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advice needed for next purchase (a few grand to spend)
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

advice needed for next purchase (a few grand to spend)

Current set up:

PC (fl studio, soundforge, plugins)
event sp8 monitors
focusrite LE interface
RNC compressor
joe meek VC3
mackie vlz 1404 desk
roland juno 6
yamaha cs 15
yamaha cs 01
yamaha shs 10
technics 1200 turntables (sampling vinyl, dj'n)
akai s950
acoustically treated room
shure SM58

I make electronic music (house, techno, hip hop) and have a few ideas for my next purchase but am not sure which way to go. I don't mind sending a signal OTB into some hardware then re-recording the track as i find it's a cost effective way of getting some analogue into my signal chain. I have let's say roughly $3000 - $4000US to play with. At the moment i'm currently thinking like this:

a) Buy a api lunchbox with a pair of avedis MA5 pre amps and a radial DI box. This would allow me to get some transformer color into my signal chain somewhere. Plus they would sound great with my synths and any vocals i record.

b) Buy a API 2500 compressor. Being a versatile comp plus i read that it sounds great on drums and the added bonus that it has hi quality transformers to add a little color to my sonic palette.

c) Buy a MPC 3000. I've spent too many years looking at a computer screen to make music and am tempted to get away from the computer to create my music. The MPC 3000 from all the reading i have done seems to be the machine to go for.

d) Buy a UBK Fatso. To be honest i didn't know much about this product till i came onto this site. It looks the business and seems to be a very competent compressor for my needs. Price could be out of my reach though so maybe a little more saving up is on the cards. Just saw the price on this comp and is more than affordable but has no stereo link on the controls from what i can see.

I understand that it's important to try gear before you buy but i'm not in a position to do so. I have done my research and the options i have come up with are the result of that. Plus i don't mind taking a bit of a gamble on purchases. They could lead me to new ideas that i wouldn't have thought of at the time.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radic View Post
d) Buy a UBK Fatso. To be honest i didn't know much about this product till i came onto this site. It looks the business and seems to be a very competent compressor for my needs. Price could be out of my reach though so maybe a little more saving up is on the cards. Just saw the price on this comp and is more than affordable but has no stereo link on the controls from what i can see.

You can link the two channels for true stereo compression. You still need to adjust both input and output knobs, but the detectors work together completely and your image stays intact.

You've got a crazy set of options there; from my perspective, following your lettered list, you need to decide what you want most:

a) good fidelity on your source tracks (don't count on preamps to 'color up' your signal, there are more effective ways to do that for the $)

b) smooth and soften your tone and add thick, solid compression

c) change your workflow to something possibly more intuitive, faster, less visual-brain oriented

d) thicken and fatten your tone and add fast, colorful compression


The only two options that are remotely competitive are b and d, and those are a tossup as far as I'm concerned because I have and love both boxes. As an engineer I'd go with one of those two.

But as an artist, I'd go with c, in fact in my own way I did. I pulled the computer/daw from my studio and have never been happier with the flow and process of making music.

Vibe over sonics, but productivity over everything, that's my advice. If you truly feel the need to change how you make music, that's where I'd put my focus (and money) first and foremost.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Greg thanks so much for your reply. My question for you is with the UBK Fatso how difficult would it be to make electronic drums pump without the aid of an adjustable attack and release setting?

Lately i have been getting pleasing results (drums) by slowing my attack and setting a quick release on the RNC compressor (allowing the threshold to get back to 0 before the kick triggers the compressor again). How would the Fatso handle this situation? I'm of the thought that an adjustable release is vital for the pumping action that is required for electronic drums (techno, house, etc....)

Also are the dials on the UBK stepped to allow for easy setup between the 2 channels?
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Well, since my primary goal when creating the UBK comps was to ensure that they never pump... I think you're outta luck!

To pump you need more than control over the release, although you are correct in believing that's probably essential. Some comps will do it, others not so much, some will pump but not aggressively, some require a deft touch to get them to *not* pump. Usually a comp needs to be really fast to do what you want, and having a hard knee helps.

My question, though, is if you're getting pleasing results with your RNC, why shop for a new piece?


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 

A high end compressor with great transformers is something i'd like to add to my sonic arsenal. An educated guess would tell me that a product close to $3000 must sound somewhat better than a similar product costing around $300. Yes there is a place for the RNC in my box of tools but a few more quality tools interests me. I'd like to find out what all the fuss about harmonic distortion is for myself and how i could incorporate it into my sound

As much as you say the fatso dosen't pump it's interesting watching your video how much the music glue's together when compressed. There's nothing i have at the moment that sounds anything like that and i'm sure i could find a use or 2 for a compressor like the fatso that's for sure.

As long as my next purchase pushes forward my sound/ creativity by at least 5% i'll be happy. I'm not expecting miracles but i do like to always be heading in the right direction. Cheers.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radic View Post
As much as you say the fatso dosen't pump it's interesting watching your video how much the music glue's together when compressed.

Well on a comp where one of the presets is named "Glue" you gotta expect certain things. heh

Imho pulling sounds together, making them more solid and dense, is what I love most about compression. The 2500 and the Fatso both do it extraordinarily well, and yes, they both sound light years better than an RNC (which is a very respectable comp, just boring sounding).

The difference that I hear is that the 2500 is extremely tight and focused, the box adds definition and clarity with a touch of softness, it sounds golden amber. The Fatso otoh is slightly loose and hazy, it adds a vintage smear and mystery to the music, it sounds dark brown.

Great tools, different textures.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #7
With that money, what about a stereo pair of Distressors? Maybe 2 MC77s?
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