studio m - control room

 

Control centre for the peripheral additionals is a YAMAHA console DM 2000. The array of 19“ equipment is arranged to ergonomical aspects. Access to them is according to star layout.

 

The room is acoustically treated for better results. JBL L90 driven by an ALESIS 300 power amp and EMES Black TV nearfield monitors supply a plain response and give a reliable control of the mix.

 

 

Postproduction:

 

YAMAHA DM 2000

RME RAYDAT (36 in/out)

Audio PC installed SEQUOIA

 

LBL L90 drive by Alesis RA500

EMES Black TV HR active pair

Ultrazone headphones

Sennheiser headphones HD 600

 

Reverb: Lexicon PCM96, Lexicon L300, Bricasti M7,

TC electronic M4000, Roland SRV 2000

Dynamics: TAB U373a (2), TELEFUNKEN U373a (2),

SIEMENS U 273 (2), Tikkas STA LEVEL (2),

Valley People Dynamite, STAM LA-2A (2)

STAM S4000 GSSL, radioman F600, Hairball 1176 A (2)

Recording/Playback: DAW Magix Sequoia,

TELEFUNKEN M15A, TASCAM 122MKII, Thorens TD 125

 

A/D conversion: Drawmer A2D2, Symetrix 620 (Prism technology)

 

SKnote CATENA, Routing und M/S Matrix / inserted VARIS Vari-mu Röhrenkompressor by HCL,

VINTAGETOOLS NTP 179-400 brickwall Limiter + DBX 160 S blue series

TIKKAS EQP2 Pulteq Style,

 

DBX QUANTUM II - digital masteringprocessor

 

 

 

YAMAHA DM 2000, in a ZAOR Marea console, built by ZAOR studio furniture. External analog 19“ units are connected via MY8 AD/DA 96 converters. These cards have been modified from the hot ( +24dBu) YAMAHA level down to broadcast level 0 dB Fs = 15 dBu. The DM 2000 for me is a digital patchboard to access the analog path.

 

 

It is possible to use external processors as inserts or in the mix bus or in the mastering sum.

 

 

 

 

YAMAHA DM 2000 is connected to an audio computer running WIN 10 via RME RayDat card. DAW is Sequoia, because I benefit the fantastic and singular technical capabilities.

 

As I´  m used to work with a console I only need my DAW for recording/playback and editing tracks - plus embedding additional plugins. Mixing is done with the console. The DM 2000 not only offers an intuitive automation but a better haptic experience than working „in the box“.

 


 

Connected to the console via MY16AE are digital effects as Lexicon 300, Lexicon PCM 96, Bricasti M7 and TC M 4000.

Roland SRV 2000 and Roland SDE 2000 are connected via analog Aux-Sends und Returns.

 


 

Via a MY8 AD/DA 96 are analog dynamic processors ( vintage broadcast gear : Stereo TAB U373a, Stereo Telefunken U373a, radioman AD&R F600 and STAM SSL G-BUS-Compressor.

 


 

Via another MY8 AD/DA 96 two SIEMENS W295b (passive equalizer units) into two SIEMENS U273b (compressor/limiter), packed into a „lunchbox" - well suited for tracks in need for „special treatment“, as i.e. vocal tracks.

 

Furthermore 2 Hairball 1176 RevA replica of the first series with the typical „fat“ sound pattern as well as two Valley People DYNAMITE.

 


 

Via a third MY8 AD/DA 96 there is access to Heikki Tikas valve compressors, replica of the famous Gates STA Level. It is possible to insert the Tube Equalizer Dual EQP 2 into the stereo sum as well as the Sknote CATENA - a switching matrix. With that I have access to VARIS Röhrenkompressor von HCL (Albert Sherbina). This an absolut singular control amplifier with adjustment of triode / pentode vari-mu (differnt behavior). Additionally switching is possible bewtween classic feedback regulation to the more aggressive feed forward operation. Bypass is controllable by a 75/150 Htz Bypass. Insertable over CATENA as well is a stereo unit of the NTP 179-400, a nearly unobtrusive brickwall limiter.

 

Also switchable is the dbx 160SL, a compressor that leaves nothing to be desired. With additional PEAK STOP, a limiter shutting down absolutely safe. As I don´  t want to win any „loudness war“, this is my first choice to get a musical sounding result. Counting by compression, this unit works better than the „QUANTUM“ from the same manufacturer.

 


Field recording

 

 

Mobile Recordings are done with a DELL Lattitude and a RME Fireface UFX (8 (12) analog line and 4 (0) microfone inputs), extended by a Ferrofish A16 MKII  (16 analog line ins converted to 2 ADAT TosLink). When it comes to preamps there are 2 modified V672 in a 19" casing (built by me) as well as 2 TAB V376 and 6 Telefunken V 672 in an original equipment rack.

More micpres come with 2 SIEMENS V72 in a 19" casing (built by my friend Berthold) into a Symetrix 620 and into AES.

 

Additionally there is a RME Octamic with 8 inputs and a Mackie ONYX 800R with 8 inputs as well, connected via TosLink. This totally makes up to 30 mic inputs - sufficient for a live recording or a small production on location - no matter, whether rock/jazz, chambre music, folk music or a small orchestra. Samplerate up to 48kHz and 24bit.

 

The RME Fireface UFX is able to give a latency free headphone mix via the “analog“ TotalMix software – brilliant !

 

My collection of microphones:

 

2 Schoeps CMC 6 with MK IIg (omni) capsules

2 Neumann TLM 170

2 Neumann U 87

2 Sennheiser 8020 omni capsules

3 Sennheiser MD 441-U

2 U47 replica (MK Bv.08) with Thiersch STW7 blue capsules - tube mics

2 C12 replica (AMI T14) withTim Campbell CT12 capsules - tube mics

2 U67 replica (MK Bv.12) with MBHO K67 capsules - tube mics

2 M49 replica (Haufe BV11) with Drefahl capsules - tube mics

1 M49 replica (Haufe BV11) with Thiersch STW red capsule - tube mic

1 AKG D 12E

1 beyerdynamic TG D71c (PZM)

1 AKG C 414 B-TLII

1 Avantone CV 28 - tube mic

1 beyerdynamic 201N(C)

2 Oktava MK 219 – Joly-mod    

2 Oktava MK 219 – Sitler-mod      

2 chameleon labs TS-1 - tube mics pencil style

2 B.P.M. CR-4N - fet pencil style

2 Shiny Box (ribbon-mics) + fethead (preamp)

 

In cooperation with Berthold Jüngst it is possible to work on a mobile truck.

 


My actual favourites


                                                                                                 

TUBE EQUALIZER DUAL EQP2

This one came shell-proof packed from Tallinn, Estonia on September 16th, 2013 : tube equalizer dual EQP 2, a passive EQ based on inductors built to the specs of a Pultec EQ. Designed by Heikki Tikas with know how and going into detail to the original. The amplification making up for the loss of gain is a variation of the original circuit - not a SRPP - with russian NOS 6n6p triode tubes.

Yes, the Pultec built by Heikki ...

My experience - after some time working with it - goes like this:

Sounds different than an original Pultec and sounds different than the Gyraf replica my friend Berthold built, which uses Lundahl trannies. Heikki says:

... used old russian nos 1:1 as input transformers because sound - I did tests and they sounded better in this eq  than similar lundahls, edcors, teslas, eag and beyers ...

Definitely has some peatiness, a certain softness going to your ears. Straightforward basses following the given impact, "soft airyness" without blurring the signal and a transparent midrange. This cannot be achieved by a plug in, or at least not with one I know. The sonic result is very close to what I´  m used to from the SIEMENS W295.

 


TUBE COMPRESSOR "Heikki Sta Level"

In use since December 2013, they are my next "objects of desire": 2 STA LEVEL replicas came shell-proof packed all the way from Tallinn, Estonia. After having used the VST pluggo of Sknote , I had the urgent need for the same thing in hardware. Heikki Tikas from Tallinn, Estonia is the man to offer them. He is constructing these analog beauties for an affordable price and vaunts them with his own words:

 

...  it has a pair of 6BA6/6K4P-EV tubes instead of 6386 and a slightly different power supply, otherwise it´s like the original ( 6BA6 tubes have very similar curves to 6386 ) ...  also has a socket for 6386 tube, so it´s easy to upgrade it to 6386 …it has really sweet and deep compression with 6BA6 too, so changing tubes is more a question of taste...

° Input gain adjuster is a stepped attenuator switch with 1% resistors

° Recovery time switch 6 positions, (pos6 = original value, other settings faster)

° Custom made 1,5mm steel case with 3mm aluminium frontpanel ( 3HE, 19")

° Connectors are Neutrik ( input, output, link )

° Transformer balanced input (Tesla) and output (Edcor).

° Tubes: 2 x 6BA6/6K4P-EV , ECC81/12AT7, 2 x 6V6/6P6S, 6AL5/6H2P,  OB2/SG2P - NOS

 

He sent some sound samples he had generated from the files I sent him. I was excited ! That´  s why I had to have these devices. For a special task I had 2 jazz guitars running over this gear. And the sound is just right as it is, without any further treatment.

 

The STA LEVEL shaped the american sound of popular music in the 50ies. Its "sound" is more concise and yet more sweet-tempered than a LA-2A, absolutely "in the face". Its sound quality is necessarily comparable to that of a Fairchild 670.

We´  re all in this world - in the 3 dimensions of our universe - children of the environment that formed us, apart from the genetic code that supplied us ( or not ) with pre-social competence. But leave us alone with philosophical discussion about controversial subjects.

 

Technical progress of radio transmisson, as originated in the run of the last 100 years, has significantly determined our expectation of the sound hitting our ears. Namely: we want to hear, what we are used to. Including the tonal balance of a tube compressor like the Gates STA LEVEL - who has his own standing side by side to a TAB U73a or a Fairchild 670.

 


Since I had my YAMAHA AD/DA cards being modified to broadcast norm level (0dBFs = 15dBu), there´  s 9dB less send level and 9 dB more gain in return. If you want to have the STA LEVEL working like it should, there is too much level coming back - Heikki changed the level with his latest fabrication.

I´  m using two damping adapters in the return way. You will get those as -10dB and -20dB over EBay as well.

 


HCL VARIS Tube Compressor

VARIS front
VARIS front

I owe it since November 2012:  HCL VARIS, a tube compressor of extraordinary performance.

Offers the choice between feed forward and feed backward compression - different compression behavior. Choice between triode and pentode regulator tube - different sound. Russian transformers and russian NOS tubes - remember, the russians had tubes way longer than in the western hemisphere, on a very high production level.

 

In december 2012 I completed a broadcast mix of a  PUR-concert for SWR1 and mastered it with the HCL VARIS. Impact and transparency were overwhelming. Although (or because) the envelopes didn´  t look similar to a brush cut !!

 

Dieter Reith had me doing the remastering of a very special recording of 1972, suedish folk songs arranged by him, sung by  Bibi Johns and played by a bunch of fine musicians (i.a. Ack van Rooyen und Ronnie Stevenson).

"Kristallen den fina" is published by jpc and I  recommend it with the warmest suggestions, not only because of my own 2 pennies restoring it. It´  s a timeless and beautiful, congenial arranged and expertly orchestrated production. This music too benefits of the tonal output of the HCL VARIS. Listen to my recordings 1988 - ....

 

Another recording I did was in 2013: mix and mastering of a duo sax/guitar, Tommi Horstmann und Wolfgang Lindenfelser. Beautiful music, and the HCL VARIS had it´  s part in enhancing the sound.

 

Project spring 2014 was mix and mastering of a live-recording of the Atlantic-Jazz-Trio (Garry Hagberg and Thomas Horstmann, Guitars as well as Peter Schönfeld, double bass) from 2009. Soundsweeteners of my sound workshop, namely the HCL Varis and the STA LEVEL for the authorized guitar sound are at work already in this mix. Listen to my recordings 1988 - ....

 

Mentioned at other places already is the recording of Pearl & the Jazzconsort, early summer 2014, one of those things, I want to do more often. Tonal highlight were the U47 replica for Pearls´   voice and Eberhard´  s saxophone. Mix completed with the help of the HCL VARIS and put on my homepage in recordings 1988 - ....

 

Varis inside. seen from above.
Varis inside. seen from above.

Another object of desire

                                                                        

 

Installed in my studio since Mai 2016. This LA-2A replica is built by stam-audio, a dutchman in Chile following original scheme and with top-quality parts... Cinemag transformator designed and wound to specs of the original UTC trannies. The photo electric cell by KENETEK is said to be closest to the original TB4 and there will be only NOS 12AX7, 12BH7 und 6AQ5tubes. My excitement has even grown since beginning of  Mai 2016, when the two LA-2A arrived. The sound is excellent, control process immaculate. Making thick without damping the sound !


                                                         

thoughtfullness from the audio industry - and more ...

 

"This has to be the only industry in the world that has spent the last decades trying to effectively simulate all of the tools that it was told it needed to throw out."

 

anonymus

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"We have a situation where somebody has learned that 'tape' sounds good. Tape doesn't sound good. Tape sounds like crap. But sometimes good stuff gets put on tape." "Putting crap to tape...sounds like crap."

 

anonymus

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let me add:

what an effort, to bias an analog multitrack taperecorder. What were the costs of a 2inch 1000m tape and what about "just let it roll" ?

 

The process of artistic creation  cannot be trimmed to "democatic" rules. Whoever does not feel the greatness of art and has no respect for it, does not belong to the inner circle of art. Your own effort is the prior condition for a musical result. Whoever is only using technical aid will only be a con artist. But: the muse of music is a female being, a goddess. She demands absolute dedication, she doesn´  t accept any hide and seek.

 

MD

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Resistance is not futile. It is voltage devided by current..

 

anonymus

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"I don´  t think there is useful need for the wireless transmission I just  discovered ..."

 

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz

 

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"Music forces me to forget my true situation;  she is lifting me to another, more pleasant level; under the influence of music it seems I feel something, I don´  t really feel, I understand something that cannot be understood and I´  m capable of doing things, I can´  t do."

 

"To judge a piece of art as being good, but most people couldn´  t understand it is like saying about a dish, that it is delicious, but most people cannot digest it."

 

"I know that majority of men, familiar with problems of greatest complexity, ony seldom are able to accept the simple and plain truth, if it means to admit the falseness of their conclusions, that they have so delightedly declared to colleagues,
confidentially tought their students and thread by thread have woven into the texture of their lives."


Tolstoj

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