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Dear god help me.. I have been bitten by the 500 Series bug!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Dear god help me.. I have been bitten by the 500 Series bug!
D/A A/D
So I am seriously thinking about jumping into some 500 series gear, the new chandler has me chomping @ the bit... The new Shadow Hill stuff looks amazing, and there is just SO MUCH out there right now.

So who is rocking a 500 setup??? School me boys, I'ma need some learnin'...

help
Babaluma
i was sorely tempted a couple of years ago, but decided to go for full size outboard instead, mainly because i wasn't likely to be needing a mobile setup, and i had heard that the power supplies were generally better in standalone gear. it's also nice to have a bit more speace to tweak stuff.

if you are stuck for space or need a mobile setp, it's ideal though. i am rather partial to the purple rack.

i started a thread about the availability of 500 series modules on the tapeop forum a couple of years ago:

http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=49035

i believe there is a similar thread on gearslutz too.

i don't see any 500 stuff in my future, but you never know. wink let us know what you get and how it sounds!
JohnLRice
RIGHT before I jumped into building a modular synth I was flipping out over 500 series mic pres etc! I kept thinking to myself "I think part of the reason I like these so much is that they look a little like modular synths!" hihi hyper

I have the Brent Averill 11 space rack mount box and I think it's awesome, very well made! applause (I started with a 6 space rack but HAD to move up to an 11! thumbs up ) I highly recommend Brent's racks!
http://brentaverill.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&It emid=31

Brent's 500 series 312A preamp is also most excellent (I have one):
http://brentaverill.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3&It emid=30

I also have a Shadow Hills Mono Gama and an API 512c, both most excellent! hyper

I have an Old School Audio pre to which, I was a little undewhelmed by, but I kept it because it sounded a lot different (darker) than the others. (good to have choices)

And of course, I have ALL of the A-Designs Audio 500 series mic pres! hyper hyper hyper hyper hyper
http://www.adesignsaudio.com/p1_emseries.html
They are all really great!
I was fortunate to get in on the early beta testing and I ended up doing pictures for the A-Designs web site and promo material so I bartered my photo time and efforts for some deep discounts!! w00t They have since gotten a new photographer who does some excellent work too cry but logistically using me probably wasn't practical for them (they had to ship stuff to me etc and I'm sure there are more than a few compotent and convienient photographers in the Bay area! lol )

Here's a couple of my pics you may have see before here on Muff's or GearSlutz:




goiks
the a-designs p-1 (500 series/one channel of the pacifica) is indeed beautiful. howver, i think i'm about to sell mine (and 2-space 500hr rack) to get a metric halo uln-8. i've been whittling down my setup to be even more mobile. /remote.
Kent
Modulez iz Modulez iz Modulez... it's all crack!

I've got some early Aphex CX-1 (compressors) & EQF-1 (EQs) in a lunchbox which I really like. I'm also partial to the dbx 900-series modules. When I bought them, there was actually more variety in that format than in 500. 500 has exploded like Euro-rack.

Check out the Buzz Audio & Purple Audio stuff. Really nice.
Fnord
Currently rocking a half full purple sweet 10 rack.

Purple Biz MK- I like, sounds good, has gain AND level controls, which I find to be an incredibly useful feature.

Shadow Hills Mono Gama - 3 difft output transformers == 3 difft "flavors" of pre in one slot. verynice.

Chandler Ltd. Germanium pre - Doesnt work in every case, works in mine, sounds tasty.

Purple Odd eq - It's the only EQ i own, so I have nothing to compare it to. I could add in a bunch of annoying adjectives here about how it adds "sparkle and shine" to my tracks, but really, I only use it subtractively, and in small doses at that.

Purple Action Compressor - Again, I have nothing to compare it to, save for some compressor/gate guitar pedals. It uh, does what it's supposed to do, but comparing it to other hardware compressors isn't something I'm in a position to do.


I sometimes kick myself for not getting pairs of my pre's, so keep that in mind.
Babaluma
it sounds like you have a nice 500 rack fnord, i have to admit to wondering what all those tasty pieces would sound like in my studio.

i'm in the same position as you really, in that i don't have anything to compare stuff to. i have a stereo eq, a stereo pre and a pair of comps. i have some nice pieces, but have never had the chance to demo a lot of the stuff i really wish i could. all i know is that since acquiring these things over the last 18 months or so, the quality of sound in my studio has like quadrupled timed a zillion. applause

(sorry, bit drunk...) Guinness ftw!

at least two of everything is nice because it means you can use stuff for processing stereo tracks/whole mixes/mastering stuff through etc. not to mention the m/s fun you can have. i've found that applies to certain synth modules too!

screaming goo yo screaming goo yo screaming goo yo
Soy Sos
I have a 6 space lunch box.

2x API 512-c ... Amazing clean mic pre, seems to sound great on everything. Total high end solution for all my mic-ing needs.

1x Purple Biz mic pre ...Sounds great on almost everything. Really useful DI
1x Purple Action compressor. Clean and accurate, but I'm not in love with it.
Looking to trade towards the Chandler comp of some other 500 comp.

2x Speck EQ's ... Clean, useful, flexible, accurate but not really vibey.

That's what I've got. I don't regret the investment, I use the lunch box on every tracking session at my studio. Mostly though I track vocals through my
Jim Williams modded dbx 160's
http://www.audioupgrades.com/

I have a firm policy not to lust after more modules. My studio is my business and more 500 series stuff will not make me more money.
LOL!
lol
Reptil
no lunchbox, but a wooden box with two API 550a (Huntington 2520)
this week I jumped the gun on two 550 from the Demedio desk (which is now being decommissioned)
I also have 2 DIY kits of Peter Purpose 525 type compressors, but it's quite a difficult build, and I want to do some synth DIY first, before I fuck that up. It's a 525 with attack and decay. Ed Anderson transformer. I'll get the red dot 2520 clones,
I'm in love with the seventies API sound. So nasty nice. oops

Other stuff that may have to add to my setup are these API 312 type preamps:
http://www.eisenaudio.com/products/eac312v/
http://www.classicapi.com/catalog/

A compressor that is much praised is the BAC500. I haven't heard it.

Radial stuff: DI with phase shift!


and the "Voice Of God" (VOG)


and the "workhorse" w00t
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/attachment.php?attachmentid=138337d=125 4462279
parasitk
Kent wrote:
Modulez iz Modulez iz Modulez... it's all crack!


Too true.

I have a(n older) lunchbox with a Mono Gama and API 525 in it. I'm looking to add a second Gama, OR sell that and buy two of those Eisen EAC312V's Reptil mentioned. I'm torn at the moment. I'd be selling my A-Designs REDDI to make either happen. I love it, but I want to focus tracking everything through the same pair of pres/DIs. Several years ago I started to get caught up in the "optimized input for xyz source" game. Although it got me some awesome sounding stuff (REDDI, Phoenix Audio Nice DI) I'm not in that head anymore.

And I too happen to really dig the old API sound! love
panda30y
Welcome to the deep end of gear buying D/A A/D! d'oh!
500 series stuff is like a gateway drug to more expensive recording equipment.

Ok here's my response to your post. 500 series gear is fantastic, and has a lot of support similar to eurorack gear in modular synth-land. What exactly are you after? Pre's? Eq's? Compressor? Or everything?

I've noticed you are lusting for shadow hills and chandler (not a big surprise w/ the trends i've seen on this forum hmmm.....), and they do make good sounding modules. If you are interested in the new Chandler Little Devil series compressor or EQ, I would have to say my personal experience is that it isn't that great, and I wasn't terribly impressed meh. In terms of eq's and compressors, there are better options in my opinion in the 500 series market. Check out API, because their eq's are just dead sexy, and sound great. Avedis has a sweet sound eq too. Compressors I personally prefer to go with standalone units, as none of the 500 series compressors sound nearly as good as many of the standalone compressor units, including chandler and shadow hills 500 series compressors to their standalone compressors, but you will be paying a premium for standalone.

Shadow Hills is a smaller company that is getting better and better with every month. The Mono Gama rocks, and is very versatile with the selectable transformers. And their compressors are pretty good, but again I think the standalone compressors sound better, and I would prefer to get those instead. Just expect their standalone outboard gear to be fucking huge and heavy ambulance.

Here is what I prefer in 500 series. A lot of the pre's and eq's sound great in 500. In terms of preamps, API 512c, BAC API 312, Avedis MA5, and Shadow Hills Mono Gama are the 4 I think offer the best/most in terms of pre amps. If I wanted a tube preamp, I would get LaChapell, and that is the only 2 slot preamp I would get. The Great River preamp doesn't tickly my fancy as much as any of the other preamps I've listed. But all of the other options will still sound good, I just prefer these 4 preamps in terms of sound, quality, and features to all the others.

In terms of EQ's, I really like the API EQ's (550, 550A, 550B, 560), and the Avedis EQ. I can't say enough about Avedis, and I think they are greatly overlooked on this forum. Fantastic stuff. Also Brent Averill (BAC) is a fantastic company, and their equipment is amazing as well and don't get as much attention as API, Shadow Hills, and Chandler with this forum.

But there are also some great preamp/eq modules such as the newer LaChapell which finally fully utilitzes the 2 slots you take up as you can use the second slot for line inputs into the eq, or you can just toggle a switch and send the preamp's lineout straight into the eq, so you could run the two channels in parallel. Also, perhaps the tastiest is the Helios Type 69 preamp/eq. It should come out in 500 series format in the next year or so, and it sounds fantastic. I've had my hands on the prototype for an hour or so, and I think it sounds as good as the larger type 69 format they offer. In fact, I probably still would drop 500 series format just to get the Helios type69 format because I love the eq's and pre's enough that I wouldn't want any of the other 500 series offerings.

Now my reply to other posts:
Fnord
Chandler's Germanium Pre works in all of the newer API cases. I know that the old ones had the biggest issue with Chandler, but you can still use the older API lunchboxes as long as you turn the power on for about 3 seconds, then toggle the on/off button off to on really fast. It gives the module the extra power boost it needs to run properly. Sounds very janky, but that's what they have recommended.

Reptil
I've tried the Pete's Place BAC500 (not to be mistakened with brent averill) and I must say it does sound better than most of the 500 series compressors.

OK, this is a patheticlly long post about 500 series format, and I apologize. I need to get out of bed now...
Kent
Reptil wrote:

this week I jumped the gun on two 550 from the Demedio desk (which is now being decommissioned)


Uh... eek! are these from the full-on desk that Vintage King has or is it unrelated to that. I'd hate to see them part out that desk!
ignatius
if i didn't already have a small format mixer that has some killer analogue mojo i'd think about 500 series now that the radial rack is on the way and it has summing, inserts etc and DB25 connectors so you can make a small all analog mixer for tracking a synth rig.

but there's also the great river/mercenary audio rig coming out that has 4 pre's + 20 other inputs and summing, monitor control etc.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-product-alert/438979-new-great-rive r-product.html

"Its a 20X2 Recording Mixer with 4 newly designed Great River Mic amps, complete with console inspired Monitor/Master section. Transformer Balanced Master Inserts. Complete with Bypass switch."
Audio Resistance
ignatius wrote:
if i didn't already have a small format mixer that has some killer analogue mojo i'd think about 500 series now that the radial rack is on the way and it has summing, inserts etc and DB25 connectors so you can make a small all analog mixer for tracking a synth rig.

but there's also the great river/mercenary audio rig coming out that has 4 pre's + 20 other inputs and summing, monitor control etc.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-product-alert/438979-new-great-rive r-product.html

"Its a 20X2 Recording Mixer with 4 newly designed Great River Mic amps, complete with console inspired Monitor/Master section. Transformer Balanced Master Inserts. Complete with Bypass switch."


Stop it already evil

There I was waiting around for the Radial and you show me that. However a buddy of mine had a couple of the Great Rivers and I prefer my API any day.

Seeing all that shit is the reason I do not go to gearslutz much anymore. Especially since I have started my Serge panels.
D/A A/D
I have no clue why I didn't get any notifications about this thread! d'oh!

I will have to prosess all this awesome info now, but at this moment... RADIAL??!?!?!?!!!!!?!?!! I had no idea they were into the 500 stuff! I <3 Radial sooooo much, I have used a lot of thier gear over the years. Plus they are Canadian, so thats just extra awesome!

Will read now...
ignatius
D/A A/D wrote:

I will have to prosess all this awesome info now, but at this moment... RADIAL??!?!?!?!!!!!?!?!! .


they have a rack coming out and as per the pic in this thread they bought Burgin McDaniel who make the Komit compressor for 500 series.. or maybe they just bought the compressor.. not clear on that.

http://vintageking.com/Radial-Engineering-Workhorse;jsessionid=0a01084 31f432bc944aee3394eae833af612b7150b9b.e3eSbNyQc3mLe34Pa38Ta38QaN10?sc= 13&category=37680
JohnLRice
I took a quick pic of my 500 rack for ya! hyper

mmp
500 series stuff is like crack for audio addicts.

I have three mostly filled 6 space racks.

2 Great River Mp500NV Pres
2 LaChapell 583S Tube Pres
2 BAE racked vintage API 312 Pres
2 API vintage API 500A EQs
2 Purple Action Compressors
1 API 560 Graphic

I love tracking synths through either the 312s or LaChapells. I am really hot to get the newer LaChapell pres with EQ,
but have been slowed down by other distractions from my synth addiction. Also, a germanium based pre of some sort will be in the rack eventually.

And I will never sell the old API 500As I have...just love 'em on just about anything.

I find it funny to find this thread here, as I am just starting up on the modular synth addiction.

I guess both are gateway drugs.

Regards,

MM
Reptil
Kent wrote:
Reptil wrote:

this week I jumped the gun on two 550 from the Demedio desk (which is now being decommissioned)


Uh... eek! are these from the full-on desk that Vintage King has or is it unrelated to that. I'd hate to see them part out that desk!


here's more information. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gearslutz-secondhand-gear-classifieds/4 33646-fs-vintage-api-312-demedio-console-500series-ready.html
there was also the old desk of Crosby Stills Nash for sale some time ago, you mean that one? This Demedio is another one. (huger hihi )

Also I forgot d'oh! to mention the Purple TAV and Odd. I see there's an Odd here too.
I have a pair of Sphere 900 eqs and love them to death, I hope the TAV is close, but it'll be different (modern purple opamps etc.) I've been told the Odd and TAV sound "laid back" with a nice top and bottom.

oh FYI: There's no such thing as a "gateway drug", scientifically. It's a contruct of government officials that needed a "hocuspocus" "scientific" backbone to their ridiculous "war on drugs" (which is really a "war on people that they don't like").
I just had to correct this, sorry for the OT, and sorry if I'm nitpicking. Mr. Green

I understand the point and agree. Gearslutz is an unhealthy environment if you're not filthy rich. one could get depressed seening all the expensive goodies pass by. hyperdehype hype! LOL
I'm happy to see I'm not the only wiggler with a "problem" hahaha Rockin' Banana! Dead Banana However I think hihi an empty 19" rack is just as tempting as a lunchbox. ambulance and then... there's the "Danner" 5u broadcast format. Dirt cheap pro gear from the broadcast industry of centuries past. If 500 series is crack, Danner stuff is methamphetamine. waah lol

hope you don't mind me posting a picture of my (non-500) rack
Babaluma
agreed, i prefer rack gear to the 500 series, and now my racks are filled, where does that leave me, help!
Reptil
Babaluma wrote:
agreed, i prefer rack gear to the 500 series, and now my racks are filled,

picture?
Babaluma wrote:
where does that leave me, help!


more racks?
like this guy? eek!
panda30y
LOL!

Armando Avila is fucking pimp! I've always loved that pic!
Babaluma
that just takes the piss and is completely unnecessary!

i might just get there if i had the space, but my studio is a 10 foot cube!

pics:





first case:
16u frac rack modular

second case:
metalbox custom interface/attenuators/multiples
future retro mobius sequencer
the beast 606

third case:
chandler germanium compressor x 2
thermionic culture pullet passive stereo eq
chandler tg2 dual preamp/d.i.
lexicon pcm 70 reverb/effects
neutrik patchbay
echo audiofire 12 interface
oberheim matrix 1000 synth

at the side you can see my avalon u5 d.i. (mainly for guitar, bass and matrix 1000), and yamaha msp5 monitors.

there's also a mackie 1604 vlz3 mixer, a bass, electric, and acoustic guitar, and a korg wavestation ex keyboard hiding in the other corner, and that's it!!! no more space!!!

but i do feel i have everything i NEED now, which is a weird position i have never been in before, and has put the pressure on to create more art and MUSICK rather than worrying about what gear i don't have. wink
Reptil
I agree, it IS taking the piss out of setting up a studio with careful thinking because you can only get one cheap compressor, however, the guy is completely sincere, and is taking everything very seriously. It gives me joy knowing there are actually people like him around on this planet, doing completely outragious stuff. applause

nice setup. almost every function is covered there I see. My homestudio (after moving out a building where I had my studio) is almost ready. I found a "secret weapon" effects box (not an eventide but just as powerful (hopefully), and service and reorganise my danner collection. Then I'll work with that for a while, and see what is really needed and what not. And sell the access gear. Too much slows one down, and modules are addictive.
I see you like Chandler stuff. How is the Pullet? Been wondering about that one. ???
And you need another (clean) compressor. lol This is fun! This is fun! This is fun! MY ASS IS BLEEDING This is fun! This is fun!

edited at 0:51
Fnord
I'm kinda curious about that monster setup going on, does anyone know what type of power module he's using? It's all the same one, and it sure isn't my cheapie furman.

Also, how important is venting? I'd imagine not so much for modular gear, but what about for outboard? He's got some massive fans going on at the bottom of each rack, and a boatload of vents going on around what i'd imagine are the hotter running modules.

I think Babaluma's in a nice place, i'd like to be 'done' within the next year. I've left a little room to grow for whatever cool new modules come out, but besides that, i'd like to be done with outboard and setup etc.
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