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ART - Pro MPA & Pro VLA Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 13th October 2002
  #1
Gear Addict
 

ART - Pro MPA & Pro VLA

Any known consensus on these two units from Applied Research and Technologies? MPA is a 2 rackspace tube preamp. The VLA is a 2 rackspace tube compressor.

Ciao,

Woods
Old 13th October 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 

Yes!dfegad ART...

Or as Fletcher would put it: "It sucks donkey balls!!!"

NOT jut my $0.02!grggt

Ciao
Old 13th October 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The preamp is an interesting effects box. The compressor is usable on some things but not amazing on many. I used to own one and sometimes I actually miss it. I wouldn't pay more then $250 for one though.
Old 13th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
AudioGaff's Avatar
A.R.T = 1/2 step above Alesis.... It's junk! But then there are a lot of people who like and use this same kind of junk. If your gonna buy crappy gear at least get the cool crap like the old MXR or Ashly that still gets some respect.
Old 13th October 2002
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I have both pieces you mentioned. The compressor can be useful in that it thickens the sound a bit and is not very aggressive. The preamp is good to soften things a bit. I just got some very good results using the preamp for room mics (4050 in omni). I don't think they are nearly as bad as some people think.

I also have a Manley VoxBox and a Great River MP2 and Drawmer 1969, so it's not like I've never heard a good preamp.

As jay mentioned the preamp can be a cool effect box. It's great for distorted bass drum!
Old 15th October 2002
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Have agree with Tony, the pre can be very useful as an effect type unit and as an instrument DI. Most synths here end up going through the ART which seems to nicely thicken up their sound. For vocals and accoustic inst., the usefulness is limited. But the other day I put an old timey banjo (which was being used as the chunker on a reggae track) through a 57 into the ART MP and it was perfect. From now on it will always be my first call on Reggae banjo tracks ;-). Take care Logan
Old 15th October 2002
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 

ART VLA compresser

I like the VLA compresser for live sound especially on bass. I have never been tempted to use it for recording though.

wurly in autumn
Old 16th October 2002
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Actually the VLA works well on wile recording Whrlies.
Old 16th October 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 

I much prefer an 1176 when recording wurly.heh
Old 16th October 2002
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 

spin me

All this whirling is making me dizzy.

wurly
Old 1st April 2004
  #11
Gear Nut
 

I've heard the MPA GOLD mic pre through a Shure KSM44 mic and it really sounds very smooth and silky on vocals and acoustic guitar. It has variable impedance so you can color your sound any way you like. I dont know how VLA sounds though. I would like to know if anyone else has any comments they can give about it.
Old 1st April 2004
  #12
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Cornvalley's Avatar
Pro MPA was one of the first pres I acquired before I was edumacated by these forums. Since then I've bought some Adams for monitors and put my Genelec 1031s in the tracking room. I slapped the Pro MPA on the control room outs to the speakers and let the pre act as a buffer and warming device. I think it sounds better than the direct outs for what I needed from those speakers in there.
Old 1st April 2004
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

VLA on drums... fan-****in-tastico. If you're into that whole indie-beat-box style drum stuff (I am.)
Old 1st April 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
PRS1JAZZ's Avatar
 

I use the MPA as a way to warm up my talkback mic.....


Old 1st April 2004
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Beezoboy's Avatar
 

Hmmm. . . I don;t care for ART pres, but I have heard many great things about the Pro VLA. I got one on eBay for $200 and it turns out it was broken. I just sent it back today. I think J.Hall is a fan of the VLA compresor as well as quite a few people whose opinions I respect. If its as good as an Ashly Sc-50 or Symetrix 501 I'll be happy.

I actually really like my Symetrix 501. It has a really balanced sound and I have gotten some great 1 mic drum sounds out of it. Anyway, if you can wait about 3 weeks I'll be happy to tell you what I think of the Art Pro VLA when i get it back and it is fuly functional.

Beez
Old 1st April 2004
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Frost's Avatar
 

I feel the mpa is a little too thick and wooly- lacking detail to use on a lot of tracks, but agree it could make a nice effects box on used on just a few tracks. Its cheap and for $250 you arent going to find better. Used on too many tracks and the song is going to mud tho.

I really like the provla a lot. I find its nice on some vocals and really works great on the send return of a guitar amp with an overzealous player. Nice enough on kick and snare, used to even track with a touch on kick and snare. Nothing comes close to this color piece in its price range. However, mine does sit on a shelf a lot now that I own a lot of gear in significantly higher price range.
Frost
Old 1st April 2004
  #17
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Re: ART - Pro MPA & Pro VLA

Quote:
Originally posted by woods
Any known consensus on these two units from Applied Research and Technologies? MPA is a 2 rackspace tube preamp. The VLA is a 2 rackspace tube compressor.

Ciao,

Woods
I'd sell you my ART PRO MPA for $200 plus shipping. Pristine condition. PM if you're interested.

Andi
Old 23rd June 2004
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Hmmmmmm.....interesting......I was talking to Dirk Brauner yesterday and he was raving about this fantastic stereo preamp he'd been using...the ART PRO MPA....tried it on everything but his door knob and got super results all around.....hmmmmmm......
Old 23rd June 2004
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Pro VLA

It's interesting to see people ripping the VLA when so many "alt" engineer/producers have gone public with how useful they feel the device is. I'd been thinking of getting one for drum overheads to free up my Avalon 747sp for the 2-bus. Hmmmm.........
Old 27th February 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Alex Specht's Avatar
 

ART PRO MPA vs. MPA GOLD

Hello,

Im wondering what the difference is between the old black PRO MPA and MPA GOLD.

I love the sound of the PRO MPA, so Im assuming that the MPA GOLD(which sells for under 300 bucks) uses cheaper quality componenets...

The original PROMPA sold for $600 new... as you guys know, this technology doesnt have any thing to do with MOres Law (some people think even their toilet paper is mores law eligable)

Please advise
Old 27th February 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Gear nut

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 89


Hmmmmmm.....interesting......I was talking to Dirk Brauner yesterday and he was raving about this fantastic stereo preamp he'd been using...the ART PRO MPA....tried it on everything but his door knob and got super results all around.....hmmmmmm......
Heh heh heh.....I have 3 of them with 50's and 60's vintage NOS tubes rolled into them. I always have other engineers ask me: "What did you use on the vocal chain"? I've recut vocals for clients done through U87 and API or Avalon front end using the ART and lesser known mics to everyone's satisfaction. You just never know sometimes....
Old 27th February 2008
  #22
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judah's Avatar
 

I have a PRO VLA an like it on many different sources. It's a slow compresser (even on its' fast settings, both attack and release) and it does something pleasant on bass, overheads sometimes, some vocals, and even kick drum and snare if you want to mellow them out. It's no SSL buss compressor, it doesn't squish the crap out of audio and if you push it too hard it sounds quite bad to my hears, but along with an RNC (the SM57 of compressors for us low-budgeter) it's a great combo to get a grasp on compression.
Old 27th February 2008
  #23
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blim's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by woods View Post
Any known consensus on these two units from Applied Research and Technologies? MPA is a 2 rackspace tube preamp. The VLA is a 2 rackspace tube compressor.
There isn't a better stereo tube compressor for the money than the Pro VLA. (Not that there's a lot of competition in that price range, though.) I would absolutely recommend it to anyone just starting out in recording who doesn't want to spend much money.
Old 28th February 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
guittarzzan's Avatar
I've had both of the originals since they first came out and will probably keep. They both are unique and definately a great choice for someone on a budget. I don't know the difference between the originals and the ones out now, but I doubt they can be beat for the money.
Old 11th February 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
wirenut's Avatar
 

They are very useful devices in the studio. Change the MPA gold tubes to NOS Mullard 12AT7's instead of the Chinese 12AX7's. A little less gain but nice and quiet. The Pro VLA will benefit by replacing the Chinese 12AT7's with NOS 12AT7's as well. I have API and Avalon pre's. The ART MPA Gold with the NOS tubes is used as much as the other pre's. Another color for the palette. I just bought some more NOS tubes for the Pro VLA and MPA Gold. Nice to try out different tubes till you get the sound you are looking for. Every tube is different.
Old 18th April 2009
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wirenut View Post
They are very useful devices in the studio. Change the MPA gold tubes to NOS Mullard 12AT7's instead of the Chinese 12AX7's. A little less gain but nice and quiet. The Pro VLA will benefit by replacing the Chinese 12AT7's with NOS 12AT7's as well. I have API and Avalon pre's. The ART MPA Gold with the NOS tubes is used as much as the other pre's. Another color for the palette. I just bought some more NOS tubes for the Pro VLA and MPA Gold. Nice to try out different tubes till you get the sound you are looking for. Every tube is different.
+1! I justed dropped in some NOS Telefunkens into my MPA Gold (Replacing Mullards) and WOW! more three dimensional, with a sparklier silkier top end. Very nice. Sounds GREAT on acoustic guitar.
Old 18th April 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
For the doubters....

Art MPA Gold Clips!

I have an MPA with a Telefunken in it and it sounds great. I have a feeling that many of the MPA's detractors have never replaced the chinese tubes with good NOS ones.
Old 19th April 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
nonamesleft's Avatar
 

MPA - Got this when all i had was a firepod...used it all the time obviously. Since that time i have acquired neve pres, api's, germanium, solo 110 and 610, and the MPA is only used for a talkback mic pre. It does not suck by any means, but it is not in the same league with the big boys...sorry

VLA II - best live vocal, electric and acoustic guitar comp i have ever used...by far. For recording, it gets beat out every time by my distressor, 1176, la3a, portico, dynamics toolbox, but it isn't like it is blown out of the water. When recording drums i still use it along with all the other comps i have. It is absolutely an outstanding comp for the price.
Old 19th April 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonamesleft View Post
MPA - Got this when all i had was a firepod...used it all the time obviously. Since that time i have acquired neve pres, api's, germanium, solo 110 and 610, and the MPA is only used for a talkback mic pre. It does not suck by any means, but it is not in the same league with the big boys...sorry

VLA II - best live vocal, electric and acoustic guitar comp i have ever used...by far. For recording, it gets beat out every time by my distressor, 1176, la3a, portico, dynamics toolbox, but it isn't like it is blown out of the water. When recording drums i still use it along with all the other comps i have. It is absolutely an outstanding comp for the price.
you got a nice little collection there. I'm jealous...the VLA is surprising isn't it?
Old 19th April 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groberts View Post
+1! I justed dropped in some NOS Telefunkens into my MPA Gold (Replacing Mullards) and WOW! more three dimensional, with a sparklier silkier top end. Very nice. Sounds GREAT on acoustic guitar.
+1 absolutely the truth
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