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Old 24th December 2021 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf ➡️
... And further, remember that dynamics in most classical is a ultra-deliberate function of whoever does the conducting, so any further dynamics control is actually distorting the artistic expression to some degree.
Doing broadcast-type work, I've found that many classical folk actually like the sound of a little pushback on big crescendos. But it's a good idea not to go out of your way to volunteer the reason why they're hearing what they're hearing. :-)
Old 24th December 2021 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobileavatar ➡️
For Vari-Mu, how would you rate the Vacucox U23(m) or Gyraf G22 in the context of classical recording?

Thanks.

-mobileavatar
Personally I think the Gyraf G22 is too coloured by itself (boxtone) to be used for classical. The Vacuvox is a machine that I wish I could afford (2x for stereo), because I'm quite sure I could make it work for my classical mixes. Absolutely wonderful sound!

The notion from Gyraf's Jacob that the workings of a Vari-Mu are not suitable for classical is something that I absolutely disagree with. I consider a Manley Vari-Mu unsuitable because of its heavy-handedness, but the Knif for example can be extremely subtle and is highly controllable, resulting in "inaudible" compression. The point with most classical recordings is that you need a very high end playback system in order to go effortlessly with the dynamics of such music when totally uncompressed. This usually results in very low level soft passages in order to keep enough headroom for the loudest parts. The art of a good classical compression is to find a believable balance that zooms in on soft details when needed and which paints the large picture in a controlled way as well, also on lesser playback systems.

Having said the above, Jacob's G24 is very high on my wishlist because of its special way of (optical) compressing. But this is not a Vari-Mu, which is the subject of this thread.
Old 24th December 2021 | Show parent
  #33
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Try to get a used Jünger Accent 2! Love mine!
An older Jünger D01/D02/D03 will do the same trick, but 44.1/48k only.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #34
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher ➡️
Personally I think the Gyraf G22 is too coloured by itself (boxtone) to be used for classical. The Vacuvox is a machine that I wish I could afford (2x for stereo), because I'm quite sure I could make it work for my classical mixes. Absolutely wonderful sound!

The notion from Gyraf's Jacob that the workings of a Vari-Mu are not suitable for classical is something that I absolutely disagree with. I consider a Manley Vari-Mu unsuitable because of its heavy-handedness, but the Knif for example can be extremely subtle and is highly controllable, resulting in "inaudible" compression. The point with most classical recordings is that you need a very high end playback system in order to go effortlessly with the dynamics of such music when totally uncompressed. This usually results in very low level soft passages in order to keep enough headroom for the loudest parts. The art of a good classical compression is to find a believable balance that zooms in on soft details when needed and which paints the large picture in a controlled way as well, also on lesser playback systems.

Having said the above, Jacob's G24 is very high on my wishlist because of its special way of (optical) compressing. But this is not a Vari-Mu, which is the subject of this thread.
Your comment on "lesser playback" systems speaks of the dilemma many music students/parents face these days. Most auditions and competitions switched to the online format, but few organizers standardized the loudness requirements or the playback device the adjudicators would use. As Youtube has become the defacto platform for viewing, submissions mastered at LUFS -14 with Peak @-1dBTP are very common. Some form of compression is inevitable.

Many understand classical recordings are best with minimal compression, but that only makes choosing a suitable compression tool more challenging, especially for semi-pros and amateurs like myself.

I know Vacuvox is exclusive, but I didn't realize it's even more so than the Knif. With the Knf Vari-Mu (temporarily?) discontinued, which would be your next pick? The RND MBP, G24, the Tubecore 3U or something else?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobileavatar ➡️
I know Vacuvox is exclusive, but I didn't realize it's even more so than the Knif. With the Knf Vari-Mu (temporarily?) discontinued, which would be your next pick? The RND MBP, G24, the Tubecore 3U or something else?
The Vacuvox is roughly the same price for one channel where you would get the most luxurious version of the two channel Knif Vari-Mu II. The Knif's discontinuation seems to be permanent though.

If I had to choose another Vari-Mu it would probably be the Tubecore.

The RND MBP does have some very useful tricks for compression, especially the adaptive limiter. Unlimited digital signal is going to sound very bland on most small systems, because you need to keep a lot of headroom for the few incidental peaks that may occur during a performance and the body of the piece will be in the lower dynamic regions of the playback system. So, a good limiter can be highly effective for this particular use and the MBP's is one of those that could be used for this job. However, the make-up gain of the MBP becomes quite coloured quickly, so bringing up the signal level can only be done with it for a few dB. More make-up should be done with an ultra clean amp.

The G24 seems to be very good at transparent compression, where one can shape the curve of the dynamic translation to a very high degree, due to the double compression action. Not totally sure about the boxtone though, as I have not been able to test it myself.

For (live) internet use I would probably choose the Elysia Xpressor: very flexible, transparent, and with the option to bend the compression curve. Good price as well. No limiter though. Here the TK may be a good option as well, because it has a setting for a very high compression ratio that can kick in at any given threshold level, practically acting like a limiter. A specialized limiter might be a good choice as well, of course, but maybe the limiter of your recorder/interface could work well enough too, depending on what you're using.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #36
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gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It worries me ever so slightly that you experience the G22 as intrinsically more colored than say the knif or vacuvox - it should definitely not be the case:

The thing with the G10/G22 (they are the same) is that we have designed the circuits so that it has a very wide transition into all boundary conditions - that we have a very gradual change of tonality into overload. This very much on purpose, because we believe that much of the benefit of running tubes in the first place is how they behave when pressed to some degree. And we go out of our way to put the control of this "pressing" into the hands of our users

However, this does NOT mean that the G10/G22 can be considered an overall colored compressor - only that you CAN get the color you dial in: When and if you choose to run the unit conservatively - e.g. at levels below +4dBu fsd, you can get very clean and neutral processing, to a degree where it even feels bland at its extremes..

So - if your G22 still reacts with unwanted coloring when backing it off a bit level-wise, it could very well be that it's tired and either needs a trimming, or, in worst case, a re-tubing. The tubes generally last a VERY long time, but fails on these are off course statistically distributed. PM or email me if you're unsure

/Jakob E.

(..yes, I have commercial interests in this - but I'm sorry if this post comes through as a marketing blurb, it's just that I feel there is a potential for misunderstanding the basic concept of the G22 and how it sonically relates to the other vari-mu units out there)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf ➡️
It worries me ever so slightly that you experience the G22 as intrinsically more colored than say the knif or vacuvox - it should definitely not be the case:

The thing with the G10/G22 (they are the same) is that we have designed the circuits so that it has a very wide transition into all boundary conditions - that we have a very gradual change of tonality into overload. This very much on purpose, because we believe that much of the benefit of running tubes in the first place is how they behave when pressed to some degree. And we go out of our way to put the control of this "pressing" into the hands of our users

However, this does NOT mean that the G10/G22 can be considered an overall colored compressor - only that you CAN get the color you dial in: When and if you choose to run the unit conservatively - e.g. at levels below +4dBu fsd, you can get very clean and neutral processing, to a degree where it even feels bland at its extremes..

So - if your G22 still reacts with unwanted coloring when backing it off a bit level-wise, it could very well be that it's tired and either needs a trimming, or, in worst case, a re-tubing. The tubes generally last a VERY long time, but fails on these are off course statistically distributed. PM or email me if you're unsure

/Jakob E.
Dear Jacob,

I assume your remarks are directed at me? I have a complex relationship with the Gyraf-sound and it seems that the idea of you and your test team of what is neutral and/or transparent is very different from mine and my clients. Even the boxtone of the solid-state side of my Gyraf G23-S is unusable in the context of classical mastering/mixing, so the possible state of the tubes is not a factor here. I have tried it many times, as I wanted to like that beautiful box, but I always got responses like "there's something unnatural going on", or "too soft sounding". And I had to admit that they were actually right, however subtle I had tried to use its settings. This is very unfortunate. There is no problem using that unit in the context of pop/rock and other genres that are allowed to sound processed. Much to my regret I cannot use the tilt EQ for my mixes that need it the most. The Gyraf sound is even stronger in the G22 to my ears, also at moderate settings. The Knif, in comparison does have a slight "hifi" vibe to it, but never so that it annoys any of my classical clients. On the contrary: they often like the subtle magical sparkle that this unit adds to the acoustic sound. This experience is also the very reason that I am a bit afraid of trying the G24: the promised neutrality might in fact be something that I cannot work with in reality, event though the functionality strongly appeals to me. I understand your (commercial) position, but I cannot (and don't want to) lie about my actual experiences as I wish to be a reliable source of information here, even though I sympathise with you and do I wish you a lot of success with your business. I would probably have a whole slew of Gyraf units in my rack if they would be more usable for classical music mixes. We're in the Remote Possibilities section here, where most of the posters have needs quite similar to mine, so honesty about these issues is vital to be maintained.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks, Earcatcher

I really value your honest opinion here - and I am completely with you that we do not need - or even want to - agree in our subjective perception of the personality of analogue units

Was just that I regularly run into users that misunderstand the intention of the "soft headroom" we try to implement. It's clear that if even the G23 in S-mode gets too-colored to you, it's definitely not this misunderstanding that bothers you..

All the best,

/Jakob E.

Last edited by gyraf; 4 weeks ago at 04:41 PM.. Reason: sp
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
BBC R4 Carols from Kings (one of the worlds oldest broadcasting occasions) was marred this year by unfortunate limiting and compressions
Choirs are exceptionally revealing of technique

Compress at your peril, limit and then dial back.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf ➡️
..for classical, I would tend to say neither: The artifacts of the vari-mu principle very rarely agrees with the sound ideal of (most) classical recordings.
Hehe, for what it’s worth your G10 is all over most of my recent string and piano recordings. Obviously it’s just being tickled…
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