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Old 05-22-2003, 11:13 PM
Kleekoh Kleekoh is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 68
Default Hardware recommendations?

I wanted to get an outside opinion.

I use a Digi 002 in a digital home recording studio, and really need to dive in and get some great plugins for EQ's, Compressors, Reverb, etc. but after coming to the conclusion of wanting a more analog sound, I thought about buying external hardware instead of plugins?

What would be someone's opinion who knows about this stuff?

Would having an outboard rackmount Compressor, EQ, Reverb etc. benefit the overall sound in the end?

If so, what type of gear would you recommend?
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Old 05-23-2003, 06:50 AM
HornedHorse HornedHorse is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: No. St. Paul, MN
Posts: 117
Default Re: Hardware recommendations?

Low end (less than 500 per)good VALUE (quality):

Compressor: FMR Really Nice Compressor.
Equalizer: I haven't heard anything in this price range that rivals Waves plugins... however the Aphex aural exciters DO create tonal variation that can perform the same task (i.e. a place in the mix that sounds good and doesn't conflict)very nicely.
Reverb: cheaper Lexicon, TC Electronics units are nice... but keep in mind that ALL reverb units (unless you buy an old spring reverb or something) are digital - and at this price range they are largly comparable to plugins.

High End (+500 to $$$$$$):
Compressor: Avalon, Manley, Focusrite
Equalizer: Avalon, Manley, Focusrite
Reverbs: Lexicon, Sony, TC Electronics

As in everything else, if you are a careful shopper you get what you pay for - but don't buy anything (except the FMR's... which you may have a hard time auditioning as they have very limited distribution - but are great) until you've heard it to see if it will suit your purpose.


Let your ears guide you - be aware, but don't get too caught up in specs (a box can have great specs in certain ways and still sound like crap, and vice versa) be afraid to but a cheap box... or spend a little more if your ears are both saying "YES!"

HH
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Old 05-23-2003, 08:19 AM
Duardo Duardo is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 978
Default Re: Hardware recommendations?

How much would you be willing to spend? There may not be a whole lot in the under-$500 range, but if you spend a little more than that you can do well. A channel strip-type box which has a preamp, EQ, compressor and often more may be a good bet since you can use it on the front and back ends if necessary. I really like Focusrite's Voicemaster Pro in that price range...it's got a lot of bells and whistles, but they really work.

One place where I'd say even cheaper outboard gear really can make a difference is reverbs...even though they're digital as well, even the cheapest Lexicon and TC reverbs will outperform the best native reberbs hands-down (with the possible exception of Altiverb). It's a processing power issue...reverb is complicated and takes a lot of DSP power, and native reverbs have to be written so that they won't kill your processor (and depending on the speed of your processor, the better native plugins like the Waves Renaissance reverb or Altiverb may do that anyhow). I'd stay away from most of the other cheap reverbs though.

And if you can't check out what you buy first, make sure you can return if if you're not happy with it...

-Duardo
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