The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Analog hardware for home mastering..? Channel Strips
Old 11th July 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Analog hardware for home mastering..?

hi,

I am currently making hip hop music through ITB mixing at home. While it may be difficult to create complete professional quality music, I am still trying to make it as close as possible.

With good native plug-ins and UAD plug-ins, it's been quite successful to get dynamic, punchy, and loud enough sounds, but it's still hard to get addictive analogue sounds to entertain your ears. When I tried to get it through a plug-in, it often added to the feeling of squealing or unpleasant listening.

To remedy this problem, i am planning a setup that inserts one analog hardware to the mastering or mix bus chain. If you are in the same situation as me, what hardware equipment would you like to use?

I'm not asking for the best equipment. Since the choice of sound belongs to the problem of taste, I would like to ask you to recommend it according to your personal preference.

I am looking for your recommendation because it is hard to find used audio equipment in my area. There is no budget limit, but I would like to get a proposal in the direction of not bankruptcy if possible. Thank you!
Old 11th July 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
 

If you're not happy with your digital sound, fix your digital. Adding a piece of analog gear won't make bad digital good. It would help to know what you have and how you are using it.

WW
Old 11th July 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
I like to run my stems through hardware and then a little hardware inserted into the main bus path. I don't consider myself a mastering engineer but when I'm mastering my own stuff I like to keep it ITB as I already added my analog mojo while mixing. That said, my first stereo signal processor for the main mix was an ssl clone. There are plenty on the market in the 600-1000$ USD range and that made an awesome impact.
Old 11th July 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 
fairchildren's Avatar
 

He said nothing about his sound being "bad digital". Sounds like he is simply uninspired by digital sounds, which is the case for a lot of people.

I suggest you look into some hype boxes to round out the sound... such as a Overstayer MAS or Blackbox HG-2.

Tube compressors are always nice for control and vibe... budget can get pretty high.

All round work horse compressor - API 2500 could do the trick, but it's a little more punchy.

An EQ i think would be good is the Michaelangelo.


Cheers!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Way View Post
If you're not happy with your digital sound, fix your digital. Adding a piece of analog gear won't make bad digital good. It would help to know what you have and how you are using it.

WW
Old 12th July 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

You should go check out Warren Huart’s Produce Like A Pro YouTube channel, where he interviews a ton of mix and mastering engineers and talks about their equipment and techniques. Many of them work on hybrid systems, which is what you are asking about.

As far as personal experience with specific gear, I don’t think you could go wrong with a Rupert Neve Designs Master Buss Processor Compressor and a stereo pair of Pultec EQs. They are both great for mixing and mastering, and are dripping with classic analog character.
Old 12th July 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Way View Post
If you're not happy with your digital sound, fix your digital. Adding a piece of analog gear won't make bad digital good. It would help to know what you have and how you are using it.

WW
Thank you for your advice. I am also trying to solve everything in the digital environment. Of course, it could be that I made the sound too harsh, or I could have screwed the dynamics of the sound and ruined my music. However, there are many times when I feel that it may not be.

For example, I can not reproduce the xylophone sound in the intro part of "shape of you" in the digital domain. I can make sounds that are as dynamic as the sound and within the same frequency range, but I can not seem to mimic the texture perfectly.

I really hope this is my misunderstanding and this is just a matter of skills. Unfortunately, I have not been able to learn such skills anywhere. Is it really solved only by the comp, eq, reverb, and analog simulation?
Old 12th July 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
I like to run my stems through hardware and then a little hardware inserted into the main bus path. I don't consider myself a mastering engineer but when I'm mastering my own stuff I like to keep it ITB as I already added my analog mojo while mixing. That said, my first stereo signal processor for the main mix was an ssl clone. There are plenty on the market in the 600-1000$ USD range and that made an awesome impact.
I am really grateful for your advice. Is the SSL clone you're referring to a clone of an SSL compressor? I think I should find out from now on. Thank you!
Old 12th July 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singlecutz View Post
You should go check out Warren Huart’s Produce Like A Pro YouTube channel, where he interviews a ton of mix and mastering engineers and talks about their equipment and techniques. Many of them work on hybrid systems, which is what you are asking about.

As far as personal experience with specific gear, I don’t think you could go wrong with a Rupert Neve Designs Master Buss Processor Compressor and a stereo pair of Pultec EQs. They are both great for mixing and mastering, and are dripping with classic analog character.
Thank you. I've seen a lot of mixing and mastering videos on YouTube, like in to the lair, but I do not think I've seen the warren huart course you recommended. The rupert neve's portico II was one of the equipment I was considering. Thank you.
Old 12th July 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairchildren View Post
He said nothing about his sound being "bad digital". Sounds like he is simply uninspired by digital sounds, which is the case for a lot of people.

I suggest you look into some hype boxes to round out the sound... such as a Overstayer MAS or Blackbox HG-2.

Tube compressors are always nice for control and vibe... budget can get pretty high.

All round work horse compressor - API 2500 could do the trick, but it's a little more punchy.

An EQ i think would be good is the Michaelangelo.


Cheers!
Thank you for recommending products I have not thought of. The price is not so expensive, so it seems to be even better. I think we should look at product reviews and consider purchasing. I've heard a lot about api2500. It seems to be a more focused device for dealing with dynamics, but when I listened to the sound, the texture was also good. I really appreciate your advice!
Old 12th July 2018
  #10
My general advice would be that home + mastering are not really compatible entities.
To get something mastered you really need a mastering engineer in a professional room on professional high end speakers.

Just because you go out and buy an API 2500 (which the mastering engineer may very well have) isn't exactly the same thing.
Its about the experience, perspective and the options. Usually those mastering guys will have about 4 or 5 different bus compressors to choose from ranging from $2k-$6k and very expensive analog limiters and EQs.

BUT If you are buying an API2500 as a bus compressor for MIXING that is a different story. You can use this, then send your compressed and non-compressed versions to the mastering engineer.

----------------

UNLESS, if you have gotten consistent results from a mastering engineer and really know what exact settings and gear he uses for your project everytime, and want to just try to replicate this at home. Then I would say its possible. But until then, I wouldn't expect to get a full master at home and buying gear might be a waste of time.

I would take the advice of others and go the route of getting as much color on your tracks/stems as you can. Do this with as much analog as you can. Then the bus compressor doesn't need to really do that much and isn't as important of a factor as everyone thinks it is and you can get decent results with a good plugin or hardware unit and something like Ozone 8.
Old 12th July 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveyoumaxin View Post
I am really grateful for your advice. Is the SSL clone you're referring to a clone of an SSL compressor? I think I should find out from now on. Thank you!
Yup! The SSL compressor. Stam Audio and AudioScape make nice affordable ones. TK Audio another good candidate.

Speaking to the saturation suggestions above, that could work too. I also have a pair of Neve 542's that add transformer weight and saturation as well as some compression when hitting harder. Pretty nice vibes esp when stacked up...
Old 12th July 2018
  #12
JAT
Lives for gear
Hardware can help. I have an outboard stereo setup that I use for both tracking and bus compression - Warm Pultecs and an original Komit compressor/limiter (Burgan/McDaniel not Radial) pair. They help on stereo sources coming in and out, preshaping the signal which firms up the digital tracks. For mono sources it is the RND Portico II channel or a combo - 1176 and LA2A clone thru another outboard pre. Again, getting the source closer to the sound I want before conversion. You can use digital on those to finalize the tracks, or send them out for further analog processing. Then mix digitally, and one last "mastering" outboard journey. It works great for me.

But the first best use of funds is room treatment, if you are recording and not playing an instrument, and the next is monitoring (which is the room and, well, monitors and position). If you are happy with those (and have taken a few songs down to a professional studio and listened on a very tuned system) then start investing in mics and outboard).
Old 12th July 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Swurveman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveyoumaxin View Post
hi,

I am currently making hip hop music through ITB mixing at home. While it may be difficult to create complete professional quality music, I am still trying to make it as close as possible.

With good native plug-ins and UAD plug-ins, it's been quite successful to get dynamic, punchy, and loud enough sounds, but it's still hard to get addictive analogue sounds to entertain your ears. When I tried to get it through a plug-in, it often added to the feeling of squealing or unpleasant listening.

To remedy this problem, i am planning a setup that inserts one analog hardware to the mastering or mix bus chain. If you are in the same situation as me, what hardware equipment would you like to use?

I'm not asking for the best equipment. Since the choice of sound belongs to the problem of taste, I would like to ask you to recommend it according to your personal preference.

I am looking for your recommendation because it is hard to find used audio equipment in my area. There is no budget limit, but I would like to get a proposal in the direction of not bankruptcy if possible. Thank you!
I have both an API 2500 and a Smart C2. I use my API 2500 for drums and my Smart C2 on my Mix Bus. I mix into the Smart C2 instead of using it like a mastering tool at the end of the mix. Many, many people mix into the Smart C2 or any SSL type compressor like I do every day.
Old 17th July 2018
  #14
Gear Head
 
fairchildren's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swurveman View Post
I have both an API 2500 and a Smart C2. I use my API 2500 for drums and my Smart C2 on my Mix Bus. I mix into the Smart C2 instead of using it like a mastering tool at the end of the mix. Many, many people mix into the Smart C2 or any SSL type compressor like I do every day.
definitely. The 2500 can get you into SSL territory in the "new" mode. Not exactly the same, but quite fast response and clean.
Old 17th July 2018
  #15
The 2500 is awesome and very flexible though I prefer to hand my tracks off to an experienced mastering engineer who uses comps in another league such as the Knif vari-mu.

My thoughts are that their job is to get tracks sounding good on a wide range of systems, and that is an art I really am not that interested in enough to invest in. ME's are not really that expensive when I compare it to what I would have to spend to do it the way I wanted ... if I had the ears which I do not.
Old 17th July 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Swurveman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairchildren View Post
definitely. The 2500 can get you into SSL territory in the "new" mode. Not exactly the same, but quite fast response and clean.
I wouldn't call the 2500 clean in any mode from a transparency sense. It boosts frequencies in the snare region, which is why it is so valued for drums. You want your snare to pop more? Use the API 2500 and boom, it's there.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump