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Shadow Hills compressor?
Old 3rd August 2007
  #331
Gear Nut
 

Shadow Hills MC Light Bulb Replacement

Since we don't get manuals with the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor maybe we should start a thread with all of the little tidbits of information that we all pickup.

For anyone who has to replace an indicator light on the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor...

The little green lens screws off and then the little bulb is exposed. After wrestling with the bulb for a while - and not knowing if it pulled out, unscrewed, pushed in and turned - I ended up shattering the light bulb. As I was cleaning up the little pieces of glass (thanking God that none ended up in my eyes) I decided maybe I would post and maybe save others from the same fate. I used tweezers, needle-nose pliers with double sided tape, and anything else I could think of. Nothing seemed to get a grip on the bulb before it shattered. It was actually easier after it shattered. It unscrews! I used a Q-tip to shove in the hole and the sharp edges of the remaining glass provided a nice grip to unscrew the bulb.

I found a marking on the bulb that said "342". I found them on line at:
Light Bulb Depot.

Happy Compressing!!

Don
Old 4th August 2007
  #332
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

Thanks for the heads up!
Old 4th August 2007
  #333
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by don4777 View Post
Since we don't get manuals with the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor maybe we should start a thread with all of the little tidbits of information that we all pickup.

For anyone who has to replace an indicator light on the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor...

The little green lens screws off and then the little bulb is exposed. After wrestling with the bulb for a while - and not knowing if it pulled out, unscrewed, pushed in and turned - I ended up shattering the light bulb. As I was cleaning up the little pieces of glass (thanking God that none ended up in my eyes) I decided maybe I would post and maybe save others from the same fate. I used tweezers, needle-nose pliers with double sided tape, and anything else I could think of. Nothing seemed to get a grip on the bulb before it shattered. It was actually easier after it shattered. It unscrews! I used a Q-tip to shove in the hole and the sharp edges of the remaining glass provided a nice grip to unscrew the bulb.

I found a marking on the bulb that said "342". I found them on line at:
Light Bulb Depot.

Happy Compressing!!

Don
nothing negative here, and i am truly sorry for such an endeavor, i just wanted to say that was funny!
Old 8th August 2007
  #334
Gear Nut
 
gatiii's Avatar
 

I must admit that I agree with roundbadge and the others here who have the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor.

I own lots of gear, and this piece is something extremely special. After owning one for awhile now, I don't know how I could live without it. I hate to use a cliche, but it just sounds like a record. Also, there is great gear out there, but few live up to the build quality of this compressor. Peter is passionate about this and I wish more manufacturers in the pro audio world felt the same way.

Thanks for all you do Peter!

Glenn A Tabor III

PS - does anyone have good recall sheets for this yet? I was supposed to get them from Peter, but haven't had time to follow-up. He also told me he had calibration procedures???



Gat3 Productions
[email protected]
Old 8th August 2007
  #335
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatiii View Post
I own lots of gear, and this piece is something extremely special.
thumbsup

I agree with RoundBadge, it just always wins out for the mix bus.
So, that's where it sits.
Old 8th August 2007
  #336
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jonboyrock's Avatar
 

I have only done one session so far with it on the mix buss, and it does rule. I have also mixed with it on the over heads, wow! Also tracked some vocals, and again, wow! Especially changing the transformers for different vocal flavours....
Old 8th August 2007
  #337
Ya know.... I would STILL love to pick one up but I just don't like waiting months (or years?) for gear. I don't like to have my money tied up like that. What is the wait on one of the SH Comps now?
Old 8th August 2007
  #338
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
What is the wait on one of the SH Comps now?
I don't know now with the move to Austin, but I got mine earlier this year after waiting for 3 1/2 months. I just missed one run. I don't consider that too bad for limited-run gear like this.

I'd call Mike Nehra and ask him what the situation is right now.
Old 8th August 2007
  #339
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

I had mine in 2 months of ordering, but most of that was self imposed, as I was OS for 7 weeks on tour.... I could have had it in 1 month I think. I got in at the right time on the last batch I guess
Old 28th August 2007
  #340
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

Man this thing rules on room mics! thumbsup
Old 28th August 2007
  #341
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboyrock View Post
Man this thing rules on room mics! thumbsup
And everything else.thumbsup
Old 30th August 2007
  #342
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

yeah it certainly seems that way!heh
Old 30th August 2007
  #343
Lives for gear
 
Improv's Avatar
 

Aaaaaaand, still no audio clips from anyone.

I don't get it... a plugin comp comes out and there are 10 threads with A/B's and examples.... you would think if someone plunks down 6 large+ on some real metal, they would want to show it off, just a LITTLE bit! !
Old 17th October 2007
  #344
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

Tonight I discovered the joy fo the SHMC on para drums..... OH MY GOD..... (and sorry, no clips....) IT made me want another one....
Old 2nd February 2008
  #345
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MattGray's Avatar
Well I've finally bit the bullet & put down my deposit... they are only making 12 of these a year now & who knows for how long they will be making them at all. I've got to wait 4-6months but can't wait to rack it above my Sontec

Question for those who already own & use it on the mix bus or for mastering how do you find the range of attack settings? 30ms still seems too quick to me for some things it would be nice to see a 50 & a 100ms option (perhaps in place of the .1 & .5 settings?). How many of you use the .1 or .5 settings for the mix bus or mastering?

Matt
Old 24th February 2008
  #346
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboyrock View Post
Man this thing rules on room mics! thumbsup
Yeah, it really does. Used my SHMC with some Coles and Neve 1073 pres recently. Sounded huge!

MattGray, I find the 30ms attack setting to be pretty sweet. I would like to hear a 50ms setting but I'm not complaining. I've never used the .1 or .5ms settings but that's just me. I tend to like a slower attack and fast release on the mix bus compressor. This thing is ****ing amazing though. You won't be disappointed.
Old 24th February 2008
  #347
Gear Addict
 
NoizyNinja's Avatar
 

11 pages and no clip YET??

All you guys got to do is post a clip of this on the mix bus then one mix with the SHC bypassed and we can all be part of this party. Share please
Old 24th February 2008
  #348
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
I did post a clip here.
On/bypass/on/bypass..
about a year ago.
gotta do a search to find it



..
Old 24th February 2008
  #349
Gear Maniac
 
jonboyrock's Avatar
 

He is right you know.... amazing function, that search thing....
Old 24th February 2008
  #350
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoizyNinja View Post
All you guys got to do is post a clip of this on the mix bus then one mix with the SHC bypassed and we can all be part of this party. Share please
Shadow Hills Mastering Comp #002 is here..



..
Old 24th February 2008
  #351
Gear Addict
 
NoizyNinja's Avatar
 

Thanks but I still don't get it. One is a drum loop and the other loop + guitar. SHC on both? One? Which? Haven't you (or any one) used it on a mix and flicked the bypass and recorded that mix too to do a comparison? I do use the search function but sometimes I don't feel like going through 12 pages to find a clip
Old 1st June 2008
  #352
Lives for gear
 
MattGray's Avatar
Just thought I'd post on my experience with using a Shadow Hills MC. As I stated in my last post on this forum I had put down a deposit on one of these units & was waiting patiently for it to arrive. In the meantime a local studio had received their unit & I was invited to go over & try it out as a mix bus/mastering comp with my own mix samples.

All I can say is that after trying it out with a number of different styles & with various settings I was very underwhelmed by it. Bare in mind that most users here that own them use them for tracking or mixing duties but none of you to my knowledge are mastering engineers. Considering that this compressor has 'Mastering' in it's title I was expecting it to be suitable for that purpose, but to me it was too coloured & not in a nice way. The transformer options (which is what helps it stand apart from the other options) just weren't as useable as I thought they would be. The Nickel which is probably the most useable setting for mix bus added a boost around 10kHz which is ok for some things but really too obvious for day to day mastering work. The Iron setting muddied up the low mids & the Steel setting was just gritty & lost detail (least useable setting). The VCA section was quite useable with it's settings being able to be adjusted to a wider variety of characters but the Opto had very limited use without adjustable attack & release settings. It also sounded quite slow & obvious whenever the GR showed on the meters.

After hearing it & using it I couldn't hear $7000 worth of compression, sure it's probably ok for mixing (drum bus) & tracking but I was expecting 'wow' factor for this price & to be honest I just didn't hear or feel it. So I've since cancelled my order & glad I got to use it before my order was filled (one advantage of a long wait!). I've since heard the opinion of 3 other engineers whose work I respect & they also had much the same experience & will be selling their SH MC's as a consequence. Perhaps Peter would've been better off keeping the introductory price point as it's certainly not worth the current asking price, nor should it have ever been labelled 'Mastering Compressor'.

One thing going for them is that they look fantastic & the switches were nice... but it's best not to judge a book by it's cover... It also explains why you won't see too many audio samples of this unit on GS, because the sound isn't worth talking about let alone sharing imo.

Matt
Old 1st June 2008
  #353
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
I've since heard the opinion of 3 other engineers whose work I respect & they also had much the same experience & will be selling their SH MC's as a consequence. Perhaps Peter would've been better off keeping the introductory price point as it's certainly not worth the current asking price, nor should it have ever been labelled 'Mastering Compressor'.

One thing going for them is that they look fantastic & the switches were nice... but it's best not to judge a book by it's cover... It also explains why you won't see too many audio samples of this unit on GS, because the sound isn't worth talking about let alone sharing imo.

Matt
Hold on now Matt. Clearly there are tracking/mixing engineers who absolutely love it. 2 buss, drums, etc. Superbad. Clearly.

As a mastering engineer I can't see using it ... and I have to wonder how there are mastering engineers who acted on the word "mastering" in the title without thinking about the obvious sound from the box. To me "Mastering" = switches, no more. You're saying that you spoke with three mastering engineers who didn't like it? So what were your expectations from the sound? My expectations from this piece were that it would produce exactly your review, color and character a la transformer/discrete. So I never bothered to hear it. To me you were foolish to order it for mastering thinking it would be anything different from your review, and are now insulting the unit as a result of your own inaccurate expectations?

Admittedly I call Peter a friend, and I'm supportive of his gear ... but your heavy negativity here is as silly as the mastering guy who tried the Elysia Alpha and said it was "too clean and a comp to him meant color". Do you guys read others posts and think about this stuff before wasting your time on the wrong demos? This is a colored unit, the Alpha is a clean unit.
Old 1st June 2008
  #354
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
J...I've since heard the opinion of 3 other engineers whose work I respect & they also had much the same experience & will be selling their SH MC's as a consequence. Perhaps Peter would've been better off keeping the introductory price point as it's certainly not worth the current asking price, nor should it have ever been labelled 'Mastering Compressor'.

One thing going for them is that they look fantastic & the switches were nice... but it's best not to judge a book by it's cover... It also explains why you won't see too many audio samples of this unit on GS, because the sound isn't worth talking about let alone sharing imo.

Matt
Didn't work for ya.
got it.
You bud's with other the guy in Australia who said he and 30 others thought the Barefoots sucked too? ..kiddingheh

I can definitely say mixing into it vs mastering into it=2 different things
Mixing into it becomes part of the sound of the mix from the get go.
..but saying"the sound isn't worth talking about let alone sharing imo."is kinda
I know a few upstanding cats that will beg to differ [Micheal Brauer,Dave Cooley,Kevin Agunas,etc among a bunch others.]
doubt these guys are gonna be bothered about posting samples here either.

last time I posted a piece of a mix here it ended up on some hack gear a/b sample CD on ebayd.

..
Old 2nd June 2008
  #355
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
Well I have to agree with Matt here. Lovely looking unit, solid build, great support.

Unfortunately I was not that blown away with the sound for mastering either. Not for $8000. However for mixing it would be great, no doubt.
Old 2nd June 2008
  #356
I do mixing and mastering over here, and kept the unit. It *is* great for mixing into it. My fave settings are usually 30ms attack, .1 release (maybe .25 for a slower tempo) kind of deal, nickle transformer, no sidechain, maybe a kiss of opto for vintage "blink" (10% of the time?). The other thing I'll play with is low ratio (more grab) or high ratio/ flood (just a nip, barely move the needle like using a TG1). I agree that it's a pretty strong flavor/ footprint... I've only mastered a couple of things through it... and felt like it was too colored for 90% of stuff that comes through. But for mixing it can be pretty great if you mix into it from the get go. If and when the two sides of the compressor are useful together you get sort of a double-animated "finished" record sound.

Matt's sense of the transformer options are almost exactly like mine... although the neve option has worked on a couple of things for thickening, I'd almost be into hearing a "transformerless" mod instead of the steel option (like on the GAMA). Maybe that would open up it's mastering potential a bit more. Not sure if the unit would need severe modification to enable that or not...

So I guess I pretty much agree with everything that's been said. I am sticking with my STC8 for the majority of the mastering these days.

DC
Old 2nd June 2008
  #357
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MattGray's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Hold on now Matt. Clearly there are tracking/mixing engineers who absolutely love it. 2 buss, drums, etc. Superbad. Clearly.
Never doubted that, to me this is where this unit excels.

Quote:
As a mastering engineer I can't see using it ... and I have to wonder how there are mastering engineers who acted on the word "mastering" in the title without thinking about the obvious sound from the box. To me "Mastering" = switches, no more.
Well you have to know me to know why I was considering the SH MC for mastering, for starters I've already got a nice clean transparent compressor for when 'no colour' is required, it's a Weiss DS-1. I've also got the PSP Master Comp which also falls under this catgory. My EQ's are also pretty clean/transparent Weiss EQ-1, MDW V2, Sontec MES-432C. So I was looking specifically for a 'colour piece' to have as an option not as my only compressor choice. I thought considering that the SH MC was recallable with it's switches & had the option of 3 different transformers that it would be a good candidate however listening or demo'ing one was impossible at the time I placed the order.

Quote:
So what were your expectations from the sound? My expectations from this piece were that it would produce exactly your review, color and character a la transformer/discrete.
My expectations where that all of the transformer options would be useable in some form or another & that the transformers would sound at least comparable to the compressors they were trying to emulate i.e. SSL, Neve, LA-2A to me they didn't meet that expectation.

Quote:
So I never bothered to hear it. To me you were foolish to order it for mastering thinking it would be anything different from your review, and are now insulting the unit as a result of your own inaccurate expectations?
Not really, I'm sure you'll agree that there is certain pieces of hardware that just sound great even putting them inline without compression active. The API 2500 was one of those boxes for me, the 2520 transformers sound really good, they give you a better sense of depth & really enhance the signal in a positive way without taking away anything from the detail of the source. For $7000US I was expecting plenty of 'wow' factor & versatility out of the different Shadow Hills transformers. What I heard was just 'ok' & not very versatile or useable for mastering or mix bus work for that matter. The task it was designed for fell short for me, perhaps the biggest part of this unit falling short for me is the output transformers chosen by Peter. I certainly wasn't going to pay for one & swap out the transformers to find out if it improved things, not for the steep asking price but a guess would be that it could go along way to improving the overall sound & versatility of the unit imho.

Quote:
You're saying that you spoke with three mastering engineers who didn't like it?
2 mastering engineers & 2 recording/mixing engineers, all thought that it sounded alright but expected it to sound more amazing than it actually was (especially for the price & compared to other units in the same or lower price brackets). In fact one of the mastering engineers had spent lengthy testing time with it comparing the various transformers of the SH MC to the real API 2520's & Neve 1272's & thought both of the real units smoked the SH MC transformers in terms of depth & useable tonality & would've preferred those 'colour' options over the SH MC every time. To me & the other engineers I discussed it with, this means the SH misses it's intended mark & is overpriced.

Quote:
Admittedly I call Peter a friend, and I'm supportive of his gear ... but your heavy negativity here is as silly as the mastering guy who tried the Elysia Alpha and said it was "too clean and a comp to him meant color". Do you guys read others posts and think about this stuff before wasting your time on the wrong demos? This is a colored unit, the Alpha is a clean unit.
Personally I see a need for 'colour' pieces & 'tonally transparent' pieces for mastering depending on the source mix supplied & the clients expectations, you seem to prefer more 'transparent' pieces for your compression needs which is fine. I'd rather have more options, to me this has meant an API 2500 & probably a TC Phoenix (demo'ing soon) to compliment the Weiss DS-1. Coincidentally both the 2500 & the Phoenix together are the same price as a SH MC & will give me many more useable options & versatility for 'colour'.

I don't wish to get into a debate regarding the 'Alpha' I'm sure it's a fantastic box, but to me I can cover a lot of those bases with the Weiss DS-1 &/or the Dangerous Master S&M insert, so I don't see the need to spend $15k AU to double up on features I already have at my disposal. Perhaps if I was starting from scratch it would've replaced the Weiss in my chain. As it was I got the DS-1 used for less than half the retail price so I got a great deal on it. Also with the Mk3 software upgrade due only weeks away it will add even more flexibility offering M/S compression along with Peak or RMS sidechain detection & it already has parallel compression & frequency dependent compression by the way of linear phase band splitting. The de-essing is amazingly transparent.

Anyway I hope you see that I am not a silly fellow & that I had a legitimate reason to try out the SH MC & to rate it as a 'Coloured' Mastering compressor. For me & others it feel short of expectations.

Matt
Old 2nd June 2008
  #358
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MattGray's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
..but saying"the sound isn't worth talking about let alone sharing imo."is kinda
I know a few upstanding cats that will beg to differ [Micheal Brauer,Dave Cooley,Kevin Agunas,etc among a bunch others.]
doubt these guys are gonna be bothered about posting samples here either.
last time I posted a piece of a mix here it ended up on some hack gear a/b sample CD on ebayd.

..
Well the fact is there is only a couple of drum buss audio samples to be found with the SH MC. If it is so amazing on mix bus, why isn't there any actual mix bus before & after samples to be found? Why aren't there people gushing at the mouth about this unit if it is so incredible.

I just wanted to balance up the comments on this thread & offer a different opinion regarding it's sound & versatility. Also your unit was one of the first & has changed considerably since this first incarnation, so perhaps you have the only one that sounds 'amazing'

Matt
Old 2nd June 2008
  #359
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Samples are for kids ... that's why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
My expectations where that all of the transformer options would be useable in some form or another & that the transformers would sound at least comparable to the compressors they were trying to emulate i.e. SSL, Neve, LA-2A to me they didn't meet that expectation.
Well it's not an emulation box, it's new. More expectation bias. La2A has tubes/transformers, SSL is not discrete, etc. Neve is Neve, nothing else is a Neve comp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
I'm sure you'll agree that there is certain pieces of hardware that just sound great even putting them inline without compression active. The API 2500 was one of those boxes for me, the 2520 transformers sound really good, they give you a better sense of depth & really enhance the signal in a positive way
We hear differently then, as the 2500 is small. All API stuff has that same messy color to my ear always. Cramped and low mid messy. For size I go Fairman.

I think the 2500 and Phoenix are a great option for you and this is not ... I just think your initial review was over the top.
Old 2nd June 2008
  #360
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MattGray's Avatar
Whatever the 'sound goal' whether it be loose emulation of classic or a completely new sound, to me it missed the mark. Check the description of the SH MC on Vintage King where it describes the action & transformer styles (this is the only listed reseller for SH on their website).

quote from the VK website description...
Quote:
The input stage is transformer balanced, followed by our fully discrete optical compressor. This section utilizes the same T4B optical attenuator as the LA2A and LA3A, but is optimized for mastering. The second stage is our discrete Class-A VCA compressor.
and...

Quote:
Lastly the signal goes through our new Shadow Hills custom transformer-switching network.

The first position is Nickel, which is our custom version of a famous L. A. custom console. Next is Iron. In this mode the signal goes through our op-amp and into a Class-A output stage then to our custom Iron transformers, the last transformer position is Steel. These selections allow you to choose between different output transformers that are in effect: clean, colored, and dirty, respectively.
and this review at the bottom of the site from endorsee Doug McBride...

Quote:
Forget the aesthetics of the unit – it’s the most versatile comp ever. The discrete comp is a cross between a G384 and a 33609. The opto side is fast as hell. I’d love to take it off the 2mix but that won’t happen."
Completely the opposite reaction to me on all those accounts highlighted in bold...

My whole point of posting is that you can get better sounding VCA style compression for the money. I didn't want a 'classic' clone but did expect the SH MC to sound 'BIG' but to me it sounded 'small'. The 2500 has 2 distinct sounds the 'Old' feedback style compression or the 'New' feed forward style. While it's true that the 'Old' sound accentuates the low end the 'New' section does not & to me neither muddies up the low mids so we'll have to agree to disagree, as I'm sure we have differences in taste & monitoring. I see you prefer the Fairman EQ to add your colour & size. The API has a smooth & punchy VCA sound without harshness or brittle mids (something a lot of VCA compressors struggle to get right) ideal for digital produced rock/hip hop style mixes where the 'Loud' thrust feature is also very handy on occasion.

Anyway whatever works for you Brian is not 'GOSPEL' it's just your opinion, you have yours & I have mine. I've heard the SH MC & you haven't so why even post here about it?

Matt
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