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TAC (Amek) Bullet - Opinions Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
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TAC (Amek) Bullet - Opinions

Got a chance to pick on of these up of a friend.

Any info, experiences appreciated.

Will be used in combination of a DAW. IE HW synths and VSTs all go through desk and back into DAW making full use of the desks EQ.
Old 7th September 2011
  #2
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Anyone?

I was hoping this would have been a well thought of console back in the day?
Old 7th September 2011
  #3
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szmola's Avatar
it's best for you to try it.

i hoped that it will be good for me
and when i tried it it's not big difference.

EQ has a bit of character, smooth and mellow,
nothing like plugins but i decided to go with
buying racks, one by one.

if you want to get HW synths nicer this desk would
not give you much because you ran it through it's
preamp and tweaked EQ. VST instruments would
not be nicer ether. buy some hi-end preamps with trasformers
or tubes. or HW compression with character.
also, it's very questionable what element will help you
with you current gear.

at the end, if you want mid-solid recording, amek would be good.
it gives some roundness and soft character to your mix, if you pass
stems through it.
but nothing more than that!

be patient, don't be fast at your decidions!!!
Old 7th September 2011
  #4
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Hi mate, thanks for reply.

Not really wanting to go the rack channel route. Part of the reason I love HW mixers is the tactile feel of the EQ. I can mix down so much quicker on HW.

Im also considering Soundcraft Ghost 200 that will no doubt be cheaper. Also a newer budget 4 bus A&H zed but not sure how they compare.

All these options are headache worthy.
Old 7th September 2011
  #5
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Hi mate, thanks for reply.

Not really wanting to go the rack channel route. Part of the reason I love HW mixers is the tactile feel of the EQ. I can mix down so much quicker on HW.

Im also considering Soundcraft Ghost 200 that will no doubt be cheaper. Also a newer budget 4 bus A&H zed but not sure how they compare.

All these options are headache worthy.
i know. when i mixed song on mixer, i felt so good!
tactile feel, it's so great to do it that way. i know.
so more natural way to get it right with just listening
what is getting out of speakers.

BUT, you must not be blinded by that feeling.
for few years from now you will end with that
that you can not go further with your mixes
because you will grow up that mixer, or that other
that you mentioned. it will hold you back and than
you will have a real headache.
this sentences can be anti-advices in some psyhological way.
i know when people spoke me about some stuff
and i was like: **** them all, i want that or this....
and that's also cool way to get knowledge! to feel
it on your own skin! after some time you will know
if that mixer suites your desires.

if that's how you feel, just look at your budget
and if buying won't get you in big loans or financial
problems - get it and work with it! you can sell it later...

however, if you consider some hi-end racks,
don't look at your budget, do everything to get it,
you will not regret it, EVER!
Old 7th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by szmola View Post
i know. when i mixed song on mixer, i felt so good!
tactile feel, it's so great to do it that way. i know.
so more natural way to get it right with just listening
what is getting out of speakers.

BUT, you must not be blinded by that feeling.
for few years from now you will end with that
that you can not go further with your mixes
because you will grow up that mixer, or that other
that you mentioned. it will hold you back and than
you will have a real headache.
this sentences can be anti-advices in some psyhological way.
i know when people spoke me about some stuff
and i was like: **** them all, i want that or this....
and that's also cool way to get knowledge! to feel
it on your own skin! after some time you will know
if that mixer suites your desires.

if that's how you feel, just look at your budget
and if buying won't get you in big loans or financial
problems - get it and work with it! you can sell it later...

however, if you consider some hi-end racks,
don't look at your budget, do everything to get it,
you will not regret it, EVER!
I disagree with the above---really you should do both... If you get a decent mixer you won't look back...well you will- over the last few years and think "why didn't I do this sooner". It can be a faster workflow, it's much easier to integrate outboard gear and "racks", faster headphone mixes [low latency monitoring anyone, anyone?], sends and returns, bussing, etc.. Most hardware synth's are desperate for some character...and a console and the ease that you can add outboard can help, not to mention pumping into an amp, pedals, room, etc..

The Bullet when re-capped and slightly mod'ed can sound quite nice. At current prices [pretty low right now!], the 16+ eq's are well worth it and will have you getting 'tone' faster than most plugs...not to mention that summing out of the box sounds better to most of us :-}, and monitoring and speaker switching, etc.. The mic's pre's are usuable and it feels like a console! If your workflow speeds up and is more creative, then you win...so in a way you have answered part of your question. The ghost is a fine option as well, and if you go that route Creation Labs or Jim Williams can hot rod it quite a bit, with a real improvement. I prefer a Bullet to an un-modd'd Ghost IMO.

High level outboard gear is always a good purchase- it holds it's value, and makes for much better recording. I always recommend that people start with 2 great mic pre's, 2 great eq's and 2 great compressors...


best-
Jonathan
Old 7th September 2011
  #7
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the discussion. Some good points coming out.

Jonathan - Re the 2 x mic pre's, 2 x EQ and 2 x comps I cant really afford them. Sort of stuck with average gear.

Also, how would I get by using only two anyhow? Interested to learn.
Old 7th September 2011
  #8
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I disagree with the above---really you should do both... If you get a decent mixer you won't look back...well you will- over the last few years and think "why didn't I do this sooner". It can be a faster workflow, it's much easier to integrate outboard gear and "racks", faster headphone mixes [low latency monitoring anyone, anyone?], sends and returns, bussing, etc.. Most hardware synth's are desperate for some character...and a console and the ease that you can add outboard can help, not to mention pumping into an amp, pedals, room, etc..

The Bullet when re-capped and slightly mod'ed can sound quite nice. At current prices [pretty low right now!], the 16+ eq's are well worth it and will have you getting 'tone' faster than most plugs...not to mention that summing out of the box sounds better to most of us :-}, and monitoring and speaker switching, etc.. The mic's pre's are usuable and it feels like a console! If your workflow speeds up and is more creative, then you win...so in a way you have answered part of your question. The ghost is a fine option as well, and if you go that route Creation Labs or Jim Williams can hot rod it quite a bit, with a real improvement. I prefer a Bullet to an un-modd'd Ghost IMO.

High level outboard gear is always a good purchase- it holds it's value, and makes for much better recording. I always recommend that people start with 2 great mic pre's, 2 great eq's and 2 great compressors...


best-
Jonathan
ok. but, do you know that when you push that preamps of amek you will get nothing but lo-fi fuzziness? and it will not color anything if you don't push them! summing through it without pushing it won't give you anything special. summing through external preamps, it's more versatile, expecially if you have different preamps and preamps with transformers or tubes. and that way you can decide what will be full of fuzziness and what not, if you want it. buy some portastudio if you want play around with some tracks in that way.
yes, it's longer way but it's question of habit and practice to learn be strategical. also working with external racks, passing things through them is little unpredictible in some way but when you calibrate your ears for each situation it will be fun to do all that mixing. get know how your gear works in different situations.
i know, all this stuff is very subjective, but i think that that amek is for one peroid of one recording man. when that period passes, when recording man realizes that he needs something else he will sell that amek.
so, we can call this amek good stuff or bad stuff for work on, it's matter of taste and how recording man gets conclusion on what he hears and how he feels. now or/and after ten recorded albums.
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Hi guys,

Thanks for the discussion. Some good points coming out.

Jonathan - Re the 2 x mic pre's, 2 x EQ and 2 x comps I cant really afford them. Sort of stuck with average gear.

Also, how would I get by using only two anyhow? Interested to learn.
if you think in "mixer routing way" you get your tracks line out from your
interface and hook each track or stem to one of hardware units which you
want, in order you want and you can hook them in serial way
if you want to have few racks on one track.
i do it with stems. i group tracks which i find that they need to be one unit. in sense that i find them that they need to breathe together.
for example:
snare and kick, mono track, out of the interface through preamp which i push enough to hear that is something smacking in electonics
than i compress it a little to give them some tail.
transients are already smacked with preamp but in way that that transient is just little rounded (pure digital recording usual have that huge thin transient on top of punch that is nonaudible and doesn't serve to anything. just waste of energy.) and more upfront to stand up in mix.
than i send that track back to DAW
and check out how it works with other drum elements. i don't touch overheads much, just HP filter with plugin EQ and i look where i need to EQ a little bit for snap of the snare to lay down with close mic snare which i crashed with kick with hardware that i mentioned.
when i solve other elements of drum, toms and floors than i send drum buss to some other preamp. and drums then sound real tough!
i go with similarly approach with all other instruments.
all other final touches i acquire with master buss stuff.

hope i helped.
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
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Hi mate,

Yeah thanks for the talk through. Appreciated.

So you sort of mix channel by channel? Not sure if I could work that way. I need to be able to hear everything at once to get the mix balanced the way I like it.

If I were to EQ anything in isolation it would sound great in isolation but pants in my mixes.
Old 8th September 2011
  #11
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

i will chime in here because i own one of these and have worked on a couple different Bullets.

first of all, most of the people who have heard these boards in the past 10 years heard one that probably needed a re cap. i used mine before i bought it and before it was recapped and had the PS upgraded. without question, it sounds much better after servicing.

overall, they are well built and sound quite good in the hands of a competent engineer.
before owning my Bullet, i had a Midas and before that a Ghost. i can say for certain that the Amek sounds the best of the 3. the EQ is quite usable and the board sounds very good as long as you dont try and push it too hard.
they are not a Neve or an API, so no you cannot push them really hard, but this is true of MOST consoles (especially in this price range).
it has every bit as much headroom as the Midas or the Ghost and in my opinion sounds a bit better than either.

the mic pre’s are decent. they cannot compare to my Dakings or API VP 26’s, however they are quite usable and are not going to hold you back. they are better than the Midas or Ghost by a good measure.

the monitoring is good and the monitor section sounds excellent.

one of the other things i love about this board is that it is modular. makes it SOOOO much easier to fix, because we all know ANY console will need maintenance.

THE biggest thing about having a console is the routing. it allows for so much more integration of things like outboard gear, guitar pedals, etc that are really going to contribute to the sound of synths a lot more than a mic pre or summing device. the routing on the Amek is perfect for a minimal tracking setup with some outboard.

anyway, that is my 2 cents.

i really like my Bullet Custom overall.
Old 8th September 2011
  #12
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Thanks for sharing sky blue. Some useful points.

Does the Bullet have independent outs on each channel?
Old 8th September 2011
  #13
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Hi mate,

Yeah thanks for the talk through. Appreciated.

So you sort of mix channel by channel? Not sure if I could work that way. I need to be able to hear everything at once to get the mix balanced the way I like it.

If I were to EQ anything in isolation it would sound great in isolation but pants in my mixes.
in most mix cases there are numerous compressions, EQs, reverbs,
with different tweakings for separate channels so there is plugins which you can set infinite times and there is hardware that you combine in way that you can/have. it doesn't mean anything just to EQ on board if elements are not getting along with each other.
so, calibrating ears for situation in which you monitor rough mix but processing just few channels through outboard is just MUST situation for us who doesn't have money to have like 5 compressors, 10 EQs, 3 reverbs, etc...

don't let it be hard for you.
i don't see anything bad in it.
i see different approach in which new styles of recording will become
in music history! and maybe even new genres of music.
who knows which ways of mixing will be after 30 years from now!
hip hop and punk were born because of ignorance of skill, imperfection and because many of them didn't have money for have good recordings!
and they have their beauty and charm.
Old 8th September 2011
  #14
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Yeah im there with you, I cant afford all the stuff they talk about on here like its pocket change either.

But then again my passion is in low cost bedroom studio that pack a big punch. All of my favourite groups started that way.

I still wouldn't like to mix in isolation like you do. Each to their own though. To be able to mix I need to be able to hear everything.

I couldn't mix the bass line in isolation and then put in the drums and not be able to tweak the bass line further. Well I could but I don't think it would sound that good as id probably over do everything.

When I come up with a good riff I want to use often how it starts and how it finishes are drastically different in sound. If I solo the finished mix I doubt id ever use the sound if thats how it started out.

I just think making a mix is making a stew. Your beef can be the best on earth but if the rest of your ingredients dont work well with it it will taste average at best. Much better to have a load of average tastes that when combined blow you away.

Just how I see it, there is no right or wrong. If your mixes sound how you like then, then do not change a thing as its such a fragile balance.
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Yeah im there with you, I cant afford all the stuff they talk about on here like its pocket change either.

But then again my passion is in low cost bedroom studio that pack a big punch. All of my favourite groups started that way.

I still wouldn't like to mix in isolation like you do. Each to their own though. To be able to mix I need to be able to hear everything.

I couldn't mix the bass line in isolation and then put in the drums and not be able to tweak the bass line further. Well I could but I don't think it would sound that good as id probably over do everything.

When I come up with a good riff I want to use often how it starts and how it finishes are drastically different in sound. If I solo the finished mix I doubt id ever use the sound if thats how it started out.

I just think making a mix is making a stew. Your beef can be the best on earth but if the rest of your ingredients dont work well with it it will taste average at best. Much better to have a load of average tastes that when combined blow you away.

Just how I see it, there is no right or wrong. If your mixes sound how you like then, then do not change a thing as its such a fragile balance.
yes, but you will not get good mix if you hear everything at the same time and if you don't have on all channels tools that you must have to do it right.
so we are stucked. but than we compromise and do our best how we think it's best for us. and that make us unique!
look, let's not philosophy any more let's get back to work! try that amek, work with him few days and you will know if it suites you!
Old 8th September 2011
  #16
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I wish I could try the Amek first fella but its at opposite ends of my country.

As is everything I ever want to buy seemingly.

Hence gathering opinions on here. Thanks for sharing yours.
Old 8th September 2011
  #17
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szmola's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I wish I could try the Amek first fella but its at opposite ends of my country.

As is everything I ever want to buy seemingly.

Hence gathering opinions on here. Thanks for sharing yours.
i know where you can buy t-shirt on which is stamped:
WELCOME TO MUSIC INDUSTRY - NOW YOU ARE ****ED.
Old 8th September 2011
  #18
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Thanks for sharing sky blue. Some useful points.

Does the Bullet have independent outs on each channel?
yes, the Bullet has direct outs on every channel.
mine also has 8 groups with direct outs that can be used as busses.

keep in mind, these consoles cost between $15,000 and $18,000 when they were new in the early 90’s. they are built very solid and sound good when serviced and used properly. it is not a Neve or API, but it is a quality recording tool that does way more than any summing box could ever do.

when i look around at other consoles in its price range (Ghost, Midas, Toft, etc....) the Bullet is clearly the best value for many reasons in my mind.

if you PM me your email address, i can send you a mix a recently did on my Amek and you can judge for yourself how it sounds.
Old 8th September 2011
  #19
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Thanks very much sky. Appreciated
Old 8th September 2011
  #20
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The model my mate is selling is actually a B2. Is that the same as the Bullet? Anyone?
Old 8th September 2011
  #21
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rob S's Avatar
Did you modify the stereo buss in anyway?
My memories of tac scorpians were you had to be very mindful of the 2 buss otherwise if you starting pushing it, it would smear and get ****ty.

That was a long time ago when those were new and so was i.....
Old 8th September 2011
  #22
PDC
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The TAC mixer in question was an entry level mixer back in the day, and it was nothing to desire IMO. It is what people bought if they could not swing an AMEK, and AMEK is what you bought if you could not swing a great console.
Old 8th September 2011
  #23
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$17000 Tac mixer = entry level?

Is the B2 and the Bullet one and the same?
Old 9th September 2011
  #24
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Did you modify the stereo buss in anyway?
My memories of tac scorpians were you had to be very mindful of the 2 buss otherwise if you starting pushing it, it would smear and get ****ty.

That was a long time ago when those were new and so was i.....
well, mine is a Bullet Custom, not a Scorpion.
not sure the differences exactly..........

No mods on the stereo buss, but i am looking into that.
upgraded PS gives it a little more headroom.
also recapped.

this console does not like to be pushed really hard, but no more or less so than any other console of its level.

it sounds good if you dont try to hit it too hard.
if you hit it too hard, it smears and gets ****ty.
Old 9th September 2011
  #25
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rob S's Avatar
Ha ha

I bet there is a good mod for the stereo buss.

Big power supply caps and big honkin power distribution can do some wonders for the bottom end.
Old 9th September 2011
  #26
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3rd time lucky...

Is the B2 and the Bullet one and the same?
Old 9th September 2011
  #27
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Ha ha

I bet there is a good mod for the stereo buss.

Big power supply caps and big honkin power distribution can do some wonders for the bottom end.
yeah, i am hoping to figure out some sort of mod for the 2 buss.
any suggestions of someone who might do that or what that mod might be.
seems like you have done your share of console mods rob.
: )

the PS upgrade does seem to make some noticeable sonic improvements....... more breathing room.

as is, the board stays out my way, which is really all i NEED.
WANT is another story.
of course, if i were rich i would buy something better, but........
Old 9th September 2011
  #28
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
3rd time lucky...

Is the B2 and the Bullet one and the same?
not sure about that.
Jon Pines would probably know.
or Matt Syston.
or Dave Rochester.

those are the guys who i know of with vast Amek knowledge.

i think the mic pre was upgraded on the B2...........
not sure though.
Old 9th September 2011
  #29
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rob S's Avatar
I bet jim williams would have some nifty ideas about chip swapping etc....

I still think the great sleeper console iof the 80's is that british console by dynamix......
Old 10th September 2011
  #30
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Jim Williams takes forever to reply to Emails. I have sent him three messages in this last week, and had one reply that didn't really cover everything I asked in one of them.

Im sure he is a great guy but great comms inspires confidence. I am from England, so I worry if I can't get answers prior to buying what happens if something goes wrong.

I know Jim has a great rep and he was to be a key player in me buying an Amek of SC Delta console.

Thanks Sky, ill look them up. Just wish we had companies here in England offering similar services. We built the damn things after all.

(Please, US friends, note 'England' and 'English' not 'Britain' and 'British' unless it involves more than just England. Term like 'British EQ' are unfair to England as they have bot all to do with Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Don't want to get too political but like many Americans, I am proud of my county. )
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