Nice Rack!

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.

Nice Rack!

Postby syntheticsolutions » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:18 pm

I have come to the conclusion that I have a sufficiently overwhelming amount of synthesisers and keyboards at the moment. Whilst I am not going to declare myself disinterested in buying more of them, I am focusing on my outboard recording hardware set up.

I have been working with a couple of bands and artists on production and recording etc. and love working outside of my computer. I have managed to build a rather fetching Roland rack consisting of the classic Vococder, graphic EQ, bass amp/compressor, line mixer, phaser, flanger and dimension D. I love this rack as it is essentially a self contained studio system that sounds great. I also have a couple of cheap reverbs etc. as well as the classic tape delay stuff.

Other that the Roland stuff that I spent time researching, I don't really know what people favour when it comes to rack gear in relation to reverbs, compressors, delays, EQ's and so on.

so,,, What has earned its way into your set up that you can swear by? Is there one bit of gear that just serves you well every time you use it? I have heard great things about the old korg delay units and am considering getting the vermona spring reverb. As far as compressors go, I have no idea where to look without going into ££££.

Basically, what do you consider to be the "holy grail" of rack hardware
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Re: Nice Rack!

Postby madtheory » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:53 pm

Compressor: Distressor, Urei 1176 (silver). The Distressor does everything though.
Effects: Eventide H3000, Lexicon 224XL.
EQ: Massenburg.

Personally, I prefer plugins. Leaves more space in the room, and in the bank account. Good for holidays :)
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Re: Nice Rack!

Postby pflosi » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:58 pm

Check this nice thread on Muffs for cheapish effects: ... sc&start=0
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Re: Nice Rack!

Postby nathanscribe » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:43 pm

For reverb at least, you could try some Lexicon. The MPX1 can be had for around 200-250 GBP - it uses one dedicated Lexichip for reverb, and another DSP for the rest. It's programmable without too much agony, and sounds good.

I have a pair of old Digitech RDS1900 delays. They're 8-bit digital, no CPU involved, it's all logic and memory chips - does everything from flange to looping, with CV control. Nice and dirty, and grabbable for maybe 60 quid.

Compression on the cheap is another matter - I use an EHX White Finger on mono sources, it's a FET/optical unit in pedal format, is a bit faffy to set because of non-standard control labelling, but otherwise sounds good. Rack-wise, I have an ART Pro VLA ii, which is a dual-mono/stereo-linked optical unit, sounds good, is reasonably flexible but lacks side-chain, and the budget is given away by unpleasant switches, but hey, it's only about 240 quid.

The best spring reverb *emulation* I've used is the Boss FRV-1. I think that was about 79 quid. Does the job till I can work on getting a proper spring. Cheap spring reverb seems a bit thin on the ground, though you could DIY a case/supply for the Doepfer module. Or buy a tank and DIY the whole thing.

'Holy Grail' rack units are indeed ££££. Pragmatism demands mere £££, sometimes even ££. Yamaha's SPX 90 can be had for less than a hundred sheets, and for those of us who can't push to a Dimension D there's the Boss CE-300 for chorus. It's analogue (BBD), has just a mono in but stereo out, and some nice features like dry cut. Think mine was about £50 but they don't crop up much.

But you don't' care about that, because you have a Dimension D. :lol:

TBH I'm not bothered about classic pricey rack fx. I'm happy with stuff that has rough edges. I've ditched a load of pedals and a couple of racks and get a lot of use from Moogerfoogers. The Lexicon's my go-to reverb, I often use Logic's built-in compression for the sake of simplicity, and stuff like panning and widening can be done in software easily enough that I don't bother going out-of-the-box for it any more. I do like a proper analogue phaser and filter though, and EQ is channel parametrics on my A&H.

Also, get a MIDI Murf. Joy in a box!
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Re: Nice Rack!

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:28 am

I've got a Sebatron Thorax as my very nice channel strip, Eventide Eclipse for multifx, Yamaha E1010, Boss DM-100 and MF-104Z for analogue delay. I also process stuff through my modular system a lot. For EQ and dynamics when I'm mixing I use McDSP plugins, they sound really really good. Also built SSL mix bus comp and 1176 clones but they don't get much use unless I'm looking for something particularly nasty that you can only get from using them to the limits of what they're supposed to do.
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Re: Nice Rack!

Postby tomorrowstops » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:50 pm

Let's see. My favorites at work...

Distressor (x2) - THE swiss army knife of compressors
API 3124+ - not quite transparent, but not super colored either preamps
Re-201 Space Echo - oh the magical wow and flutter tape delay
SPX90 - CLASSIC, grainy, but sits oh-so-right in the mix reverb.

Right now, EQ is primarily done in the box. A lot of different plugins, but mostly emulations of the usual suspects; API, Pultec, Manley....I think next up for hardware EQ purchases is going to be a pair of API 550a's for the Lunchbox.
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