.

For me, it's definitely a box that things come out sounding better than they went in. Just polished sounding.

I'm sorry - it's hard to describe sound and I'm not particularly good at it

Last edited by ionian; 18th June 2019 at 06:44 PM..
Old 11th June 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Cool, will probably order a SOC-M in a few months when done with my current project.
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