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-   Q+A with Dave Derr (designer of the Distressor compressor) (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-a-with-dave-derr-designer-of-the-distressor-compressor-/)
-   -   Any plans for an Empirical Labs Eq? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-a-with-dave-derr-designer-of-the-distressor-compressor-/4053-any-plans-empirical-labs-eq.html)

Dave Derr 10th May 2003 09:06 PM

Woh Slipperman. Post these posts privately from now on - to me only, so no one else uses em.
jkthtyrt

The only thing I can say is my thinking tends along making "Swiss Army Knife" products, ones that are very versatile and can be used on a lot of sources. But often in the studio, I too wanted a device that could do one wierd thing, or solve one wierd problem, really, really well. Kind of the products you propose here.

Thanks for that post and the ideas!

e-cue 11th May 2003 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by slipperman

Costly.

Every 'A line' mix engineer in the world would have 2(One for bass guitar) in his rack.

You want quality? You gotta pay for it.

I like the idea of buying a unit rather cost effectively, then being able to upgrade it with mod's as needed. I can't tell you how many "producers" I know bought 001's and upgraded eventually.

ExistanceMusic 11th May 2003 11:34 AM

+/- 40dB? kfhkh

The phase shifting, oh, the glorious phase shifting possibilities!!!

heh

Jay Kahrs 12th May 2003 05:26 AM

Man, at least Slippy didn't post the EQ idea I told him about. Dave, I'll send ya an email.

Bob Olhsson 17th May 2003 03:23 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
...I too wanted a device that could do one wierd thing, or solve one wierd problem, really, really well.
I think the future is going to be all about the ability to make a great sounding record really really fast. If you've got a hundred screws to drive in an hour, an electric screwdriver beats a Swiss Army Knife every single time!

Jay Kahrs 17th May 2003 04:54 PM

In that case people need to start writing better music because great music sounds great without a lot of work.

Dave Derr 18th May 2003 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
If you've got a hundred screws to drive in an hour, an electric screwdriver beats a Swiss Army Knife every single time!
Bob, thats a great quote! We are sure in an age of specialization.

Thats one reason we are moving to software based devices so quickly... you can have someone write a program whose whole purpose is to get rid of Popping "P's", or add a click to the attack of a bass drum, or tune a vocal note, but add vibrato at the same time, etc etc.... all without changing your hardware one single bit.

Bob Olhsson 18th May 2003 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
In that case people need to start writing better music because great music sounds great without a lot of work.
The biggest question is WHAT exactly is good enough to not require a million bucks worth of sales and promotion?

I wish I knew the answer but one thing I've seen over and over is that most of the best stuff happens really really fast and it does not happen very often at home because a community scene has almost always been an integral part of the creative process. Some kid sitting at home alone is NOT very likely to become the next big thing no matter if it's at his computer OR at her SSL because successful music always has a social component. This is why record stores show no signs at all of doing less business than the internet. Music is always about bringing people together.

Dave Derr 19th May 2003 04:09 AM

Also, the pressure and friction between people from being in a studio under the gun, pushes everyone to do their best, and adds intensity. Youre not gonna get that with one guy sitting at home with his drum pads and synths fiddling endlessly with nothing driving him or challenging him.

A lot of what made The Beatles (and Lennon/McCartney) what they were was the two of em battling it out, challenging each other, being "overly" brutally-honest... Then you had George Martin bringing in a whole other perspective of what works "orchestrally" speaking. And of course you had those other two non-slouches, George and Ringo... Contention, pressure and competition are good things for the creative process some times. If people dont challenge each other, everyone would probably sink to new all time lows.

Dave Derr 25th May 2003 03:35 AM

A specific wierd question about I/O on EQ's:

When you have a preamp with EQ, do you prefer to have a seperate mic input AND line input? Or would you rather have one XLR that had a huge range of gain - from Mic to Line. The one advantage I see with two inputs is for the Patch bay, so you could always keep the line input going to it.

jpaudio 25th May 2003 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
A specific wierd question about I/O on EQ's:

When you have a preamp with EQ, do you prefer to have a seperate mic input AND line input? Or would you rather have one XLR that had a huge range of gain - from Mic to Line. The one advantage I see with two inputs is for the Patch bay, so you could always keep the line input going to it.


Exactly that, having seperate mic/line inputs increases routing flexibility... i can't imagine an advantage to having both inputs on one XLR, but i'm sure someone will say something that makes sense to the contrary!

One thing I'd like to see more of is completely seperate i/os for each element in the signal path, so one could have total access to either the EQ or compressor or mic pre etc. I guess it would raise the price for technical reasons unbeknownst to me, but it would be a nice touch. Doesn't the Amek PurePath channelstrip offer something like this, two seperate signal paths with the EQ and comp assignable to either mic or line at any time?

davemc 25th May 2003 08:53 AM

I was looking at the Summit MPE-200 and the seperate ins and outs look cool.

Bob Olhsson 25th May 2003 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
... do you prefer to have a seperate mic input AND line input? Or would you rather have one XLR that had a huge range of gain.
Absolutely separate!

Being able to inadvertently bring up a line level device with 50 dB. of gain is a potential disaster.

Dave Martin 25th May 2003 04:59 PM

Definitely separate. That way, the mic input can be wired to the mic patch bay while the line input can be wired to the main patchbay. (In my studio, these two bays are across the room from each other). This makes it much easier to to use the EQ both tracking and mixing.

mdbeh 25th May 2003 05:09 PM

Not quite the same question, but...

I don't know if I'd really want the mic input.

I'm sure EL would come up with a unique, worthy mic pre, but there's almost an embarassment of quality ones on the market right now, and, at least personally, I'm pretty set in that department. There don't seem to be as many great new-design EQs, though.

Of course, I how no idea how much of the market is similar, but I'd personally be more inclined to buy a line-only stereo EQ than an EQ/Pre combo these days.

Jay Kahrs 26th May 2003 12:03 AM

I'll second that. A lot of times it seems like one or the other is an afterthought. Take the 9098 pre/EQ, I like the EQ a lot but the preamp usually leaves me wanting more. It's not useless but I don't really like it.

Dave Derr 26th May 2003 03:45 AM

VERRRRRY INTERESTING.

Let me ask a question about Highpass (or Lowcut) Filters.

1) If you had to pick 4 -5 low cut frequencies... what would they be?

IE. 40 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 160 Hz, 270Hz Low cut

2) Give us one thing you love having Low cut filters for?

jpaudio 26th May 2003 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
VERRRRRY INTERESTING.

Let me ask a question about Highpass (or Lowcut) Filters.

1) If you had to pick 4 -5 low cut frequencies... what would they be?

IE. 40 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 160 Hz, 270Hz Low cut

2) Give us one thing you love having Low cut filters for?


I'd like to see an extra frequency of say 125-130 added to your list... but I don't know which one it should replace! grudge

I love em and use em all the time on heavy guitars (some may disagree, but what the hell comes out of any high-gain stack below 100hz? Nothing useful IMHO!) fuuck

My Urei 546 rules for this stuff

In a dense rock/metal/punk/you-name-it-heavy-guitar-driven mix, high pass filters can save one from a muddy disaster

Dave Derr 26th May 2003 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by slipperman
I'd rather have a piece with a bizarre design that absolutely rules on something or other, than YET another 'Transparent' Design. I'm all 'Transparented Out'. Gimmie schmotz. Dirt. Phase smear out the wazoo.
Isnt it crazy that most of the top engineers now love all the things we hated and went thru contortions to avoid only 15 years ago?:deth:

Think we will have a turn around here? Think in the next few years everyone will hate dirt and grunge and "warmth" and tubes?? Think we will have a huge 80's revival? Think Duran Duran will make a come back? lol

Dave
PS The HPF on rock guitars is like sour cream on potatoes, isnt it? Also on acoustic guitars sometimes. I used to use a 80 or 100Hz HP even on the snare drum. Did anyone ever do a digital mixdown and see the snare drum move the speakers? That was scary! You'd mever see that on an analog mixdown.

Bob Olhsson 26th May 2003 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
VERRRRRY INTERESTING.

Let me ask a question about Highpass (or Lowcut) Filters.

1) If you had to pick 4 -5 low cut frequencies... what would they be?

IE. 40 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 160 Hz, 270Hz Low cut

2) Give us one thing you love having Low cut filters for?

40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 125, 150 all 18 dB/octave

Lots of different things. Each sounds very different. An 18 dB/octave slope makes them a lot more useful than 12 or 6 which sound thin subjectively.

Dave Derr 26th May 2003 08:28 PM

Bob

I used 3rd order filter on the Distressor Audio HP. I wonder if I should have made it a little more steep and pointy. Instead I went for a very smooth fall off. Its a minimum stage filter tho... verrrrry clean and its very hard to hear.

Sometimes Im so tempted to use an inductor based filter to get color in filtering, but so far I have resisted. Im always on the lookout for magic circuits that dont use inductors but sometimes... if you want that saturation type filtering, its the simplest way. Besides the tubes, its the secret of Pultecs, of course.

Id love to see some more input from others on freqs of choice for a Highpass.

I have more questions after this one.

jpaudio 26th May 2003 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
Did anyone ever do a digital mixdown and see the snare drum move the speakers? That was scary! You'd mever see that on an analog mixdown.
Never thought about that before, interesting... would this have more to do with the snare being flattened by tape compression or analog circuitry as opposed to recording/EQing/compressing in a DAW or digital board?

Dave Derr 26th May 2003 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by jpaudio
Never thought about that before, interesting... would this have more to do with the snare being flattened by tape compression or analog circuitry as opposed to recording/EQing/compressing in a DAW or digital board?
No mostly its sub frequencies surviving the recording process. It has more to do with using certain mics on the snare (like a 451 or 414) that have subs and then tracking onto digital, where those subs don't get lost. Sometimes a gate or compressor can add a DC offset that will visibly move big speakers.

Analog tape has a lot of trouble retaining any frequencies below 50 Hz, especially at 30IPS. Many digital recorders are flat down to 5 Hz.

Gone Fission 27th May 2003 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
.

Sometimes Im so tempted to use an inductor based filter to get color in filtering, but so far I have resisted. Im always on the lookout for magic circuits that dont use inductors but sometimes... if you want that saturation type filtering, its the simplest way. Besides the tubes, its the secret of Pultecs, of course.

I'm only going on hearsay, but I've heard a few cases that make me think it's the inductor filtering much more than the tubes. Someone on some forum mentioned having a pultec circuit with ic's for makeup gain wired up in some studio and everyone assuming it was tube and saying dumb ass things about how only tube gear sounds like that. He got caught when it passed audio too fast when it was powered up. Hell, I think someone linked to Group DIY has a solidstate Pultec on the back burner.

Bear

alphajerk 27th May 2003 04:27 AM

i would want a HP filter for EVERYTHING. i would like selectable slope [12/18/24]. maybe 20, 40, 80, 160, 320. and i agree, i want it NONtransparent. i want color like losing it on a vile of liquid.

20to20 27th May 2003 04:52 AM

Nice work, everybody...heh

Youse guys are all co-designing the "E(L)qualizer"

Filters for the people, by the people, of the people...kfhkh


BTW, how long's all this gonna take, Dave...?

Berolzheimer 27th May 2003 04:58 AM

Quote:

Let me ask a question about Highpass (or Lowcut) Filters.

1) If you had to pick 4 -5 low cut frequencies... what would they be?

IE. 40 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 160 Hz, 270Hz Low cut

2) Give us one thing you love having Low cut filters for?

Dave.....think LOWER. at least one option at 20 or 25, for those things that we (I, at least ) like to boost at 30 or 40, but still be clean of subsonic stuff eating up headroom, or DC.

Quote:

Isnt it crazy that most of the top engineers now love all the things we hated and went thru contortions to avoid only 15 years ago?

Think we will have a turn around here? Think in the next few years everyone will hate dirt and grunge and "warmth" and tubes?? Think we will have a huge 80's revival? Think Duran Duran will make a come back?
I love both, clean/transparent and dirty or colored, it's a matter of having more colors on the pallete to work with.

jpaudio 27th May 2003 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Gone Fission
I'm only going on hearsay, but I've heard a few cases that make me think it's the inductor filtering much more than the tubes. Someone on some forum mentioned having a pultec circuit with ic's for makeup gain wired up in some studio and everyone assuming it was tube and saying dumb ass things about how only tube gear sounds like that. He got caught when it passed audio too fast when it was powered up. Hell, I think someone linked to Group DIY has a solidstate Pultec on the back burner.

Bear


Ditto... i discovered this the first time I used a pair of solid-state Pultecs, without knowing what they were, and turned to the assistant and said "Holy ****, these things sound amazing!"... I had only ever used the big green EQP1As in the past, these were 3 rack space silver fronts with a few extra frequencies, and the name was something very similar to EQP1A, although the exact model slips my mind at the moment. I commented to the studio tech that these guys sounded badass and he replied with something like "Yeah, most people don't believe they're solid state til they look inside"...

Dave Derr 27th May 2003 11:39 PM

Most of Neve's stuff like the 1073's etc use big inductors to create filters like the Pultecs. So in effect the Neves are these "Solid state" pultec EQ's also.

Bob Olhsson 28th May 2003 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave Derr
No mostly its sub frequencies surviving the recording process. It has more to do with using certain mics on the snare (like a 451 or 414) that have subs and then tracking onto digital, where those subs don't get lost.
Exactly.

Something I learned early-on is that shock mounts can make all the difference in the world with condensers on drums. Vibration will travel right up the mike stand from the floor coupling mechanically with the mike. Sometimes there are even low frequency resonances introduced by the stand.