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12-15K to spend on outboard, help me choose wisely?
Old 3rd September 2015 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by jakeblues ➡️
OP, I apologize for all of the sermonizing that went on in this thread. It really got off track in a strange way.

I'd say some fat, beefy, transformery preamps would be a good way to start. Maybe get 2 stereo pairs so you have a couple of sounds to choose from. For beef, A-designs Pacifica is the best I've yet used. I imagine having an Aurora GTQ-2 would benefit you as well, especially with EQ capabilities; I haven't used it but I'm well familiar with the Neves it's based on.

A range of outboard comps to choose from will make some impact. Sometimes just the right comp gives something just the right sound. You can try 20 plugins and still not get the impact you're looking for. Look for one-trick ponies that nail a particular sound. DBX-160 VU, API 525, Pendulum OCL-2 (great comp), and an 1176 of some kind come to mind for me, but also consider trying buss comps like API 2500, JLM MAC, SSL bus comp (or Serpent SB4001), A-designs Hammer. (I don't have much experience with the aforementioned bus comps.) I would guess the transparent/vibey tube stuff, like Manley Vari-Mu, might not get you quite as much "punch" mileage, though they are great in their own right.

Also, some outboard reverb options might give you some width and depth if you're having trouble getting it in the box. I built a 4-tank (2 channels in humbucking configuration) outboard spring reverb that gives me more width and depth on guitars than anything else I've tried in the box or out.

Hope all this helps.
Hey guys, thanks for keeping this topic alive and on page. I've been talking a lot with a few friends and their larger professional studios and it seems a general consensus tells me hardware compressors could be a good start. Basically being able to shape the dynamic while having a little sound enhancement is a good combination. I also would REALLY like a nice one or two for sonic choices, it's just a matter of being able to test drive options. Damn do I wish there was a place close by that i could try out some of everybody's suggestions. I'm totally sold on the h8000fw by the way. I'm eyeing this one on eBay for $4300! Wooooo!
Old 3rd September 2015 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by M.o.T.s ➡️
Check out the Hardware compressor limiter comparison thread.
You'll find most of the High-End units.
From those clips, personally I loved the tube units: Qes Labs Variable Gm, Retro 176 pair, Manley Vari-Mu.
These are really what sets professional from amateur.
On the clean side, the Alan Smart C2 sounded very interesting to me.
Thanks for the post, I'll check that out tonight. I don't know why but it completely slipped my mind that I could just check shoot outs on here for tonality/behavior differences. I just hope someone else's recordings translate well enough on my system to get an idea.
Old 3rd September 2015
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Has anybody focused specifically on the front end or back end at the beginning of this process?
Old 4th September 2015
Lives for gear
DomiBabi's Avatar
🎧 5 years
I still recommend the tweakers. A pair of these covers soo much ground, compression and tone-wise.

It quickly became the studio's go-to, replacing our distressors.

Works for tracking, mixing, buses, master.... for just adding dirt, as a transient shaper, to push things forward in a mix.

It can sound like a variety of types of compressors.

I can also vouch for the Culture Vulture super 15 as a magic secret weapon tone box with comp characteristics for processing stems and groups... It can be subtle or rip your face off.
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