The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Kush Electra, does it have competition for what it does?
Old 12th June 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
Kush Electra, does it have competition for what it does?

So I'm pretty new to hardware eq, and I figured go for 'color' eqs, because wouldn't software be as good as hardware for 'clean' eq?

But I kept hearing about clariphonic, and so I watched a video, and I couldn't believe my ears. That's possible?! What sorcery is this?!

Then I watched this video, and mind even MORE blown:



I didn't know eq could do this. As Scott turns the knob, and the titles say 'boxy ... honk ... smack ... snap ... crunch ... crack ...' I'm hearing this frequencies leap out of my speakers. Doesn't sound like their even connected to the rest of the track until you stop turning, and then it just sits there beautifully, like a whole new instrument sculpted to the mix. And that's from Youtube on my crappy computer speakers, had to scrape my jaw off the floor. And affordable! Tempted to grab both as they would seem to complement wonderfully.

I've never used a Clariphonic or Electra in person, but gotta. Read a lot of great info on GS about them now. While I'd use for tracking, prob mostly for mix/2bus and sometimes drumbus. I hear recall for mixes can be difficult, but I'm only mixing my own music, so it's not like I've got a zillion clients to worry about, usually mix one track at a time and tend not to need to go back. Would complement 2 channels of neve style eq (gritty, thick, and great), and a hendamps MA (my current go to, amazing, got a great deal on it, but clean or precise it is not, all about the thick wonderful mojo).

(btw, my music is mostly vintage analog synths, vintage fx, bass guitar, and drums, going for vintage warm 70's sound, just like that vibey tune in the video!)

Before taking the plunge, just wondering, are there other EQs that do the sort of thing I'm hearing in that video around 5:20-7:00, especially the first 30 seconds or so?

Is there any other bit of kit that does something similar, but better? I know surgical and mostly passive (though definitely uses op-amps) would tend towards pultec territory (never used a pultec or clone, but they aren't precise), I hear GML is surgical and clean but also zillions of dollars. Most often I hear Electra compared to Elysia Xfilter (always imagined this mostly for techno), GR EQ-1/2NV, but mostly Harrison 32.

Is there a whole class of eqs like Electra, or others to compare it to before taking the plunge for 2bus? Or is Electra just its own very cool creature?
Old 12th June 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
Since the Electra is a proportional-Q design, you might find a certain similarity of character with API 550 (A and B), BAE B15 or Avedis E27.
These all have fixed frequency points, and though they‘re well chosen, some may find that limiting.
I replaced my 550b with an Electra and feel much more flexible.
The sole caveat I have is how it reacts when it runs out of headroom, which can happen when you apply large boosts to an already hefty signal. The API would gradually become woolier, while with the Electra, the onset of overload is much more sudden and noticeable.
Besides that, I love it to bits. I love how a boost can poke through without becoming nasal. There‘s this sweet spot where you notice something is happening, but it‘s not obnoxiously obvious (although it can be, if you want it to).
And the sparse frequency indicators really make you use your ears. You suddenly realize just how much you rely on visual cues, even when you try not to.

Last edited by andychamp; 12th June 2019 at 07:53 AM..
Old 12th June 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
I've heard low heardroom can be a 500 series thing, depending on power supply. The ones with external power bricks are I think better, but I was thinking of getting the Electra rack. Kinda suspected the Avedis and API 550, always heard very good things about those, the API however but more as character eqs.
Old 12th June 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
Only have the plugin but it is my go to because like Clariphonic just sounds great. Effortless like all Kush products. If I used eq in tracking, it's what I'd buy.
Old 12th June 2019
  #5
I have both an Elektra 500 series, a Clairphonic HW, and the Clairphonic DSP mk2.

They are all great. I use the Clairphonic (both plug-in and HW) the most. Just very easy to use. I’m sure people can achieve very similar effects using other plugins but they are huge time savers for me, because it’s literally just turn the knob, flick a few switches and you’re done.

I haven’t used other Kush stuff but these EQ’s are good.
Old 13th June 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
I've heard low heardroom can be a 500 series thing, depending on power supply. The ones with external power bricks are I think better, but I was thinking of getting the Electra rack. Kinda suspected the Avedis and API 550, always heard very good things about those, the API however but more as character eqs.
Hi there,

Low headroom on 500 series is actually not much of a thing*. Headroom is dependent on the voltage rails of the power supply (as well as the circuit design and internal gain staging of the individual modules themselves). The API spec is a +/- 16 V bipolar supply. That's 32 V between the rails. This is the power supply spec that API chose for their consoles. Neve consoles, on the other hand, relied upon a +24 V supply. For the sake of argument, if we assume that all electrical components can operate right up to the rails then the max signal level each can output will theoretically be:

+/- 16 V = +23.3 dBu
+24V = +20.8 dBu

By using step-down input transformers and step-up output trasformers we can of course increase the internal headroom and output levels of the circuits. But with regards to the actual transistors in the circuit, their maximium signal swing before clipping is always a function of the power supply voltages.

Many examples of pro audio gear we all love runs off of +/15 V rails...like the Distressor for instance. If a circuit suffers from low headroom it's most likely a function of improper internal gain staging, where a headroom bottleneck occurs due to the designer increasing circuit gain too much.

*What the 500 series has suffered from in the past were power supplies that were not able to supply sufficient current to the load demand. Designers were making current hungry modules and the PSU couldn't keep up in some older racks. This would cause the supply to sag under heavy load. Rack manufacturers addressed this over the last 5-10 years and offer ridiculously over-spec'd current capability these days, even for the budget products. It's now hard to find a rack that doesn't offer 1.5X-2X+ the current of the VPR spec.

One shouldn't make blanket assumptions about internal vs. external power supplies. You have to judge each one on its merits. A good design is a good design regardless of whether it sits in a separate enclosure.

Personally I'd choose the 500 series Electra over the rack version, simply because I can power it with the power supply of my choice. Not all power supplies sound the same and will affect the depth, dimension, and detail of your audio. The Electra circuit was designed as a 500 series module first. The circuit was conceived and tweaked by ear using an Avedis 2-slot rack, and a Purple Sweet Ten. So if one is interested in hearing the Electra the way it first came into the world I'd start there.

cheers,
Brad
Old 13th June 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Hello Brad! Thanks so much for the helpful commentary from a designer's perspective. So I chose the Heritage OST series power racks after reading the tests you did on the LOTL website for LOTL modules.

When you say that "Not all power supplies sound the same and will affect the depth, dimension, and detail of your audio" it has me worried, though! I don't want to have to try a whole bunch of diff power racks for the 'flavor' that works best, that's what the modules are for, but a power rack works best when it's completely transparent, right? Would there be any reason to switch from Heritage OST series to those you mention??
Old 13th June 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
btw, kudos on the Electra design brad, stunning sound. my jaw was on the floor after hearing that video above. can't wait to get my hands on one.

So I was doing some research on Kush after being blown away by some of the demos I heard on multiple products, and found out that you (Brad) had designed the circuitry of the Electra, and Kevin (last name?) had helped with Clariphonic, and then saw an interview with Greg where he said he largely has various experts in circuits work on the circuitry and write code for the plugins, he focuses on tuning the sounds with his ears to get it to have 'that sound' that has become the distinctive Kush tone.

I must admit was skeptical hearing that, the very idea seemed strange, along with all the Kush hype, (and "how could transparent hardware be useful today, don't we have digital for that?). Even the brown look of the gear put me off. Then I was like, ok, gotta see what the fuss is, I heard the demo videos myself, saw how he interacted with the gear, heard how warm and lush transparent is in this case, saw and heard how Greg uses his ears with the gear, and heard the gear do things that made me go 'huh, is that possible?!' Now I'm kinda fascinated, and enjoying reading his blog posts on compression, creative process, etc. (I thought unlocking creativity by tracking down the influences of your influences was something I'd discovered on my own, in the completely separate field of my day job, until there it was on his blog!). I even now really 'get' the design aesthetic. Warrrrrrrm, earth tones, crushed velvet, but sleekly modern too, neo-retro, hardware transparency without 'coulda been digital.'

If Greg started by modifying Fatsos, he must know something about the circuitry I'm guessing. Did he start as a recording/mixing/mastering engineer of some sort then?

Btw, noticed that the rack versions have transformers in the power supply, while the 500 series don't, but also heard rack and 500 sound completely identical from people who have both. I'm guessing a bit of what makes this gear sound the way it does is minimal transformers, but they are there in the racks as power supply at least. Is it because the transf aren't directly in signal chain? I'm guessing there must be transformer in 500 series power supplies then (obviously I don't know much about electronics, sigh).
Old 13th June 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
Guys not difficult to check out. Get the software, you'll get the idea pretty quick!
Old 14th June 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
Hello Brad! Thanks so much for the helpful commentary from a designer's perspective. So I chose the Heritage OST series power racks after reading the tests you did on the LOTL website for LOTL modules.

When you say that "Not all power supplies sound the same and will affect the depth, dimension, and detail of your audio" it has me worried, though! I don't want to have to try a whole bunch of diff power racks for the 'flavor' that works best, that's what the modules are for, but a power rack works best when it's completely transparent, right? Would there be any reason to switch from Heritage OST series to those you mention??
Cool! The Heritage OST will work great with the Electra. No need to worry. I was merely providing some super nerdy design insight into what rack happened to be used by me personally during the testing of the design. If you wanted to hear what I was hearing kind of thing...

And @ ardis makes a good suggestion - using the plugin will give you a very good idea how the hardware might work for you.

I'll respond to your second post a little later...gotta run!

Enjoy!

Brad
Old 14th June 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradM View Post
Cool! The Heritage OST will work great with the Electra. No need to worry. I was merely providing some super nerdy design insight into what rack happened to be used by me personally during the testing of the design. If you wanted to hear what I was hearing kind of thing...

And @ ardis makes a good suggestion - using the plugin will give you a very good idea how the hardware might work for you.

I'll respond to your second post a little later...gotta run!

Enjoy!

Brad
Ardis is a musical God and Kush is the secret......

Seriously Brad, classy and informative as always
Old 1 week ago
  #12
I stumbled onto this thread looking for info on the internal jumper to switch between AC coupled and DC coupled. Does anyone know the basic difference between the two and why one might be more desirable? I assume because ac coupled would have electrolytic caps in the path the filter low frequency rumble?

Regardless, the electra sounds hi fi in all the right ways, the way a high quality turntable would feel from the 70s: It's super smooth but has enough grit to feel organic. It sounds like you will get a lot out of it.

I wouldn't personally use it on a mix buss because of the variable pots, but you might love it for the sonic signature.

I've never had it crap out on me at extreme settings by the way.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrieves View Post
I stumbled onto this thread looking for info on the internal jumper to switch between AC coupled and DC coupled. Does anyone know the basic difference between the two and why one might be more desirable? I assume because ac coupled would have electrolytic caps in the path the filter low frequency rumble?

Regardless, the electra sounds hi fi in all the right ways, the way a high quality turntable would feel from the 70s: It's super smooth but has enough grit to feel organic. It sounds like you will get a lot out of it.

I wouldn't personally use it on a mix buss because of the variable pots, but you might love it for the sonic signature.

I've never had it crap out on me at extreme settings by the way.
Crap, I totally spaced on replying to Ardis as I intended. Okay...note to self...I need to come back to the points I wanted to make a couple months ago.

Regarding the AC and DC couple... When the jumper is set to DC couple there is no electrolytic coupling cap in the signal path. This will theoretically give you the purest signal path. We put that in the design to accomodate my own OCD. AC couple inserts a blocking cap right after the input stage so that if there is any upstream DC entering the unit, it gets blocked, and doesn't cause any upsteam issues. The corner frequency is set to be in the tenths of Hz range to maintain phase response in the low end. I can't speak officially on behalf of Kush, but this is the setting I'd recommend so people don't have to worry about the DC offsets of their gear. Honestly, the sonic differences will be negligible for most of us. I might be the only one getting out the multimeter and checking DC offsets at the output of my gear.

Glad you like the EQ!

cheers,
Brad
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Guru
I like the fact that you have people that like to make music behind gear. I could go all Kush and never look back.
Old 6 days ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I like the fact that you have people that like to make music behind gear. I could go all Kush and never look back.
I think that would be a very smart move!

Brad
Old 5 days ago
  #16
I love my Electra. I master with it no problem. It's an amazing EQ in my book.
Old 4 days ago
  #17
Brad is def doing something right. My Electra’s and silver bullet eq are 2 of my favorites. One thing to note on the 500 series over the rack is straight up ergonomics. There’re a lot easier to match sides if they’re side by side. That said I rarely am worried about matching sides. I’d like to get a rack too one of these days. Fantastic pari. Btw I use them in an OST and it works perfectly.
Old 3 days ago
  #18
The plug in is scary close.
And on sale i think?
Old 3 days ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflag View Post
The plug in is scary close.
And on sale i think?
They're the only plugin manufacturer that makes me consider buying an iLok... ATM though all my plugs are from people like UAD, plugin alliance, Valhalla etc... so, I"ve never added one to my setup... HW gets used for tracking and a round of mixing, so my plugin usage stays down to a minimum.
Old 3 days ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
They're the only plugin manufacturer that makes me consider buying an iLok...
I think they're going over to dongle-free...
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