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Audio Hombre 24th November 2006 11:49 PM

STT-1 Origin
Hi, I have a couple of questions for guys / gals working with this unit.I've been using one for about 5 months now, primarily on lead female vocals, in styles ranging from R&B to Folk...I did a serch here, found THIS topic but it was closed.

I'm a big fan of the unit and there's really nothing about the ch that I've found that I haven't liked, especially compared to my 737sp.

What I'm curious about, are people's applications of the xfrmr and ss modes. I've tried the ss mode on a few of the vocals so far, but each time end up going back to VT, as it seems to suit the style, more than the colored ss mode. Are people around here using SS mode more so for "rock" vox by any chance?

Also, I have a session coming up where we're doing some electric guitar overdubs, but there isn't a pre with xfrmr's available (we might be able to muster up an 3124, but not sure) and I'd prefer to use a pre with some color on these electrics. Has anyone used the STT-1 in ss mode, xfrmr IN on electrics and if so, what sort of results were had and is there something that it could be compared to for reference?

Any comments / tips will be appreciated

NathanEldred 25th November 2006 12:16 AM

The solid state mode sounds less 'airy' and more punchy than the tube mode, which you can tell gets a bit softer and accentuates the harmonics especially through the highs and upper midrange. This is probably why you like it so much on vocals. The solid state mode absolutely rocks on drums, very solid sounding, where I only like the tube mode on overheads (in relation to a drum kit). The transformer adds a bit of coloration in the upper bass range, I like it a lot of bass DI in tube mode. You can also get it a bit squishier by turning the EQ on in tube mode, but not boosting or cutting and leaving it flat. There are a lot of nice varities you can come up with. Experiment and have fun!

Audio Hombre 26th November 2006 07:31 PM

Thanks Nathan,

I figured that I would have to experiment with all the combination possibilities but was just hoping someone could give me an idea in advance, as to what sort of sound the channel produces in SS mode with XFRMR.

Ivo 26th November 2006 09:25 PM

Another very happy STT-1 user over here... But I use SS more than VT.

I like the directness and detail of the solid state mode. Most of the times I end up using Solid State pre and xfrm on vocals. When I switch to VT preamp to compare, the tube sound is nice - but subtle, doesn't blow me away - and I feel the vocal is a little less upfront. The Xfrm gives the vocal a nice weght, making the sound very upfront and intimate.

I have a EL Fatso next in my chain, using the tracking compression and some warmth on vocals. I can dial in quite some high end on the STT-1 EQ with the Fatso beautifully controlling sibilance and rounding off any edges. Without the Fatso, the Solid State mode on the STT-1 would maybe be a bit too clean for my taste on vocals.

Question for Audio Hombre: Do you use the compressor on the STT-1? I have struggled to get good settings for tracking on it and nowadays I just don't use the compressor anymore. I know two other STT-1 users who are not so happy with the compressor either (but very happy with the pre and EQ). How's the compressor working for you?


Ivo W.

Audio Hombre 2nd December 2006 08:21 PM

I thought I'd give the SS mode another go on a male vocal I recorded last week and have to say that it kinda grew on me, especially listening back after a few days. I tracked a F bgv in VT mode and the combination fo the 2 modes really worked in this instance for helping provide space.

Still havn't had a chance to try it on electric guitar and am looking forward to that.


Originally Posted by Ivo (Post 989313)
Question for Audio Hombre: Do you use the compressor on the STT-1? I have struggled to get good settings for tracking on it and nowadays I just don't use the compressor anymore. I know two other STT-1 users who are not so happy with the compressor either (but very happy with the pre and EQ). How's the compressor working for you?

Ivo W.

Yes, I use the compressor on every vocal I've done so far, but at very light settings both in threshold and ratio. I doubt I've seen more than a 2-3db reduction. No complaints so far.

I have to say that the compressor is much more 'usuable' than my 737's. I would how ever like to test it out more with an electric guitar, either clean or onset of clip and a snare, to really hear how the compressor performs.

Gregg Sartiano 2nd December 2006 08:55 PM


Originally Posted by Audio Hombre (Post 986809)
Are people around here using SS mode more so for "rock" vox by any chance?

I use the SS mode xfmr out 90% of the time, but that's with the Pearlman (almost all the time), which is a tube mic.

Even with a 57 on a guitar amp or DI bass (front panel) or bass --> bass preamp --> Line in (just for EQ and Comp) I still gravitate toward the SS mode.

Vocals are great with it -- and tambourine (Pearlman + Shure pad -15dB) or acoustic guitar (steel string with pick -- Pearlman in omni mode) are both incredible.

I'm thinking about looking for the tube upgrade. Did Millennia stock (hoard) some NOS Telefunkens or anything? Who's done the upgrade or bought it pre-upgraded?

Mike H 3rd December 2006 03:09 AM

Great units. I've never understood why more people haven't tried them.

When I summed/mixed with Folcroms, the Origins were by far my favorite pre's after the Folcroms.

Now that I sum/mix with 8816 and Mini Mixers, the Origins are still on the mix buss (Line In). With this setup, I usually use SS and transformers IN. They add both size and punch. Like Nathan says, for drums the tubes won't add that same punch, and of the trade-offs the drum punch usually seems to win. But it really depends on the type of music and what other gear you have.

Nathan has these units down cold. Like he says, the EQ in tube mode can be soft. But keep in mind, I also have a 33609 and Pultecs on the mix buss and lots of outboard gear on the individual tracks. Otherwise, the softness of the tube modes can be a plus. When I mixed with the Folcroms and had less outboard gear (and no Pultecs), I was often in tube mode to soften the digital. (I hear the mastering engineers collectively cringing, since the EQ in SS is a favorite for mastering).

BTW, putting the EQ in service while flat has an effect in both SS and tube mode. Often I will have the EQ IN, no EQ'ing, in SS. Lots of options.

Tracking with them is just icing on the cake.

Get some Mullards for tube mode.

Definitely fit in the category of, once you have them in the rack, they stay there.

Whenever I A/B the Origins in/out of a mix, it always sounds bigger and better with them in.

AMIEL 3rd December 2006 03:31 AM

The qurestion here is: Do you guys have the Standard tubes o the vintage Telefunken?
I have my Origin with the Telefunken tubes and the bronce plate...

Is right as Nathan say...the SS give you a faster attack:more puch.....
I do like the VT on Vocals when the singer have a lot of dinamics and a powerful voice with a great range, sounds silkier to me!

I guess the Telefunken tubes makes a great difference,
yes , many people don't have an idea how good Millenia STT1 is! they loose!

AMIEL 3rd December 2006 03:33 AM

Mike h!! very clever interesting Setup!! so do u think the Neve 8816 makes a bigger difference in your mix sound that the Origins??
If i did not understand wrong ...u insert the origings at the stereo mix right?

Mike H 3rd December 2006 04:49 AM

After much A/B'ing, the tubes I prefer are:
Vacuum Tube Input Amplifier - 12AX7 - Position V1 – Mullard CV 4004
Vacuum Tube Input Amplifier - 12AU7 - Position V2 – Mullard CV 4003
Instrument DI Input Amplifier - 12AT7 - Position V3 – Telefunken ECC81
EQ & Dynamics Amplifier - 12AX7 - Position V4 – Mullard CV 4004
EQ & Dynamics Amplifier - 12AU7 - Position V5 – Telefunken ECC 82.

Tubes make a BIG difference. The Mullards are a real plus when you are in/out of a DAW.

In addition to all the other flexibility, tube type is yet another option to play with.

Regarding the 8816, my mix bus setup now is:
8816 --> 33609 --> Origins --> Pultecs --> ATR-102 tape --> Pro Tools.

Sometimes, I'll add the P38 on the mix bus after the 33609 for even more punch. I hardly compress on either unit (according to the needles)...........just add the vibe of the 33609 and add the tightness of the P38.

I sum the effects (reverbs, delays, etc.) with the Mini Mixers and feed the summed Output pair to the 8816 mix bus (via the 2T bus inputs). Most main tracks are summed in the 8816/8804.

So, the 8816 does the amplification. I feed the Origins on the Line Ins and normally the net gain across the Origins is roughly zero (depending on how I tweak the gain on the front end and back end.............yet another way to alter the mix). Usually I have the gain higher on the front end, lower on the back end.

AMIEL 3rd December 2006 06:16 AM


give some character?


Mike H 3rd December 2006 08:01 AM


Originally Posted by AMIEL (Post 1000609)

give some character?


I am very happy with the 8816/8804. Big, punchy. Some color (not as soft and colored as the Mini Mixers). A little mid push, which works fine for me. Good balance overall.

However, recognize I have only tested the 8816 and the Chandler Mini Mixers, so I don't claim to have A/B'ed against the various other mixers.

Functionally, it is the only summer/mixer that meets all of my needs:
(1) Channel level control
(2) Channel panning
(3) Direct Outs (very valuable for me, to feed back to my patchbays and give me more options for multing to effects)
(4) Faders (for real time level adjustments during addition to automation that I do in Pro Tools). Nothing like having faders. No, they don't have that heavy console feel, but they do the job.
(5) A pair of inputs directly into the mix bus (for the Mini Mixer Outs).

It was wonderful indeed when I heard it.......................and really liked the sound. jkthtyrt

Thank goodness. It would have been a real downer if I had not liked what I heard. grrr