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Gear that gave you the "Meh..." Factor
Old 23rd March 2021
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Gear that gave you the "Meh..." Factor

There's lots of threads about the "Wow" factor, but I was curious if anyone had experienced any gear that wasn't as great as the hype made it seem when you actually got to try it out. I've had a few, can anyone relate?
Old 23rd March 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'll start big!

Neumann u67.. atleast on vocals..

Dbx 160vu.. didn't get it at all
Old 23rd March 2021
  #3
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Vintage Gates STA-level and the new Retro one... I don’t get the hype. Telefunken USA U47 tube. Shadow Hills Mono Gamma, A-Designs P1 (the rackmount Pacifica is the real deal and the P1’s are a letdown)and Helios Type 69. Purple Audio 1176. Demeter stereo tube compressor. Any C414 newer than the B-ULS.

Oh yeah and the Shure SM7B.
Old 23rd March 2021
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Art pro vla
Old 23rd March 2021
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Ditto on the Sta Level. Wanted to love it. Didn’t. Neither the compression action nor the color was very compelling to me. Big fan of Retro’s 176 and other vari-mu’s so I was hopeful, too.

BAE 500C - too smeared. Works okay for things that need to be smoothed out, but that’s not what I want from an 1176.

Avedis E27 - too zingy in the top end, things always sounded obviously EQed / processed through them.

Beyerdynamic MC930 - one of my first GS inspired purchases, turned out to be very muddy with a weird top end.

Chandler Germanium Compressor and Tone Control - brilliant and innovative design on both counts, but somehow lack the musicality of their EMI reproductions.

API 550A - I wouldn’t kick it outta bed for eating chips, but this is one EQ I feel is well replicated by plugins. Same goes for the SSL 611.

A bunch of channel strips had good parts, but just didn’t cut it for me on the whole:

Aurora GTQC - the pre is great, FET comp is good, but EQ and opto comp are blah.

Powerstrip - pre is on the clean side which is fine, EQ is pretty sweet, but the comp is majorly blah.

LA-610 - pre and EQ are good, comp is useless.
Old 23rd March 2021
  #6
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
GML 8200(heresy I know), Royer 121 or just most Royer mics, Cloud Mics, AEA R84, API 2500, API 560, Purple MC77, Retro500 pre, Vertigo VSC2, Black Box Hg2, Bettermaker and Wes Audio equipment, MichelAngelo EQ

Plug ins: Soothe2( even though I will use it in a pinch, but alot of times it just gets bypassed these days), Fabfilter EQ, Apogee plugs Pultec and LA3a, many of the signature name plug in packs.

My GS rule of thumb over the years is if alot of people here hype something it probably means I need to stay away.
Old 23rd March 2021
  #7
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I like all gear. And cherish the availability to record. Lets face it, we're lucky!
Old 23rd March 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen ➡️
I'll start big!

Neumann u67.. atleast on vocals..

Dbx 160vu.. didn't get it at all
I haven't yet used a 67 reissue, but I've never heard any two older 67's that sounded alike. Definitely the least consistent and/or predictable of any of the mics I know fairly well.

As for the dbx, I'm with you. It's working way before the needle even quivers, and past that it's brutal. Never saw the appeal.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
I haven't yet used a 67 reissue, but I've never heard any two older 67's that sounded alike. Definitely the least consistent and/or predictable of any of the mics I know fairly well.

As for the dbx, I'm with you. It's working way before the needle even quivers, and past that it's brutal. Never saw the appeal.
I've used 3 u67s so I think I can make a somewhat fair judgment. Sounds vintage in a bad way. I think my main issue is with the high-end rolloff and lowmid push around 1khz.. But in a mixed context it always sounds upfront and intimate so I understand why people in general dig it. I already owned my m269c when I bought the u67 and that is my favourite mic so far so I always judge mics after my m269c heh!
Old 24th March 2021
  #10
Lives for gear
 
bambamboom's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
I disagree re the U67 (assuming you get a good one cause they all sound a bit different!). Might not be the best choice for every vocal, but never the worst. A pretty safe bet for a good result in the mix. Usually needs some top end EQ, but takes it well.

I also disagree re the comments against Oeksound Soothe. It's not meant to be heavy handed, it is a subtle tool that is amazing especially on vocals and the mixbus, but also on electric guitars and other things that can make the mix HURT. It's one of those last 2% sort of things, but if you are the type like me who would otherwise spend hours chasing down nasty transients with EQ automation it is just the ticket.

The biggest thing that gives me the MEH factor is not studio gear, it is Musician gear, and their musician operators, playing their mediocre music

Poorly tweaked guitars and amps, poor choices for tones
Drummers who don't know how to hit a drum properly and especially the bashers who can't mix themselves and beat their Zildjian Z series cymbals to death.
Singers who shouldn't call themselves that
And everything in between, you get the idea.

I've made some great recordings on cheap low end gear with real professional musicians who just sound good period. And I've done expensive sessions with the best gear there is, where there is just no redeeming that is gonna happen with what comes into the microphone. Every working pro knows this.

If you want your mixes to be great, mix sessions for great musicians and producers. That sounds super obvious, but after years being on this forum I honestly think a lot of people (especially outside of this High End forum) don't understand that, and how big of a difference it makes.
Old 24th March 2021
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Manley Slam - The pre is decent, found both limiters boring.

Great River M1NV - I don’t get it. I’ve seen people say it’s “1073 like” I don’t hear that at all

UA LA610 - Sounds like old socks

Agree on the Fabfilter eq, shyte on boosts, not as bad for cuts but still a bit shyte.
It’s a shame because function wise it does everything
Not a fan of the limiter either
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➡️
Fabfilter EQ
[QUOTE=woodfoot;15366497
Agree on the Fabfilter eq, shyte on boosts, not as bad for cuts but still a bit shyte.
It’s a shame because function wise it does everything
Not a fan of the limiter either[/QUOTE]


What do you guys prefer then?
DMG Equilibrium?
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Equilibrium and UAD bx_digital (to save CPU) are go-to’s for me for clean, precise tasks. Minimal phase shift, minimal smear, easy to use (though you can get pretty much whatever you want out of Equilibrium if you’re willing to tinker).
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaleida ➡️
Beyerdynamic MC930 - one of my first GS inspired purchases, turned out to be very muddy with a weird top end.
That surprises me. I love that mic.

What made me go meh? Drawmer 1968ME. It's ok, but I never really fell in love with it. Put it up for sale one day after I got my Nail.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom ➡️
l.

I also disagree re the comments against Oeksound Soothe. It's not meant to be heavy handed, it is a subtle tool that is amazing especially on vocals and the mixbus, but also on electric guitars and other things that can make the mix HURT. It's one of those last 2% sort of things, but if you are the type like me who would otherwise spend hours chasing down nasty transients with EQ automation it is just the ticket.

.[/B]
It makes things sound grainy and always sounds better when bypassed. It just does. That may not bother you, but it bothers me to the point I am now only only using it in sections that really need it, which unfortunately makes the vocal mix take longer.

But its a necessary tool at times like Autotune and Vocalign which both change the vocal sound as well, but you accept it and move on.

Now the latest versions of Autotune Pro and Vocalign Ultra have started to improve in sound quality, but still could be better. In the next version of Soothe it needs to improve as well.
Old 24th March 2021
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaGray ➡️
What do you guys prefer then?
DMG Equilibrium?

I like the Sonnox for my everyday itb eq
Very little phase shift and cpu light. Eyes only mode is great and it plays nice with controllers in Pro Tools . There’s also the Dsp version so I can track with it on if I need to.
Just a great little workhorse

I don’t use tons of eq though. Not even my outboard stuff so to tell the truth a lot of the functions the fabfilter and equilibrium have are wasted on me

The sonnox I use just for filtering or a tickle down on a shelf. 1 or 2 bands of anything at most

If I find I’m needing to go crazy surgical its probably because something else isn’t right.
And as far as tone goes I have more joy looking elsewhere

I’m lucky because 99% of what I do is my own music so I can always go right back to the source if I need to

I do love the DMG stuff though . Multiplicity is a work of genius and Limitless is on every mix here

Last edited by woodfoot; 24th March 2021 at 02:16 PM..
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaGray ➡️
What do you guys prefer then?
DMG Equilibrium?
It depends on the task at hand and if I am boosting or cutting/digging.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Cpl. Punishment's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom ➡️
The biggest thing that gives me the MEH factor is not studio gear, it is Musician gear, and their musician operators, playing their mediocre music
So funny to hear you say that, because when I saw this thread this morning I jumped in to voice my opinion that it's always the poor workman who blames his tools...
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
bambamboom's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➡️
It makes things sound grainy and always sounds better when bypassed. It just does. That may not bother you, but it bothers me to the point I am now only only using it in sections that really need it, which unfortunately makes the vocal mix take longer.

But its a necessary tool at times like Autotune and Vocalign which both change the vocal sound as well, but you accept it and move on.

Now the latest versions of Autotune Pro and Vocalign Ultra have started to improve in sound quality, but still could be better. In the next version of Soothe it needs to improve as well.
I can make Soothe sound grainy too, or even downright terrible - mostly when I am being too heavy handed with it, but it can be transparent. Is it completely transparent - no, but does it make my mixes better, YES.

If you find it grainy, try reducing the sharpness control, use fewer bands and keep the depth more conservative. Make sure you are using high quality mode, and also try adjusting the attack and release.

Subtle, just to nip a few transients is the right zone with Soothe in my experience.
Old 24th March 2021
  #20
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sweetspots for mics is around 2-3k. That will get the job done and very well for that matter. I always get kind of provoced when companies put a 6-8k price tag on a newly produced mic. It feels more like a statement then what it's actually worth.

Vintage mics are more of an investment for me. Found a couple for great prices. So good that I could have flipped them immediately but hey it's also allot of fun and their worth will most likely go up over time.
Old 24th March 2021
  #21
Lives for gear
 
kuasalogam's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
numerous UAD plugins
A-Design Pacifica
Lindell 6x preamp and EQ
Gibson SGs
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuasalogam ➡️
numerous UAD plugins
A-Design Pacifica
Lindell 6x preamp and EQ
Gibson SGs
Why the Pacifica if I might ask?

I just got one and my initial reaction was, WOW. Kind of my favourite preamp now haha!
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
badmark's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier ➡️
I like all gear. And cherish the availability to record. Lets face it, we're lucky!
Quoted for truth.

But let's face it, despite all the 4 & 5 star reviews floating about, there is cherishable stuff, there is stuff that does the job and there is stuff that sooner or later gets unplugged with a meh.

Since this is the high end, my unplugged meh box is an Eventide 2016 reissue reverb. Good metering, great ergonomics, just not the sort of reverb that much interests me.

Mic-wise the AT4060 is the mic that cost me the most but I use the least.

Would not call the FabFilter Eq high end, more upper middle, and if I needed to boost something it's not where I'd be looking anyway. The default 0db metering gives you a good target to aim at tho.

I would also suggest that meh can be a constructive creative decision. Lockdown got me into microtonality and now any hardware or software synth that can't be configured to do e.g. 26-edo I no longer need to think about. Meh = feng shui!
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Started what thread?
You know, THIS thread, the one that was actually started by someone else.
Or maybe rorohello posts under two pseudonyms. Or more. Maybe he’s fifteen or twenty of the semi-obnoxious fringe here.
Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInOttawa ➡️
That surprises me. I love that mic.
I really wanted to like it! Great price, on the darker side, alleged KM84 killer. What’s not to like? But in use, I found it confusing in that it didn’t reflect what I was hearing in the room (specifically on overheads). IIRC, my pair had a mild boost in the low mids, a dip in the upper mids, and a peak in the air that collectively were just a little weird - likely exacerbated by the room, kit, and maybe I had a pair that were just on the edge of what Beyer considers “in spec.” Once I put up a pair of 4038s, I had an a-ha moment and realized I prefer fairly flat mics in that application (including C414 B ULS, Lulu tubes, SF-12). Just personal preference and one person’s anecdotal experience! Plenty of MC930 fans out there.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
You know, THIS thread, the one that was actually started by someone else.
Or maybe rorohello posts under two pseudonyms. Or more. Maybe he’s fifteen or twenty of the semi-obnoxious fringe here.
Yeah, that’s the ticket!
No pseudonym here and you sound more "fringe" than most I've encountered on GS, just sayin...
Old 24th March 2021
  #27
Lives for gear
 
bzone's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Nothing, I have no gear like that. I demo everything and find what is functional and what works in my own room and gives the best workflow, unfortunately it usually expensive.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
me neither - however, i have come across a large amount of gear of which some other folks rave yet i either didn't like it myself, wasn't working in a situation where it would have been useful, i couldn't wrap my head around it, it was too expensive or too cheap, only good in theory or i found out too late...

THAT list would be pretty long and include tons of gear, including some very well known brands/models! - what's annoying is that some new gear copies design flaws from yesteryear so the list keeps growing...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 24th March 2021 at 12:09 PM..
Old 24th March 2021
  #29
Deleted 49e1b71
Guest
The RS124...

i was only using it for vocal recordings
Old 24th March 2021
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Classic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Based on the GS hype, A Designs Pacifica.
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