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what part of a desk gives the saturation / drive?
Old 27th February 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
what part of a desk gives the saturation / drive?

what part of a desk gives the saturation effect when the desk is driven?

is it mainly the amplifiers gaining the summed low volume signal?

if so, are there amplifiers available that have for instance neve or api drive character, to use with different summing options?

cheers
Old 27th February 2014
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Bobby Baird's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Opamps and transformers give the saturation character when you push the signal into the top of there operating range.
Old 27th February 2014
  #3
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psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Slate Fox has "vintage" and modern modes. I think it's Millenia who make a pre with twin path options?

Do UA make one that can be valve or solid state?

Sometimes I guess it's more useful (and possibly not that much more expensive) to just have 2 pairs of pres to choose from.
Old 28th February 2014
  #4
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🎧 5 years
how can one tell how the op amps will apply its tonal character with saturation? say if I wanted to swap op amps of a piece of gear how would I ensure a specific op amp will achieve the character or tone im after?
Old 28th February 2014 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skillz335 ➑️
how can one tell how the op amps will apply its tonal character with saturation? say if I wanted to swap op amps of a piece of gear how would I ensure a specific op amp will achieve the character or tone im after?
I think the saturation characteristics of op amps is how they react to transients. Some are slower some are faster which will effect the way it saturates. There may be a op amp comparison chart here on gearslutz. I have red dots in my preamps for 1970 api sound, and I like them.
Old 28th February 2014 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skillz335 ➑️
how can one tell how the op amps will apply its tonal character with saturation?
Op amps (and the circuits that use them) are generally designed to behave linearly over as much of the input range as possible. This means that what you put in is what you get out, just louder by a constant factor. There should be little to no difference in sound between op amps in their linear range. In any case, any significant differences we hear -- between, for example, two solid state preamps -- are due to the design and implementation differences, not the choice of op amps.

Saturation occurs when the op amp can no longer provide constant gain: as the input increases in amplitude, at some sharp point the output stops increasing. This results in a distorted waveform, which generates harmonic and intermodulation distortion products. Usually this sounds pretty bad; "crunchy" might be a good adjective.

For the vast majority of sources and applications, we want to avoid saturating our op amps.

Quote:
say if I wanted to swap op amps of a piece of gear how would I ensure a specific op amp will achieve the character or tone im after?
There's no such thing as a "warm" op amp, or even a "mostly 2nd-order distortion" op amp. The circuit design will determine how the op amp sounds. Full stop. Of course different op amps have different operating characteristics -- some op amps stay linear "longer" than others (occasionally you can suss this out of a datasheet; look for P1dB values, or the third-order harmonic intercept point) -- but practically speaking the only way to know what an op amp will sound like in a circuit is to listen to it.
Old 28th February 2014
  #7
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Scooter Trash's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
The transformers and tone circuits have a lot to do with the tonal character of a console - just like in a guitar or guitar amp.
Old 28th February 2014
  #8
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matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the wunder audio console has different summing busses to choose from

m
Old 1st March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
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skillz335's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Baird ➑️
I think the saturation characteristics of op amps is how they react to transients. Some are slower some are faster which will effect the way it saturates. There may be a op amp comparison chart here on gearslutz. I have red dots in my preamps for 1970 api sound, and I like them.
Thanks for the reply Im defiantly going to look into the red dot opamps and see what I can learn about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort ➑️
Op amps (and the circuits that use them) are generally designed to behave linearly over as much of the input range as possible. This means that what you put in is what you get out, just louder by a constant factor. There should be little to no difference in sound between op amps in their linear range. In any case, any significant differences we hear -- between, for example, two solid state preamps -- are due to the design and implementation differences, not the choice of op amps.

Saturation occurs when the op amp can no longer provide constant gain: as the input increases in amplitude, at some sharp point the output stops increasing. This results in a distorted waveform, which generates harmonic and intermodulation distortion products. Usually this sounds pretty bad; "crunchy" might be a good adjective.

For the vast majority of sources and applications, we want to avoid saturating our op amps.



There's no such thing as a "warm" op amp, or even a "mostly 2nd-order distortion" op amp. The circuit design will determine how the op amp sounds. Full stop. Of course different op amps have different operating characteristics -- some op amps stay linear "longer" than others (occasionally you can suss this out of a datasheet; look for P1dB values, or the third-order harmonic intercept point) -- but practically speaking the only way to know what an op amp will sound like in a circuit is to listen to it.
Awesome, and thank you for the deeper detailed information

Ok, if I understand you correctly, an op amp is either clean or dirty. Also its designed to be at a 1:1 ratio. though, once you pass its max amplitude threshold it begins to break up. The characteristics of how the op amp sounds after it distorts is based more on the circuity path its inserted in, more so then the op amp itself. Then the major differences in op amps then is the amount of clean signal they will pass before they go full on distort?

If I understand that correctly, then would it be safe to assume if say for example I was using the warm audio tonebeast. A device which offers two separate op amp paths. That one path(my best guess, the vintage path) of the circuitry is designed to reach op amp distortion with or without transformer saturation quicker? leaving the second more linear path to offer enough clean gain to pass both transparent transformer saturation or simply hot transparent signal in general? Im still learning and appreciate your patience and help so thanks again.
Old 1st March 2014 | Show parent
  #10
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bogosort's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skillz335 ➑️
Ok, if I understand you correctly, an op amp is either clean or dirty.
Well that's kind of a weird way to put it. A better way: one op amp may have a higher linear operating range than another.

Quote:
Also its designed to be at a 1:1 ratio. though, once you pass its max amplitude threshold it begins to break up. The characteristics of how the op amp sounds after it distorts is based more on the circuity path its inserted in, more so then the op amp itself. Then the major differences in op amps then is the amount of clean signal they will pass before they go full on distort?
If we're talking about op amps as gain devices, 1:1 isn't the goal. What is meant by linear here is that the gain factor is constant for any input. So for example, say the gain factor is 10; then an input of 2 would have an output of 20, an input of 3 would have an output of 30, etc. What happens when the op amp saturates is that this input-output relationship goes nonlinear: input of 4 equals output of 40, but input of 5 equals output of 42, input of 6 equals output of 42.3, etc.

When there's no longer a constant gain factor the signal waveform is distorted (if you picture it in the time domain, the peaks get flattened). The laws of physics insist that this waveform distortion results in extra frequencies being generated. These include both harmonically related frequencies and ugly sum-and-difference frequencies (intermodulation distortion).

While there are probably small differences between the quality of op amp saturation, the important difference is in when they break up, because almost invariably we don't want them to break up. But really these are things only the circuit designer needs to worry about -- he knows his circuit's operating parameters and can design accordingly.

Quote:
If I understand that correctly, then would it be safe to assume if say for example I was using the warm audio tonebeast. A device which offers two separate op amp paths. That one path(my best guess, the vintage path) of the circuitry is designed to reach op amp distortion with or without transformer saturation quicker? leaving the second more linear path to offer enough clean gain to pass both transparent transformer saturation or simply hot transparent signal in general? Im still learning and appreciate your patience and help so thanks again.
I'm not familiar with the Tonebeast, but it's interesting he included switchable op amp paths. I assume there's more going on than just different op amps; maybe he can explain it for us. As for transformer saturation, that's a completely different phenomenon. It's usually much more subtle than op amp saturation, and it tends to occur in the lower frequencies before the higher frequencies, which can be pleasing to the ear and lend definition to low-frequency sources.

Anyway, keep learning! And by all means, don't take my word for anything -- experiment for yourself and have fun.
Old 1st March 2014
  #12
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🎧 5 years
Thanks for all that bogosort, and Im going to take your word for it weather you like it or not!heh..lol. really though thank you much, this helped me to think about my signal chain much differently and sent me off to study more. I will defiantly be playing around with op amps once I get a more consistent and solid grasp. I appreciate the help and clarification.
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