Hi guys. I've noticed that there are not many people comparing the sound of DIY gear and the originals they are modeled after. I realize this can be for a number of reasons (most notably for the fact that it's difficult to get your hands on the originals in the first place! i.e. Fairchild, 1176 Blue Stripe, etc.). However, whether or not the remakes compare to original vintage gear is crucial to many sound engineers and I feel it would be helpful to have a listen! If you're living in LA or New York City, obtaining vintage gear is not that difficult (there are many rental companies that lease this gear, whether it be a day or a week rate).

I think the best way to compare is the A/B method. This is where you print (or "bounce") the both versions so that someone else can load them into their audio sequencer and simply flip through both by soloing (tip: in Pro Tools "X-OR" solo mode comes in handy! ;)). It may also be helpful to print a clean version and to explain how the sound was recorded. So for example:

1. drum room segment clean
2. drum room segment vintage 1176 rev D
3. drum room segment DIY 1176 rev X, X i/p xformer, X o/p xformer

it would also be nice if the audio lines up a 00:00:00

hmmm.... how do we upload 24 bit WAVE files? I have an iDisk and I don't mind hosting members' files on my public folder:

on Mac OS:

Finder-->Go-->iDisk-->other users' public folder--danjpiscina


on Windows:

go to http://idisk.mac.com/danjpiscina-Public?view=web


Any posts will be much appreciated. Even if they're not accurate (my first post wont be!) Or even if it's not DIY vs. originals. For example, A vintage API 550 compared to a new 550A compared to the Waves plugin! That sounds fun  :)

Thanks for listening!

Dan P.

P.S a photo (or screenshot) of the setting would also be helpful. But if not, an explanation would be fine.







On the server for your listening pleasure:

-mnats 1176 rev F vs. UAD 1176se plugin



Independent comparisons:

-For "A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING", check out ytsestef's page:

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.0


« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 08:56:01 PM by danjpiscina »


Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 08:14:09 PM »
Here's my first post.

Have a listen to mnats rev F http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33834.0 with Mike's (at Hairball audio http://hairballaudio.com/) transformers.

compared to:

Universal Audio's UAD plugin http://www.uaudio.com/products/software/1176se/index.html

it is a drum room mic. I believe it was a U67 compressed a little (I can't recall which compressor was used). The settings on the 1176's are the same, and I included a screenshot of the plugin so you can get an idea. The audio is at 24 bit/48kHz

Check my first post for accessing the audio files. Enjoy! ;D

Kingston

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 03:19:31 AM »
whether or not the remakes compare to original vintage gear is crucial to many sound engineers



It's only crucial to those who need the safety blankie, who don't trust themselves to make the small decision that if it sounds good, it's good, or to those who need the bragging rights. Or in far too many cases on this forum, bragging rights on the cheap.

sounds to me you're doing-it-yourself for the wrong reasons. I've said this before and I'll say it again, just get a reissue unit. That way you don't have to worry about the above issues, or about not having name brand "original vintage gear".

blankie or not, your self-confidence won't stop nagging until you take the time to learn a few things.

deuce42

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 03:50:57 AM »
Man I love these shootouts and fascinated to read about them and hear people's samples - but I feel that whenever people try to do so in forums, there always seems to be a chorus of negative derision thrown about how unscientific and flawed the recording comparison process was. 

My thoughts on this are: - they're not supposed to be perfectly scientific!

Its merely a fun and interesting listening exercise. Anybody who takes a listen at a shootout and therefore claims with such authority that a Rev D original is better than an groupdiyxxxx made in XXXX is either naive, stupid or both. Pointing out the disparities in technical variables that were not equal during the recording is often so obvious its tedious and not worth getting into a spit about it. I think its just nice to hear the "flavours" people's gear produces compared to others, knowing that it's nothing more than an expose on flavour.   

I don't feel this is based upon insecurity about DIY gear or arrogance and I dont feel the need to shroud myself in any proverbial blanket. We happily show pictures of our builds to each other, what's wrong with showing samples of what it sounds like?  I use gear that I have made of this forum everyday and I truly love it. However, it always nice to hear what other people's gear sounds like too and its nice to hear what original stuff sounds like if you don't ever have access to it. This won't make me think my own stuff is bad or make me doubt my builds. 

I would love to hear any comparisons that come through:)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 04:00:58 AM by deuce42 »

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 04:51:49 AM »

It's only crucial to those who need the safety blankie, who don't trust themselves to make the small decision that if it sounds good, it's good, or to those who need the bragging rights.

Kingston, what makes you think this has ANYTHING to do with "bragging rights"? "if it sounds good it is good" - ok. fair enough. But the real question is, does it sound great? that's what I want. but the fact of the matter is that by comparing different gear, you learn about it. you learn about sound; why things sound different, why they sound good, warm, musical, dirty, etc. Maybe I didn't make myself clear in my previous posts. My intentions are not to get rid of my DIY 1176 because it doesn't sound the same as a plugin I love. Instead, I learn about them both. They are 2 DIFFERENT tools. This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with your so-called "safety blankie"

sounds to me you're doing-it-yourself for the wrong reasons. I've said this before and I'll say it again, just get a reissue unit. That way you don't have to worry about the above issues, or about not having name brand "original vintage gear".

I have taken a lot of time to compare several pieces of gear in the past, and as a recording engineer I can safely say that NO reissue has EVER sounded like the original. EVER. that's not to say that they neccesarily sounded bad (though in a few cases they did). They sounded different. Not only that. Reissues still cost a lot more than DIY units. My first reason for DIY is to save money. My second reason is to learn. I feel this thread will help myself and others learn about good sound. And good sound is, at the end of the day, what we're after!

Kingston, I hope in future you learn to use your ears before you go out and by a reissue and take the companies' word for it! If you don't, you'll end up with inferior recordings. And remember; technical specs are one thing. Sound is another.

P.S. I suggest you take the time to listen to my comparisons. I'm confident you will find them interesting and educational.

All the best,

Dan P.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 04:56:27 AM by danjpiscina »

Kingston

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 05:28:55 AM »
I hope in future you learn to use your ears before you go out and by a reissue and take the companies' word for it! If you don't, you'll end up with inferior recordings. And remember; technical specs are one thing. Sound is another.

You absolutely completely, and all-encompassingly missed my point.  :(

Forget learning about what makes them tick and why they sound different, and do pointless shootouts of highly variable gear instead.

My first reason for DIY is to save money.

I gathered that from your first post already.

I feel this thread will help myself and others learn about good sound.

It won't. I'll only serve those lusting for a cheap yet perfect copy of a blankie.

And good sound is, at the end of the day, what we're after!

You tell yourself that, but you really just want more blankies.

for cheap.



I'm probably being unnecessarily harsh, but cloning for the reasons above just seems so counterproductive to music, to learning, to personal satisfaction, and yet it is so prevalent here.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 06:24:10 AM by Kingston »

e.oelberg

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 07:32:58 AM »
I like that shoutout. Ihad to original 1176 and sold them cause I liked what I built myself the same and I couldn't hear much of a difference in the way it compressed. I prefered the sound of my lundahl based 1176.

I don"t like software compressors much but this one seems to be pretty good, I"m impressed

nicholas

Arno

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 07:48:37 AM »
jesus somebody just decided to offer his hosting for anyone who wants to hear or show the difference between clones and original units, which is basically the same as learning the differences between different components (transformers for example) I don't see anything wrong with that ?

Whatever his motives are, it could be a useful experience for many people having a tight budget that would like to hear the different characteristics of some components, instead of simply following the most popular choices.

I understand your skepticism kingston but isn't that a little bit too harsh ?

there are different kind of people on this forum, some build/design/clone gear, some simply copy the clones.

A lot of people share their experience from their builds, I think organizing a way to make this audible is a nice improvement.

Comparing them to units they were copied from is a good reference.

deuce42

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 08:14:13 AM »
And at the risk of sounding self righteous, it is for this very reason I said earlier in this thread that whenever anyone tries to do shootouts on web forums, they attract derision and wrath from others. So many people in my humble experience seem to feel the need to attack the original person and tell them how their exercise is pointless and wrong.

Dan P -I say post whatever you like whenever you like. And build whatever you need to for your own reasons without feeling the need to justify to any other member in my book.

And now using this post for my own interest, lets just enjoy shootout comparisons and see what "flavours" people come up with without taking it all too seriously. Surely listening to peoples gear isn't supposed to be a serious matter with our ego's interfering
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 08:18:10 AM by deuce42 »

SSLtech

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 08:31:36 AM »
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

So I don't see the point, myself.

If one wishes to make a comparison onseself, that's one thing, but these things invariably utterly collapse in terms of validity when they are attempted as a collaborative effort.

Keith
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.


e.oelberg

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 08:36:16 AM »
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

Keith

I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

nicholas

Kingston

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 08:43:18 AM »
I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

They're pretty damn good these days, the plugins.

I learned this the hard, expensive way. I failed to spot a turbo-board GSSL (with OPA opamps, ie. very clean like digital) in a blind shootout against two SSL emulating plugins in a blind shootout.  :-[ I thought the UAD SSL plug was the hardware GSSL unit.  :o

Kind of brings into question the whole point of building gear when they're that close..

canidoit

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 08:47:17 AM »
This is excellent!

I am one of the people that would love to hear how x unit sounds using x components or built a certain way.

I think it would be great if people can put descriptions of the units used in the samples. eg. carb resistors, x caps, x transformers, i replaced this cap for this part instead, etc.

People will be able to have some sort of sense of which components bring about certain sonic results.

I could never get some of the attitudes of some DIY people when they become skeptical or defensive when people ask how it sounds like. I mean, are people building decorations or are they building audio devices. I think some people are forgetting that the purpose of the gear is not to fill rack space but to process sound.

If people really want to learn electronics, they could build a computer, so I think people's intentions here aren't really all because they want to learn electronics but to build something they can use.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 11:33:45 AM by canidoit »
iva dunit formerly known as canidoit

Arno

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 09:28:32 AM »
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

So I don't see the point, myself.

If one wishes to make a comparison onseself, that's one thing, but these things invariably utterly collapse in terms of validity when they are attempted as a collaborative effort.

Keith

true but:

It's still better than saying something like "the original/my clone/whatever has more warmth, tight lows and silk highs"

doesn't everybody just hate that ?

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 03:04:48 PM »

I learned this the hard, expensive way. I failed to spot a turbo-board GSSL (with OPA opamps, ie. very clean like digital) in a blind shootout against two SSL emulating plugins in a blind shootout.  :-[ I thought the UAD SSL plug was the hardware GSSL unit.  :o

Kind of brings into question the whole point of building gear when they're that close..

Remember Kingston, we still can't record with plugins  :) For a long time to come, no matter how good plugins sound, there will be need for hardware. Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???



I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

nicholas

Agreed. UAD plugins are, in my humble opinion, by FAR the best out there. they're incredible.

I think some people are forgetting that the purpose of the gear is not to fill rack space but to process sound.


YES! how many people in this forum are recording/mixing engineers? and how many are simply tech guys? i hope there are more engineers  :)


It's still better than saying something like "the original/my clone/whatever has more warmth, tight lows and silk highs"

doesn't everybody just hate that ?

YES!!!! you need to hear it for yourself.

MartyMart

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2009, 08:15:46 PM »

Agreed. UAD plugins are, in my humble opinion, by FAR the best out there. they're incredible.

YES! how many people in this forum are recording/mixing engineers? and how many are simply tech guys? i hope there are more engineers  :)


I'm a musician and writer first and engineer / recordist second, out of necessity since about 1983 and the porta-studio came out !
( nothing technical and no rules, I just get stuff down and try to make it sound great in the song .... rather than good technicaly)

Kind of pointless shootout as three original 1176's will all sound different anyway .... but hey the UAD plugins are superb, have used them
for a few years, the new SSL bus comp is quite simply "STUNNING"   :-)    ( still LOVE my Gssl and Pico though )

MM.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2009, 11:52:05 PM »


Kind of pointless shootout as three original 1176's will all sound different anyway ....

MM.

Sorry Marty-Mart, you seem to miss my point. And it's a big point I'm trying to make: of course they will sound different. Any half-decent engineer knows that. But it's about HOW they sound different. That's where you really learn. For example, if you're going to buy an original 1176 out of a batch of 3, you could take them all home and listen to them, later deciding which one you prefer.

I never built my 1176's/1290's/33609 with hopes that they will sound like the originals. I knew they wouldn't. But my hopes were that they would sound interesting and add something special to the music I record/mix. As you can hear for yourself, the 1176 does just that! Both the plugin and the hardware are great, but totally different none-the-less.

All the best,

Dan P.


Kingston

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2009, 03:21:14 AM »
Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???

That's a bad example. I really don't like 1176 on bass. It makes it floppy and it only really works for seriously bad players. Which also explains why 1176 is de facto rock bass compressor.

And how do you stop digital clipping? You take into account you have all 24bits at your service and simply don't clip. With dynamic range like that it's irresponsible and wasteful to run anything close to clipping. It isn't tape and it does absolutely nothing sonically.

deuce42

Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2009, 04:08:33 AM »
Ah but a bass tracking into LA2A is one of life's true pleasures. Not only does it stop clipping if the engineer is running too close, it sounds like a warm melting mound on butter on a biscuit.....mmmmm


Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2009, 04:45:59 AM »
Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???

That's a bad example. I really don't like 1176 on bass. It makes it floppy and it only really works for seriously bad players. Which also explains why 1176 is de facto rock bass compressor.

And how do you stop digital clipping? You take into account you have all 24bits at your service and simply don't clip. With dynamic range like that it's irresponsible and wasteful to run anything close to clipping. It isn't tape and it does absolutely nothing sonically.

???? "irresponsible to run anything close to clipping". Wow. I don't know where to start.... so I won't get into much detail! Are you a sound engineer? Have you ever heard of the term "good gain structure"? Have you ever taken into account the fact that musicians play their instruments dynamically (i.e. go from soft to loud)? The only advantage of 24 bit over 16 bit is the use of the last 8 bits!

Ah but a bass tracking into LA2A is one of life's true pleasures. Not only does it stop clipping if the engineer is running too close, it sounds like a warm melting mound on butter on a biscuit.....mmmmm


:) Agreed. Or on overheads.... I intend to add one (or two?) to my arsenal!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 04:51:34 AM by danjpiscina »


 

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