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Retro Instruments 176 pair vs Chandler Limited RS124 Mastering pair for master buss
Old 20th November 2019 | Show parent
  #31
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Mr. Bars's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan ➡️
I am fine sharing the links and notes however, this is up to the OP as he is the provider of the source file.
Old 20th November 2019 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
OP is ok with me sharing the links.

I included a few bonus Coil Audio 70 processed files that aren't relevant to the thread and don't want to have to re-upload so rather than posting here, PM me for link vs the thread.

BTW, processed sample is drum kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ___GLM___ ➡️
like to share your audio files, so we can benefit from your insights? Would be awesome!!
Old 25th November 2019
  #33
Ok,
So I've processed what sounds like a dry stereo drum mix bus stem provided by @ MRB ars with a pair of rs124s inserted with a fairly wide variety of settings.
Lacking any real experience with bus processing of any kind, I used my ears, and the results may betray my lack of experience.

As mentioned previously in this thread, I don't expect that a pair of RS124's is often directly inserted on a mix, master or even drum bus, but hey, what do I know?

I use these entirely for tracking, purely because I'm mostly still just learning songwriting and tracking demos for my own artistic and skill development.. not exactly a wealth of experience with mix bus or drum bus compression to lean on, and I generally use these in parallel anyways (albeit, mostly for safety and the ability to A/B for learning) likely due, again, to a near total lack of experience.

That said, the request was to insert a pair of chandler rs124s on a stereo drum bus, so that's what I did. Please note my pair is not matched, nor switched, and I mostly tried to level match with my ears, but I did a lot of takes, and I know I forgot to match a few of them, so please take heed. You will need to fine tune.

My first impression is that I thought it would sound a lot more heavy handed than it does. Of course it brings the room up, but I found many usable or at least interesting setups, all of which I captured for your gear nerding pleasure or tedium.. presumably mostly the latter.

I stuck largely to Super Fuse mode, which generally sounded more appropriate for the material, though I did throw in a few without. I also stuck largely to using them linked (side chain signal blended using ts cable), but made sure to include a few unlinked as well, for science of course, controls were matched using my ears and watching the input metering. I tried to level match as I was going, but I definitely missed a few, and it was not exacting, as I ended up doing 30 takes. (yawn~!). I largely stuck to the fastest recovery setting, though I ventured as far as the 3rd (of 6) for reference. I did not feel the slower recovery settings were well suited to this application, even more so given the aversion to parallel processing in this case. I also dug in a little more than I expected, never really finding a setting I liked with the input below 12 noon (5 on the control). I also did a few passes with the input dimed. I listened only to the processed track, never in parallel, but I probably would have been even more aggressive if I had (hard to get more aggressive than input at 10 unless your name is Nigel Tufnel).

The naming convention goes like this:

RS124 pair RS124 pair - I5A1R1O-6SF - Linked

Sorry about the dumb filename duplication... the important part is the last section.

I: Input Control value (eg: I5 ..Input is set to 5. Possible values 0-10 [sadly, no 11])
A: Attack (eg: A1 ..Attack is set to 1. Possible values 1-9 from fastest to slowest, with 3, 5 & 6 specially labelled)
R: Recovery (eg: R1 ..Recovery set to 1. Possible values 1-6 from fastest to slowest. )
O: Output Attenuator (eg: 0-6 .. Output attenuator set to -6. Possible values from 0 to -10 db)
SF: SuperFuse (eg: SF .. SuperFuse engaged. This is true in most cases. SF omitted from filename when disengaged)
Linked/Unlinked: units manually linked using ts cable to blend side chain inputs

[updated to include google drive link]
https://drive.google.com/open?id=19h...PPIlMx6qNfeDzy

You should be able to just drag 'em all into a daw. Careful to mute channels before monitoring or you will go deaf. Check 'em out..

Would love to hear those retro 176 files.. anyone mind sharing?

Last edited by themiracle; 25th November 2019 at 08:58 AM.. Reason: added download link
Old 25th November 2019 | Show parent
  #34
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___GLM___'s Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle ➡️

Any suggestions on how to share nearly 3gb worth of audio with ya'll?
About 31 ~90mb files in all.
Love to make it available for all..
awesome! Eager to hear it. perhaps via dropbox link? So the files are online as long as you keep them in your dropbox. But of course you need 3GB storage at least...
Old 25th November 2019
  #35
I’ve updated my previous post #33 with a link to download the audio

Love to know what you think
Old 25th November 2019 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
PM me for a link to the 176 files and key.

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle ➡️
Would love to hear those retro 176 files.. anyone mind sharing?
Old 26th November 2019 | Show parent
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan ➡️
PM me for a link to the 176 files and key.
Thank you! Somehow missed that. PM sent.
Old 26th November 2019 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
PM sent with file description key and links

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle ➡️
Thank you! Somehow missed that. PM sent.
Old 26th November 2019 | Show parent
  #39
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🎧 10 years
themiracle, thank you very much for your time, variety and creativity in approaching my request — there are a lot of audio examples you created and now it's enough for me to do a comparative analysis with samples of Retro 176's pair provided by StevenLMorgan (thanks once again Steve for your help).

The most surprising thing, at least for the moment, is that I got a little cooler for both of the applicants I originally selected. And not because they are bad — for sure not, but due to my ears they both behave like devices originally designed to work in mono with single audio channel. Even their coupling feature, in my opinion, does not help them compare with true stereo devices. Unfortunately, although I so wanted one of them...

Looks like I should take a break and rethink my needs, assumptions and mental speculation.

Thanks to everyone for their support.
Best,
DK
Old 26th November 2019 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
"they both behave like devices originally designed to work in mono with single audio channel. Even their coupling feature, in my opinion, does not help them compare with true stereo devices."

Having had both, I do not disagree with the statement regarding stereo.

My Retro 176s are sequential and were just "re-matched" by Phil @ Retro within the last 30 days.

If you have precise stereo requirements, you want a stereo unit and, even then, I suspect you need to go the extra mile to understand the channel matching from the compressor designer.

Regarding the 176, this is not to say that, unlinked or linked, a pair of matched 176s is not perfect for ie. stereo acoustic guitar. In fact, I believe most would prefer unlinked and love the character imparted.

For me, I am in love with the 176s; love hears beauty; does not demand stereo perfection ;-) I should also post here that I recently bought a Neve MBP with excellent matching but, resold it within three weeks as there was no emotional connection AND I had an immediate need for a U67 RI. Zero regrets and I'm smiling ear-to-ear working with my 67 RI and my 176s today. The buyer of the MBP is also over-the-moon happy so, everyone wins.

"The most surprising thing, at least for the moment, is that I got a little cooler for both of the applicants I originally selected."

Oh the time and money I could have saved with great samples of my files through fellow users gear; which is precisely why I am willing to spend the time and effort for fellow engineers in their quests.

Please let us know where you end up, know that I will be requesting like effort (and know you will be happy to assist)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars ➡️
themiracle, thank you very much for your time, variety and creativity in approaching my request — there are a lot of audio examples you created and now it's enough for me to do a comparative analysis with samples of Retro 176's pair provided by StevenLMorgan (thanks once again Steve for your help).

The most surprising thing, at least for the moment, is that I got a little cooler for both of the applicants I originally selected. And not because they are bad — for sure not, but due to my ears they both behave like devices originally designed to work in mono with single audio channel. Even their coupling feature, in my opinion, does not help them compare with true stereo devices. Unfortunately, although I so wanted one of them...

Looks like I should take a break and rethink my needs, assumptions and mental speculation.

Thanks to everyone for their support.
Best,
DK

Last edited by StevenLMorgan; 26th November 2019 at 06:06 PM..
Old 27th November 2019 | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan ➡️
...If you have precise stereo requirements, you want a stereo unit and, even then, I suspect you need to go the extra mile to understand the channel matching from the compressor designer.

Regarding the 176, this is not to say that, unlinked or linked, a pair of matched 176s is not perfect for ie. stereo acoustic guitar. In fact, I believe most would prefer unlinked and love the character imparted....
/// My requirements are based on two factors: 1 — many years of my own experience working with a lot of hardware equipment; 2 — on that particular way that I hear audio which is formed by this experience. For example API 2500, Chandler Zener, Manley Variable MU, Vintech 609 CA and even a pair of Distressor EL8X-S in image link mode each in its own way works much more stable regarding stereo representation with complicated stereo program (such as acoustic drum kit, instruments sub-groups, master buss) preserving the stereo image corrected with very intense audio scene. IMHO of course. And I don’t really want to go into deep scientific research how various manufacturer implements stereo matching in their devices — it just works for me or not. Acoustic guitar recorded in stereo is much more forgiving application than for example 8 channel acoustic drum kit or even more master buss the compressor for which I try to pick up including this thread.

On their own and 176 and RS124 are beautiful: each of them has its own high-end signature. But perhaps this is the artifacts of any design built around active tube circuit, and when I talk about correct stereo compression I rather mean the accuracy that mastering engineers appeal to. Hence the corresponding requirement, which I wanted to clarify about these two pairs of compressors starting this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan ➡️
...Oh the time and money I could have saved with great samples of my files through fellow users gear; which is precisely why I am willing to spend the time and effort for fellow engineers in their quests.

Please let us know where you end up, know that I will be requesting like effort (and know you will be happy to assist)!
/// We all have a very subjective judgment about every aspect of audio including stereo, therefore, I am very grateful to you for your help, which is objective enough for me. Certainly I will continue the search my holy grail tube stereo compressor — maybe will try to look on Requisite Audio L2M, Retro Revolver or even multiband Tube-Tech SMC 2BM.

In any case, you can always ask me about help regarding any of the devices that I currently have, and I'll be happy to assist your further with no any problem. Just take a look on my studio's list profile. In my opinion this is one of the most important and useful aspects of true professional audio community.

All the best,
DK
Old 27th November 2019
  #42
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🎧 5 years
I´m planning to use 2x176 in the mixbus and considering the stereo image, I will use them either in stereo unlinked mode or M/S configuration (vertigo vsm2 is the unit to easily switch between the modes and also allows parallel processing). That might be the way to go, if someone absolutely wants them on the mixbus.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 10 years
Finally I made a decision and got my new mastering pair... Fully stepped, fully matched. I hope I will not be disappointed.


Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #44
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars ➡️
I hope I will not be disappointed.
I'm sure they'll sound amazing. Sometimes I wonder if it's all splitting hairs in the end. Anyways enjoy and congratulations.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #45
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars ➡️
Finally I made a decision and got my new mastering pair... Fully stepped, fully matched. I hope I will not be disappointed.


For mastering or mixing place on parallel bus.
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #46
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proxy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ooooooh, lovely

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars ➡️
Finally I made a decision and got my new mastering pair... Fully stepped, fully matched. I hope I will not be disappointed.


Old 13th February 2020 | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 10 years
After few weeks of working with this pair, I have to say that this is the strangest and most unusually for finding sweet spot device I've seen among compressors with such a minimum number of features.

Soundwise it's just magnificent, especially on the open sounded mixes with minimum or no compression at all. Not for everything for sure, but indispensable for music with large dynamic amplitude that contains sounds with a pronounced attack, short decay and a lot of space around.

And what completely blow me away is how this device manages a reverberation — none of my current high-end compressors splices the original sound body with its space in such a rare 3D manner! This is simply astounding — it is already enough to use this compressors during mixing nonstop.

What RS124 dislikes the most is kick drum: it doesn’t matter whether in the final stereo file or individually during mixing. And this is the only thing that makes this compressor not multipurpose IMHO. Otherwise the device is really rare in its sonic characteristics with very very steep learning curve, which is quite unexpected for a compressor with such a minimal set of settings. Unusual interaction between input gain stage with logarithmic threshold and output gain stage made me a little nervous in the first days...

Super Fuse mode become a staring point already.

By the way Chandler did an excellent job matching both mastering units: variation between units output level is within 0.05-0.1 dB.

Examination continues...

Best,
DK

Last edited by Mr. Bars; 13th February 2020 at 03:29 AM..
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hi Everyone, hi @ MRBars ,

What an interesting thread!

I'm currently working with a Shadow hills Master compressor, I would like to add an other comp after to add warmth, depth to my master mix, keeping the low end as I'm producing modern music as electro, pop.

As I've seen some of you already have a Zener, will it be fine for this job ? or do I need to go with Vari-mu as Phoenix Thermionic Culture or a pair of RS124 or Retro 176 ?

Also Empirical labs seems to be not bad, I've listen to the Mike-e in to the Compressor comparison thread here and it sounds not bad, and I know Empire has the Fatso (Never get the chance to compare it but maybe better)

Many thanks for your help and time I need to decide this month what unit to buy, very tough decision as I'm creating and mixing my own music and can't make a mistake
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Also please find the original mix from the compressor comparison thread if someone may be kind to process the file with Zener and dual RS124

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bs8ib5jiuk...elOne.wav?dl=0

Will be amazing for me and a lot of us
Old 1st March 2021
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
BUMP !

Hi everyone I hope you're fine,

I wrote here end of this year and I still continue my search to improve my mastering chain but I need to decide this month what compressor to buy :/ I've no more time.

the comparison compressor thread is useful but there is not a pair of the RS124 to listen to. In one topic I can listen to the RS124 on a Drum/rock loop but as I'm producing Modern Electro Music I can't check how does it sounds on Electro material. If jumping to a dual RS124 I will need to sell my Shadow hills so I really can't pull the trigger without hearing the Chandler.

The file we use on the compressor thread is great because it includes different kind of music, it will be useful for all of us and especially for me

About preset I think I like Superfuse and I never compress a lot as I'm using both an api2500 with my shadow on my master bus

Is someone so kind to process this file for me please ?
https://bit.ly/3oy97aQ

Many many thanks,
Old 3rd March 2021 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
@ themiracle Thanks for the link, unfortunately the sample used in this thread is very bad for mastering comparison (with only drums at the beginning and not full instrument). The other sample provided in the other thread (the link I gave) is 100 times more useful with full dynamic and different kind of music

So if someone ok to save my life I will be very happy
Old 3rd March 2021 | Show parent
  #53
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by qslprod ➡️
@ themiracle Thanks for the link, unfortunately the sample used in this thread is very bad for mastering comparison (with only drums at the beginning and not full instrument). The other sample provided in the other thread (the link I gave) is 100 times more useful with full dynamic and different kind of music

So if someone ok to save my life I will be very happy
FWIW, Mastering engineers—and mix engineers—typically place matched RS124s on parallel master bus and blend from there. Mastering engineers use them to bring some life and organic texture, or excitement/interest back to otherwise flat or sterile programme material. When placed in parallel, this allows the engineer more freedom to achieve their aims.
Old 3rd March 2021 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Hi @ adam_f thanks for your feedback, this is also what I read in some thread, thanks for your confirmation about the workflow to reach the better results with the unit.
Now we need someone kind to process the file with a real reference track for mastering (the one from the other compressor thread), I can't buy a two matched pair without hearing it :(

Do you own a pair ?
Thanks,
Old 4th March 2021 | Show parent
  #55
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by qslprod ➡️
Hi @ adam_f thanks for your feedback, this is also what I read in some thread, thanks for your confirmation about the workflow to reach the better results with the unit.
Now we need someone kind to process the file with a real reference track for mastering (the one from the other compressor thread), I can't buy a two matched pair without hearing it :(

Do you own a pair ?
Thanks,
Sure, PM me.
Old 4th March 2021 | Show parent
  #56
Apologies. I misunderstood.

..for some reason that download link isn't working for me.

Fortunately it seems like Adam is going to hooks you up. He does that.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #57
Gear Addict
DK/Bars, what made you go for the 124s in the end? I think I would have gone for the 176s from what little I've heard of them and about them.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
RS124 please help :)

Hi everyone,

I need to choose very soon my new mastering compressor for accounting reason (closing the year) may I ask to one of you to process for me a file with your pair of RS124 ? it will be amazing, this is the last compressor I didn't hear yet. Due to lockdown in my country I can only hear it with your help.

A big thanks to my saviour !
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