Stereo bus EQ for $4000

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Stereo bus EQ for $4000

Postby heathen » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:00 pm

What would you guys recommend as a good stereo buss equaliser (not comp as in pevious post).I thought about the summit eqp200b,but was wondering what you guys thought about that as a choice. Any other recommendations would be appreciated.Thanks.
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Postby Jason Dirckze » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:05 pm

Perhaps a 2nd hand Massive Passive? Or stretch the budget a bit and get a new one from the US
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Postby heathen » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:40 pm

Yeah recently I have been looking into buying some gear from the US,it's so much cheaper over there its near unbelievable,I mean $3500US for a focusrite red 2 or 3 and the same units here are $10,000 rrp. Or the Summit eqf is $3000US and $9000 here,not mentioning any names of retailers here of course but this is rediculous.Can anyone suggest a good supplier here of cheaper gear or a reputable dealer in the US I could try? Thanks again.
All the retailers here will start losing alot of money if people are forced to start importing goods because of prohibitive costs here,it's about time they started doing better deals :roll:
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Postby Simon B » Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:34 am

I sugest speak to mick at mixmasters..... it has been said before many times, but I find the service he offers really good and for that reason I recomend him and buy as much as I can from him. I have had stuff bought stuff from the us through him, it was easy, it was quick, I had a paranoya and rung and brett and mick were quick with the issue and followed it up well. I really suggest support local as much as possible, and if you find a bargain os, speak to mixmasters about bringing it in.
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Postby Barney Loveland » Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:54 am

I had a qoute for a piece of gear from Mick that was not far off from the US price, buying from reputable dealer is always big on my list.
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Postby JustinS » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:26 pm

If there are any dramas with the import process and you're doing it on your own... you're REALLY on your own. Mixmasters are nice guys, they'll look after you AND give you a good price. Keep in mind when importing items over $250.00 to Australia you are liable to be hit with up to 20% in costs above and beyond the purchase price & the shipping pric (sometimes you'll get away with it, other times no). So add up the US purchase price and shipping, factor in an extra 20% and the potential hassles and drama & give Mick a call... you won't regret it!

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Postby heathen » Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:09 pm

Thanks guys much appreciated.Also I was looking at the new trade agreement laws,anything thats %50 MADE in the US now only attracts a %3 importation duty since 1/1/2005.Who knows they are changeing laws all the time. I found outboard gear comes under the classification: Schedule 3 Ref number 8543.89.00,Statistical-code/unit 82,chapter 85,if anyone needs to know. Oops I learnt something,I think. Anyway I better email MixMasters and look for a deal. Thanks again.
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Postby wez » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:27 pm

compressor over the 2mix? ok, fair enough. EQ? really? are you sure?

interesting that consoles all have EQ on every channel, but never on the stereo mix.

don't paint yourself into a corner. too many mixes ruined by EQ across the whole mix. get the mix right, save yourself some money.

having a grumpy day, but i'm still right.

w
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Postby rick » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:28 am

just to mix it up
i have never mixed a record without a compresser and then an eq across the mix, the eq sorts out what the compresser messes up.
very common approach.

one phase coherent boost on the stereo buss is better the twenty five miss guided ones on the console strips when trying to brighten something up .

whats better still is recording stuff that does not need eq !
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Postby davemc » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:47 am

I tend to do a slight boost on the top end with a stereo eq. Before I start mixing. One EQ boost there instead of multiplies like Rick has said.
I also start mixing with the 2buss comp on, normally the Pendulum.

Then again a lot of my clients this year. I ended up mastering myself. I push every band I record to get it mastered elsewhere. They either would not pay for mastering or where happy with what I did.
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Postby wez » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:46 am

yeah but you're an ME rick, how do you go trying to think exclusively like a mix guy when you're wearing that hat? i've noticed that when mix engineers come into my room and try and do tweaks, they lose the plot - still thinking it's a mix. when i try and mix these days, it's a struggle - thinking like a mastering guy. seriously, i'm interested to know how you go about it.

the thing you said about one big phase coherent boost... that certainly makes a lot of sense, but you have to know what you're doing. whereas you (and other MEs) spend your day thinking in .5, or 1 dB increments, a lot of guys are thinking in 3 dB, 6dB or even more! and they're making these judgements on NS10s or genelecs in bad rooms.

which brings me to another thing - and i'm sure i've said this before - for the most part, i don't get the quality of project that you do, so i hear a lot of mixes buggered up with misguided mix buss tweakage. sure, it might be a good learning experience for the engineer/artist, but most of these guys are trying to get a record out with a limited budget and rarely have the time/money/inclination to remix (or even just re-bounce minus the buss comp/eq etc).

ok, i'm sure the turtlerock's of this world get more than their share of compromised mixes, so i'm not saying it's all perfect at the top end (hey cool pun). but down here i just hear a lot more bad results than good when it comes to DIY mastering/pseudo-mastering. and i'd rather spend my day making a good sounding record sound great, than struggling to make an average sounding record sound ok.
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Postby Kris » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:12 am

hehe, i'm one of Rick's clients.....I wouldn't be ascribing the "quality" tag to everything I do....I'm still learning. Still mixing in my bedroom.

One thing I do know though is that Rick makes me look good.

Sorry....off topic.
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Postby davemc » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:13 am

If the band wants to get the product mastered I always give them a data version without any 2 buss compressors/eq's etc.
Although lately a lot of my mix sound is made using the Pendulum and 2 Buss EQ. So Yeah I can understand dropping off the Limiter and Multi-band comp(if I use it).
Although I think I will let the compressor stay if not the EQ as well.
Yes I am only talking around 2db boost max..

Although as I said this year more and more bands have not gone out for mastering. I always push the second ears angle etc.
I do not know if its the $'s thing or whatever.
Even bands that last year spent the money this year have just been getting me to do it with their latest release.
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Postby rick » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:07 pm

interesting take on my comment wez,
maybe i am a mastering engineer but i thought i was just a sound guy

ie for a brief time in the early nineties i was the "hottest mix guy " in the country, and before that the "hottest vocal recording guy" ( yes that was really why i was booked - just to record the vocals !) and i have a bunch of heavy shiny platinium and gold awards that forget to state i have a mastering business.

i have always produced a couple of records a year

obviously before all that that i was the vinyl cutting dude at festival

i keep hearing how mastering engineers only master records and thats what makes them specialists but ask bob ludwig, about lou reed,
or perhaps bob clearmountain or nick luaney about there first job....
(mes) even the bob katzs of the world have a secret life as a sound smith

i think you will find the known specialist mastering guys are all actually consumate sound dweebs in disguise and the real good mix guys are well aware of the art of eq.

i think sticking a compresser across the buss and a stereo eq to sort it out it very very common in the mix stage
well it is at my end of town anyways.

if your clients are mucking up the sound with crappy eq choices , your not alone , but if you think you can stop a sound guy from wanting to plug something in to see if things improve ... well
dont hold your breath

btw how is you new digs working out..?
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Postby heathen » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:59 am

Cheers Rick,I'm with you on this one.I knew I needed a nice eq so I ordered one of the avalon AD 2055's.Rick steered me in the right direction before in buying an Al Smart C2,one of my best purchases I think.I've used it on every song in the album I've just finished, as a mix buss comp it really shines,I use it carefully,like super glue.I've been waiting ages to afford an avalon eq for tracking and for my stereo mix buss.I know it will add another element of quality to my sound. My mixes sound just fine on thier own,but I like mixing down with a comp on the stereo buss and I know I'm gonna love mixing with the 2055 eq as well. They will sound better,I'm confident and competent with thier use on the stereo buss.
Any mix engineer who does'nt think in 1-2 db increments is in trouble to start. I just finished produceing a hip hop album for a friend and with ns 10's as well. I even mastered it and it sounds fantastic on every system I've listened on,even the bass is sweet (though I will get it finally mastered elsewhere,I'm too close to it,and my ns 10's,haha).
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Postby Adam Dempsey » Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:55 pm

Yes, well it's worth another mention that there's more to pro mastering than audio processing. ;)
ie, viewing (hearing) the bigger picture & 'the flow' rather than tracks in isolation.. level adjustments.. top/tailing.. gaps & segues (keeping them undo-able).. subcodes.. sample rate conversion and appropriate word length reduction.. integrity of the master itself (that one kinda matters a tad)..
Yes, it pays to get your hard worked on project professionally mastered, *even if it needs no sonic tweaking*. Sorry, off topic..
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Postby wez » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:21 pm

hey rick... well i'm in the new place, that's a start. and only 7 months behind schedule, and i'm still waiting for some doors, and david mccluney and i have very different standards when it comes to coffee...

but it's a joy to be in such a vibrant, family environment, there's so much going on at the moment. and of course having a great room doesn't hurt.

regarding my comments... i think i'm at a point where i'm so immersed in mastering that i forget that i even had a past doing other stuff. not so long ago i would've called myself a guitarist if anyone asked, and i still refuse to use the phrase "mastering engineer" on my business cards - it might seem a bit strange, but it's my way of keeping myself in check, because i know that most MEs are either 20 years older than me, or have 20 years more experience. so i guess i too am "just" a sound guy. but i stand by my observations regarding the different behaviours (mine included) of different types of "sound guys" in different environments. i know there are people out there who are brilliant (not just good) at everything (recording, mixing, mastering, sewing - you know who you are;-), but you don't meet them every day.

adam, i don't think it's possible to go OT here (except when talk turns to fishing, and even then there seems to be plenty of interest). anyway, thanks for reminding everyone about those other little things we do ;-) like i always say (adopting cross-legged, zen-like pose) - "even if the mastering engineer listens, and changes nothing, it has still been mastered".

ching.
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Postby Henry » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:16 pm

I know some very big wig types who always mix with a C4 across the buss in Protools. They have since it first came out, and even though there are even better products that have come out they still choose to use the C4. Not that I'm telling anyone anything new, it's common practise. I do it too, gets me there much quicker.
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Postby wez » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:40 am

could i just say again... that i don't have a problem with the judicious use of compression across a mix, it's EQ that we're talking about here. although when you think about it, it's (usually) easier to counteract poor EQ in mastering than over-compression or limiting.
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Postby Henry » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:51 am

In digital I dont really eq that much, you either have or you dont and do it again if not. And come mix time you've heard it that often you know where its all gonna go. Maybe one or two things you know should sound special, then slap the C4 on it and hope that its flat enough with some energy!! If you've got not enough zing now wack a bit ren eq across across the whole shcimozil!! Easy!
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Postby heathen » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:06 am

The latest project I worked on had no separation of drums in most songs,they were mostly stereo loops,I mean I know it sounds easy but gimmee a tight rock band to mix any day.When the rendered files were brought to me for this album there was nothing I could do except eq things to the hilt to make it work.The arrangements are very good in most part but the guys I did the album for are not audio pro's at all,there was clipping here and there, synth snares on carrier waves of aroung 30-40 hz in some cases nearly popping my speakers out. All the rules were broken from the start.Some of the vocal performances were done on the crappiest $100 mic,but the performances were great and we could not get the same vibe again at my place,so these takes stayed,noise and all,grrrrr.In the end though the album sounds great,everyone I know loves it,even those who are not into hip hop,me included.I wish I had the Avalon 2055 2 months ago,it would have been used alot on this album. But saying things should'nt be eq'd in a mix is like saying you don't need dunny paper after a crap. Thats what these tools are for,to make things work if they don't naturally gel.Was a difficult project but well worth it.Rick wrote a great article on parametric eq-ing in Audio tech mag ages ago dunno when but as a novice then it changed my perspective on eq.I was the same as a lot of others go for a tight q then sweep around looking for freq's to change,but now I listen longer first then use a broader q and a little boost or cut here and there unless something really annoying has to be notched out.On the mix buss though small increments of eq are obviously the way to do it as most eq-ing should be already done.Just a little low end and high end shaping.Maybe a little 4khz sometimes if things are sounding dull. Ahhh the 2055 should come today,c'mon Mr delivery man. Geez I'm impatient.
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Postby Adam Dempsey » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:27 pm

Well put, Wez (very visual.. are you surrounded by cushions? ;)

Yes, EQ.. and sometimes subtractive only, rather than boosting. Last night's session (rock/rockabilly) involved only low cut EQ and a touch of peak limit. No compression. Job done.

There's a challenge, next time you're mixing try pulling back what's too strong rather than adding what's lacking, and see if it sounds even more transparent...
I'm not implying it's always *the way to go* but you'll find that, often, it can be and it would open many people to another method of listening.
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Postby mark rachelle » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:57 pm

i don't know why you mastering guys whinge about eq on a mix

bob clearmountain (my hero) often uses 2 across his mixes
avalon 2055 and a pair of pultecs (lucky bastard)

anyway eq is awesome,
i'm not sure whats more fun eq or compression

what make it shit is bad eqs that do a lot
so stay away from them like the plague (not easy in prosumer land)!

anyway
i've noticed mastering engineers always say don't do this and don't do that

i completly disagree

do it.

the important lesson is to understand yourself why they say not to over limit or eq.
how you going to learn how to slide your car sideways if you don't hae a go!

just make sure you are careful not to crash
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Postby Adam Dempsey » Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:25 pm

Of course, Bob knows what he's doing. Many do.

But many don't. Or use Qs that are too high, or clip analogue stages (or plugins) that themselves may not be necessary. And I put it that the Qs on most consoles are just not broad enough for mix sweetening.

Sure, experiment. If it sounds good, it sounds good. Just don't send only EQ'd or comp'd versions for mastering. Please.
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Postby heathen » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:57 am

If your using a crap noisy eq then yeah subtractive is the only way to go,but a 1-2 db boost with a top quality eq won't hurt anything. 5 mins with the Avalon gave me a smile big enough to see from space.
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Postby Henry » Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:38 pm

[quote="mark rachelle"]i've noticed mastering engineers always say don't do this and don't do that

i completly disagree

do it. [/quote]


I completely agree! Everyone compresses the buss and eq's in pop and rock! There are no rules!
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