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Universal audio 4-710d four-channel “twin-finity” mic preamp & di w/ dynamics Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 22nd December 2010
  #181
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mixlrose's Avatar
 

Does the sound quality of A/D conversion fall somewhere in the range of units like the RME ADI-2, Focusrite ISA428 w/ card, and Apogee Rosetta 800? If so, then it might be a done deal for me.

I would like to pair one of these with a Vintech 473 for a decent 8 channel front end to my DAW. If the A/D isn't on par with what I'm used to, I'll probably get the ISA428 instead.

Any help from someone who has used this thing? So far, I haven't seen a solid opinion on this.
Old 24th December 2010
  #182
From what I witnessed at the demo, the conversion is really good and easily on par with the converters in my TC SK48, which has great conversion to begin with ( same quality as the apogee ensemble ).
Old 26th December 2010
  #183
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cajonezzz's Avatar
 

partner just dropped the order on this included in the "spend it or lose it" end of the year gear purchase.
I'll shoot it out and post a link to files when we get it!

Also expecting the entire compliment of the Z3 3 Zigma Audio - Condenser Microphones mic kit.
I'll be doing an extensive review of these as well, on some drum tracks coming up in the new year.
Old 26th December 2010
  #184
Lives for gear
Mine arrived on the 23rd, so it became a christmas present :D

Spent yesterday getting it wired up to my setup, hopefully I'll get some time putting it through it's paces over the coming week.

I've got quite an unusual setup having two separate Edirol UA-1000 USB interfaces - I was previously using these synced together due to the limited number of mic-pres (I need 7 or 8 pres for drums), but with the 4-710d I now only need 2 stock pres from the interfaces which simplifies things - I can now record my normal drum setup through a single interface, so I hope to set each interface up to use the different master converter:-

Interface 1 - Slaved to 4-710-d via ADAT / Internal
Interface 2 - Slaved to API A2D via SP-DIF / Internal

What I'm hoping to do is conduct some tests and put some samples up from various options:-

If anyone has any requests from the above setup let me know - there are many different variations I can do. For my own comparisons, I will record a couple of tracks through the A2D /Master clock as a reference, as it's what i've been used to for the past year, then I can try a few different setups to compare.


E.g.
  • Reference - A2D Accoustic guitar, Drum o/heads, kick/snare
  • 4-710d converters - same as above but A2D fed through the 4-710d converters
  • 4-710d tube/solid state samples (full trans/full valve/ 50:50)
  • 4-170d comp / no comp / fast slow
  • 4-710d clocked to the A2D/Edirol
  • Edirol stock-converters/ internal clock (just as a 'prosumer' piece reference, though i've been very happy with this piece)
I'll be carrying out pretty exhaustive tests - I want to know how to get the most out of my new setup, so having some input from fellow slutz should help, especially generating samples.

BTW, I've got a patch-bay setup, so for a large amount of these tests I will be able to mult things to try and take the performance out of the equation as much as possible, however I'm not sure about impedance impact from multing (half-normalled outputs on all the pre-s to allow simultaneous recording) - if anyone wants to chip in on whether half-normalling is a good idea or not, feel free.
Old 26th December 2010
  #185
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sONIC_jUNKIE's Avatar
 

"This versatile multi-channel preamp offers selectable 1176-style compression circuitry on each channel"

so is it an actual compressor on every channel ,just with limited setting options ?
Old 26th December 2010
  #186
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eman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sONIC_jUNKIE View Post
"This versatile multi-channel preamp offers selectable 1176-style compression circuitry on each channel"

so is it an actual compressor on every channel ,just with limited setting options ?
YouTube - 4-710d Four-Channel Tone-Blending Mic Preamp w/ Dynamics
Old 27th December 2010
  #187
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
If anyone has any requests from the above setup let me know
I would very much appreciate to hear kick & snare through the A2D and the 4-710, each using it's own conversion. Use whatever settings to get the best sound from each unit. On the 4-710, maybe 2 channels of no comp, and 2 channels of slow comp. I wouldn't mind different takes. Thanks!!
Old 27th December 2010
  #188
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sONIC_jUNKIE View Post
"This versatile multi-channel preamp offers selectable 1176-style compression circuitry on each channel"

so is it an actual compressor on every channel ,just with limited setting options ?
Yup. It's a 1176 style comp with fixed settings (switchable between fast/slow):-
Threshold of -10 dBu
Ratio of 4:1
Fast Attack : 0.3ms
Fast Release : 100ms
Slow Attack : 2.0ms
Slow Release : 1100ms

There is also a switchable (for all 8 channels) soft limiter at at the A/D stage too:-
Threshold : 17dBu (-3dBFS)
Attack : 0.075ms
Release : 100ms

Straight from my new manual!

I'll have some samples later in the week!
Old 27th December 2010
  #189
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moonpi's Avatar
 

Finally got some time with the 4-710D late last week. Sounds great on electric guitar tracks! The compressors are a nice addition to this piece and sound quite nice despite the limited control! The preamp input gain adjustment is essentially the input adjustment of the compressor - like that of an 1176LN (if you want to think of it as that). Once you hit the fixed threshold, it starts compressing. Need less compression? Then back off the input.

As expected from a UA piece, the converters sound fine. But if someone is used to an Aurora or a Rosetta, then you'll want your Aurora or Rosetta. Seriously... do people actually expect the A/D converters of a good sounding 4-channel preamp with 4-channels of good sounding compression, all contained in a package for under $2000 to sound like a converter that costs $2000?

IMHO, the converters are neither THE reason to buy the 4-710D or to not buy the 4-710D. They do the job and do it just fine. They don't sound like the 2192 and won't - the 2192 utilized hefty transformer technology to create the smooth and gutsy, tape-like sound. Want that sound now? Get a Burl B2 Bomber or the B80 Mothership (wow!). I think that we should just be happy that the converters are included, give us AES/EBU, S/MUX - ADAT, Wordclock I/O and four more channels of A/D conversion. The converters sound fine and will make many a project studio owner quite happy... at least until they get a Lynx Aurora, Mytek 8x192, Lavry Blue, or Burl.

So, my review is.....
Old 27th December 2010
  #190
Here for the gear
 
Welldigger's Avatar
 

Thanks for the reviews so far on this, guys. I have been interested in this unit. I was wondering if anyone tried using an external pre into the line input in order to use the compressor section of the 4-710 without the 710 pre's. If so, your impression of the sound. Does it sound like the 1176? Thanks...
Old 27th December 2010
  #191
Seriously... do people actually expect the A/D converters of a good sounding 4-channel preamp with 4-channels of good sounding compression, all contained in a package for under $2000 to sound like a converter that costs $2000?


yes you are right! but how does it compare to let's say a presonus interface a/d or another similar audio interface?
Old 27th December 2010
  #192
sorry the first 2 lines were suppose to be a "quote"
Old 27th December 2010
  #193
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moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by konradfounded View Post
sorry the first 2 lines were suppose to be a "quote"
That's quite alright. No big whoop.

Though I don't have an 1176LN (Urei or UA) directly on hand at the moment to make direct comparisons, I definitely think that they are on the mark with "1176-style" as the description. Sonically, it's right in line with the sound of a new UA 1176LN (hasn't had time to age). So, it's fairly polite and doesn't have the angry growl of a much older UREI. However, I think that it doesn't quite have the "size" or overall elegance of the new 1176LN. So, it's not like they're going to put the 1176LN out of business. However, for project studios these are great tracking tools. Perfect for getting a little compression in on the front to help it sit nice in the track right off the bat - all with that 3D sound of real compression vs math compression.

UA 4-71D converters vs. a Presonus? Well, I think that Presonus offers a TON of sound for the money. I still own a Presonus Digimax FS that I run with a BLA Signature Mod 002r. It's getting clock from the 002r and it certainly sounds acceptable. That said, I tracked using the clock of the 4-710D and didn't hear anything that made me think that I was missing out from even plugging in to my BLA Sig 002r. Granted, that hasn't taken place yet. This was pretty much a quick session. So, I didn't have the time to get into clinical trials. I'll spare you any more hunches until I have more concrete evidence/comparisons.
Old 27th December 2010
  #194
Here for the gear
 

received my UA 4-710D on the 24th, but didn't get to set it up until yesterday....

i had one problem: tons of jitter / pops / clicks

i was using the word clock on my Focusrite Saffire 56 > 4-710D > Presonus Digimax LT and the UA box didn't like that at all. in order to make it work i had to slave everything to the UA box and it's working fine now. it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other, but you would think that it could work either way.

that said, i've only had a chance to record vocals, but i could definitely hear a smoothness that some of my other pres lacked. with the blend at 10 o'clock, the comp set to fast and the limiter on... the vocals sounded great... i cranked the gain a little bit during a more aggressive section and it added some nice grit.

i still have much experimenting to do, but so far i'm happy. i'll be running my FMR RNP through the converters on this box, so we'll see if it's better or the same as my old Digi 002r.

I'll report back once i've used it on drums and guitars... and bass.
Old 27th December 2010
  #195
Gear Nut
 

I am definitely considering this piece of gear for my home project studio. I record local musicians and currently use a Digi 003 rack and this would be an upgrade from what I've heard. Pair it with PT9 and I think I'm ready for 2011
Old 27th December 2010
  #196
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I'm definitely buying this when my next project gives me some extra cash.

I got to use this while I was out in San Fran mixing my bands album.

Long story short, a nice guy came around to promote it. He wasn't directly from UA, but was helping them out.

Anyway, we were mid-mix at the time. A song that had some troublesome guitars. We ended up running all the guitars through the 710D. It literally saved the mix.

I was sold right then and there. The fact that it's absolutely perfect for my project studio is even better - now I can justify buying it for its practicality.

I think UA has found a really good market with this unit. Affordable and practical for home studios, but gets the from high end studios and engineers.
Old 29th December 2010
  #197
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mixlrose's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
do people actually expect the A/D converters of a good sounding 4-channel preamp with 4-channels of good sounding compression, all contained in a package for under $2000 to sound like a converter that costs $2000?
I think a reasonable point of comparison would be the Focusrite ISA 428 with the A/D card. Both units are similar in concept and *close* in price. The ISA has 4 decent pres and the extra 4 inputs for straight conversion, like the 4-710d. In my humble opinion, the conversion and clocking in the ISA holds up extremely well to the Rosetta 800 and the Digidesign 192s. That said, I'd prefer the flexibility and features of the UA unit... I'm just wondering if there's a trade-off somewhere.
Old 30th December 2010
  #198
Moderator
 
matt thomas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
the 2192 utilized hefty transformer technology to create the smooth and gutsy, tape-like sound.
no it didn't, the transformers were on the digital side, not the analog.

matt
Old 30th December 2010
  #199
Lives for gear
So far so good - in the middle of recording some stuff - hopefully get some comparison tracks up later tonight.

Quite a nice range between the transistor / tube.

Comps are plenty flexible - even though the threshold is fixed, it's easy enough to adjust the gain/level controls to get more or less compression.

I've done basic two mono kick/snare, moving on to overheads now, then a wee bit of guitar.
Old 30th December 2010
  #200
Lives for gear
First up is basic kick + snare:-

Suffixes as follows...
-EDI : Edirol UA-1000 Stock Pres+Conversion
-A2D : API A2D Pres+Conversion
-Trans : 4-710d Fully Transistor
-Tube : 4-710d Fully Tube
-5050 : 4-710d Halfway Blend
-Fast : 4-710d Fast Comp (5050)
-Slow : 4-710d Slow Comp (5050)
-LowCut : 4-710d with LowCut on Both Kick +Snare (5050)

Gain was increased a bit to get the compressor working - about 3-5db of gain reduction on fast, a bit less on slow.

Kick mic is a nice new Heil PR-48, and the snare mic is Audix I5.

NB - My room isn't the best, and neither is my drumming (i'm a gutarist after all ) so the clips aren't going to be the best, but when compared to the stock Edirol pres+converters there should be enough here to show some of the 4-710d's characteristics - there is certainly lots for me to digest in terms of how to get the most out of the setup.

I've got more stuff to post - OverHeads, KickSnare+OHeads (4-710d only) and Acoustic will come later.

!!!NOTE!!! Files are actually FLAC - I had to rename them from .FLAC to .FLA to get them to upload.
Attached Files
File Type: fla KickSnare-EDI.fla (1.46 MB, 430 views) File Type: fla KickSnare A2D.fla (1.61 MB, 292 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-Trans.fla (1.48 MB, 331 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-5050.fla (1.45 MB, 258 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-Tube.fla (1.44 MB, 299 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-Fast.fla (1.81 MB, 273 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-Slow.fla (1.61 MB, 228 views) File Type: fla KickSnare-LowCut.fla (1.54 MB, 208 views)
Old 30th December 2010
  #201
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Overheads:-

Only recorded with a couple of cheap SDCs! Next up for purchase is a pair of decent OH mics!

Same suffixes as above on Kick+Snare, except I seem to have lost the Edirol stock pre and converter file...
Attached Files
File Type: fla OHeads-A2D.fla (3.72 MB, 209 views) File Type: fla OHeads-Trans.fla (3.57 MB, 184 views) File Type: fla OHeads-Tube.fla (3.59 MB, 185 views) File Type: fla OHeads-5050.fla (3.57 MB, 174 views) File Type: fla OHeads-Fast.fla (3.97 MB, 193 views) File Type: fla OHeads-Slow.fla (3.82 MB, 174 views)
Old 30th December 2010
  #202
Lives for gear
Acoustic Guitar:-

Used the same SDC's as on the OHeads, one at fret 12, one at soundhole, panned left and right. Never bothered with comps, got bored!
Attached Files
File Type: fla Acoustic-EDI.fla (5.15 MB, 243 views) File Type: fla Acoustic-A2D.fla (5.21 MB, 243 views) File Type: fla Acoustic-Trans.fla (5.14 MB, 293 views) File Type: fla Acoustic-Tube.fla (4.51 MB, 228 views)
Old 30th December 2010
  #203
Lives for gear
Kick+Snare+OHeads:-

-Clean : All drums on Transistor, no comps minimal gain.
-Dirty : All drums on Tube, fast comp on kick/snare, slow comp on OHeads
-Limited : All drums 5050, gain + level set to trigger the soft limiter.

NB - 4-710d pres+conversion only.

Thats all I've managed to get done today, hope it's useful for anyone interested in the 4-710d (or A2D for that matter).

It's been a useful exercise for me in any event.
Attached Files
File Type: fla KSOH-Clean.fla (3.36 MB, 255 views) File Type: fla KSOH-Dirty.fla (3.59 MB, 243 views) File Type: fla KSOH-Limited.fla (3.63 MB, 228 views)
Old 30th December 2010
  #204
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moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixlrose View Post
I think a reasonable point of comparison would be the Focusrite ISA 428 with the A/D card. Both units are similar in concept and *close* in price. The ISA has 4 decent pres and the extra 4 inputs for straight conversion, like the 4-710d. In my humble opinion, the conversion and clocking in the ISA holds up extremely well to the Rosetta 800 and the Digidesign 192s. That said, I'd prefer the flexibility and features of the UA unit... I'm just wondering if there's a trade-off somewhere.
I agree. I've acquired an ISA 428 with the A/D card for this comparison. Will have files to share in the next couple of days. Will try to throw in some other converters too for reference.
Old 30th December 2010
  #205
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dreissk's Avatar
 

I'm thinking of picking one of these up to process line level signals while mixing. One of the things I really enjoy is to crank signals to the point of distortion through different pres. The idea of a continuously variable blend between solid state and tube sounds like there would be a whole range of different distortion characteristics available in this box. Can anyone comment on the amount of gain available? Is it enough to distort signals that are put through it?
Old 30th December 2010
  #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreissk View Post
I'm thinking of picking one of these up to process line level signals while mixing. One of the things I really enjoy is to crank signals to the point of distortion through different pres. The idea of a continuously variable blend between solid state and tube sounds like there would be a whole range of different distortion characteristics available in this box. Can anyone comment on the amount of gain available? Is it enough to distort signals that are put through it?
Believe me if you are looking for dirt, there is plenty of it in this box, the gain/level (and blendable tube/trans)controls plus comp and soft limiter give plenty of scope.

I never really pushed it massively in my samples above (theres two clips that are quite distorted but nowhere near pushing it to excess), but I might try to go all out tomorrow. Anything you are interested in being distorted - drums, guitars, bass etc?
Old 30th December 2010
  #207
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dreissk's Avatar
 

Some distorted guitars and bass would be great! Thanks!!!
A lot of my guitar and bass tones come from a Sherman Filterbank and a Culture Vulture. Interested in seeing what this piece can do.
Old 31st December 2010
  #208
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superiorsound's Avatar
 

Mines is on its way!!! Looks like fun!
Old 31st December 2010
  #209
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mixlrose's Avatar
 

Big thanks Gollum! I am throwing these files on my iPhone right now and will do some listening while I drive around today.
Old 31st December 2010
  #210
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixlrose View Post
Big thanks Gollum! I am throwing these files on my iPhone right now and will do some listening while I drive around today.
Ipod?
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