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Old 04-26-2012, 12:43 AM   #40
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,524

This is certainly a 'debatable' topic ... ESPECIALLY when two different schools of experience prevale... Those that have ONLY worked in the digital DAW environment, and those of us that came up from the console, tape world.

I still recall the day the first RDat 2 trk deck was installed at one of the studios I worked. These were to be used as digital backups for the Studer 1/2" mastering deck.

Printing to BOTH simultaneously, and then checking playback ...

The RDat sounded EXACTLY like what we heard during the mixdown out of the NEVE console.

The 1/2" 30ips playback from the Studer tape deck .... sounded better.

The tape imparted its' magic into the mix.

As to consoles, and their inherent 'sound' ... well ... that was NOT the general DESIGN INTENT ... The design was to provide a range of routing configurations, flexibility, along with eq, dynamic control in as CLEAN a way possible. NOTWithstanding the introduction of VCA fader automation in some of the early MCI [and other] boards.

The consoles were NOT 'sound efx' units ... although, working the gain structure brought out different characteristics. Nothing really different than what we did with tape levels, OR choosing different tape formulations. [Why one would choose Scotch 250 for one project, and Ampex 456 for another, as example].

That being said ... the consoles DID have a 'type' of sound, in particular, the EQ sections brought their own flavors.

With ALL the capabilities that a, say, $750K NEVE or SSL console had ... we STILL were mindful of signal routing. We OFTEN bypassed MUCH of the console electronics and patch straight to tape when practical. This would MINIMIZE to HALF the console in the path ... However ... we had to bring up sounds through the console for mixdown.

Without boring any further ...

I would say that consoles do have a sound. It was not uncommon to choose a studio for a particular group because of the console [and other considerations]. Back in the day, cutting an R&B/Funk band on an SSL got 'that' sound. I wouldn't hesitate to cut a rock band on an API console, or track a country group on a NEVE. While today, we might track that country group on an SSL.

Bottom line ... the console was never the determinant whether the song went to Number 1, or was a flop.

There are certain styles of music that have really evolved SINCE the digital revolution. For these 'styles', a consoles character may not be a consideration.

What makes this all the more difficult topic continues in the comparison between 'real' instruments and their digital emulations.

Example, I own a LINN drum [purchased from Rodger] ... I also have LINN DRUM sample libraries. When I hear the library, you know it is a LINN drum. But when you fire up the actual LINN drum instrument, and play those built in samples through ITS' built in amp/mixer ... THAT is the sound of a real LINN Drum.

Similarly, comparing guitar amp simulators to, say a Fender tube amp, or an original Rhodes piano, or a Hammond B3 ... the samples can sound 'just like it' ... but it just doesn't hold to the real thing. [debatable ... of course]. Sometimes convenience becomes the deciding factor. But if given the choice, I'd probably choose real Ziljian cymbals .

Software emulation of consoles? Well, I did by the Statson VST because it sounded decent, and the shelving filters were nice ...

For the closest console sound? I had to choose NEBULA and the selection of 3rd party libraries prepared for it. These are convolutions of actual equipment. Much like the difference between convolution reverb and algorithmic ones. need both.

I'll look into this VCC unit too ... BECAUSE ... as good a NEBULA sounds, no QUAD core that I own stands a chance. I will expand my 'server' version to spread the massive load.

again ... sorry for boring everyone.
RJHollins is offline   Reply With Quote