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Having trouble liking my Analog Heat. Thoughts?
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Author Having trouble liking my Analog Heat. Thoughts?
musicweasel
I want to like it - I really do. I originally wanted something to warm up my mixes. I read many reviews, the AH manual and made what I thought was an informed purchase. But for some reason I cannot seem to say "oh yeah" about anything that comes out of the AH. First of all, the signal out seems really low. The distortion to me sounds really harsh and not classic analog at all. I used to have a Fatso many years ago and loved the subtle roundness it gave to my mixes. The AH doesn't do it. Also as a distortion, I find that even my sans amp or cassette recorder has a much more natural, musical sound.

Does anyone have any similar or contradictory experiences with the AH? I really want to like it but can't seem to get into it.
khyber
What kinds of signals/instruments are you mixing into the AH? Is it possible your signals are too hot coming into the box? I don't have one of these but have been considering one to pair with my Digitakt, I'm interested in other's positive and negative experiences with the Analog Heat
mateo
I'm actually in the process of trying out the heat right now. Using overbridge, I haven't noticed any issues with levels but have only started digging into the various distortion types. I'll post some more thoughts later.
th0mas
subscribing to this thread. I've got various tone shaping, "warmth" overdrives in eurorack and other formats.. the analog heat looks interesting but every time I've listened to it on youtube people are just using it to thrash the input sources and that's not really my thing
Mikeyg3k
id imagine those 808 toms would just sound mental through that Heat for starters, amongst a host of drums and loops and stuff.
mor4sso
analog heat is amazing. there are a lot of applications for it, and ultimately it depends on what your goal is with it to determine if its worth keeping. when it first came out I was like wtf, but after trying it out I couldn't live without it.

first, regarding your levels being low. I've noticed with all the elektron gear that you really need to feed them loud signals. So boost the gain on whatever you're feeding it. my heat sits on the master of my setup, and i generally have my volume knob at around 1:00 and it's loud, but I still have half the pot throw to boost it if need be.

The filter on it is great, and I wish it was on all the elektron gear. It's surgical, and since its multimode, theres a lot of different ways to use it. I generally keep it in high pass, and toggle it on and off. the resonance can get VERY VERY hot, so be careful with that. It's seriously the loudest resonance ive heard on anything, louder than moog modulars, which is also loud as shit lol

with the envelope and LFO you can sweep in distortion on signals and keep it tame with filter as well, or get wild and make drippy wet sounds. lots of possiblities when you're using it on one specific instrument too.

I generally don't use any of the aggressive distortion modes, it usually sits on clean boost or sometimes saturation, although it is fun to push my rytm or some other drum machine through the really crazy ones, and then tone them back a bit with the dry/wet, or do cool fast envelopes of distortion.

2 band eq is powerful. not sure if you play out, but having it on the master is invaluable. you can tune your setup for club, or festival, or art gallery, or whatever random ass place youre playing at. SUPER helpful. Ive been tempted to bring it along with me when I do DJ sets too, so that I can have master filter and a little 2 band master eq.
Panason
Quote:
The distortion to me sounds really harsh and not classic analog at all.


Sounds like elektron. Probably another overpriced and overhyped box.

I bet the resonance kicks into self-oscillation really early and lacks any interesting harmonics.
mrcharles
A very flexible box with a wide palette of audio coloration.

It is straightforward... but be sure to RTFM...

e.g.: It is important to set input sensitivity appropriate to your input signal strength.

The envelope follower and LFO make for a lot of automation possibilities.

My recommendation is keep at it. My first response after the initial honeymoon was similar to the OP, but I've explored more and come to recognize it as a valuable piece of kit in my audio path.

I use it stand-alone, so cannot comment re. overbridge issues, etc.

Panason... is Elektron holding your first-born or what? Your relentless campaign against them is tiresome... I recognize you've the right to post as you wish, but I wish for something more constructive rather than otherwise...
Tumulishroomaroom
I was in the "who cares" camp for a long while regarding the Analog Heat; but then when I got a Digitakt I wanted something that would mesh it with the sounds coming from the modular, as I felt they were separated in the mix. AH works perfectly for this. I have it on the master as well, and it is very loud. I use it most often in Clean Boost mode but Enhancement sometimes works well for more crunchy results. I guess the other modes would be better on isolated sounds, but I don't really multitrack so I don't really use them. The Enveloppe Follower is a bit fiddly to set up properly if you want a pumping compressor effect but when it's properly set up it sounds great.

I also use it on DJ mixes sometimes, the EQ/Filters are great (echoing the comments on the screaming Res though) and to globally boost levels of my tracks.

Every track here has been through the Heat : https://soundcloud.com/tumulishoomaroom
Panason
I've already said that I believe their Machinedrum and Rytm are the best drum machines around. That's the extent of my compliments for this company...
th0mas
Panason wrote:


I bet the resonance kicks into self-oscillation really early and lacks any interesting harmonics.


Reminds me of a certain forum poster hihi
nectarios
I have one for a year now and since getting it and trying recording every source through it, the noise floor has been raised considerably. I thought that since I paid 700€ might as well rinse it. I am talking about the clean boost, with low input setting. I sent audio files to Elektron thinking my unit is faulty, but they said that its normal behaviour.

The filter is mediocre and the resonance knob is only useful for the first quarter of the run, then it just gets too much.

OB crashes it, I've been told to upgrade to the latest OS by Elektron support.
Also my screen has started burning at the edges and I have to pay 40€ to send it to Elektron for them to fix a brand new unit, under warranty.

I find it works with a few things, the first 3 circuits are the most usable ones, the higher gain distortion circuits are average, at best.
My RYO Optodist does much better high gain distrotion, with 0 noise too. I find the Big Muff πBass and RAT 2 sounding more interesting for high gain stuff too.

So yeah, its ok. I was expecting it to sound much better and much less noisy, especially since it costs so much. I would much rather if it wasn't a soundcard and didn't have any of the OB stuff (that doesn't work for me anyway) and cost half the price, cause that is what it sounds like, imo... but this is Elektron and they over charge for everything.

I would sell it but they go for 400 used and that is a big loss, so at the moment its been "reduced" to a second-to-last, box in the live set.
I've stopped tracking everything through it to avoid the high noise floor which accumulates when everything is getting tracked through it.

All in all, loads of bells and whistles but average sound.
Panason
Yep. I bet there are plugins that sound better for a lot less.

Quote:
The filter is mediocre and the resonance knob is only useful for the first quarter of the run, then it just gets too much.


Exactly like the filters on the Rytm then.

Quote:

Also my screen has started burning at the edges and I have to pay 40€ to send it to Elektron for them to fix a brand new unit, under warranty.


The story of many owners of new Elektron gear. I have even heard of people sending back the same unit up to 3 times, paying the postage each time... Their QC has been worse than a lot of Chinese made stuff in recent times.

OB crashes, "use the latest update" lol lol lol

The way things are, I am not updating my Rytm mk1 if they ever release another firmware for it (unlikely), because all the hacks they will be doing in their desperation to get OB working will probably introduce bugs and instability.
Biom
musicweasel wrote:
But for some reason I cannot seem to say "oh yeah" about anything that comes out of the AH.


No wonder, that's what the elektron marketing guys usually say.

Fatso is indeed a very good piece of gear, although, it's a different type of gear, wouldn't compare it to elektron. I also can't see any reasons to run the whole mix through it, until you are playing this funny lo-Fi game. If you want a certain mojo / glueing / vibe (or whatever they call it) to your whole mix, I'd stay away from such units. There are literally tons of dedicated stuff, which is expensive for a reason. I also doubt you have a great room to hear the result right. So, leave it for the good studio and be creative as much as you can with what you have and maybe there would be no need in further processing at all (well, except a master tape, heh)

This unit is more a FSU, but then again, there's nothing new or groundbreaking about it at all
mor4sso
Panason wrote:

I bet the resonance kicks into self-oscillation really early and lacks any interesting harmonics.


Panason wrote:
I bet there are plugins that sound better for a lot less.



so why even comment in the thread lol? "i bet" means you dont know shit...
milkshake
musicweasel wrote:
I want to like it - I really do. I originally wanted something to warm up my mixes. I read many reviews, the AH manual and made what I thought was an informed purchase. But for some reason I cannot seem to say "oh yeah" about anything that comes out of the AH. First of all, the signal out seems really low. The distortion to me sounds really harsh and not classic analog at all. I used to have a Fatso many years ago and loved the subtle roundness it gave to my mixes. The AH doesn't do it. Also as a distortion, I find that even my sans amp or cassette recorder has a much more natural, musical sound.

Does anyone have any similar or contradictory experiences with the AH? I really want to like it but can't seem to get into it.


The lesson here is: Don't believe the hype.

For my last purchase (chorus effect) I used this method: Remove all cookies from computer, go to utube, type what you are looking for (you distortion/overdrive/etc..) And just start listening to the video's while doing something else. Sooner or later, something will pop out that you like. Buy that.



P.s. Imo nothing beats a $10 cassette recorder for (a certain kind of) distortion.
snakejaw
I found this video very helpful for getting an idea what the Analog Heat can do

nectarios
Panason wrote:

OB crashes, "use the latest update" lol lol lol

The way things are, I am not updating my Rytm mk1 if they ever release another firmware for it (unlikely), because all the hacks they will be doing in their desperation to get OB working will probably introduce bugs and instability.


I forgot to mention that Elektron support told me to update my Mac PS to Sierra, if it was as simple as updating the Heat OS it would have been fine.

I was lucky my control room out was very low when this happened for the first time, a loud as fuck burst of noise came out when it crashed. I could have blown my monitors!

Panason
Yep. They are following the Apple model of making machines that are not even 5 years old become "legacy" and drop development and support, and automatically respond to all issues with "update your OS".
I was naive enough to waste time visiting their site once a week for several months waiting for a sample management app for the Rytm mk1 to become available before I realised they don't give a shit about the mk1s, they just want to sell the new boxes (after several promises by them that were never fulfilled)...
mor4sso wrote:

so why even comment in the thread lol? "i bet" means you dont know shit.


You lose the bet.
grillo
musicweasel wrote:
I want to like it - I really do. I originally wanted something to warm up my mixes.


I think this is more a question of semantics but personally I don't think distortion adds warmth to a sound, although I understand I might be in the minority on this one.
I played a bit with it and think it's a really cool distortion box with some tricks, but for me personally, or my style of music at least, it's more of a situational sound rather than a final mix processor or pass anything through it mojo piece.
I think as usual elektron marketed it in a clever way, but for me it's more a OTO Biscuit rather than a Culture Vulture.
whyfarer
musicweasel wrote:
I originally wanted something to warm up my mixes.


I really wanted an AH for the same reason. I listened to tons of demos and while sometimes it sounded great, it didn't convince me for the price (though all the demo-ing did giv me some long term gas for a culture vulture Dead Banana ).

Instead, I recently got a strymon deco to add warmth. At least 50% cheaper than the AH (the other savings will now go to a lexicon pcm 80/81) and the deco sounds pretty great with everything I've put into it so far. it really adds some warmth and punch to my octatrack, and I was surprised to hear how good it sounded on my deckard's dream which sounds super warm and beefy by itself.
orangehexagon
mor4sso wrote:
Panason wrote:

I bet the resonance kicks into self-oscillation really early and lacks any interesting harmonics.


Panason wrote:
I bet there are plugins that sound better for a lot less.



so why even comment in the thread lol? "i bet" means you dont know shit...


You've caught onto the Panason method of operation :-)
gentle_attack
orangehexagon wrote:
mor4sso wrote:
Panason wrote:

I bet the resonance kicks into self-oscillation really early and lacks any interesting harmonics.


Panason wrote:
I bet there are plugins that sound better for a lot less.



so why even comment in the thread lol? "i bet" means you dont know shit...


You've caught onto the Panason method of operation :-)

He's a troll and a sad one one in fact. 7+ posts a day, the vast majority bashing Elektron and occasionally Moog gear.

It's especially funny when he names some quite expensive sepcialized piece of gear, and then says teh Elektron sux because the like the bandpass on the A4's second filter doesn't have the slope of some other random piece of gear. That's just the way the gear is, it doesn't suck, or not suck, it just is the slope of the filter they picked.

I had him on ignore but he's actually kind of funny.
gruebleengourd
Tumulishroomaroom wrote:
I was in the "who cares" camp for a long while regarding the Analog Heat; but then when I got a Digitakt I wanted something that would mesh it with the sounds coming from the modular, as I felt they were separated in the mix.


So you have to buy a 2nd elektron to make up for the deficiencies of your first? Brilliant.
heckadecimal69
That toy is on mute. Can't stand that avatar either, is it supposed to be funny or clever?
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