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Preamps for Motu 828es Project Studio
Old 29th March 2019 | Show parent
  #31
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gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Won't be easy to get here in the US it appears.
We have just managed to get genuine US distribution. Try contacting Frank from OneFsound - One F Sound – Analog audio recording and mastering gear - he has (or will have shortly) our entire range for demo in the US. They're the guys doing Maselec stuff already.

Jakob Erland
Gyraf Audio
(who has commercial interests in clearing this up)
Old 29th March 2019 | Show parent
  #32
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Cheu, I've been digging through all of your suggestions. Thank you so much! Lots of good options it appears. The Gyraf tilt EQ looks amazing! Won't be easy to get here in the US it appears.
You're very welcome..!These are just my opinions.. I don't sell gear nor I do have any vested interest and it's only my experience (and tastes of course)..

AFAIK it's rather easy to get the Gyraf in the US.. Frontendaudio has the G23-S apparently and VK has Gyraf stuff as well.. there might be others.. check out the link that Jakob posted above..

Although on the GS classifieds there's a CAG HDE-250 for sale (GS memeber Kimotei is selling one).. I'm not related to that guy or the sale..I just saw it recently.. it's different from the gyraf, but sounds stellar.. boosting lowend or top end is just so good on that eq.. it's very musical, clean, but exciting not sterile at all. I love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
I like your suggestion of getting a stereo compressor that could be used for both mix bus and tracking. Seems like a great way to dip my toes into outboard compression.

Between the Daking Fet II and FET III, the transformers and stepped pots of the II are really appealing, and the variable stereo link and HPF of the II, along with the price, make me lean towards it instead. Choices!
I believe the II is discontinued unfortunately, but the III doesn't sound radically different.. Although for my tastes I'd go with a pair of II, I'd not worry too much..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
The JDK is even more attractive for the price. I'm a little concerned it doesn't have attack and release controls. I'll have to do some more research here. No rush, as plugs are getting me what I need for now, but I am curious about the accounts of "je ne sais quoi" that outboard gear seems to have.

Cheu, you rock!
Don't worry about the lack of attack/release controls on the JDK R22.. it's very well thought out, program dependent, and with the ratio and hard/soft knee (along with the thrust) you can actually influence the results quite a bit.

Of course it's not a spanking box or fx/tone box where you could squash drums or stuff like that.. it's a rather clean/polite compressor, that sounds full and very good imho.
A perfect tracking (or bus) compressor.. where you could control your source or the entire mix and gluing it together without too much colour.. as said very versatile and imho, in this case, the "lack" of some controls is a "plus"..you're so fast setting it up that you concentrate on the music and on Things thta really matters instead of toying around release settings... less is more as they say

It's a vca compressor, but as said it sounds full and very good compared to other vca comps I've used. (I believe SOS did a review some years ago, I agree with that review). for the price is a no brainer.
here it is:
JDK Comp R22 |

Remember this was the channel compressor in the ATI Paragon live consoles (back in the day they were top dog live consoles along midas).. all or most of the JDK line derives from that because Larry Droppa (API and JDK president) was the owner of ATI at that time.
Also their 8mx2 is a fantastic 8 channel preamp mixer in a 1RU which I can suggest..sounds great! (it's also a mixer as a plus..not so cheap though but worthed!).

I'm actually surprised that there's not more buzz around JDK.. this is great stuff! I'd love to have a JDK console with few channels, a simple eq and the jdk comp on every channel and 3 or 4 busses.
everybody seems attracted to the el cheapo clone factories these days..I guess it has to do with the social media factors and showing off even when you can't afford a real U47... but it LOOKS like one

Also regarding the Audient asp 8 channel, I do believe it's a good choice, it sounds clean and it doesn't have the "heft" of other Units, but for live recording is very capable and as other said, the mics and the acoustics of the room are going to play a much bigger role.

I'd go for it instead of any portico actually.. I'm not a big fan of these Units, not because they sound bad, I simply do thing they are overrated/overpriced for what they are (an IC preamp).

have a good one!

Ciao



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 29th March 2019 at 02:34 PM..
Old 29th March 2019
  #33
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Louder Than Liftoff Chromas plus lunchbox. There is 15% off right now. These let you switch between Neve and API circuits, and add additional saturation or filtering in the color slot.
Old 29th March 2019 | Show parent
  #34
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4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco1Disco2 View Post
Louder Than Liftoff Chromas plus lunchbox. There is 15% off right now. These let you switch between Neve and API circuits, and add additional saturation or filtering in the color slot.
the OP has a space issue with his rack..
so 3Ru for 8 to max 11 channels (depending on the lunchbox) is not the best way to save space, plus the cost associated with filling the 8-11 space (although liftoff does have a fair price).

some Things in the 500 series are great, but not cheap and not space/weight saving.


just my 0.02$,



Cheu
Old 29th March 2019 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
the OP has a space issue with his rack..
so 3Ru for 8 to max 11 channels (depending on the lunchbox) is not the best way to save space, plus the cost associated with filling the 8-11 space (although liftoff does have a fair price).

some Things in the 500 series are great, but not cheap and not space/weight saving.


just my 0.02$,



Cheu
3U for 8-11 channels maybe isn´t good if it is "just" preamps ...

but for what is basically a channelstrip (in case of the LTL stuff for example, the newer ones all at least have a "tilt" EQ) this is pretty OK, don´t you agree?
Old 29th March 2019 | Show parent
  #36
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenosapien View Post
3U for 8-11 channels maybe isn´t good if it is "just" preamps ...

but for what is basically a channelstrip (in case of the LTL stuff for example, the newer ones all at least have a "tilt" EQ) this is pretty OK, don´t you agree?
I believe it's not what the OP is interested in, or what he needs..

I do find the 500 series and some units in particular very interesting.. But that doesn't help the OP cause, since he has 5RU in total and does mobile recordings, even when these feats are useful might not match his needs (and budget)..and transportability.. So preamps might really be what he really needs in the end..

Although ltl does cool stuff..



Cheu
Old 30th March 2019 | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
We have just managed to get genuine US distribution. Try contacting Frank from OneFsound - One F Sound – Analog audio recording and mastering gear - he has (or will have shortly) our entire range for demo in the US. They're the guys doing Maselec stuff already.

Jakob Erland
Gyraf Audio
(who has commercial interests in clearing this up)
Thanks! I'll check it out!
Old 30th March 2019 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco1Disco2 View Post
Louder Than Liftoff Chromas plus lunchbox. There is 15% off right now. These let you switch between Neve and API circuits, and add additional saturation or filtering in the color slot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenosapien View Post
3U for 8-11 channels maybe isn´t good if it is "just" preamps ...

but for what is basically a channelstrip (in case of the LTL stuff for example, the newer ones all at least have a "tilt" EQ) this is pretty OK, don´t you agree?
Thanks, guys. A lunchbox may be in my future someday. For now, I'm just trying to get enough pres in a rack with my MOTU interface to track full bands, while still being able to park said pres at home for recording single and stereo sources.

Having said that, all of the talk we are having about compressors and EQs would NOT end up in that rack. I'd have a second rack at home for running tracks and mix buses through, or for tracking at home, but when I'm out in the field I'd just be hauling pres and leave the rest of the outboard at home.

Any other recommendations for preamps?

It's looking like my original plan of Audients for an 8 channel ADAT box sounds good, and the last space is up for grabs. I think Neve-ish is the way to go to have that flavor, since I already dig the Golden Age Pre73 I have. Looking for a 2-4 channel unit.

This is what my gator rack will look like:

Furman Power Conditioner
Motu 828es
Daking Mic Pre IV
Audient ASP 800 or 880
2-4 channels Neve type pre in last 1RU space.

Units I have seen that look good are the Slate Fox, Great River, BAE 1073 (although the power supply looks enormous), Portico 5024 (I like that I get 4 pres in 1RU), Vintech 273 EQ, Phoenix DRS-Q4 (also has eq!), AMS Neve 1073 DPD (with digital conversion via SPIDF). I'd even consider the Golden Age Premier units if they are as good as the other premium options.

This would give me 16-18 pres for tracking bands in 5RU - with another 10-12 channels available to expand via ADAT and SPDIF if I decided to get a bigger rack.

Then, I can start obsessing about outboard gear for tracking/mixing! lol.

The GAS is real guys. Thanks again for all of your thoughts.
Old 30th March 2019
  #39
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Oh man, I've fallen down the "Neve style preamp" thread hole... Tons of opinions everywhere.

The Aurora GTQ2 is fast rising to the top of my wish list. People seem to rave about the pre, the DI, and the EQ. Some folks are even strapping it to their mix-bus as a tone sweetener/EQ. This could be the crown jewel of my setup...

Anyone have experience with one of these? Does it live up to the hype or should I be looking for a more affordable solution for a comparable sound?
Old 30th March 2019 | Show parent
  #40
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Oh man, I've fallen down the "Neve style preamp" thread hole... Tons of opinions everywhere.

The Aurora GTQ2 is fast rising to the top of my wish list. People seem to rave about the pre, the DI, and the EQ. Some folks are even strapping it to their mix-bus as a tone sweetener/EQ. This could be the crown jewel of my setup...

Anyone have experience with one of these? Does it live up to the hype or should I be looking for a more affordable solution for a comparable sound?
I have experience with most of the N pres on the market and their build quality.

Since you seem to need only 2 channels you have several options..

- BAE 1073mp is a very nice piece, as you said there's the external pwr supply.. But the sound is really good (the mpf version has the hpf as well). Can't go wrong with these.

- Aurora Audio GTQ2, is Geoff Tanner take, original design, not a clone but it's based on that topology. It has a more open/sparkly topend compared to an original.. Not harsh.. Nice piece indeed plus you have a small and effective eq.
I believe there's one in the classifieds..
Aurora recently came out with their GTP1 and GTP2, which are the preamp only versions and are less expensive. Recommended.

If you are getting a 19" 2slot lunchbox (Empirical labs make a good one, but there are others) you could get an Avedis MA5, which imho is one of the best preamp avalaible for the 500 series (and not only) if you are looking for a neve-ish preamp.
It's an original design and Avedis quality is second to none.
There are some reviews around, under my avatar you'll find one. I can't reccomend them enough, they're that good.

Imho these are your best bet and in the medium-long run your best bang for the buck as well. Go for it! Other clones are imho and ime not worthed the hassle.

You might find these on the used market, which makes them a no brainer, really..
Forget ams, rnd and all the plethora of other cheap cloners.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 1st April 2019 | Show parent
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I have experience with most of the N pres on the market and their build quality.

Since you seem to need only 2 channels you have several options..

- BAE 1073mp is a very nice piece, as you said there's the external pwr supply.. But the sound is really good (the mpf version has the hpf as well). Can't go wrong with these.

- Aurora Audio GTQ2, is Geoff Tanner take, original design, not a clone but it's based on that topology. It has a more open/sparkly topend compared to an original.. Not harsh.. Nice piece indeed plus you have a small and effective eq.
I believe there's one in the classifieds..
Aurora recently came out with their GTP1 and GTP2, which are the preamp only versions and are less expensive. Recommended.

If you are getting a 19" 2slot lunchbox (Empirical labs make a good one, but there are others) you could get an Avedis MA5, which imho is one of the best preamp avalaible for the 500 series (and not only) if you are looking for a neve-ish preamp.
It's an original design and Avedis quality is second to none.
There are some reviews around, under my avatar you'll find one. I can't reccomend them enough, they're that good.

Imho these are your best bet and in the medium-long run your best bang for the buck as well. Go for it! Other clones are imho and ime not worthed the hassle.

You might find these on the used market, which makes them a no brainer, really..
Forget ams, rnd and all the plethora of other cheap cloners.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Thanks, Cheu. In reality, I wish there were more 4 preamp 1RU options, but from the Neve-ish camp it seems the Portico 5024 is the only game in town, and while some people love them, I get the sense that they aren't top of the heap anymore. If there was a 4 channel 1RU Great River I would be all over that, since it seems to have some of the Neve thing going on, but people describe it as punchy and more open and modern, which sounds like it could work really well on drums and other sources alongside my Dakings, and still handle vocals and guitars with class.


Since 2 channel boxes of this type appear to be easier to come by, I'm thinking about what could work as a sweetener for my mix bus as well, and the Aurora GTQ2 seems really appealing. I appreciate your input! Sounds like Phoenix and Vintech just aren't in the same league, eh? Too bad, since the price and features appear really attractive.

Sigh... dreaming of pres...

In other news, I multi-tracked a band for a live show at a club I work at the other day. They have a Midas M32, and I was pretty happy with the pres on that thing. Clean and modern to my ear. Easy to make a real punchy and sparkly mix. But I kept wondering to myself what it would have sounded like with some Dakings and Neve-ish pres instead... I may have a problem... lol
Old 2nd April 2019 | Show parent
  #42
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Thanks, Cheu. In reality, I wish there were more 4 preamp 1RU options, but from the Neve-ish camp it seems the Portico 5024 is the only game in town, and while some people love them, I get the sense that they aren't top of the heap anymore. If there was a 4 channel 1RU Great River I would be all over that, since it seems to have some of the Neve thing going on, but people describe it as punchy and more open and modern, which sounds like it could work really well on drums and other sources alongside my Dakings, and still handle vocals and guitars with class.


Since 2 channel boxes of this type appear to be easier to come by, I'm thinking about what could work as a sweetener for my mix bus as well, and the Aurora GTQ2 seems really appealing. I appreciate your input! Sounds like Phoenix and Vintech just aren't in the same league, eh? Too bad, since the price and features appear really attractive.

Sigh... dreaming of pres...

In other news, I multi-tracked a band for a live show at a club I work at the other day. They have a Midas M32, and I was pretty happy with the pres on that thing. Clean and modern to my ear. Easy to make a real punchy and sparkly mix. But I kept wondering to myself what it would have sounded like with some Dakings and Neve-ish pres instead... I may have a problem... lol
The portico has NOTHING in common to a "neve sound" (if we think about a 10xx class A module type of sound) imho. It's an IC based preamp that was made by RND. These are rather "clean-ish" sounding.. Not that they're bad, but they don't sound as the classic stuff we are referring. IMHO if you want a "regular" preamp you could find cheaper ones than those, if you want to get that "N" thing going you need to look elsewhere.

That said I'd not worry too much or go crazy.. although preamps plays a role, they come after these much more important things: talent/performer - room acoustics - microphone/placement

While this is not a good reason to buy cheap crap, you should do an investment that will keep you happy for the upcoming years, while sounding great and always performing as it should.

The Aurora GTQ2 is a good unit indeed, the small eq might not be too flexible and a little bit goes a long way, but it sounds good and it might indeed work well on the 2bus as an "enhancer".. The open crispy non harsh top end and the blooming lowend might help your mix, even without eq.

I've used the Avedis MA5 on the 2bus with a linepad as well (always made by Avedis in order to enter with the correct impedance in the preamp with a line level signal).. And it works quite well indeed.. It injects some solidity and bigness without sounding like an eq.. and as a preamp it's stellar.

Although it's a diy thing and a 2RU the sca n72 are not bad..modular concept..
The thing is that the output xformer is not the same as the one you find in other units. They they sound pretty good..
But again unless you find a used rack with 8 of them it might not be worthed when you're thinking the time you need to finish these.

Aurora also make an 8 channel version preamp only in a 2RU box, the gtp8, which for 5k is a good deal, I rarely saw them for sale in the classifieds, this tells you something.

Also on another note I saw in the classifieds (and reverb) that there are some ATI 8mx2 for sale at a great price, while these are a little bit more expensive than the audient (which is a good unit) they sound really good, plus they offer some mixing capabilities as well.. Although 8 channels in 1RU, the box is rather deep, has a fan but sounds great! Just saying..

I dunno if this really helps, but I hope so.. Don't go nuts.. Get what you need, solid quality choices.



Cheu
Old 2nd April 2019 | Show parent
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
The portico has NOTHING in common to a "neve sound" (if we think about a 10xx class A module type of sound) imho. It's an IC based preamp that was made by RND. These are rather "clean-ish" sounding.. Not that they're bad, but they don't sound as the classic stuff we are referring. IMHO if you want a "regular" preamp you could find cheaper ones than those, if you want to get that "N" thing going you need to look elsewhere.

That said I'd not worry too much or go crazy.. although preamps plays a role, they come after these much more important things: talent/performer - room acoustics - microphone/placement

While this is not a good reason to buy cheap crap, you should do an investment that will keep you happy for the upcoming years, while sounding great and always performing as it should.

The Aurora GTQ2 is a good unit indeed, the small eq might not be too flexible and a little bit goes a long way, but it sounds good and it might indeed work well on the 2bus as an "enhancer".. The open crispy non harsh top end and the blooming lowend might help your mix, even without eq.

I've used the Avedis MA5 on the 2bus with a linepad as well (always made by Avedis in order to enter with the correct impedance in the preamp with a line level signal).. And it works quite well indeed.. It injects some solidity and bigness without sounding like an eq.. and as a preamp it's stellar.

Although it's a diy thing and a 2RU the sca n72 are not bad..modular concept..
The thing is that the output xformer is not the same as the one you find in other units. They they sound pretty good..
But again unless you find a used rack with 8 of them it might not be worthed when you're thinking the time you need to finish these.

Aurora also make an 8 channel version preamp only in a 2RU box, the gtp8, which for 5k is a good deal, I rarely saw them for sale in the classifieds, this tells you something.

Also on another note I saw in the classifieds (and reverb) that there are some ATI 8mx2 for sale at a great price, while these are a little bit more expensive than the audient (which is a good unit) they sound really good, plus they offer some mixing capabilities as well.. Although 8 channels in 1RU, the box is rather deep, has a fan but sounds great! Just saying..

I dunno if this really helps, but I hope so.. Don't go nuts.. Get what you need, solid quality choices.



Cheu
Good to know about the Portico. Honestly the samples I have heard didn't blow me away either.

The Aurora GTQ2 is at the top of my list I think.

As far as the ATI unit, I saw that one, and people say it shares some common lineage with API units I think. But I guess I don't know what the use of having a mixer would be. Is the appeal mostly summing OTB? Also, I don't think it's digital, which is the main appeal of the Audient, as it allows me to expand my MOTU via ADAT and get a lot more channels for band tracking.

Thanks, as always! Next I'm going to start a thread about expanding my mic locker...
Old 2nd April 2019 | Show parent
  #44
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4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Good to know about the Portico. Honestly the samples I have heard didn't blow me away either.

The Aurora GTQ2 is at the top of my list I think.

As far as the ATI unit, I saw that one, and people say it shares some common lineage with API units I think. But I guess I don't know what the use of having a mixer would be. Is the appeal mostly summing OTB? Also, I don't think it's digital, which is the main appeal of the Audient, as it allows me to expand my MOTU via ADAT and get a lot more channels for band tracking.

Thanks, as always! Next I'm going to start a thread about expanding my mic locker...
Regarding the ATI (now JDK) 8mx2 unit.
It has NOTHING to do with API from a sound or circuit perspective.. It derives from the Paragon live consoles, which where among the best live consoles ever made.. They have a nice punch to them while being "clean-ish".. very nice preamps indeed.. No digital options.
The practical thing for me of that unit is that when recording live, you could cue/monitor each channel indipendently.. Before going into the recorder.

The fact is that API Larry Droppa worked for/owned ATI before and then he bought API, and brought those "Paragon" derived products under another brand, before under the Arsenal Audio brand (then Jvc whined/wanted to sue because of a name copyright thing), so he changed the name of that "sister" brand to JDK audio (which apparently are the initial letter of the names of his sons).

That's the only thing in common with API, but from a design point of view they have nothing in common with api. But they sounds really good and are way under the radar, for some reasons..

If you need the adat out go with the Audient



Cheu
Old 8th May 2019
  #45
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Well, my plan has fallen apart slightly. I just realized my rack case (gator portable shallow 6u) doesn't have equidistant hole-spacing, so I can't really offset my units by 1/3ru as I was planning. This means getting 5 single rack units in that case only allows 1 empty space for air, and I hear the Audient runs hot. The MOTU definitely runs hot, and the Daking is warmish, so multiple air spaces would have been nice.

If I want two air spaces I can do this:

Furman
space
MOTU
space
Audient
Daking

That gives me 14 channels, and no Neve style channels for a portable rig. It's "enough" but not really what I was hoping for.

Does anyone know of any portable racks that have equidistant hole-spacing for offsetting?

Part of me thinks I should just suck it up and get another rack. Put a MOTU and a couple Audient's in it and call it a day for my mobile rig, and leave the premium channels (Dakings and probably Aurora's) at home. I was really attached to the idea of bringing a rack full of Daking's and Auroras to a remote location and getting killer band recordings with them, but maybe it's just too much kit to be hauling around.
Old 9th May 2019 | Show parent
  #46
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4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Well, my plan has fallen apart slightly. I just realized my rack case (gator portable shallow 6u) doesn't have equidistant hole-spacing, so I can't really offset my units by 1/3ru as I was planning. This means getting 5 single rack units in that case only allows 1 empty space for air, and I hear the Audient runs hot. The MOTU definitely runs hot, and the Daking is warmish, so multiple air spaces would have been nice.

If I want two air spaces I can do this:

Furman
space
MOTU
space
Audient
Daking

That gives me 14 channels, and no Neve style channels for a portable rig. It's "enough" but not really what I was hoping for.

Does anyone know of any portable racks that have equidistant hole-spacing for offsetting?

Part of me thinks I should just suck it up and get another rack. Put a MOTU and a couple Audient's in it and call it a day for my mobile rig, and leave the premium channels (Dakings and probably Aurora's) at home. I was really attached to the idea of bringing a rack full of Daking's and Auroras to a remote location and getting killer band recordings with them, but maybe it's just too much kit to be hauling around.
How many channels do you really need?
If you need that number of channels, then I'd look into a rack that could accomodate that or even better said, try to accomodate your workflow the best you could, that will have a big impact..
Layout things that make sense to you..
Don't worry too much on what gear (although the aurora's are nice to have and sound good)..
Maybe you might think into a wheeled rack? Something that might be a little bit bigger, but very easy to tilt and lug around in the end..

I hope that helps,



Cheu
Old 9th May 2019 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
How many channels do you really need?
If you need that number of channels, then I'd look into a rack that could accomodate that or even better said, try to accomodate your workflow the best you could, that will have a big impact..
Layout things that make sense to you..
Don't worry too much on what gear (although the aurora's are nice to have and sound good)..
Maybe you might think into a wheeled rack? Something that might be a little bit bigger, but very easy to tilt and lug around in the end..

I hope that helps,



Cheu
Thanks Cheu. As far as number of channels - here are the last two bands I tracked.

Band A:
Drums x 8
Bass x 1
Electric Guitar x 1
Acoustic Guitar x 1
Lead Vocal x 1
Back-up Vocal x 3

TOTAL: 15

Band B:
Drums x 7
Bass x 1
Electric Guitar x 1
Keys x 1
Vocal x 1

TOTAL: 11

So yeah, 16 channels or so to play with sounds good. And extra channels are nice for room mics, extra drum mics (under snare anyone?), or just bigger bands.

You're probably right, it's just the bigger racks are also deeper than I need and don't sit nicely on my mixing desk in my studio room when I'm not on-location. But that's probably the right answer. That or two smaller racks - a main rack with enough pres for a smaller job, and a second supplementary rack for when I need more channels. That actually sounds like a good solution right now.

So here's my thinking now:

Rack 1 for smaller jobs and overdubbing:
Furman
space
MOTU 828es
space
Daking Mic Pre IV
space
Aurora GTQ2

Rack 2 for larger jobs and full band tracking:
Furman
Headphone Amp
space
Audient 880

Something like that. Anyways, I'm mostly just thinking aloud. Thanks for your continued guidance and encouragement!
Old 9th May 2019 | Show parent
  #48
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4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Thanks Cheu. As far as number of channels - here are the last two bands I tracked.

Band A:
Drums x 8
Bass x 1
Electric Guitar x 1
Acoustic Guitar x 1
Lead Vocal x 1
Back-up Vocal x 3

TOTAL: 15

Band B:
Drums x 7
Bass x 1
Electric Guitar x 1
Keys x 1
Vocal x 1

TOTAL: 11

So yeah, 16 channels or so to play with sounds good. And extra channels are nice for room mics, extra drum mics (under snare anyone?), or just bigger bands.

You're probably right, it's just the bigger racks are also deeper than I need and don't sit nicely on my mixing desk in my studio room when I'm not on-location. But that's probably the right answer. That or two smaller racks - a main rack with enough pres for a smaller job, and a second supplementary rack for when I need more channels. That actually sounds like a good solution right now.

So here's my thinking now:

Rack 1 for smaller jobs and overdubbing:
Furman
space
MOTU 828es
space
Daking Mic Pre IV
space
Aurora GTQ2

Rack 2 for larger jobs and full band tracking:
Furman
Headphone Amp
space
Audient 880

Something like that. Anyways, I'm mostly just thinking aloud. Thanks for your continued guidance and encouragement!
I see..
What I will suggest is to keep the cabling for the monitoring in the same rack, so that is always patched no matter what..

What is a little bit of a "waste" since you need the pres is having an interface that has only 2 of 'em..

If I were doing this again I'd go with a couple of Metric Halo (one uln-8 and maybe a lio-8 and 8 channels of dedicated pres)..

I'd definitely try to find a rack where your plans could work..
And put good quality wheels on it.. It is so practical to move a 8 or 10RU with wheels.. (or even putting it in the trunk of you car).


Let us know how things evolve


Good luck!


Cheu
Old 10th May 2019 | Show parent
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I see..
What I will suggest is to keep the cabling for the monitoring in the same rack, so that is always patched no matter what..

What is a little bit of a "waste" since you need the pres is having an interface that has only 2 of 'em..

If I were doing this again I'd go with a couple of Metric Halo (one uln-8 and maybe a lio-8 and 8 channels of dedicated pres)..

I'd definitely try to find a rack where your plans could work..
And put good quality wheels on it.. It is so practical to move a 8 or 10RU with wheels.. (or even putting it in the trunk of you car).


Let us know how things evolve


Good luck!


Cheu

My MOTU has two headphone outputs already, so I figured for smaller jobs that's probably enough, but you make a good point that if I have the space why not just have all the monitoring cabled up a ready to go.

As far as the interface preamps, while I was pleasantly surprised (just on a vocal speaking test) with the MOTU pres, the whole idea was to get an interface with a lot of analog inputs for outboard pres. For some reason I got it in my head that "premium pres for a mobile rig" sounded like a good plan.

I found a great 10u portable rack locally used, so I'll check that out and see if I can make it work. Will solve the silly rack space issues and allow me to not compromise on my ideal setup.

So maybe something like this as the ultimate dream setup:

Furman
Headphone Amp
space
MOTU 828es
space
Daking Mic Pre IV
Daking Mic Pre IV
Aurora GTQ2
space
Audient ASP880

That's 20 simultaneous channels and a headphone amp. The rack could live in my studio and then come with me for location recording and I wouldn't be missing a thing.

I'll keep you posted as things advance. Probably more slowly for a while as I recover my resources for the next piece.

Cheers!
Old 14th May 2019
  #50
Lives for gear
 
So I grabbed the 10u rack for a good price from a guy locally and it came with some nice freebies so it looks like that will be the plan, for now. It'll be a bit heavy and unwieldy (no wheels) but I need a cart for my live sound stuff anyways so will probably be using that whenever I'm on a remote gig. I also got a portable gobo (the GIK vocal booth) and some atlas mic stands for overheads, so all in all it was a good score for my mobile rig! Right now it's parked in my studio room and acting like it owns the place... Can't wait to fill this thing up and take it out for a whirl.
Old 7th July 2019
  #51
Lives for gear
 
I've spent some more time with my Daking IV and I've decided I'll probably be pretty happy with just getting more Daking pres and keeping it simple. I already knew I loved them on drums but I tracked some vocals with an SM7B the other day and it sounded way better than I expected for some reason. I don't know why I was worried about the Daking on vocals - maybe because I heard everyone likes it for drums and guitars, but at least with that mic and that voice it sounded really killer to me. I'll keep my GA Pre73 for variety on single sources if I need it, as I do like it and like the DI on guitar especially, but I'm not really craving variety anymore.

One less thing to think about, and a cohesive "sound" to all my tracks if I can track with them exclusively. I spent a lot of time researching and listening to samples and reading forums and really enjoyed getting to know what people prefer and the plethora of options out there, but there is something really appealing to me right now about an all-Daking front end for my tracking setup.

So, for now, I have 8 inputs on my MOTU and hope to fill it with 8 channels of Daking. That gives me 10 channels to start, and I'll probably need to expand a little more via ADAT, SPDIF, or additional converters if I'm tracking full bands live, but I bet I could get a lot done with those 10 channels to start.

The Daking IV I have now is the old version with the all-green faceplate and I can only find the new ones with the aluminum ears and a different shade of green right now, so, since I'm vain and I want my two units to match, if anyone has an older model they are willing to part with, shoot me a message!

Thanks again for all of your counsel. Lots of really interesting options out there and I learned a lot.
Old 8th July 2019 | Show parent
  #52
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
I've spent some more time with my Daking IV and I've decided I'll probably be pretty happy with just getting more Daking pres and keeping it simple. I already knew I loved them on drums but I tracked some vocals with an SM7B the other day and it sounded way better than I expected for some reason. I don't know why I was worried about the Daking on vocals - maybe because I heard everyone likes it for drums and guitars, but at least with that mic and that voice it sounded really killer to me. I'll keep my GA Pre73 for variety on single sources if I need it, as I do like it and like the DI on guitar especially, but I'm not really craving variety anymore.

One less thing to think about, and a cohesive "sound" to all my tracks if I can track with them exclusively. I spent a lot of time researching and listening to samples and reading forums and really enjoyed getting to know what people prefer and the plethora of options out there, but there is something really appealing to me right now about an all-Daking front end for my tracking setup.

So, for now, I have 8 inputs on my MOTU and hope to fill it with 8 channels of Daking. That gives me 10 channels to start, and I'll probably need to expand a little more via ADAT, SPDIF, or additional converters if I'm tracking full bands live, but I bet I could get a lot done with those 10 channels to start.

The Daking IV I have now is the old version with the all-green faceplate and I can only find the new ones with the aluminum ears and a different shade of green right now, so, since I'm vain and I want my two units to match, if anyone has an older model they are willing to part with, shoot me a message!

Thanks again for all of your counsel. Lots of really interesting options out there and I learned a lot.
I believe this is a great solution, stick with what you think fits better to YOUR ears and "vision".

The daking are good and if you can't track something good with them, then it's not the preamps fault for sure.
You don't really need variety. Especially live it doesn't matter much, the performance of the artist, the room acoustics and mic placement matter much more. But this is not a good reason to use crappy gear of course.

Not for your case scenario here, but another very good solution might have been the Aurora GTP8, 8 channels in 2RU for 5k.. Or as already said the JDK (ati) 8mx2 in 1RU for a lot less..(with sone cool additional feats as a bonus).

If more preamps with an adat output are needed in 1RU, the audient are inexpensive and work just fine, although are not at the same level as the daking, aurora nor the jdk imho.



Cheu
Old 8th July 2019 | Show parent
  #53
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I believe this is a great solution, stick with what you think fits better to YOUR ears and "vision".

The daking are good and if you can't track something good with them, then it's not the preamps fault for sure.
You don't really need variety. Especially live it doesn't matter much, the performance of the artist, the room acoustics and mic placement matter much more. But this is not a good reason to use crappy gear of course.

Not for your case scenario here, but another very good solution might have been the Aurora GTP8, 8 channels in 2RU for 5k.. Or as already said the JDK (ati) 8mx2 in 1RU for a lot less..(with sone cool additional feats as a bonus).

If more preamps with an adat output are needed in 1RU, the audient are inexpensive and work just fine, although are not at the same level as the daking, aurora nor the jdk imho.



Cheu
Thanks, Cheu! Yeah I drooled over Aurora preamps for quite some time, but ultimately the Dakings are cheaper per-channel and I think they will serve me well. That money can be spent on my mic locker and eventually an outboard compressor and EQ. Also, in the clipalator I realized the Aurora sound was pretty overt, and I actually gravitated to slightly less coloured pres like the Daking and Great River, which have some flavor and weight, but weren't quite as overpowering. Obviously you can't tell everything from online clips but it was an important realization, since I liked the "idea" of color more than I liked it in practicem, I think.

Speaking of online clips, everyone raves about the Audient pres, but for some reason they didn't appeal to me. They felt "clean" but the "weight" or "slight color" that people seem to like about them felt clunky to me. I'm also a bit concerned about reliability issues, since they are based in the UK and I am here in the States. Getting my Motu and Daking units serviced here in the States was a really reassuring experience as they both did a fantastic job turning things around for me quickly, whereas when people have issues with the Audients it just sounds like a longer more involved process to handle internationally. In practice, they are probably great and I probably wouldn't have any problems, but it's something I'm thinking about, as I don't want to be out of commission... these things never happen at a convenient time. I wonder if there are any other ADAT options that I'd feel more comfortable with? If money were no object, I'd get another MOTU unit, link it via AVB, and get even more channels of Daking or maybe even a Great River. But that starts to get more expensive again...

Is Audient the threshold of quality for 8 channel 1ru ADAT pres? The ATI looks really promising, but it doesn't have conversion from what I can tell.
Old 29th February 2020 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Head
 
Hi,
Probably a tad late ... I went through the same process over the years with similar goals.
Cheu gave you great recommendations and you already got some nice pieces.
I used to have lots of different mic pres (GAS and trying new units) and I realised the type of flavor is not that important...what matters is quality and value.
Pay less per channel while still staying in the high end camp.
The best contenders I found for that :

Sebatron VMP4000 : yep..I'm a fan too (I found mine 10 years ago used for €800 which was incredible 200/chan)
Such a great versatile piece. I have no Idea why it's under the radar. Maybe the spartan look? Built like tank. Anything sound great through these from silky/smokey vibey vocals to refined acoustic instruments or rock n roll guitars...brass and drums sound awesome too...shockinly good DI for bass and keys.
Great to warm up already recorded tracks..master bus or passive summing.

DAV BG2 (4ch. 1U) BG8 (8ch. 1U)
Originally designed for classical recordings (Decca) Clean but still with some vibe ...highs are never harsh . Big and 3D and stack so well. Great on percussions cymbals electric and acoustic guitars. Strings...even vocals ...anything really
Order directly from Mick Hinton on their site.
As low as 200/ch !!
Both Sebatron and DAV are rock solid units that will last decades.
Audient sounds good..not as musical and sweet as Seb and DAV.
Bang for the buck but I would skip the 800 and 880s until they fix issues (units die without warning)

Another way to use your Adats would be a 16 channel ferrofish converter.

Midas XL48 also for utility pres plus converters

Another contender for great value high end gear would be CAPI pres or five fish DIY
It's 500 format so you'd need a lunch box.
Lindell mk2 (10 or 6) offer tremendous value.
No noisy PSU as it's external.
About a day to build a pre..not hard when you get the hang of it..The best API clones there is between 200 and 350 per ch. without lunchbox. Great sounding on anything even vocals...and you can match with eqs and comps in the 500 rack.

Last option, also DIY/500 : Sound Skulptor.
Everything sounds good, Neve 573mp.. tube pre..176 clone
350 per module.

With the money saved choosing these low price/ch. options, you have more money for comps, eq..mics...
I use several 3u/4u racks instead of one big one...easier to carry and that way I only take some of them depending of the job...I don't need to unscrew units, mostly leave them in their racks.
Old 2nd March 2020 | Show parent
  #55
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam mac View Post
Hi,
Probably a tad late ... I went through the same process over the years with similar goals.
Cheu gave you great recommendations and you already got some nice pieces.
I used to have lots of different mic pres (GAS and trying new units) and I realised the type of flavor is not that important...what matters is quality and value.
Pay less per channel while still staying in the high end camp.
....

I use several 3u/4u racks instead of one big one...easier to carry and that way I only take some of them depending of the job...I don't need to unscrew units, mostly leave them in their racks.
Hey Liam,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. My GAS has calmed down significantly, as I think I've ended up subscribing to a similar philosophy as you've expressed. I now have 8 channels of Daking and 2 channels Motu 828 in my mobile rack, so 10 channels on command. I haven't yet, but will likely spring for a 8 channel ADAT of some kind for additional channels when tracking full bands. But yes, Daking's sound good to me and the price per channel is much less than some of the other names that are mentioned alongside them (Neve, API, etc.)

Had looked at the Sebatron and the demos I heard sounded really nice. I might still get it sometime as it seems to punch way above it's weight (and it does indeed sound different than my Dakings - rounder, texturally softer?) - but for mobile I didn't want to A) take up 2u for 4 pres that also needed plenty of ventilation for the hot tubes, and B) I worried about transporting tubes around. Perhaps when I have a tracking room someday they will make it over here.

DAV I had heard about but for some reason didn't pay much attention to. I have no idea why. They often get rave reviews and the price per channel beats even my Dakings used. I think I was initially drawn to the "color" the Dakings impart, but I imagine I'd love some nice clean pres just as much. Will keep them in mind for the future.

My current 10 channels live in a 6u with plenty of ventilation, and when I add ADAT I will get a smaller rack case for it to bring along only when I need it. Good idea!

Cheers!
Old 5th April 2020 | Show parent
  #56
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post

EQ's:

- CAG HDE-250 (custom audio germany, look on facebook), fantastic eq, versatile and you could use it on the mix or for tracking (low and highs on shelf mode!)
For what is it it's incredibly inexpensive and incredibly well built (and I don't say this lightly).

- Gyraf G23-S, tube and/or solid state eq, very soft.. adds a "tape-like" quality (if that's what you want.. For tracking you could simply use the tilt, very smooth, balanced and effective. Only cons is that is stereo only (but you could use it on 1x mono stuff without problem).

If on the 500 series check out the new Avedis E12G.

COMPS:

- since you might like the daking, you might want to scout a pair of FET II (now unfortunately discontinued) or a FET 3..
Perfectly at ease with both tracking or 2bus material.



Cheu

Hey Cheu,

Just so you know, I have the FET III and am loving it for tracking and mix bus. Very clean, the makeup gain sounds nice to me, and the variable hpf and stereo/dual mono knobs are awesome. It's not magic but it sure is nice to use, and gives me a little something that my ITB compression doesn't at a very good price.

So, since I'm enjoying using outboard a lot, I'm now reconsidering those EQ units you mentioned. Both look amazing.

If you could only have one (g23-s or HD-250) to pair with the FET III, which would you choose? Which one is the better value for the price?

The tilt looks more useful for mixbus stuff, while the HD-250 looks more versatile, but doesn't appear to have stereo linking. The HD-250 is also cheaper, which makes a difference as well.

Any other suggestions that are priced closer to the Daking unit that punch well above their weight?

Thanks again!
Old 9th April 2020 | Show parent
  #57
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Hey Cheu,

Just so you know, I have the FET III and am loving it for tracking and mix bus. Very clean, the makeup gain sounds nice to me, and the variable hpf and stereo/dual mono knobs are awesome. It's not magic but it sure is nice to use, and gives me a little something that my ITB compression doesn't at a very good price.

So, since I'm enjoying using outboard a lot, I'm now reconsidering those EQ units you mentioned. Both look amazing.

If you could only have one (g23-s or HD-250) to pair with the FET III, which would you choose? Which one is the better value for the price?

The tilt looks more useful for mixbus stuff, while the HD-250 looks more versatile, but doesn't appear to have stereo linking. The HD-250 is also cheaper, which makes a difference as well.

Any other suggestions that are priced closer to the Daking unit that punch well above their weight?

Thanks again!
Well.. that is a very very difficult question to answer.. and this doesn’t even involve your personal taste or the budget.

They are very different eq’s.. both excellent..
it’s like saying what should I get? a U47 or an Elam 251 (both excellent but very different mics)..get my point?

The CAG is probably the more versatile of the two.. it has 5 bands, it’s clean sounding but very musical.. everything you push sounds better, no weirdness when boosting, also the topend, you add and enjoy..let’s boost..ok, just more of that.. no harshness.. you don’t even notice that is eq’d, the same when cutting, you just cut out the unwanted freq..the signal stays intact.

That said the Gyraf is a special piece.. first of all it has two modes.. the “regular” tube mode and the “S” solid state mode.. this is a great feature indeed.

In tube mode is soft, delicate, also extremely musical, the tilt is so smooth and gentle.. quite useful actually.. plus you have the 3 bands to correct/counter balance a bit, and they’re the same.. soft, smooth as butter, no surgical stuff of course..

then you have the solid state mode: the sound is more punchy in this mode, more “direct“, although it still has that kind of finesse (imho typical of the gyraf stuff), it’s cleaner and have less of that “tape-like” qualities (it doesn’t do what a tape machine does, but somewhat it softens/package the whole thing in a way that reminds me a nice smooth tape machine).

So even if it is probably “less versatile”, it has a tone that no other eq (tube or not) has.. it has that danish elegance baked in, courtesy of Gyraf.

If you don’t have the chance of testing them yourself, you might want to ask somebody who has them so that you could pass your test song through them and compare (maybe?)?

In the good old GS way you should get both.. ahahahah..
Seriously though.. they’re so different that is really tricky to say get this or get that..

Even if the gyraf might be less “versatile” generally speaking, I might be inclined to favor that one with your setup.. also because there’s no plugs that can do what tubes do (yet). But it’s like tossing a coin, really..

And going through high quality tube gear is really a great way to enhance the whole mix (and tracks) imho.

(Even a rather “clean” massive passive, it does something great to the signal ime).

Other great eq’s:

Well, the Avedis ones are both amazing and for the price of a pair, even the E27, it’s still a great price for how it’s made and how it sounds.. the E12G is somewhat “cleaner” to my ears, but so incredibly musical.. it has less of a “boxtone”, sounds really good.. for that price is ridicolous..it enhance the source going in, for lack of better words.. like basically every piece of hw he design does..
also both very high headroom, don’t worry about the 500 series here).

The Crane Song Insignia is another incredibly great sound piece.. dunno because there’s no more talk about them..(i cringe when ppl suggests another very well known brand with white faceplates with a famous designer involved). The Crane Song (or the Avedis) is on another planet not only level..sorry.. that’s my opinion..
2 filters and a 3 band eq.. I can track and mix everything with just this type of eq honestly..

You might want to check the ADT stuff, they do nice stuff.
Or the old danner cassette format at vintagetools.. some nice eq’s..

Or the immortal Massive Passive (maybe a used one).. not cheap, but it’s definitely a very nice eq to have in my book.

What are you doing? What genre style of music? What kind of moves and which eq’s are you using usually? What are you looking for?

Not sure if this helps..



Cheu
Old 10th April 2020
  #58
Lives for gear
 
Thanks, Cheu! Everything you describe sounds amazing, so sounds like I can't go wrong. On the one hand, the Gyraf sounds like it will give me a more unique sound and box-tone, which could be really great for my otherwise ITB mixes, while the HDE-250 will give me the ability to sculpt and sweeten things a little more in a classy way, perhaps with more control and versatility.

If they were the same price, I'd probably go for the Gyraf first, as the flavor sounds lovely. The HDE being cheaper makes me think I may go that way though, just because I'm already "reaching" with whatever external EQ I end up with (as in, I don't NEED it, I just really want it to class things up a bit).

I started a new thread Mixbus EQ - analog "finishing" units and have gotten some other great suggestions, in case you are curious.
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