Things that blew my mind at AES 2009

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
Marc Alan Goodman
george martin
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Things that blew my mind at AES 2009

Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:32 am

I always go in to AES expecting to be unimpressed. Usually I'm right. This year there were a few pieces of gear that checking out on the floor validated the hell out of. I figured I'd share. Please keep in mind that I haven't gotten to test any of this gear out in real studio conditions yet, this is just first impressions.

1) Shinybox Guillotine:

The guillotine is something I've been asking for for a long time. A simple pair of high/lowpass filters for the 500 series. Shinybox took the idea and filed it to a point. The layout is beautiful, the filters themselves seem to sound great, and the functionality is unbelievable. I'm planning on picking up a couple as soon as the cash becomes available.

2) Elysia MusEq:

I should start out by saying that I think the Mpressor may be the most inovative thing I've seen in the world of hardware compression for as long as I've been recording. So of course I was excited to check out their new stereo parametric EQ. As i could have guessed, while being extremely difficult to describe, it sounds musical in a way that doesn't relate clearly to any EQ I've ever used. There's nothing to compare it to. You'll have to make your own decision about whether that's good or bad, but personally I'm EXTREMELY excited to get the demo unit in to Strange Weather and see what I can do with it.

3) Bricasti M7 V2:

The M7 was such a jump in reverb processing that it's hard to compare it to previous units. Since picking one up for the first time ever I feel like I can add "room" to a source instead of adding an effect. Because of that I've ended up using the bricasti on close mics for the drums and leaving the room mics out of the equation more and more of the time. The bricasti just sounds more real than the real mics unless they're placed extremely well.
V2 is a completely different story. The guys at Bricasti seem to have taken people's praise to heart and found a way to add an entirely new value to their product. The v2 algorithms don't sound real the way that the V1s do. They sound more ethereal. So now you can take all of their presets and swap them between sounding like a real space (v1 settings) or sounding like an even better version of classic reverbs (particularly lexicon or AMS verbs from what I heard). The V2 chip is a free upgrade for everyone who already owns a unit, and you can switch back and forth between V1 and V2 setting with the press of a button. To top all that off there are a whole pile of new and extremely interesting presets which also seem to represent emulations of some of the classic verbs.
When I got my M7 I sold my Lex 224xl. They didn't do the same thing (not even close), but I found that my PCM70 could cover all of the territory I needed from the 224xl while not making me cry nearly as hard when it finally dies and is unable to be repaired. Now I think it's time to let go of the PCM70 and put another M7 in the racks.

4) Purple TAV:

It's been announced for a minute but Purple only started shipping them this week. I finally got to spend a minute talking with Andrew about them and its seems that they're pretty much 10 band versions of the same eq architecture as the ODD. Anyone who knows me or has been to Strange Weather knows that right now my API 1608 is half loaded with ODDS, just waiting to be filled up the rest of the way. I'm demoing the TAVs asap, and if I were a betting man I would predict that somewhere between 8-16 of them will end up feeling necessary for my place in the near future. The only other EQ I'm considering for the desk is next

5) Chandler Little Devil EQ:

I'd read online that the Little Devil is Wade's take on the neve 1081 eq. After talking to him at the show I find out the answer is a bit more complicated. In reality it's based on the 33114 broadcast EQs that fill up the Neve 5316 console he purchased a while ago. These are the same modules that fill up the desk at Studio G, and I'm very comfortable with them. However Wade seems to be a man who is never satisfied with simply reissuing something (especially when there are plenty of other reissues available!). By kicking the rail voltage up to the full 32 volts available in the 500 format he seems to have brought a whole new degree of life to the concept.


All and all I was surprised to find myself spending hours walking around AES actually listening to things this year. If you're near new york and were wavering on whether to go or not I highly suggest you get your act together and stop by.

User avatar
losthighway
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2006
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Post by losthighway » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:12 am

Thanks Marc. You just lead me to mentally spend thousands of dollars I haven't made yet. Everyone loves cool stuff!

So I'm assuming the Guillotine is sweepable, it's not just fixed cutting up to, or down to a certain frequency is it?

User avatar
Marc Alan Goodman
george martin
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:19 pm

Tell me about it

Yeah, it's fixed frequencies but there's like 15 or so frequencies for each filter. Plenty of options.

User avatar
acjetnut
pushin' record
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: NYC

Post by acjetnut » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:10 pm

For me, I would say the Purple Audio ODD eq's were some of the nicest eq's I tested. You can really crank them and they sound great! The Manley massive passive eq and vari-mu pretty much blew me away. None of those are "new" products per se, but it was my first experiences with them.

User avatar
Recycled_Brains
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2054
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Albany, NY
Contact:

Post by Recycled_Brains » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:46 am

For me, it was all about compressors this year.

I was very impressed with the new Daking stereo FETIII compressor, but even more with the FETII single channel. The III was very neutral and seemed like a wise choice for the mix bus, while the II had instant vibe to it.

The Chandler Germanium Compressor was a lot of fun as well. Nice chatting with Wade about that one. Lots of vibe with that, and the not-so-subtle differences btwn. the knee settings make it seem like it's a very versatile unit. I think it would be a worthwhile investment for those of us that don't have the budgets for tons of compressors, but rather a few choice ones that cover a lot of ground.

The UBK Fatso was completely awesome as well. Gregory Scott, the designer, spent some time walking me through it, and I was very impressed with its ease of use, and general character. The warming circuit (same as FATSO) is really cool, and the compression presets are very useful. I could see this being a great tracking compressor.

I also got to hear some of the new Shadow Hills stuff, most notably the mono Optigraph and Vandegraph (stereo) 500 series compressors. That company has seriously made me reconsider diving into the 500 series format.

About the 500 series... Jesus christ, EVERYONE is making stuff for that now. Daking was showing his new 500 rack and preamp, Shadow Hills had tons of awesome stuff, Purple, API was showing a new compressor for the format, etc.... insane. I'm seriously reconsidering diving head first into that format.

The absolute highlight of the day for me was meeting and talking with Oliver Archut of TAB-Funkenwerk. Amazing and friendly guy (even remembered my name from my dealings with him 2 years ago). Such a wealth of knowledge, and more than willing to share it with you. Spent the last 1/2 hour there talking about his design philosophies, the new CS-1 and forthcoming CS-4 microphones, his new V77 ribbon preamp, and single channel V72, as well as some design updates he's been making with existing products. Most noteably that Latchlake is now doing his metal work, which looks/feels outstanding, and more solid than any other pieces I've come across. Seriously made my day. It's so refreshing to meet a designer that talks about his gear and how he makes it, with the same pride that we talk about out music.
Ryan Slowey
Albany, NY

http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

User avatar
calaverasgrandes
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3233
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:23 pm
Location: Oakland
Contact:

Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:19 pm

I wasn't at this years AES, but yes the Shadow Hills stuff is awesome. Don't recall the fellows name but very nice guy.
The explosion in 500 series is crazy. It's been around forever, but only recently has it mushroomed so much. Not like the project studio is such a new thing anymore. Maybe its a push on APIs part?
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

User avatar
sfsonarboy
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:18 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Post by sfsonarboy » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:41 pm

I was a bit surprised at how scaled down a lot of major vendor's booths were (e.g., single booths instead of "islands"), and major players who weren't there. Was impressed as others mentioned at the explosion of 500-series items, and love how many boutique/small companies were there and their impact on the sector.

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by roscoenyc » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:42 pm

Wide range of 670 clones out there. AnaMod, Tabfunkenwerks, Analoguetube.
$3,600, $7,000 and $18,000

Audio Technica had 2 new ribbons which had been announced but they also
have been listening and have introduced a Stereo 4050 that I bet a lot of folks
will find really useful.

Awful lot of vendors not there. The had the room cut down in size on both sides compared to the last NY Show.


(none of the above was 'mind blower' though)
After saying hello to a few people I was back on my bike and out of there in 2 & 1/2 hrs

Shane Michael Rose
steve albini likes it
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:11 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY
Contact:

Post by Shane Michael Rose » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:49 am

endless analog clasp was awesome.

anamod 660 and tape emulation box.

new radial 500 series enclosure with a built in 8 channel summing mixer with pan and bus insert. SICK. under a grand is even better.

AstroDan
george martin
Posts: 1366
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 12:07 pm
Location: Avoca, Arkansas

Post by AstroDan » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:47 am

$18,000 isn't a bad price.
"I have always tried to present myself as the type of person who enjoys watching dudes fight other dudes with iron claws."

AstroDan
george martin
Posts: 1366
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 12:07 pm
Location: Avoca, Arkansas

Post by AstroDan » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:48 am

...oh wait, I'm not on the Montauk Real Estate forum anymore.
"I have always tried to present myself as the type of person who enjoys watching dudes fight other dudes with iron claws."

User avatar
Marc Alan Goodman
george martin
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:01 pm

You scoff, but the ADL 670 I have was WELL worth the money. Mind you i got it for half what they sell for new, but it's still a crap ton of money to spend on a compressor.

cgarges
zen recordist
Posts: 10865
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:26 am
Location: Charlotte, NC
Contact:

Post by cgarges » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:37 pm

calaverasgrandes wrote:Maybe its a push on APIs part?
More likely the dramatic increase in the cost of getting a UL listing for power supplies that happened a couple of years ago. 500-compatible modules don't require this licensing since their power supply is external. That's also why we're seeing more wall warts with inexpensive gear.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

cgarges
zen recordist
Posts: 10865
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:26 am
Location: Charlotte, NC
Contact:

Post by cgarges » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:40 pm

roscoenyc wrote:a Stereo 4050 that I bet a lot of folks
will find really useful.
Holy shit! REALLY? Man, I've been railing about that for years. In fact just TODAY I was talking to a drummer about how badly I wanted them to make one as I was setting up a pair for an MS drumkit setup.

You don't have any kind of info about it, do you, Roscoe? I'm gonna check their website right now.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

User avatar
Sean Sullivan
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2551
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Nashville
Contact:

Post by Sean Sullivan » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:44 pm

Still waiting for a Luna reunion

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: darjama and 22 guests