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SSL Matrix or Neve 8128 Channel Strip Plugins
Old 7th September 2008
  #1
Here for the gear
 

SSL Matrix or Neve 8128

I've got an opportunity to buy old Neve 8128 console.As I checked some of the regular users oppinions it seems to be great "reach and wide" sounding board. The problem is it's maintenace cost and that's really big problem for me cause my studio is based in Poland so it's almost impossible to find a right tech for this gear..I know about 81series guys but calling them each time I'll have a problem would be a nightmare.

The alternative is SSL Matrix. New board which I hope wont be as expensive in maintenace but affraid it wont sounds as good as Neve.

Im a DAW based producer, hopefully will change my platform to ProTools HD very soon. Im mostly into R'n'B, Hip hop, Pop, Alternative music.

Or maybe you can recommond something differnet? My price range is 40k
Old 7th September 2008
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
I've got an opportunity to buy old Neve 8128 console.As I checked some of the regular users oppinions it seems to be great "reach and wide" sounding board. The problem is it's maintenace cost and that's really big problem for me cause my studio is based in Poland so it's almost impossible to find a right tech for this gear..I know about 81series guys but calling them each time I'll have a problem would be a nightmare.

The alternative is SSL Matrix. New board which I hope wont be as expensive in maintenace but affraid it wont sounds as good as Neve.

Im a DAW based producer, hopefully will change my platform to ProTools HD very soon. Im mostly into R'n'B, Hip hop, Pop, Alternative music.

Or maybe you can recommond something differnet? My price range is 40k
40k for something that sounds like a Neve?

Not really. Actually 40K puts you into the "almost" zone where something with the routing, color, dynamics & automation is just not doable. You have to go in the $50K and up range and your pickings are still very slim.

Basically you would have to settle for a used VR which would still mean tech headaches or something new, made today which would equal clean with no tone, routing, dynamics or automation.

There isn't much out there anymore is there?
Old 7th September 2008
  #3
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dbjp's Avatar
 

You could get 10 racked vintage Neve 10XX modules and record everything through them and mix ITB.
Easier for maintenance and will sound great.
Old 7th September 2008
  #4
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Thanks for the reply. So what about SSL Matrix sound quality in comparision to Neve? Is it the same level or better use 10 x 1073 for recording and mix ITB (Pro Tools or Ableton or Logic) ?
Old 7th September 2008
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
Thanks for the reply. So what about SSL Matrix sound quality in comparision to Neve?
Two different sonic opposites.

Its like comparing a 1961 Bordeaux - Chateau Latour to a NYC apple martini.

Also the Matrix has no mic pres. Its more of a mixing type platform.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
Is it the same level or better use 10 x 1073 for recording and mix ITB (Pro Tools or Ableton or Logic) ?
Well it depends what you are tracking and mixing.

Mixing ITB for the kind of music you are doing to me negates tracking with great mic pres anyway.
Old 7th September 2008
  #6
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Basically I need something that may add some character to my cold digital mixes. Sometimes on mastering stage I realise that my mix lacks deep and is not wide enough. There may be also about 6dB more of hi-end (5-18khz) but when i try to make some radical boost using the best software EQ's like Sonny Oxford the resault is agressive, biting mess. I feel like my mixes loose something during the ITB summing stage as well - that's the reason why im looking for the good board.

So for now it looks like the Neve will be better with it's superb mic pres, EQ and summing circuit. Any other advices?
Old 7th September 2008
  #7
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[/quote] Well it depends what you are tracking and mixing.

Mixing ITB for the kind of music you are doing to me negates tracking with great mic pres anyway.[/quote]


I think the same
Old 7th September 2008
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
Any other advices?
Book some time in a studio with a Neve or an SSL and try to mix one of your productions. Take it home and really ask yourself did it make a significant sonic difference that you can easily hear?

(I underlined significant because if you are dropping 40 large you better hear it).

Is the difference making it better or just different?

If you hear a difference right away and you feel its better than its worth pursuing and good luck to you.
Its a slippery slope that will lead to many a sleepless night agonizing over sonic minutae, the stuff the people here say the average person can't hear, but you can and it bothers you to know end.

If you don't hear a difference than maybe its a matter more of mixing skill level and maybe teaming up with the right mixing engineer will better serve you and take your mixes to the next level.

If you hear a difference and its worse than its better probably to stay the course you are on and just figure where is it that you are falling short. Could be the monitoring, could be your acoustics, could be lack of knowledge with your current tools or maybe just getting a different perspective/opinion on your own stuff helps.

Sometimes we are our own worse critics and having a a pair of outside experienced ears counts its weight in gold.
Old 7th September 2008
  #9
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
Thanks for the reply. So what about SSL Matrix sound quality in comparision to Neve? Is it the same level or better use 10 x 1073 for recording and mix ITB (Pro Tools or Ableton or Logic) ?
Isn't Matrix the console with no pre's?
If you're getting the Matrix, You'll also need to get multiple channels of preamps if you don't already have them.
I would suggest buying great pres and compressors and mix away.
I find it really adds depth if you just put an already recorded sound through a Neve 10XX (bypassing the EQ) and record it back into PT.
If I had 40k spare, module's the route I'd take. That's assuming you've got a good treated room, good converters and good monitors.
Old 7th September 2008
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Book some time in a studio with a Neve or an SSL and try to mix one of your productions. Take it home and really ask yourself did it make a significant sonic difference that you can easily hear?

Skills always can be better and the experience is gold but im writing about something different. There's a plugin AcusticaAudio Nebula3 which emulates hi end gear. You may find a preset called 40G to Heaven (SSL emulation) or Analog Channel (dont know name of the gear) - when i put them on each of my tracks and then render the resault is TOTALLY different and to me anybody could easily hear it. But Nebula takes far too muchg CPU power and in the end its not like the real thing. I miss the faders and that 'feel'.
Old 7th September 2008
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post

Mixing ITB for the kind of music you are doing to me negates tracking with great mic pres anyway.
that's clearly absurd.

So there is no difference to using cheap mic pres' ITB against good ones? I take he point, and agree, that a mix will come out better spanned across a console - but your point here is just not right !!
Old 7th September 2008
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
So for now it looks like the Neve will be better with it's superb mic pres, EQ and summing circuit. Any other advices?
Don't confuse the disasterous 81 series to other more notable Neve designs. It is a dark console. It sounds narrow. Typical mixes have every hf EQ pushed up, that's not normal. The active patch bay and mic pre's/ EQ with the 4741 quad opamps are dark and slow. The buss matrix in the rear is fed by jfet switches in the buss signal path. The caps are rated a 4 volts, that is exceeded during a hot mix typical with higher level converters. Parts are un-obtanium. Don't take someone else's mistake. Unless you are a tech, I wouldn't get within 2 states of one of these. My experience is in both mixing, maintaining and extensivly modifing these consoles.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 7th September 2008
  #13
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Myself I was intrested in the Matrix but Ihave to say with all the Outboard I would have to buy for it I end up at 40-50k.

So this broought me to the point taht someone who has the money and already Outboard could buy a cool real desk anyway.

But the idea of the Matrix is cool but with 20K in Euros in my eyes too expensive.
It is a better controler with summing solution.

I think the Matrix is good for middle weight Studios or real good mixing geeks which get around 1-2K per song.
It would make sense to me if I would have already a lot of nice Outboard Equipment.

I would go for a real desk if I had the money and good Outboard stuff.
Old 7th September 2008
  #14
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don't know about the matrix.
to me the whole concept makes no sense at all.
it's basically a glorified summing mixer - without automation. makes no sense to me. no pres no eq....not even busses.
i'd stay away from it - unless you have insane amounts of great outboard you need to connect.
Old 7th September 2008
  #15
The Neve 8128 is not a Neve 80XX. The design and construction are completely different. It will neither sound nor sell like a true 8000 series. It's still a real console, but it isn't the one some may be expecting. I'd get a new API 1608 before I got a 8128.
Old 7th September 2008
  #16
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I've researched a lot about the Neve 81 Serie. I'd say away from it, this serie is a maintenance nightmare and sound nothing like the Neve sound everyone is raving about.
Better purchase would be a Euphonix Cs 2000 or 3000, they cost close to nothing in maintenance, and go for real cheap nowadays ....
Old 7th September 2008
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
that's clearly absurd.

So there is no difference to using cheap mic pres' ITB against good ones? I take he point, and agree, that a mix will come out better spanned across a console - but your point here is just not right !!

The guy is doing hiphop, r&b and pop.

So we are talking harware synths, samples and soft synths. As much as people wax poetic around here about mic pres, i get productions to mix in these genres that while their mixes are 2 dimensional all of the necessary elements for a hit in its genre is there. Alot of these songs are tracked through the pres of 001's,002's & 003's, Motu interfaces or bounced internally. With me running it through the right analog pieces, replacing all of the plug ins with outboard and bringing it together on the right analog mixing surface i can breathe life, expand the width, make it bang and turn it to something new aurally.
Old 7th September 2008
  #18
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deuc647's Avatar
 

Yeah thrill, i gotta agree with narcoman, most hip hop people u recieve are probably bedroom producers with minimal money to buy mid to high end equipment. The ones that know better im sure track and mix with good pres and quality equipment.
Old 8th January 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Don't confuse the disasterous 81 series to other more notable Neve designs. It is a dark console. It sounds narrow. Typical mixes have every hf EQ pushed up, that's not normal. The active patch bay and mic pre's/ EQ with the 4741 quad opamps are dark and slow. The buss matrix in the rear is fed by jfet switches in the buss signal path. The caps are rated a 4 volts, that is exceeded during a hot mix typical with higher level converters. Parts are un-obtanium. Don't take someone else's mistake. Unless you are a tech, I wouldn't get within 2 states of one of these. My experience is in both mixing, maintaining and extensivly modifing these consoles.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades


Jim, if your still on here, can you look at my recent post re: "4741 opamp upgrades" (1-8-08) - thanks much!!!

BZ
Old 7th January 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp View Post
There may be also about 6dB more of hi-end (5-18khz) but when i try to make some radical boost using the best software EQ's like Sonny Oxford the resault is agressive, biting mess.
For that HF problem, you should probably get a Pultec kind of EQ before the console.

Lot of HF boost possible but no aggressiveness (Don't even think about digital emulations).
Put it on the 2bus and here you go!
The summit EQP 200 can be found for quite cheap.
Old 7th January 2010
  #21
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andrewenson's Avatar
 

isnt the 5088 around 40k?
Old 11th September 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 
IsRael Musiq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Book some time in a studio with a Neve or an SSL and try to mix one of your productions. Take it home and really ask yourself did it make a significant sonic difference that you can easily hear?

(I underlined significant because if you are dropping 40 large you better hear it).

Is the difference making it better or just different?

If you hear a difference right away and you feel its better than its worth pursuing and good luck to you.
Its a slippery slope that will lead to many a sleepless night agonizing over sonic minutae, the stuff the people here say the average person can't hear, but you can and it bothers you to know end.

If you don't hear a difference than maybe its a matter more of mixing skill level and maybe teaming up with the right mixing engineer will better serve you and take your mixes to the next level.

If you hear a difference and its worse than its better probably to stay the course you are on and just figure where is it that you are falling short. Could be the monitoring, could be your acoustics, could be lack of knowledge with your current tools or maybe just getting a different perspective/opinion on your own stuff helps.

Sometimes we are our own worse critics and having a a pair of outside experienced ears counts its weight in gold.
This has got to be the most USEFUL piece of information I've read on GS EVER!!! God bless you man! Both sides spoken very well of...
Old 11th September 2010
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
TimeBandit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
don't know about the matrix.
to me the whole concept makes no sense at all.
it's basically a glorified summing mixer - without automation. makes no sense to me. no pres no eq....not even busses.
i'd stay away from it - unless you have insane amounts of great outboard you need to connect.
I think you need to check out the SSL page again.The Matrix is fully automated,in the analog domain,not in the digital,is fully re-callable,has 40 channels for mixdown,and has 3 busses(Record,Mix,and Cue Bus)all with inserts and summing.Sorry but this is not just a summing mixer.
And yes you will need outboard for this console.I really wanted and API 1608 like a lot of people,but then i realized that i would only have one kind of preamp.Not that API pres are bad,i love them,but they just dont do it for me on EVERYTHING.I ended up buying 2 3124+MB's but i also got about 5 or 6 other types to choose from as well,and bought some different flavors of EQ's,and a Matrix.Great piece of gear.Also the API doesnt have automation or Total Recall or 40 channels at Mix down.
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