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  • Channel Strips

    Do you use a channel strip for recording? I recently reviewed the Manley Labs CORE, and was extremely impressed with it, which kind of sparked the idea for this thread... if you'd like to check out the review, you can read it here.

    So, what are you using for a channel strip, and what do you like about it? Anything on your wish list?
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    The link doesn't work there Phil.

    When you say channel strip, this is what comes to my mind, channel strips for a professional analog consoles. Of course a horizontal layout wouldn't be any different electronically but operating a number of horizontal units would be allot tougher. I classify horizontal units as being a rack preamps with extras. If it had midi control and integrated with the DAW so you could can operate it from the Virtual DAW mixer I can see it being called a channel because its something you could use to mix with efficiently. But just standing in a rack? I think Manly is stretching the classification.



    Of course you don't need a bunch of these any more because of a DAW's multitracking capabilities. In fact you don't need any of them if you go 100% virtual. Plugins have gotten so good now the need to color your sound or limit the dynamic levels tracking isn't like it was when you recorded everything to tape. With that technology you had to target the space between the tapes noise floor and saturation, and even used saturation as an essential aspect of the sound recorded.

    I surely wouldn't mind having a Manley or any other the other Top end units. My needs aren't that rich however. I'd like to find a pair of UREI LA-4's at a decent price one of these days. I had one back in the 80's I used for recording and loved the way it compressed things. Maybe a Universal Audio 710 as a preamp which switches to tube or SS. Maybe when I retire I'll sell off my gear and downsize to a few high end units.



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    • #3
      I occasionally use an old Drawmer unit, which is billed as a preamp but has a bunch of different things it does (compression, EQ, send/return, etc. as well as gain staging).

      Echoing WRK's post, I think that my recent enthusiasm for DAWs is really about the plug-ins and virtual channel-strip aspect of things ... really makes life a lot easier.
      https://soundcloud.com/danhedonia

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      • #4
        Having hardware can be cool, and it does have the advantage of affecting the signal before hitting digital conversion, however I find plug ins to be more beneficial. Not only are they cheaper, I can use multiple instances of the same EQ/comp/etc, in as many different orders, permutations and combinations as I want. I can do it without having to re arrange a mess of cables, and I can save different settings between multiple projects so nothing is permanent (unless I render to audio instead of keeping everything in MIDI, which I never do for that reason).

        I suppose you can say that hardware/analog gear "sounds better" than software... but I find that most people cannot tell the difference and I know I certainly cannot.
        Fender MIM Strat (with DiMarzio Crunchlab)
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        • #5
          You can mix with hardware too. You can run a hybrid using your computer the same way as you'd use a multi track recorder. This is what they did in the beginning, especially with DAT recorders. You need an interface that has multiple inputs and outputs and route the outs through a mixing console and add your hardware effects then.

          The problem comes down to losses vs gains however. When you play the tracks back through your interface to the mixer its already undergone two conversions. One from analog to digital, then from digital to analog. After mixing through the console you still have to mix down to a stereo track to some medium. Chances are you would winding up recording it back to the computer and performing yet another Analog to digital conversion. Then if you play back the music it will yet again be passed through converters, often low quality for listening to the music.

          All of these conversions wont be so bad if you use high sample rates and use the best converters possible. If your interface is sub par and the hardware isn't really top notch, all of these conversions might produce more losses compared to what you might gain. If you use them before the first conversion tracking then do all your mixing in the box you wont have all those losses and artifacts collecting with each conversion.

          Which winds up being the best method is questionable. If it was 1995 with some of the first DAW programs and interfaces, I'd have to say the mixing console method may still be best. Todays DAW and plugins are very good. Many replica plugins still don't match their hardware counterparts in how they actually shape the sound, but there are some that are quite excellent and when you add in the conversion running an analog mixing board, they may in fact do a better job retaining sonic realism over hardware.

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          • #6
            The link should be working now - sorry about that!

            http://www.harmonycentral.com/expert...-channel-strip

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment

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