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Seventh Circle Audio in pro situations.....holy cow!! Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd August 2010
  #31
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Quote:
Are you ever going to put up a page for the DI kit
DIY Mic Preamp Kits - Seventh Circle Audio

Quote:
and the transformer upgrades (info, tasting notes, etc.)
Big job, but it's on the list. You can find technical info here: http://cinemag.biz/output/CMOQ-2.pdf
Old 2nd August 2010
  #32
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TheLoud1Please's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle View Post
DIY Mic Preamp Kits - Seventh Circle Audio


Big job, but it's on the list. You can find technical info here: http://cinemag.biz/output/CMOQ-2.pdf
Oh, it's just a problem with the link from the ordering page to the D11. It looks like you would jumper the XLR outs to a Pre's In, in the back of the rack when using the DI module?
Old 3rd August 2010
  #33
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nonamesleft's Avatar
 

i used to stress over which preamp to buy...which one to use where...etc.
I had API 512's, a Germanium, 610, 110, etc...

Now that i have a rack full of N72's and A12's i literally couldn't care less which preamp is used for what. They both sound so freaking good that is really does not matter and i have no desire for any other pres...
Old 3rd August 2010
  #34
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Daniel Antix's Avatar
I got 2 N72's... love them, I'll have to get myself a few more in the future.
Old 3rd August 2010
  #35
Gear Nut
 

Big SCA fan over here. I've got 4 A12s, 4 C84s, 2 N72s, 2 J99s, 2 T15s and the D11 with Transformers.

These coupled with 2 UA 6176s means preamps are not on my shopping list!

Great Pres.
Old 14th August 2010
  #36
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chout's Avatar
 

This thread pushed me over the fence - I've been contemplating either starting a lunchbox or a sca rack...I can't wait to get going on sca! I've built a lot of guitar pedals, so I don't think making these pres will be much harder.
Old 14th August 2010
  #37
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MattiaS's Avatar
 

Any of you have been compared the SCA A12 versus the Classic API 312????? that would be a great shoot out....

What about the SCA N72.... it's closer to the Neve 1272 than to the 1073??? what do you think???

Old 18th August 2010
  #38
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chout's Avatar
 

Just ordered my sca rack/power and an N72!
Old 18th August 2010
  #39
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Mr. Light's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chout View Post
Just ordered my sca rack/power and an N72!
You ain't gonna be disappointed
Old 18th August 2010
  #40
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MattiaS's Avatar
 

no body answer that I posted before!!!!
Old 25th August 2010
  #41
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chout's Avatar
 

ordered an A12 also! Can't wait to get 'em!
Old 25th August 2010
  #42
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Now that I've spent some more time with my SCA, I'm really starting to love these things.

The N72 grew on me. At first the softness of the sound took some getting used to, then I realized it just sits in the mix so well, and the harmonic coloration is lovely.

I tried the T15, and found it to be a good solid performer, but overall a bit "humble" sounding compared to its big brothers, especially the C84, which is only slightly more expensive. The T15 in no way sounds cheap, blurry, distorted, harsh, anything typical of a cheesy preamp, it's just a bit dull sounding, not a ton of detail. The C84 is super detailed, with a midrange lushness, and a high end sheen, and beautiful transient response.

I like the both the N72 and the C84 on DI bass (with a radial DI), two very nice, very different sounds.

My eventual goal is 5 N72, 3 C84, 4 J99, and 4 A12

Can't wait to use these on a full album session.

unlike a previous poster, I'm going to be doing both the SCA racks AND a lunchbox. I was really attracted to the Classic Audio Product of Illinois products so those are going to have to go in a lunchbox, and will help satisfy my mega craving for API type input channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiaS View Post
Any of you have been compared the SCA A12 versus the Classic API 312????? that would be a great shoot out....

What about the SCA N72.... it's closer to the Neve 1272 than to the 1073??? what do you think???

I should be able to report on this before the year is out, but until then, there's some classic API sound samples somewhere on this forum (search) that sound really good, and a bunch of positive reviews here, and in Tape Op magazine. My theory is they're both going to be top notch pres, with a slight edge in functionality going to the VP series with their built in T-Pad full fader attenuator knob on the front panel. Experimenting with op amps will give you a ton of tweakability with either company's module, there's a lot out there to choose from.

I'm really curious about the SCA SC10 "quad eight" op amp, anyone heard one of those yet?? plan to order a few when I go for the A12s
Old 9th September 2010
  #43
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chout's Avatar
 

I should FINALLY be getting my sca rack tomorrow with the a12 and n72...just got a t15 kit yesterday and got it done fairly fast...can't see if it works yet though!

I've been thinking about just paying someone to build these to fill out a rack, but having a bit of experience with making guitar pedals, this was pretty easy and not much different (almost easier in a way...less WIRING!)...biggest pain is checking the tiny markings to make sure you have the right part where it needs to go.thumbsup
Old 9th September 2010
  #44
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Chris Nighman's Avatar
 

Jeremy,
That sounds excellent! Great job...love the spaciousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jborum View Post
Hello all,

For those of you who want to know what the SCA preamps sound like there are two links below to the preamps in action. I use these preamps all the time and I'm very happy with them. I highly recommend them!

The first is some of the music from a film score I just finished. It's a quirky comedy/horror set in the early 70's about a monster baby, so the music is a little wacky. A few different types of SCA preamps are in use, and although it's not a shoot-out you can hear the sound quality and get an idea of what might be possible in your own studios.

I'll detail the signal path and preamps for you a little bit. I tracked through a MOTU HD 192 interface clocked by Big Ben, so the A/D conversion was solid. I was initially at 48k because it was a video project. The mp3 is a high quality 256k file. It's big (about 11 MB) so be patient.

Room mics for everything but piano:
AKG C1000
C84 preamps

Violins
AKG C414 stereo pair
C84 preamps

Viola
AKG C414
C84 preamps

Cello
AT 4060
N72 preamps (low gain, therefore lower coloration)

Grand Piano
AKG C414 stereo pair, mics 9" from dampers for bright sound
A12 preamps (for even brighter sound)

Tuba
AKG C414, 2 feet away, pointed at edge of bell not center.
N72 preamp

Trombones (only in the last 30 seconds of the recording)
AKG C414, 1 foot away, directly into bell
N72 preamp

All other instruments you hear in the recording are synth.

In hindsight the AT 4060 tube mic probably would have been nice on the brass, but it's too late now. =-)

The recording:
http://www.jeremyborum.com/audio/JeremyBorum_BugbabySuite.mp3

My website, for those who care:
Film Composer and Orchestrator in Los Angeles Jeremy Borum.




And for total contrast, here is a piano/vocal cover of the Dave Matthew's song Crash Into Me. I used the same A/D converters with the following setup:

Grand Piano
AKG C414 stereo pair, 1 foot from strings
A12 preamps (for a bright pop sound)

Vocals
AT 4060 tube mic
C84 preamps (the mic provides the color, the preamp is basically neutral)

This was performed all in one take without any baffling, so there is some bleed between the piano and vocal mics.

http://www.jeremyborum.com/audio/Jer...rashIntoMe.mp3
Old 9th September 2010
  #45
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

I've had a hard time going this route...always been interested, but having only built cables and assisted in a patch-bay, I don't when I'll have time, being as anal retentive about detail as I am, to feel comfortable with these. With the release of the Goldenage, Chameleons new 500 series pre and Five Fish's x12 all at around $399, I find it hard to pay that much for pres I need to build and also tack on the cost of the psu. Any thoughts gentlemen, I do understand all these pres are superb, but for functionality, I already own Manley, Burl, SSL, Vintech, Goldenage, TL-Audio and Focusrite...am I missing one of the SCA flavors that I should have in my rack?
Old 10th September 2010
  #46
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
I've had a hard time going this route...always been interested, but having only built cables and assisted in a patch-bay, I don't when I'll have time, being as anal retentive about detail as I am, to feel comfortable with these. With the release of the Goldenage, Chameleons new 500 series pre and Five Fish's x12 all at around $399, I find it hard to pay that much for pres I need to build and also tack on the cost of the psu. Any thoughts gentlemen, I do understand all these pres are superb, but for functionality, I already own Manley, Burl, SSL, Vintech, Goldenage, TL-Audio and Focusrite...am I missing one of the SCA flavors that I should have in my rack?
I'd say with all those you've probably got it covered by now. I do enjoy DIY, but the main reason I went SCA/Classic API is economy. But to answer your question, you are missing "the API flavor". whether or not that's something you can live without, only you would know, but I'm a fan. Classic Audio Products of Illinois 500 kits are even cheaper and more full featured than the SCA. You're also missing the "super clean transformerless" flavor a la C84 (Millennia), which may not be important to you either, but I find them very useful (vocals, even). The J99 is pretty unique as well, I haven't tried it yet, and the N72 might or might not be better than the vintech. But I'd say you're handsomely equipped and wouldn't necessarily worry about more preamps right now. I looked at your myspace..you've got a lot of nice stuff! if I were you, I would focus on getting better mics. That'll make the most difference of anything
Old 10th September 2010
  #47
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Mr. Light's Avatar
I just ordered another rack, 2 more A12s (this time I went with Scott's Red Dot op amps....will report back on those) and a DI module. Can't get enough of these things!
Old 10th September 2010
  #48
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chout's Avatar
 

I got my rack today!

I placed the T15 I just made in and powered it up to check it and POP!...Black Smoke...took it out later and realized I had placed one of the capacitors in the wrong way...

So I used the N72 A bunch today, on an instrument I've never recorded before, a trombone...sounded great! Can't fully judge the sound yet though til I put it in rock mode!
Old 10th September 2010
  #49
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Would someone be willing to upload a sample of an N72 being pushed to its limits, gain all the way up and output down? Seems like every clip I've heard of these from people are using them rather transparently, but I would love to hear how they distort, say, some drums or bass or guitar or synth or vox... Mangle it all!
Old 10th September 2010
  #50
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monkeyxx's Avatar
yes report back about rock mode!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
Would someone be willing to upload a sample of an N72 being pushed to its limits, gain all the way up and output down? Seems like every clip I've heard of these from people are using them rather transparently, but I would love to hear how they distort, say, some drums or bass or guitar or synth or vox... Mangle it all!
with a vocal or a bass guitar DI, in my experience, the N72 doesn't do "all out fuzz", it just gets kind of...Thicker...the midrange sort of becomes prominent and the overall effect is less "open" than the lower gain settings. there's maybe a bit of sizzly crunchy thing going on. I'm sure with a really hot signal like a miked amp or drum you could get it to fuzz up, though. or put another gain stage in line, daisy chain a few things
Old 10th September 2010
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
yes report back about rock mode!



with a vocal or a bass guitar DI, in my experience, the N72 doesn't do "all out fuzz", it just gets kind of...Thicker...the midrange sort of becomes prominent and the overall effect is less "open" than the lower gain settings. there's maybe a bit of sizzly crunchy thing going on. I'm sure with a really hot signal like a miked amp or drum you could get it to fuzz up, though. or put another gain stage in line, daisy chain a few things

Having had no hands on experience with good character pres in the past, I think in my wild dreams I want the N72 to be able to do what the Neve setting on Soundtoys' Decapitator plugin does, as in nice all out crunchy fuzzy goodness. But that's probably why it doesn't cost as much as an actual Neve does, because it can't be pushed to quite the same limits. What about if the N72 was cranked and then the signal was smashed by an 1176-ish compressor plug? Is there a Neve clone out there in this price range that can do all out fuzz without sounding like crap?

To be honest, when I hear examples of what I want on different records, I don't really know how much of the sound can be attributed to the preamp used or the compressor. I know the 1176 in all-button-mode or the Distressor in British mode is supposed to add a saturated crunchy sound, and to me it seems the sound I like is probably the combination of that and a transformer preamp being pushed. This is the problem with not actually being able to play around with this stuff myself though, I can only guess and then try to find the budget versions of this gear.

An example of the general sound I'm looking for is in this song: YouTube - Grizzly Bear- Knife
There's a lot of interestingly saturated sounds in the song, but particularly at about the 3:40 mark, the toms panned hard right and left sound so beautifully overdriven. Is that the preamp, the compressor, or a combination maybe? Can the N72 do something like that? I know I could probably achieve a similar effect just running the signal through my Sansamp Para Driver or something, but I'd like pres that can cover this whole spectrum.
Old 10th September 2010
  #52
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^^ If someone could please try to answer this I'd greatly appreciate it!
Old 11th September 2010
  #53
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Bump please, these are the questions keeping me from going forward with one of these.
Old 11th September 2010
  #54
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redrue's Avatar
 

dublave


The N72 has a fader that allows you to overdrive
the preamp and attenuate the output. Which DOES
allow you to get some great effect off the preamp.

I'm not aware of another preamp with this kind of
transformer that has this fader option on the preamp
itself. The fader is there for this very reason -- to drive
the snot out of the transformer.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another like the
N72 to do what you're looking for. Of course you've got
to try it for yourself...

I love mine.
Old 11th September 2010
  #55
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chout's Avatar
 

Here's a quick and sloppy floor tom test I did today with the N72. First part is gain in the middle and second is cranked, compensating level with the trim. I tried to match the levels as close as I could.

Not perfect, but should give you an idea of the more compressed thicker sound pushing the pre harder.

421>N72>Roland 2480...nothing added.

I'm still learning the gain staging...do those of you who use the n72 tend to crank the trim and adjust with the gain more? I basically did the opposite with these.
Attached Files

01 N72 Tom Test 2.mp3 (2.09 MB, 985 views)

Old 11th September 2010
  #56
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
Having had no hands on experience with good character pres in the past, I think in my wild dreams I want the N72 to be able to do what the Neve setting on Soundtoys' Decapitator plugin does, as in nice all out crunchy fuzzy goodness. But that's probably why it doesn't cost as much as an actual Neve does, because it can't be pushed to quite the same limits. What about if the N72 was cranked and then the signal was smashed by an 1176-ish compressor plug? Is there a Neve clone out there in this price range that can do all out fuzz without sounding like crap?

To be honest, when I hear examples of what I want on different records, I don't really know how much of the sound can be attributed to the preamp used or the compressor. I know the 1176 in all-button-mode or the Distressor in British mode is supposed to add a saturated crunchy sound, and to me it seems the sound I like is probably the combination of that and a transformer preamp being pushed. This is the problem with not actually being able to play around with this stuff myself though, I can only guess and then try to find the budget versions of this gear.

An example of the general sound I'm looking for is in this song: YouTube - Grizzly Bear- Knife
There's a lot of interestingly saturated sounds in the song, but particularly at about the 3:40 mark, the toms panned hard right and left sound so beautifully overdriven. Is that the preamp, the compressor, or a combination maybe? Can the N72 do something like that? I know I could probably achieve a similar effect just running the signal through my Sansamp Para Driver or something, but I'd like pres that can cover this whole spectrum.
the grizzly bear Knife tom sound to me sounds like it could easily be done with a VST plugin distortion or amp simulator (or your sansamp), you could also ask Chris Taylor exactly how he did it. I've talked to him a few times and he's very approachable and friendly.

like I said, the preamp isn't going to fuzz out unless you hit it with a hot signal. Pretty much all preamps are like this, and redrue is right, the N72 is better equipped for this than most.
Old 13th September 2010
  #57
Lives for gear
 

redrue, chout and monkeyxx - Thanks so much, this really helps. chout, thanks so much for making that example! Sounds good and amazingly quiet for being cranked. monkeyxx I think you're right, if I want more distortion than this I should probably just turn to the Decapitator or Sansamp. And this is just further proof that the N72 is probably the best, most affordable option for me. I really should just go for it. Thanks again!
Old 13th September 2010
  #58
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chout's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dublave View Post
redrue, chout and monkeyxx - Thanks so much, this really helps. chout, thanks so much for making that example! Sounds good and amazingly quiet for being cranked. monkeyxx I think you're right, if I want more distortion than this I should probably just turn to the Decapitator or Sansamp. And this is just further proof that the N72 is probably the best, most affordable option for me. I really should just go for it. Thanks again!
thumbsupstikeheh
Old 13th September 2010
  #59
Lives for gear
 

Oh yeah, and from two different EQ Mag interviews, here's how I put together the distorted Neve preamps/1176 all-mode thing with Chris Taylor. I should try to track down some contact info for him and ask him some questions directly:

“For the drums, I’d run the overheads directly into the Universal Audio 2-1176, using the ‘allbutton mode’ to make the drums sound overdriven."

Meanwhile, his prized outboard gear includes a Neve eight-channel BCM sidecar (often driving its preamps to add distortion), and Chandler TG Channel MKII and LTD-1 preamp/EQs.
Old 13th September 2010
  #60
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
cool sound clip! good illustration that sounds, well, like it does when I do the same thing.

I didn't ask him a lot of super specific questions, but one thing I gathered was the go-to microphone on Yellow House was an old black battery-powered Neumann U87. Made me really want to save up for one of those (any U87)

A link to those interview articles would be schweet!
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