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Focusrite Liquid Channel

Focusrite Liquid Channel

4.6 4.6 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

versatility coupled with excellent sound quality

21st January 2012

Focusrite Liquid Channel by tgle1977

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focusrite Liquid Channel

My needs are simple but I don't think simple needs are thing to be disparaged by manufactures. It would seem for the most part Focusrite are of a similar though not identical opinion- Let me explain.

I would like to own genuine vintage Neves and Fairchild compressors but I don't have the financial wherewithal or the client base. So I want products that can give me if not perfect emulations then products that can produce the essence that made the originals successful in the first place. I have no idea if the emulations that FF created sound exactly like the originals but others seem to think they are either pitch perfect or within a few cents. That's great but it doesn't really affect me. I'm going for the end result.

So last I checked they're are roughly 60 pre-amp emulations and about thirty five compressor emulations available for free, that's a guess -please feel free to correct that information at your discretion. Many are the same units sample and convoluted at different impedances, some are for want of a better term revisions. I have been using this bit of kit for just over a year as well as the liquid mix and to be honest they really helped me get a bigger fuller more polished sound for a price within my reach. which was my goal.

I honestly use less than 10 of the emulations regularly a UA, A Focusrite Green for background vocals, Neve 1073 and a hotrodded Neve 1081 for in your face vocals, a helios for a really warm 1970's vibe, API 3124 and a DBX786

things I am not pleased about:

White is easy to get dirty and it should always be kept clean to maintain a pro appearance.

Emulation names are not particularly descriptive.

They discontinued the four channel preamp only version of this.

They have no plans to build a multichannel version.

The editor sometimes does not function seamlessly.

They're should be an AU and VST plugin to control this in my DAW just as a time saver for track notes at least

I loved what I could do with this unit and it made me enough cash to invest in a used Liquid 4pre which was a hard thing to find, but I found one thanks to a fellow gearslutz member. On the plus side though the 4pre has no comps or the onboard EQ -I have those in my Liquid Mix.
Good job Focusrite - except for the white.

9th August 2013

Focusrite Liquid Channel by masterminds

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focusrite Liquid Channel

As most, I would really like to own all of the flavors associated with the top preamps and compressors out there. But reality is that I cannot. Enter the Liquid channel; This is a truly special box. I have read most of the post here and in other forums and know how cold or hot you can be about this box. I know how it offends the sophisticated Slutz and also how it impressed the less “demanding” audio connoisseurs. But the bottom line is this, for those of us who truly need and appreciate as many tonal varieties in our arsenal as possible, this box is truly special. It took me a good 3 months to appreciate all of the amazing tonal varieties it offers. EVERY customer that has ever been through it’s circuitry loves it, as do I . I have worked in many studios and have had the opportunity to use some of the emulated models. Like most will note, these will all sound different when you consider all the factors involved in the audio chain. But look; this is flavor heaven…Enjoy.

10th September 2013

Focusrite Liquid Channel by emotionsequencer

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focusrite Liquid Channel

I have used the Liquid Channel since its initial release in 2003. I purchased a pair at full price, and did not regret it and the units did not disappoint. Cruising through many audio sites, this unit definitely has a great divide between the people who love and hate this product.

I have been in many studios for more years than I would like to admit, or the age of some of the people on this forum. I must say, this is a great setup for the space conscious (4 RU) 40 Pres/40 Compressors in dual mono or stereo configuration. It sounds great. Look inside the box, if you ever get a chance, and it is not a simple set of DSPs emulating hardware. There is actual hardware in this unit and tons of it. People also need to understand what convolution is. I am also a firm believer of multiple hardware is best (that is why I have GAS and I am on Gearslutz!)


- Many convolution emulation of incredible hardware that sounds nearly identical to the originals (I have actually heard some of the hardware they used to create the emulation, vs. the Liquid Channel version - sounds exact to almost exactly the same.)
- Also, the price is right, now. Originally, it was $3999 each. Now they are $1999 each. For less than the price of 1 Avalon VT737SP (which the LC emulates very well) you get 39 more Pres/Compressors.
- You can save sessions. I hated having to write a ton of notes, and I still take photos of settings on my smartphone whenever I am in the studio. I also hated coming back to a studio after the settings are adjusted from another session, and resetting based on notes or photos. It was never the same as before.
- There is a mode that allows you to adjust parameters beyond the original unit it is emulating. That is awesome (at times.)

- The EQ is okay, but it does what it is supposed to. Colorless lift or reduction of frequencies. I like color sometimes, so I prefer other EQs like Pultec, SSL, Neve, Trident or Ocean Audio, Manley, etc.

My favorite emulations are:

- Of course the Focusrite ones (they should emulate their own gear well)
- DBX Blue series
- Avalon series

In conclusion, if you just need a good mic pre and a good compressor, there are plenty out there you can pick as your all around favorite units. But for gearslutz like me, I prefer the various flavors and options, and the LC happens to have 40 pre/40 comp options in addition to my other hardware pres and comps. Oh yeah, and it only takes up 4U and costs about $4000 for a stereo or dual mono setup. Nice.


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