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Looking for warmth for ITB (yep, again): is CAPI "Missing Link" the best option? Condenser Microphones
Old 31st August 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Looking for warmth for ITB (yep, again): is CAPI "Missing Link" the best option?

hi there,

I know you guys are probably bored to death with "color / warm my ITB mixes", but this one is quite specific

so recently i've been embarking on the expensive and addictive outboard route with a 500 series. So far got the P-1 and BAC500--VERY NICE, nicer than i expected by a long shot coming from ITB.

i'm primarily looking for the "MOJO box", don't care for transparent / versatility at all, one trick pony is great if it's a great trick.

now i've been reading up a lot of threads re: CAPI Missing Link. Some background:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...sing-link.html

Classic Audio Products, VC528 ST2+

basically it's a 500 series module designed to the spec of vintage API console channel w/ fader and LP/HP filters. most of the comments are that it's basically a "console sound" module. sounds great! also, i reckon it's easier than passing stuff through pres as you don't have to go to attentuators / pads and risk impedence loading issues and stuff ...

but the thing is a module costs around $700. two, for 2buss, costs $1,4000. so i am having second thoughts better this is the best bet or not.

now are there any other alternatives in that price range that would be "better"? say, save up a bit more and get a FATSO, or some comps, or some stereo EQ's, or some channel strip, etc. doesn't have to be 500 series, 19" is fine too. but no tape machines.

thanks a lot!!
Old 31st August 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor and the ability to capture sounds at the source (which also means a warm sounding room and source) I think at some point we all need to accept the fact that there are no magic mojo boxes and we just need to work on our skills.
Old 31st August 2011
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor and the ability to capture sounds at the source (which also means a warm sounding room and source) I think at some point we all need to accept the fact that there are no magic mojo boxes and we just need to work on our skills.
Agreed. If you want it warm try and capture warm. heh
Old 31st August 2011
  #4
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dandeurloo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor and the ability to capture sounds at the source (which also means a warm sounding room and source) I think at some point we all need to accept the fact that there are no magic mojo boxes and we just need to work on our skills.

I agree with this statement.

However the missing links are very helpful in the tracking and mixing stage for adding color and gain staging other things. They do have a sound. Specially when driven harder. They also allow you to use other things in different ways. So the short answer is they are very helpful in achieving what you are looking for. Specially when used from the start!
Old 31st August 2011
  #5
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Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

In a recording "warmth" to me is a dry linear sound(no ambience, with a flat response.)
"Mojo" COULD be characterized by harmonic distortion or compression, but I think mojo comes from a great performance that has been adequately captured.
If you've recorded something that is bland and un-exciting to begin with,there's no good way to fake it with processing.
One can enhance pre-exsisting "mojo" with a bit of harmonic distorion and well timed compression(whether done while tracking or after), but one thing to note is that not all distortions work well on all sources and not
all sources take well to distortion at all, so finding that "Ultimate Mojo box" is a doomed pursuit from the start if you ask me.
I'm sure we can amass a list of all kinds of situations where this distortion fixed this problem and that compressor fixed that problem, but it's more about knowing your tools and trying to get a great sound at the source.
Old 31st August 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

ah i forgot to say that in addition to electric guitars, vox, and acoustic guitars, i'm very big into synths.
so from my analogue synths my source is already nice and warm, but i was hoping for some more color amd mojo and the elusive glue. also, to process ITB synths or VA's (monomachine / NL2X, for instance)
so given this, maybe comps + EQ as some of you have suggested may be better? say a UBK fatso (2nd hand) / distressor / etc. for the same amount as missing link?

note that i'm planning to get some nice color EQ's and comps for my 500 series anyway. right now my plan is:
P-1 (got it)
BAC500 (got it)
CAPI VP26 (or Avedis MA5 or Chandler Germanium 500 or .. SO MANY CHOICES!!)
Level-or (or API 525)
API 550a (or Purple ODD EQ)
CAPI Missing Link

This should be a really nicely colored Lunchbox me thinks!

So actually question is whether i should add the CAPI Missing Link with all these other very colored modules already--bearing in mind i'm using it with synths/vst/ITB sources as well!

Or actually, should i just buy some distortion box / pedals / run synths through amps!

Thanks!
Old 31st August 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

for me....

good tracking.

good monitoring.

coming in well rested.

taking frequent breaks while mixing.

a handful of nice outboard pieces for critical spots (2-bus, lead vocal, bass guitar, kick/snare EQ).

on a good day, that does the trick, and coupled with my making the right EQ and balance and FX decisions, my mixes will sound sweet, and no random mojo piece is needed.

if you're not confident in your decision making, then no gear will help. little errors (boosting [email protected] on the overheads when only 2db is needed, or compressing the snare with too fast an attack time and not noticing) will all add up and make the mix not gel.

the hard part for me is knowing in the moment whether i'm on my A-game or not on any given day.
Old 31st August 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Hi Tonnu,
I know plenty of guys who mix in the box and their mixes are plenty warm and vibey.
I know this is GS but it's not the mix outboard gear that's going to deliver it for you.
Good instruments, well-played in a nice room.
-Nice mics- even decent ones will work
-Recorded well, into some decent converters. Heck, I know a guy with Apogees and his mixes are the thickest and warmest this side of SOHO.

I know this is a commonly heard advice and goes against the "gear is king" mentality, but really it's the truth. Hear it warm and it will be warm.
Have fun,
David
Old 31st August 2011
  #9
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor and the ability to capture sounds at the source....
Partially agree with this - but not completely. Sure - that's part of it, but don't think it's all of it, because it isn't; good eq/compressor/recording techniques are important, but by no means all of the equation. Good eq/compressor/recording techniques will only get you so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think at some point we all need to accept the fact that there are no magic mojo boxes and we just need to work on our skills.
Disagree completely. Save for the "work on our skills" part. If what you say were true, Neve and SSL consoles and gear (mic pres, comp, etc) would not as popular and as sought afetr as they are and have been. If what you say were true, most major albums would have been recorded on TAC Scorpion and Mackie consoles. I mean, if it's all about the eq/compressor/recording techniques, what on earth do you need a Neve or SSL for?

Cheers.
Old 31st August 2011
  #10
Gear Addict
 

arghhh guys thanks for your input, but, as the OP, i feel i should act like a moderator of the thread.

i'm not aiming to create another ITB v OTB or gear v skillz or source v fix it in the mix, kind of debate. just trying to get some opinions on a specific piece of gear and possible alternatives that is comparable to that specific piece of gear (being the missing link of course).

please, don't fight! there's always the "here's why plugins are the way forward" thread ....
Old 31st August 2011
  #11
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Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

Disagree completely. Save for the "work on our skills" part. If what you say were true, Neve and SSL consoles and gear (mic pres, comp, etc) would not as popular and as sought afetr as they are and have been. If what you say were true, most major albums would have been recorded on TAC Scorpion and Mackie consoles. I mean, if it's all about the eq/compressor/recording techniques, what on earth do you need a Neve or SSL for?

Cheers.[/QUOTE]

All I ever stated was that there is no single "magic mojo box" and that the most important factor of your sound is the source. At no point did I ever say that Neve, SSL, API, and all that great stuff were useless. Not sure why you would assume that. I love great gear! But I think it's important to put that into perspective. As someone stated above about equing mistakes. I think good eq decisions can have a much greater effect on a sound, for instance, than throwing an expensive transformer on the end of your signal path.

Just some food for thought. No fighting here.
Old 31st August 2011
  #12
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Lately I've realized that I basically never need to boost treble ITB. I'm cutting more treble than ever (even low-passing to a certain extent), and it is making a huge difference in the perceived "warmth" of my mixes. You just need to know where and how much to cut.

-Ben B
Old 31st August 2011
  #13
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Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
Lately I've realized that I basically never need to boost treble ITB. I'm cutting more treble than ever (even low-passing to a certain extent), and it is making a huge difference in the perceived "warmth" of my mixes. You just need to know where and how much to cut.

-Ben B
Old 31st August 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonnu View Post
arghhh guys thanks for your input, but, as the OP, i feel i should act like a moderator of the thread.

i'm not aiming to create another ITB v OTB or gear v skillz or source v fix it in the mix, kind of debate. just trying to get some opinions on a specific piece of gear and possible alternatives that is comparable to that specific piece of gear (being the missing link of course).

please, don't fight! there's always the "here's why plugins are the way forward" thread ....
I get where you are coming from.

I try not to ever get into threads about "warm" "cold" etc., as it's hard to quantify.

I don't have the missing links, but I do have two vp26's. I like them, but not on everything. Snare is one area they excel at.

They are on the vintage side of things, if that equates to "warm" for you, I dunno. Still articulate enough though.

NOTE:
If you want my take on all this, read on. I just previewed my post, and man...as always, I wrote way more than I wanted. So, if easily bored by blathering idiots, don't read any further.


OK
I went through a "vintage" craze for a while. All old stuff, and tracking and mixing with a lot of harmonic distortion. I just want to say, that this doesn't always equate to warm for me. Nor good sounding either.

This doesn't magically cure the tight assedness of digital either.

There were cold nasty tones long before digital came around. Also, in a lotta cases, distortion via solid state boxes actually made it "colder" sounding, and did other not so nice things to the music.

Clients still liked it, but it was maybe more because it was just different, and maybe some nostalgia.

Also, you have to be careful, as a lot of the vintage stuff can run away from you really fast, and you can end up with an overly vintage pile of muddy crap really fast. Then mix to a tape deck that is not 110% up to snuff, and yuck. Better off mixing to digital.

When people were using this kind of gear back in the day, track counts were way less, there was way less processing going on, less limiting in the mastering stage etc. More space at mixdown. Bigger rooms with less close walls. Try to do 50-60 tracks with all "warm" sounding vintage stuff, and it can get a little murky some times.

People did it....listen to Yes's "Relayer" etc. Great music. Murky recording, hard to pick things out of the mix. I still love it though.

What I am starting to realize the most now, is that if you want vintage sounding music, use old instruments and amps. Not the vsti, but the real thing. You have to do very little....it just... err...sounds vintage right off the bat.

Oh, and if you arrange your music to sound vintage too, then it will sound that way. Done.

It seems some don't get this...always looking for a piece of recording gear to make them sound "warm" or "vintage".

I know you didn't address "vintage" in your initial post, but it is kinda hard to avoid this term in this kind of discussion.

That said, when I think of warm, I think of no hard "edges".

That is, no weird peaky stuff that distracts from the performance or tone. Maybe less top end or treble a bit too. I don't really think of distortion much. Mainly because you can have the coldest solid state distortion imaginable, and have a warm tube distortion at the same time.

Just different timbres of distortion, not the distortion in and of itself making the sound "warm".

When I hear "cold" sounding mixes these days, it is usually because the operator did something that didn't sound good. Too much eq, eq in the wrong place, and the big one: Bad gain staging and clipping.

Or the musician had a bad tone to start with. Which is probably the most common thing nowadays. BAD SOURCE.

Anyways...

Run too hot into a converter, or overload a few IC stages anywhere in the chain, and you will hear it get freezing real quick.

Just my opinion.

john

PS:
People are absolutely correct in saying that there is no magic box out there. It IS all about skills, and your ear.

That said, this is Gearslutz, and if this premise ever really caught on, this site would be a ghost town right?

It would have to be called "Techniqueslutz".

Good gear can get you that extra 10% or something though, and it does make a difference. To some that 10% is a major deal. It is to me, 10% is a lot. If you don't have your house in order on the other 90% however, you will hear very little of that good gear's attributes.

This is why I think beginners should learn to take what they have to it's potential, before shelling out money for tons of gear to fix issues.
Old 31st August 2011
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

The Missing Links would be a great addition to any studio, for all kinds of applications, but I wouldn't consider them the best "magic pill" to warm tracks. True, they impart wonderful transformer saturated gooey goodness to everything and the analogies in previous threads to maple syrup over bacon over buttered waffles are spot on! Still, the effect is subtle and I think the VP 26's would give you a bigger dose of the warmth you're after. The combination VP 26 > VC 528 would be better still. Everything said above is true as well; experience and skill are the most essential ingredients. Consider good gear an additional high octane boost.
Old 31st August 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonnu View Post
please, don't fight!
Who's fighting?





Ok seriously, let me put this another way. Jonathawkes does have a point; I guess the best way to go about this is to say that it depends how far on you are. You may be at a place, where all you really need is some good eq work, and a good compressor. Very possible that that is all you will need to get you to the next level. But maybe you need more than that. Which is where the top-of-the-line expensive gear comes in to play.

Cheers.
Old 31st August 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 

wow this is a great response, many thanks!!

your post actually makes me very excited as "vintage" and "dated" is actually what i am looking for. i do electronic / indie stuff and from my outboard gear i want vibe and character and grittiness to contrast with, say, digital manipulation (like granular delays, pitch shifts, glitch, samples, etc.)

so warm, vintagey, dated sounds like BoC, jarre, tangerine dream, etc. is absolutely up my alley--my sources are set as i have quite a few vintage analogs synths / modular. just need that extra vibe.

and @cabbo ... are you saying that running stuff through the missing link alone is quite subtle but if you run it as part of the signal chain the effect is more pronounced? i've listened to ScumBum's audio samples and solo'ed it may be subtle but when stacked it is very audible, especially in the lower end.

still, would an already colored chain (say, VP26 -> BAC500 -> API550a) be colored enough to make the missing link redundant--so much so that i should be looking at the fatso or maybe other 19" bus comps / EQ instead?

thanks!

ps. i mention fatso a lot since it seems to be the warm box

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
I get where you are coming from.

I try not to ever get into threads about "warm" "cold" etc., as it's hard to quantify.

I don't have the missing links, but I do have two vp26's. I like them, but not on everything. Snare is one area they excel at.

They are on the vintage side of things, if that equates to "warm" for you, I dunno. Still articulate enough though.

NOTE:
If you want my take on all this, read on. I just previewed my post, and man...as always, I wrote way more than I wanted. So, if easily bored by blathering idiots, don't read any further.


OK
I went through a "vintage" craze for a while. All old stuff, and tracking and mixing with a lot of harmonic distortion. I just want to say, that this doesn't always equate to warm for me. Nor good sounding either.

This doesn't magically cure the tight assedness of digital either.

There were cold nasty tones long before digital came around. Also, in a lotta cases, distortion via solid state boxes actually made it "colder" sounding, and did other not so nice things to the music.

Clients still liked it, but it was maybe more because it was just different, and maybe some nostalgia.

Also, you have to be careful, as a lot of the vintage stuff can run away from you really fast, and you can end up with an overly vintage pile of muddy crap really fast. Then mix to a tape deck that is not 110% up to snuff, and yuck. Better off mixing to digital.

When people were using this kind of gear back in the day, track counts were way less, there was way less processing going on, less limiting in the mastering stage etc. More space at mixdown. Bigger rooms with less close walls. Try to do 50-60 tracks with all "warm" sounding vintage stuff, and it can get a little murky some times.

People did it....listen to Yes's "Relayer" etc. Great music. Murky recording, hard to pick things out of the mix. I still love it though.

What I am starting to realize the most now, is that if you want vintage sounding music, use old instruments and amps. Not the vsti, but the real thing. You have to do very little....it just... err...sounds vintage right off the bat.

Oh, and if you arrange your music to sound vintage too, then it will sound that way. Done.

It seems some don't get this...always looking for a piece of recording gear to make them sound "warm" or "vintage".

I know you didn't address "vintage" in your initial post, but it is kinda hard to avoid this term in this kind of discussion.

That said, when I think of warm, I think of no hard "edges".

That is, no weird peaky stuff that distracts from the performance or tone. Maybe less top end or treble a bit too. I don't really think of distortion much. Mainly because you can have the coldest solid state distortion imaginable, and have a warm tube distortion at the same time.

Just different timbres of distortion, not the distortion in and of itself making the sound "warm".

When I hear "cold" sounding mixes these days, it is usually because the operator did something that didn't sound good. Too much eq, eq in the wrong place, and the big one: Bad gain staging and clipping.

Or the musician had a bad tone to start with. Which is probably the most common thing nowadays. BAD SOURCE.

Anyways...

Run too hot into a converter, or overload a few IC stages anywhere in the chain, and you will hear it get freezing real quick.

Just my opinion.

john

PS:
People are absolutely correct in saying that there is no magic box out there. It IS all about skills, and your ear.

That said, this is Gearslutz, and if this premise ever really caught on, this site would be a ghost town right?

It would have to be called "Techniqueslutz".

Good gear can get you that extra 10% or something though, and it does make a difference. To some that 10% is a major deal. It is to me, 10% is a lot. If you don't have your house in order on the other 90% however, you will hear very little of that good gear's attributes.

This is why I think beginners should learn to take what they have to it's potential, before shelling out money for tons of gear to fix issues.
Old 31st August 2011
  #18
Fezzle
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor and the ability to capture sounds at the source (which also means a warm sounding room and source) I think at some point we all need to accept the fact that there are no magic mojo boxes and we just need to work on our skills.
here here, I just spent 3 hours of tweaking and critical listening to a track of mine, the key is listening and listening again, the key for me is knowing what I want first then getting it. At least when that happens the results are far more satysfying than when I get some mediocre source/s then try n help them gel. Skills in EQ Ive found to be the most helpful for my progress, bettering that recording so I dont have to or hardly at all. More clear, more punch, more YES!
Old 31st August 2011
  #19
Fezzle
Guest
but

but, as engineers/producers I do think its very helpful to have some and I dont mean alot, of good equipment.. although in terms of the warmth thing, that is less about the gear and more about technique and listening, great gear will just take it to a blissful level if those skills are in place
Old 31st August 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

The 528 would be great for your synths by itself or on either side of your VP26>compressor chain. It's not the kind of unit that can make your signal sound bad. The low pass filter will help warm up the synth sound. I have my pair patched in all the time for whatever I'm doing. Never feel like tracks are too warm or out of control. The sound is smooth and creamy with balanced lows and highs. It's basically a fader, 12 dB gain and over 50 dB attenuation, with the filters. With the VP26, there is a more colored sound, to my ears, with a rise in the lower mids and tightness in the lows, and you can drive it harder to achieve more color. I don't know what the best option is, however, there's a lot of great gear out there and lots of different sounds to manipulate. You should have both, plus the API's!
Old 1st September 2011
  #21
soulstudios
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
This is why I think beginners should learn to take what they have to it's potential, before shelling out money for tons of gear to fix issues.
+1 and great post man.
Old 1st September 2011
  #22
Gear Head
 

I mix mostly ITB but have used the FATSO on a lot of individual tracks along with my master stereo buss Nd have to say it's a GREAT way to add warmth to your mix. (no pun ad it literally says "warmth" right on it lol) it's very easy to overdue tho especiay when you're new with it. Try renting or trying out one and mix through it. I have to add I mix in a great sounding professional room which has MOST to do with the sound I get.
Old 1st September 2011
  #23
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I think that often this "warmth" and "mojo" people are in search of is really just skill with an EQ or compressor
Not in this case. Although they do have filters, the missing links do something that I CANNOT capture with EQ or compression. Call it mojo, call it vibe, call it the "professional 70's sound" , call it whatever you want, but the guys who own them know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm happy to keep them my own little secret, but I know that if Jeff sells a wad of them, he'll have more resources to keep designing, so out of respect for him, and love of better sounding records.....buy a couple ML's. heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
However the missing links are very helpful in the tracking and mixing stage for adding color and gain staging other things. They do have a sound. Specially when driven harder.
Bingo. Phase, harmonic distortion, analog-vibey-thingy-gooeyness - I don't know how to tell you what it sounds like, but it has a sound. No doubt. The sound of the 70's to me. And I dig it more often than not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
Lately I've realized that I basically never need to boost treble ITB.
The other secret to mixing ITB on a DAW. Use the ML's Lo Pass filters on the way in, leave it flat on your mix buss, tweak inside your DAW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Oh, and if you arrange your music to sound vintage too, then it will sound that way. Done.
After coming off two greasy 60-70's funk records, I'd have to say that's the #1 thing you can do if you want "vintage". WRITE and ARRANGE vintage and you're 3/4 of the way there. vp-26's and some ML's will get you the rest of the way if you and your musicians are doing your/their job right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
just different timbres of distortion, not the distortion in and of itself making the sound "warm".
The more I mix, the more I realize I need analog distortion in my digital world. I could write a book on this, but I'll leave it at that for this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
When I hear "cold" sounding mixes these days, it is usually because the operator did something that didn't sound good.
Amen. I can do it all ITB and be happy. But sometimes, I get even happier with the hybrid approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabbo View Post
The Missing Links would be a great addition to any studio, for all kinds of applications,
Old 1st September 2011
  #24
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steveschizoid's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
there are no magic mojo boxes ...
Wrong! I have a few magic mojo boxes. Sure, it takes skill to deploy them most effectively, but there is without a doubt some magic there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan jetter View Post
if you're not confident in your decision making, then no gear will help. little errors (boosting [email protected] on the overheads when only 2db is needed, or compressing the snare with too fast an attack time and not noticing) will all add up and make the mix not gel
Absolutely....but 3dB too much at 8K does not strike me as a small error (Having made that mistake enough by now...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonnu View Post
ps. i mention fatso a lot since it seems to be the warm box
The Fatso is very nice. I'd recommend the UBK version since UAD has nailed the sound of the original, and UBK is a genius.

However, at that point you're getting into some real money, so you ought to consider a couple of other alternatives. The Anamod ATS-1 is truly wonderful. Pretty much instant mojo.

It seems that UAD is attempting (I'm personally not convinced) to make it obsolete, so you may want to consider my final suggestion - the Aurora Audio GT4-2. it is an extremely versatile 2 channel EQ. No worries about UAD, they've already taken their shot at Neve, and none of their EQ's hold a candle to this one. http://auroraaudio.net/products/outboard/gt4-2-about
Old 1st September 2011
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Missing Link opamps

Cabbo and other Missing Link users- what combination of opamps are you using in your Missink Links? As this really affects the sound. Red Dots, gar2520, 1731?
Old 1st September 2011
  #26
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
GAR 1731 on input, GAR 2520 on output. Chosen for me by Jeff.
Old 1st September 2011
  #27
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paterno's Avatar
 

I HATE the word 'warmth' in describing audio. It can mean so many things to so many people that it's become a useless term.

With the vast vocabulary we have at our disposal, can't we come up with a better word? please?

As far as I'm concerned, tube 'warmth' is what you get get when you hold your hand over a piece of tube gear.

Now back to our regularly scheduled thread...
Old 1st September 2011
  #28
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post
I HATE the word 'warmth' in describing audio. It can mean so many things to so many people that it's become a useless term.

With the vast vocabulary we have at our disposal, can't we come up with a better word? please?

As far as I'm concerned, tube 'warmth' is what you get get when you hold your hand over a piece of tube gear.

Now back to our regularly scheduled thread...
heh LOL heh

Here John, let me help - "Glue" = the new "Warmth"

You will be hating it any day now..,,,,....
Old 1st September 2011
  #29
I agree that the room and source should be optimized. But we're in high end, so there shouldn't be an assumption that the basics (room, skill, etc) need to be improved.

But lets just assume for a second we record in a world class facility with great players/arrangement/songwriting.

But if I record a band with solid state transformerless mics (think DPA, Soundfield, Neumann TLM170R and TLM 193 etc), clean transformerless or Jensen input preamps (Buzz, Forsell, Hardy, etc), straight to a DAW with converters that are intended to be fast and articulate (Mytek, Prism, etc), monitoring everything straight ITB of the DAW to the speakers

VERSUS

recording the same band with tube mics (old Neumanns and AKGs) to a 2" discrete 16 track with huge UTC transformers using vintage or vintage cloned preamps (70's APIs or Neve 1290's, etc), monitoring on an old Neve, Trident, vintage API, etc

it's going to sound very different with the same band and the same room (both things we are assuming are "A+") going through those two setups.

Whatever word you want to use, the first scenario isn't going to sound "warm" or "colored", its going to sound basically as accurate to the source as our modern technology allows. It may sound really great, no doubt about it.

But if I listen to a jazz record from the 50's, or a Sun or RCA Elvis record, or even an early 70's Olympic production there is some serious glue going on that has nothing to do with the performers. Case in point is hearing same performers 20-30 years later (late 70's to late 80's) where the vibe, and the method of recording is completely different.

That's why I think hybrid is so preferred and powerful, you aren't limited in any way. In 2011 every possible option is at our fingertips. If you want your vocals to sound like they were recorded in 1968 its easy. If you want to combine that with hyper produced drums that are sampled and forced to a grid you can do that too.
Old 1st September 2011
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

I have SL Red Dots all the way around. I like the snappiness; crunchy bacon under the syrupy gooeyness. But I wouldn't call them warm... or phat...or thick. I call em smooth. I'd call the 26's thick, in a way, not dark, just kind of chubby around the thighs. Yeah, you know, warm. :~) I feel really fortunate to have the 528's.The sound I noticed right away, and right away I was smiling, but after owning them for a few months they're so much a part of everything now I don't notice. Like after the honeymoon comes a long and beautiful marriage. Might seem kind of funny for a guy to have such a woody for a pair of faders but these are special. I want more.
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