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Thread: TapeOpCon 2005

  1. #1
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    TapeOpCon 2005

    What a time we had in New Orleans. Good fun, good friends, good GEAR! Who could ask for anything more?

    Rupert Neve was walking around and they had a both showing off his 5012. There were lots of new products. Lots of talented people just hanging around. And the food was wonderful. You should all come down and join us next year, first weekend in June, 2006.

    I'll be offering some short thoughts on some products as time permits. Here are the ones I typed up on the plane.

    Tape Op Report-6/13/05

    Presonus was showing their new Anthony DeMaria (ADL) designed tube preamp, the ADL 600. This is a surprisingly drastic departure for Presonus, reminiscent of when Alesis brought the VIPre tube preamp to market several years ago. This is a stereo tube preamp that has been in development for about 7 years. With the combined expertise of DeMaria's preamp design and Presonus' manufacturing, this unit is aimed at offering a "step up" option for those who begin with Presonus less expensive preamps and then want to graduate to something better. The Presonus customer can now move on up and stay with the Presonus line. The 2 RU unit has LED and VU metering and really nice knobs. The build quality and finish on the preproduction unit that I saw seems very nice. Proposed MSRP is $2500. [picture added below]

    The eye popper at the show was the Ferrari color-schemed Soundelux EL308. With a Ferrari red body with black pin stripes and a yellow and black Soundelux emblem on the hood, er, front of the mic, it's hard to miss the styling cues for anyone who cares about faster cars. Plus the name 308 is directly from Ferrari-the Magnum PI car. The only thing missing is the V12.





    This attention grabbing mic (I heard several people comment "What is THAT?" to David Bock, including me) features more than just a nice paint job. It also has the largest transformer and capacitor I've ever seen inside a mic. But the most unique part (there's more?) is the elliptical capsule. I've never seen anything like it. This capsule deals with in-band resonances that are inherent in circular diaphragm. According to David Bock, it reveals a new level of transparency, even compared to the ELUX 251, whose brass cylindrical body and shape it shares. Even the power supply has been redesigned and beefed up. The pride and no compromise design is very evident when talking with designer David Bock. Proposed MSRP is $8500.

    Jonathan Little of Little Labs is expanding his product with a mic preamp. ANOTHER mic preamp, you might ask? And rightly so. This is called the L-M-N-O-Pre and has several twists that you likely haven't seen before, including built in phase adjustment (like the IBP), resonance adjustment and more. I'll post a picture. [picture added below]

    Aspen Pittman of Groove Tubes had three of his Glory Comp compressors that were ready to be delivered to customers. This is the companion to the VIPre preamp. Sharing the same 3RU, black-front retro styling, the Glory Comp is a single channel, no compromise unit that is loaded with tubes just like the VIPre. It also shares a similar price point at $3500 MSRP.

    I saw the BUZZ ARC recording channel and must say that it looks very impressive. Is there anything this unit won't do? I read a very enlightening review in Sound on Sound a few months back that go into great detail about this preamp/equalizer/compressor unit which has separate I/Os for each section. It's like getting three separate units all in one box. Use the preamp on snare, the EQ on bass, and the compressor on the voice. Pretty cool. Priced around $2795, I think.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
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    I moderated the EQ Design Workshop with these participants.

    Dave Hill
    Dave Derr
    Dan Kennedy
    Ted Fletcher
    Geoff Daking
    Wade Goeke

    It was oustanding.

    And Ross Hogarth did a panel on ribbon mics which was wonderful. He was showing one and two mics techniques and signal paths for getting drum sounds, which he adds to his close mics. With one mic and two Chandler pieces (TG Channel and EMI Compressor), he got a killer drum sound in about 2 minutes flat. This is a hotel conference room. It was very cool.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  3. #3
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    And breakfast with George Massenburg and Dave Hill talking about digital theory and new ways of testing for problems that have not been quantifiable before was a treat. Not for the weak of heart though.

    To most people it would sound like aliens talking. Fascinating stuff.

    I had dinner with Dave Bryce (ADAM) Aspen Pittman (Grrove Tubes), Jonathan Little (Little Labs), Bob Olhsson and wife, and Dave Amels. It was some fun.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  4. #4
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    I saw the new Mojave mic and the new Korby FET and Tube mics, along with the new TFPro units, the Chandler "lunchbox" (more the size of an industrial toolbox).
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by 3D Audio Inc.:
    <STRONG>...Plus the name 308 is directly from Ferrari-the Magnum PI car. The only thing missing is the V12...</STRONG>
    Lynn, thanks for the report! But...the "8" in the 308 stood for its cylinder count. Thomas Magnum's borrowed 308 was a V8. See, with Ferraris, you've always had to pay real money for the V12s. I have a V12. It's been revving in my brain most of my life...
    I want a pony. -Dave Collins

    "Anyone who uses Pb-free solders has a faith-based engineering degree." -desert rat on edn.com, 7/30/08

    Murphy's law - "
    Anything that can go wrong, will." (Actually, this is Finagle's law, which in itself shows that Finagle was right.) - Bill Joy

    Blast!
    -Alamogordo naturalist, 1945

  6. #6
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    Sorry. I was probably thinking about the Testarossa. I told David Bock the only thing missing was the fins. That's when he told me the 308 didn't have fins. Testarossa again.

    For the uneducated (that's me).

    Testarossa:



    308:

    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  7. #7
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    Eben Grace showed me the new Grace remote controlled 8-channel preamp. I asked to see inside and he was proud to show it to me. He took the time to unscrew it and walked me through all the components, showed me the changes and was eager to show off his handiwork.

    Then the Presonus guys wanted to show me their new tube preamp. They had the top off and pointed out all the things that are different from their normal units. I asked about components and their sources.

    The LMNOPre from Little Labs had the top off and Jonathan was showing me the switchable polystyrene caps in the input section, the IBP phase adjustment section, the extra holes on the PCB for swapping out different op amps in the first stage.

    Even David Bock showed me the guts of the new 308 prototype in the privacy of his hotel room (the display model on the exhibit floor was empty inside), answering questions about each component, component mounting, wiring, finish, transformer, etc.

    But when I went to see the Portico and asked to see inside, I got a "finger tour" pointing to the lid of the box, describing what boards were where and where the transformers were. "Any chance I can see inside?" I asked. (I wasn't asking Rupert.) "No."

    It seemed very unusual to me.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  8. #8
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    Latch Lake was showing their amazing new mic stands. This is the ultimate mic stand. I have a picture for you to see. The most impressive part is how much weight it can hold at what extensions, and the accessory arms that can be added to a single stand. The owner of the company told me he can mic up a drum kit with 17 mics using only three stands. Pretty impressive.



    In the above image, you can see how many "arms" you can put on the one stand. Here you can see five, one of which has the right angle attachment extending the mic again. Steve Albini used this to mic the front (beater) head of the kick drum, with the same stand as the tom mics and the outside kick mics.




    Above you can see the weight attachment and the latches on the junctions. These will hold up to 40 lbs. each. And they are quick locks that tighten and lock, like the releases on racing bike axles.




    Notice the small base. It's 29 lbs. and will hold up more than a Starbird (a classic huge studio boom from the 50s). The central shaft locks into the base so you never have that "loosen the stand and it comes unscrewed from the base" thing that happens with Atlases all the time. Also, the center shaft and boom arm are triple extensions, so each extends up to 10'. Pretty cool. And then tie other boom arms on it as well and you could mic a singer/guitar player all with a single stand. Or put four mics on a piano with a single stand. Or mic the overheads from the center (XY) and with spaced cardioids using a single stand. Pretty darn cool, when you think about how much real estate you lose around the drums with all those mic stand bases or tripods.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  9. #9
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    Here's a picture of the Presonus tube preamp below.




    Below is the Little Labs preamp.

    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  10. #10
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    Here's Ross Hogarth (left) doing a workshop talking about using ribbon mics to record drums. Jeff Roberts of Latch Lake (the stand company) is on the right.



    This is the technique he showed about the world's fastest way to come up with a really good drum sound (in a hotel banquet room with two mics no less). It's a technique he uses all the time, even in real studios!

    Take a Coles 4038 and place it even with the top of the kick drum shell, about 6-8' away from the front of the kick. Run that into a Chandler TG Channel and then into the Chandler EMI limiter. Squash liberally and EQ to taste. He likes to pump up the bass into the limiter.

    He pulled up the one mic and within about 3 minutes had a drum sound that he himself admitted he could use on a record. It really sounded impressive.

    Then the Royer SF-24 was placed directly above that, with the diaphragms lined up, and that ran into a Great River MP-2NV. No compression or EQ. Pan those hard left and right and add those for some stereo width and depth, since they are picking up the back walls, in the corners, as well. Add that to the Coles.

    He also mentioned that if he had some Reslos, he might put them on tall stands up high right in the ceiling corners pointed away from the drums, just to get that low end bang to add in.

    It was fast and it sounded very cool. In no time.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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