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Adding some warmth to digital setup?

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Anonymous
July 27, 2004 9:27:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
have much of a budget for extra gear.

Thanks.
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 9:27:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <4Tc8D33sJoBBFwQI@xtreme.pipex.net>, <nospam@nospam.co.uk> wrote:
>I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
>DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
>with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
>effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
>analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
>sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
>have much of a budget for extra gear.

How about a couple channels of good A/D and D/A?

How about an Ampex?
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
July 27, 2004 9:27:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

nospam@nospam.co.uk wrote:

> I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
> DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
> with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
> effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
> analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
> sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
> have much of a budget for extra gear.
>
> Thanks.


Turn off the air conditioning.

If you move your kit in front of a south facing window & open the shades,y
ou can get both "warmth" & "brightness" at the same time. Without speding
any extra cash.
Related resources
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 9:27:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

There is a product that is no longer manufactured called a Saturator by RSP
Technologies. This is not the end all in tube warmth by any means but it
will add some pleasant distortion to a lot of instruments and does a great
job on vocals. You see them on ebay every once in a while for under $200.

Neil R

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ce60k0$h9g$1@panix2.panix.com...
> In article <4Tc8D33sJoBBFwQI@xtreme.pipex.net>, <nospam@nospam.co.uk>
wrote:
> >I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
> >DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
> >with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
> >effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
> >analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
> >sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
> >have much of a budget for extra gear.
>
> How about a couple channels of good A/D and D/A?
>
> How about an Ampex?
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 9:27:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Neil Rutman <neilrutman@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>There is a product that is no longer manufactured called a Saturator by RSP
>Technologies. This is not the end all in tube warmth by any means but it
>will add some pleasant distortion to a lot of instruments and does a great
>job on vocals. You see them on ebay every once in a while for under $200.

I am constantly disturbed at the folks out there who insist on adding
"warm" distortion to their sound in order to try and hide the "harsh"
distortion that is there, rather than fixing the problem in the first
place and eliminating the harshness.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 9:28:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ce62uu$ni5$1@panix2.panix.com...
> Neil Rutman <neilrutman@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> >There is a product that is no longer manufactured called a Saturator by
RSP
> >Technologies. This is not the end all in tube warmth by any means but it
> >will add some pleasant distortion to a lot of instruments and does a
great
> >job on vocals. You see them on ebay every once in a while for under $200.
>
> I am constantly disturbed at the folks out there who insist on adding
> "warm" distortion to their sound in order to try and hide the "harsh"
> distortion that is there, rather than fixing the problem in the first
> place and eliminating the harshness.

Amen. To the original poster: Get a high-quality preamp (a Great River would
do for a start, not the NV version; on a lower budget, a Sytek will do a
good job too) and two channels of high-quality A/D. Assuming you're really
using decent microphones (an AKG 1000S doesn't qualify), your harshness will
be gone, gone, gone.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
July 27, 2004 10:03:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<nospam@nospam.co.uk> wrote in message...

> What would be the most cost
> effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup


Cost free = Use some EQ

Cost free = Underdrive all of your gain stages

Cost effective = Add a couple of outboard mic pres
Anonymous
July 28, 2004 10:55:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< nospam@nospam.co.uk >>
<< I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
have much of a budget for extra gear. >>

Digital desks can sound thin - especially the less expensive ones.
Sometimes the more eq you add the worse it sounds, even when you are just
trying to add low end, perhaps consider an analog eq. Be picky about where you
place your mics, try to get more low end and the sound you want without eq, by
mic placement. Look at your signal chain and choose the most direct path out
into the DA88's, even in a digital desk adding a gain stage/pot/fader in the
middle of the chain can "add math" and so impact the sound negatively.

In my experience many times people think tube when they really are looking
for "iron" in the sound. Micpres and Mics with transformers may add the
texture you feel is lacking more obviously than adding a tube device will. A
Great River, or a John Hardy, or a Neve 1272 or Telefunken 672 will all be an
improvement over the Spirit's micpres and move you back into "analog"
territory. A Neumann U87 or U89 are nice choices for a transformered mic if
they're in the closet. Not as clean and loud as the transformerless TLM103, but
i think they're nice with a Telefunken or Neve micpre.

For converters, the Waves rackmount L2 Limiter has great converters as
well as a great limiter in it, and has been selling for under $1500 lately, a
good deal on a double duty unit.

Good luck.

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
July 28, 2004 1:21:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 12:27:24 -0400, nospam@nospam.co.uk wrote
(in article <4Tc8D33sJoBBFwQI@xtreme.pipex.net>):

> I've currently got access to Spirit 328XD digital desk, recording onto
> DA-88's. I have a decent selection of mics and outboard - but nothing
> with valves and no outboard preamps. What would be the most cost
> effective way of introducing some warmth into this setup - being used to
> analogue setups this is my first encounter with digital and it's all
> sounding rather harsh and clinical despite my best efforts - but I don't
> have much of a budget for extra gear.
>
> Thanks.

Sounds like bad conversion to me. You can't fix that by adding other things.
You have to have good conversion. Either that or the preamps in the desk
could also be making things worse by not playing well with your mics.

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford
!