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Reply To: Mic Pre Modification – Not

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Hi Yannis:

I should be working with my audio stuff instead of being online. But I can't get this notion out of my head that there is way to use Harmonizers as character added channel strips – like tube and Great River pres. Bill Putnam Jr., the CEO and chief bottle washer of United Audio, claimed in an interview that they are using Physical Modeling and not Impulse Response like I had thought on their plug-ins. Of course UA puts the old circuit diagrams into DSP form first.

I've done Karplus-String Physical Modeling on the Orville. It is a very simple way to get a plucked string effect with a resonant delay line. However to make a Harmonizer sound like a Great River mic pre would probably require weeks of tweaking a lot of modules. Ironically in power lines at least loaded transformers produce odd and not even harmonics like triode tubes.

It may be possible to digitally get the best of all possible mic pres all selectable in one large patch. I've studied the Harmonizer patches of classic gear and they just translate the analog signal path into DSP without trying to capture any special sonic characteristics.

The Bose L1 Tonematch has some features that are halfway to the future of Public Address. You tell it the instrument and it sets the tone control range accordingly along with some undocumented slight EQ'ing. That much could easily be made into a Harmonizer patch. In the near future a sound man will send a signal through their PA to ascertain the room acoustics, then the reverb and EQ will be adjusted automatically to that used in the studio using Impulse Response modeling. As for stadiums… use weapons grade speakers.

Back in the dark ages of audio, a couple who had their own act tipped me off to always mastering to cassette tape in the red. One famous (at the time) producer had a channel on his mixing board modified to something like +12 dB to make sure he got tape saturation on guitars. The Nuendo tape saturation plug-in is called Magneto and not Dynamo like I wrote.

Chandler has the Curve Bender, a stereo EQ with the same layout as the Massive Passive. You might want to listen to it before buying a Massive Passive. I haven't heard the thing so I can't say much more than it looks like a serious competitor with a few more features. I think a big consideration is not to load up on too much tube gear (like I did) because it can make the sound muddy. Tubes have too slow of a response time for peak limiting and this limitation is probably applicable to general clarity. With a DAW some tube gear is essential to get rid of that shrill or crystal clear digital tone.

This place should be called "Klepto Rica." Seven years in LA (but not Tibet) and nothing disappeared.