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Pacifica/ Quad Eight
Old 13th July 2005
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Our first one just cleared customs, if you're in Canada and want to get one....

Andy

www.diffusion-audio.com
Old 13th July 2005
  #32
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
For what I like to hear, I think the Pacifica is awesome on drums. I'm in the middle of a session recording my own band and we just used the Pacifica for all the drum overhead tracks with a Royer SF12. The detail and transient response was fantastic and just what I wanted to hear. It's almost like a John Hardy and Neve had a bastard child...with maybe a voyeuristic API watching from the closet. I have been using my API 3124+ on drum overheads for the last few years, but it was never quite what I wanted to hear. The Pacifica prototype I have in my hands now is as close to the sound I've been hearing in my head for the last few years. I also did an acoustic guitar track with the Pacifica using an Oktava MC012 in omni on a Taylor 612CE...a few dBs compressed with a Distressor. The track sounds sublime in the mix. I expect to use very little EQ during mixdown.

I'm a big fan of this preamp!!! I absolutely love it on everything I put through it. I might have to get another one when they hit the street.

Brad
API's have been my favorite for overheads for years as well, so what you're saying gets me pretty exited about giving the Pacifica a go. I'll start tracking drums for an indie rock project some time next week so I'll be able to try the Pacifica for drums then. I was thinking just an R84 as a mono overhead, we'll see. Did you try the Pacifica on kick or snare, or just overheads?
Old 13th July 2005
  #33
Tape Op
 
Larry Crane's Avatar
 

I have one of the first review units of the Pacifica and ran it on kick and snare on a rock session saturday. first impressions are very favorable....

Larry Crane/Tape Op
Old 13th July 2005
  #34
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BradM's Avatar
I've tried it on overheads with both the SF12 and my stereo pair of Sound Room Oktavas. No compaints here. thumbsup

I have yet to try it on kick and snare. I'm still using the API there.

Brad
Old 13th July 2005
  #35
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robot gigante's Avatar
Nice to see you here, Larry.

I guess I'll just have to try it on both kick/snare and OH's and go from there.
Old 15th July 2005
  #36
Gear Maniac
 
Helsing's Avatar
 

Jon Erickson here. I designed this unit with Peter. Happy to hear some good feedback.

I had a gig recording film scores a few years back in LA and the console was a Pacifica. Film work is very fast and high pressure so I would have mics setup for everything and used the pres on the console almost exclusively. The producer I was working with is named Michael Andrews. He recorded the Donnie Darko score including the "Mad World" cover that went #1 in the UK on that console. He also recorded a band called "Metric" on that board and the new Inara George album.

We found the console pres to be a perfect mix of tough and mellow. The analogy of the sound being somewhere between a 312 and a Neve isnt far off. We had a good pair of 1066s that we used for select sources but found that the Pacifica was more useful overall and could be used exclusively in large track count mixes. The other pres we used were some Altec tube pres that sound like a Chess record. Between the three we were completely covered.

At any rate, its great to hear feedback and feel free to ask me questions.

Best

Jon Erickson
Old 15th July 2005
  #37
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helsing
He also recorded a band called "Metric" on that board
Jon Erickson
Was that the Canadian band "Metric" with female singer?
Old 15th July 2005
  #38
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MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 

FWIW,
Jon Erickson is the shiznit when it comes to this stuff. He is one of the few remaining people who is not only a great engineer but also a designer of gear. I would say unlike most companies now days he uses his ears to design equipment instead of his calculator.

Now if I could only scrape the money to send him some of my Langevin stuff!!!



Michael Greene
Old 16th July 2005
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
Helsing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
Was that the Canadian band "Metric" with female singer?
Thats right. Her name is Emily. Great sounding group.

JE
Old 17th July 2005
  #40
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I was itching to try out some new gear and did a shootout last night between the following for a rock guitar. EQ was out on all preamps and everything was level matched as best as I could get it.

1. Pacifica - Brightest and most open sounding of all. I'm guessing the phase response of this thing outshines the rest in the shootout. It almost sounded like it was adding top in comparison to the rest. Honestly the only preamp that stood out as being quite different from the rest on this application.

2. Vintech X73i 1200 ohm - A little more aggressive in the mids, not as open on top making it sound thicker than the pacifica (yin and yang. the pacifica still had a similar bottom. less top = more bottom)

3. Vintech X73i 300 ohm - Thicker than 1200 ohm. Darkest sample of all

4. Daking - Least aggressive. Pretty boring by comparison but totally usable. Not as transformery (put that in your dictionary) as the rest. I was kinda suprised that it seemed quite dark. Maybe darker than the vintech or maybe just less agressive.

5. Neve 1066 - Somewhere between the two vintech samples. Maybe a tiny bit smoother. I was kinda suprised how well the vintech stood up.

6. API 512c - Most lean on bottom with most midrange focus. Yawn.

I didn't even bother testing out the other preamps (lesser favorites). Maybe we have too many choices. Good problem to have though. In the shootout, the Pacifca, Vintech and Neve all sounded great for this application. I think the pacifica fills that hole I was wanting (something with an open top). I'm excited to see how the Pacifica stacks up on drum overheads and with ribbon mics.
Old 17th July 2005
  #41
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BradM's Avatar
I noticed very similar things when shooting out the Pacifica with my Vintech 1272 and my Great River ME-1NV. The Pacifica seemed to have a more open sounding midrange and treble response, which I really liked. Try putting a pad on the output of the Pacifica and really slamming the input and see what you get. It can get a little thicker and grittier.

Brad
Old 18th July 2005
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
I noticed very similar things when shooting out the Pacifica with my Vintech 1272 and my Great River ME-1NV. The Pacifica seemed to have a more open sounding midrange and treble response, which I really liked. Try putting a pad on the output of the Pacifica and really slamming the input and see what you get. It can get a little thicker and grittier.

Brad
Not a bad idea. The neve or neve-esque stuff did seem to have a bit more aggression in the mids which can be good on guitars but I would like to have that as an option. I'm going to give it more of a workout on tuesday on some metalish punkish band. The pacifica's top end response was unlike anything else in the shootout which is a very good thing since we have a lot of discrete transformer balanced pres that cover similar ground.
Old 18th July 2005
  #43
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BradM's Avatar
I think some of that top end mojo is really due to the choice in input transformer. The prototype I have has a different input transformer in the second channel and it doesn't quite have the magic of the first channel, which is more like the production model from what I've been told.

Brad
Old 18th July 2005
  #44
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I went back and listened again. The difference between the Neve and the Vintech seemed a bit more apparent this time. I don't know about the Pacifica being a midpoint to the Neve and API. It's a different animal. The neve has a great low end, smooth but not all that clear top. The API has midrange forward, tight but not big low end, more clear than the Neve and the Pacifica sounded wide open on top but not in that transformerless way, clearer than the API but with a bigger low end but not quite as puffed up as the Neve (maybe a midpoint in terms on low end?). I'll need to do some comparison before I really get a feel for it. The top end was so different that I was wondering if the mic slipped but all the other samples seem more comparable in top end.
Old 18th July 2005
  #45
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BradM's Avatar
Yeah that all sounds right.

By the way, what mics were you using on the guitar amp? What kind of guitar/amp/cab?

thanks,
Brad
Old 18th July 2005
  #46
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Flying V! (all that was around at the time) > Marshall SLP > Marshall 2x12 cab with what sound like greenbacks to me > Sennheiser E609

I would have tried some different mics if I had the chance but I didn't have the time.
Old 18th July 2005
  #47
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BradM's Avatar
Not to get too far off topic here... I just finished up recording some overdriven guitar tones for my band. We used a Marshall 1987 and JMP 2203 into a Marshall 2x12 (Weber 1265) miked with an e609s as well. When you use that mic where do you find yourself positioning it most of the time? I'm still learning it and find myself putting it a lot closer than other mics I might pick.

Brad
Old 19th July 2005
  #48
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It depends on the cab. I find myself putting it off axis a bit which a lot of people make the mistake of not doing. It will tear your head off if you aren't careful.
Old 1st August 2005
  #49
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BradM's Avatar
Vocals with the Pacifica

I used the Pacifica to record vocals with this weekend. The singer was a male tenor. Mics used were U99 and SM57 (Unidyne III). We did passes through every preamp I have in the studio right now: Great River ME1NV, Vintech 1272, API 3124+, A-Designs MP2, and the Pacifica. In a nutshell the Pacifica really had something unique going on that all the other preamps did not possess. It was really present and open in the upper midrange and really brought the vocal way out front while still blending well with the rest of the track. If I had any outboard EQ in the rack I probably would have checked to make sure it was bypassed. It made the Great River sound a little cloudy in comparison (although it did open up much more when I backed off the input gain and turned the output all the way up). The API sounded the most similar probably, but just didn't have the same magic the Pacifica had. I was really impressed. I've only had the ME1NV a short while and really thought it would become my goto preamp for vocals. But I can see myself reaching for the Pacifica much more.

I am seriously digging this preamp. I think Peter read my mind when he designed this thing. It's kicking ass in all the right ways for the way I like to hear audio.

Brad
Old 8th August 2005
  #50
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rlejr's Avatar
 

Pacifica Across External Summing Buss

Has anyone tried a Pacifica across an external summing buss like the Rolls Folcrom? I am using a FMR RNP for that purpose currently.....thinking the Pacifica might be a perfect step up for that task.

Also didn't see a lot in this thread about the Pacifica on lead vocal tracks....anybody have more opinions/experience there?

I already own a MP-2 and a ATTY. Excellent gear.......the MP-2 has been a breath of warm, round and lush fresh air for my DAW (killer for acoustic guitar, bass and thin vocalists)......and I'm finding more uses for the ATTY every week.

Based on the quality of the A Design gear I already own, I don't see how you could go wrong with a Pacifica considering bang-for-the-buck.

Might as well take the time to pontificate on the customer service at A Design while I'm at it. I recently had a need to have my MP-2 repaired. WOW! Unbelievable for this industry. Personal service, my schedule concerns became their concerns. Went above and beyond from the 1st support call to the resolution. Peter Montessi is phenomenal. I have dealt with a long list companies and their customer service or lack there of. A Designs has no equal.

Lynx Studio Technology isn't a too distant 2nd place though.
Old 8th August 2005
  #51
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BradM's Avatar
Didn't I just write about my experiences using the Pacifica on lead vocals in the previous post? <looks to check> Yep, I did. heh The Pacifica is really nice on lead vocals--it really makes the vocal cut through the mix quite easily.

I tried the Pacifica very briefly for make-up gain with my homemade Folcrom-style 8-channel summing box. I preferred the API on the one song I tried it on. My test wasn't much more extensive than that.

Brad
Old 8th August 2005
  #52
Here for the gear
 
rlejr's Avatar
 

Yep....I saw your post

right after I submitted mine. Sorry, I hadn't checked the latests posts before pulling the trigger.


I don't have an API to make much use of your comparison. Can I ask what you didn't like about the Pacifica for the make-up gain? Too much midrange? Too much high end?
Old 8th August 2005
  #53
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BradM's Avatar
It's not that there was anything I didn't like about the Pacifica. It sounded fine. I just happened to like the API more because it had that magic API presence thing happening. I dug the increased coloration more.

Brad
Old 8th August 2005
  #54
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
I've been happily suprised with the DI on the Pacifica now that I've been using it for a while.

That open top end is really nice.

I still think the Reddi is the ultimate DI especially for bass oriented instruments, but once in a while where you don't need a thicker extended bass sound but something thinner and more open in the top, the Pacifica is really useful. I've been using it on DI guitar and synths, and it really excels.

BTW I did end up using the Pacifica on drum overheads and thought it was great.
Old 13th February 2006
  #55
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlejr
Has anyone tried a Pacifica across an external summing buss like the Rolls Folcrom? ... (snip)....

anyone?
Old 13th February 2006
  #56
Gear Maniac
 
Helsing's Avatar
 

I feel a little bad not having tested these together since I designed the Pacifica with Peter and also contributed to the Folcrom design, albeit mostly mechanical work in the latter. Things have been very busy the past 6 months.

The Pacifica should work very well with a Folcrom. Impedance-wise it is a perfect match so there are no problems there. Many Folcrom users have found good results with more open, big sounding pres and the Pacifica fits the bill in this respect. The Pacifica should also lend a nice subtle color to your mix.

The pre that is chosen to strap across the back of the Folcrom is critical and something with a wide frequency response like a Pacifica would be a good call.

Jon Erickson
Old 15th February 2006
  #57
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlejr
Has anyone tried a Pacifica across an external summing buss like the Rolls Folcrom? ... (snip)....
no one?
Old 15th February 2006
  #58
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rlejr's Avatar
 

Sorry.......

I can't speak to the Pacifica.......but having dealt with Peter Montessi and my MP-2.....I'm sure the it is a killer preamp. I ended up using a Buzz Audio MA-2.2 across my Folcrom ......I am quite pleased with it for that function.
Old 15th February 2006
  #59
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy
no one?
Yeah I tried it. For the mix I was doing at the time I didn't jump out of my seat or anything. It sounded okay. Not bad, not amazing, just okay. It was smooth and musical. That particular day the API gave the mix a little extra something though. I am interested in trying it again sometime to see if I have different results.

Brad
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