Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

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Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

Post by JSRockit » Wed May 14, 2008 7:54 pm

Ok, as many of you know, I basically use just the Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine these days...and, as far as synths and drum machines go, nothing else. I've been looking for that elusive box that will make my Elektrons sound a bit smoother / warmer / more pleasing to the ears...and do not want to record to / or deal with reel to reel tape. I've tried some cheap tube pre-amps, warming plug-ins, filters, distortions etc...but nothing seems to be what I'm looking for. It is not that I hate the digitalness of the Elektrons...I actually like the clarity... it's just that sometimes things are a bit too harsh in the highs and a bit too thin in the lows and plug-in EQs (Logic) are a bit too sterile for my taste (great for cutting, generic for adding).

Now, from reading reviews on the Empirical Labs stuff...like the Distressor (x2) and the Fatso Jr., it appears that people tend to site these as boxes that do what I'm looking for...as well as great compression. The problem is that they are big money. I'm looking for analog hardware that adds to a sound (harmonic distortion) without changing it completely. So, to be clear, I'm not looking for a filter, any software hocus pocus, tape decks, or clean pre-amps that just amplify a signal. Anything else out there that does what the Empirical Labs stuff supposedly does at a cheaper price point? (It has to be able to do subtle to blatant.) or am I expecting too much from one box?
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Re: Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

Post by GeneralBigbag » Wed May 14, 2008 8:46 pm

JSRockit wrote:... it's just that sometimes things are a bit too harsh in the highs and a bit too thin in the lows and plug-in EQs (Logic) are a bit too sterile for my taste (great for cutting, generic for adding).
It's not what you're asking for, but you should check the free Pushtec and Electri-Q eqs. They are quite good.

I have a bad feeling that 'cheap warmth' is a pipedream, if you're looking for a simple solution...You could get a used Fatso for <2k....
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Post by Solderman » Wed May 14, 2008 9:23 pm

Cheapest way I know to add some warmth is with a mixing console with one free Aux Send channel and one free channel strip. Send the thin-sounding channel out from the Aux and back to its own channel strip. Hi-cut this "Aux Return" channel, boost the mids to taste, and here's the important part: Create a minimal feedback loop on this special channel by having it also go out to the same Aux Send, but not too much. You can also stick some kind of non-linear pre-amp between the send and return for added wool.
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Re: Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

Post by JSRockit » Wed May 14, 2008 9:25 pm

GeneralBigbag wrote:
I have a bad feeling that 'cheap warmth' is a pipedream, if you're looking for a simple solution...You could get a used Fatso for <2k....
I agree...however, I have a feeling that the Fatso may be a pipedream in regards to warmth as well... so I don't want to spend $2000 for something that only provides a subtle improvement. I guess I'm just clueless when it comes to "pro" audio stuff...and if there is a huge improvement when used by an amatuer like myself.
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Post by space6oy » Wed May 14, 2008 9:28 pm

JS, haven't you already tried some EHX pedal? maybe that's one of the preamp scenario's you're talking about.

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Post by JSRockit » Wed May 14, 2008 9:56 pm

space6oy wrote:JS, haven't you already tried some EHX pedal? maybe that's one of the preamp scenario's you're talking about.
Yeah, that was useless for this purpose (pretty good for a cheap general purpose pre-amp though). Just made things louder (no way really?) and added more to the noise floor.
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Post by space6oy » Wed May 14, 2008 10:08 pm

JSRockit wrote:
space6oy wrote:JS, haven't you already tried some EHX pedal? maybe that's one of the preamp scenario's you're talking about.
Yeah, that was useless for this purpose (pretty good for a cheap general purpose pre-amp though). Just made things louder (no way really?) and added more to the noise floor.
which one was it?
doubt it's at all what you're looking for, but an incredibly cheap thing i use to add a little grit to my revo is their LPB-1. there are those BBE maximizers too, might be worth a shot.

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Re: Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

Post by aeon » Wed May 14, 2008 10:19 pm

JSRockit wrote:I've been looking for that elusive box that will make my Elektrons sound a bit smoother / warmer / more pleasing to the ears...sometimes things are a bit too harsh in the highs and a bit too thin in the lows
JSRockit wrote:I'm looking for analog hardware that adds to a sound (harmonic distortion) without changing it completely.
The above two things don't go together.

If the Elektrons are too harsh in the highs, a process that adds more highs - like harmonic distortion, won't do the trick.

If you want to take that edge off, you need something to filter highs and/or limit slew rate.

I've tried both my MD SPS-1UW and MnM SFX-6 with an Empirical Labs FATSO. Not worth the price of admission IMHO for this application, and the results were far from a bounce to reel-to-reel.


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Post by killedaway » Wed May 14, 2008 10:43 pm

hey, what about one of those sub-bass harmonizer thingies? maybe they can add a little on the low end and round things out?

i'm just guessing, i've never used one. i always wanted to play with one though.
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Post by otto » Wed May 14, 2008 11:52 pm

Analog compressor + equalizer + filter might help. Starved plate tube stuff seems to be hype to me.
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Re: Magic Box of :cry: "Warmth" for Elektrons?

Post by JSRockit » Thu May 15, 2008 1:04 am

aeon wrote:
JSRockit wrote:I've been looking for that elusive box that will make my Elektrons sound a bit smoother / warmer / more pleasing to the ears...sometimes things are a bit too harsh in the highs and a bit too thin in the lows
JSRockit wrote:I'm looking for analog hardware that adds to a sound (harmonic distortion) without changing it completely.
The above two things don't go together.

If the Elektrons are too harsh in the highs, a process that adds more highs - like harmonic distortion, won't do the trick.

If you want to take that edge off, you need something to filter highs and/or limit slew rate.

I've tried both my MD SPS-1UW and MnM SFX-6 with an Empirical Labs FATSO. Not worth the price of admission IMHO for this application, and the results were far from a bounce to reel-to-reel.


cheers.
Ian
Thanks for your help. Well, the highs aren't the biggest issue...it's the lows really. However, thanks for the issue. I should have put (Harmonic Distortion?)... since I didn't know what to call what I'm looking for. I'm not sure I even know what I'm looking for.
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Post by JSRockit » Thu May 15, 2008 1:05 am

killedaway wrote:hey, what about one of those sub-bass harmonizer thingies? maybe they can add a little on the low end and round things out?

i'm just guessing, i've never used one. i always wanted to play with one though.
Like what? :idea:
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Post by space6oy » Thu May 15, 2008 1:18 am

JSRockit wrote:
killedaway wrote:hey, what about one of those sub-bass harmonizer thingies? maybe they can add a little on the low end and round things out?

i'm just guessing, i've never used one. i always wanted to play with one though.
Like what? :idea:
like these, i imagine. didn't alesis used to make one too?

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Post by JSRockit » Thu May 15, 2008 1:40 am

space6oy wrote:
JSRockit wrote:
killedaway wrote:hey, what about one of those sub-bass harmonizer thingies? maybe they can add a little on the low end and round things out?

i'm just guessing, i've never used one. i always wanted to play with one though.
Like what? :idea:
like these, i imagine. didn't alesis used to make one too?
Are these used on completed mixes? seems like I'd only want that added to a completed mix that was too thin or to a kick drum. This sounds a bit too hocus pocus to me.
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Post by space6oy » Thu May 15, 2008 2:10 am

JSRockit wrote:
space6oy wrote:
JSRockit wrote: Like what? :idea:
like these, i imagine. didn't alesis used to make one too?
Are these used on completed mixes? seems like I'd only want that added to a completed mix that was too thin or to a kick drum. This sounds a bit too hocus pocus to me.
never used one, just heard of them when looking into octave fx, read that dj's use them to add low end.

edit: know what, that reminded me, ask shagghie. 99% sure he's sold one on here not too long ago...

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