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Abbey Road/Waves REDD Console Channel Strip

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

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annode
KVRAF
 
4904 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:20 am

Oh well, can't please everyone. :shrug:
"It`s difficult to work in a group when you`re omnipotent." Q
My SoundCloud
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:41 am

Of course you can't. But you have to admit, both of these videos don't tell you anything useful, or anything "correct" (like the peak meter - it's not an output meter "per se" - it's a PPM add on to the 300ms VU's). Even the manual is better. The only advantage is to hear and see it in action.




annode wrote:PS: Just noticed...at least with the 51, there is a summing master output section connecting track channels.


Would still love to know what you mean by that.
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Dean Aka Nekro
KVRAF
 
6083 posts since 4 Oct, 2007, from A shitty little village that I will re-escape soon

Postby Dean Aka Nekro; Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:50 pm

You could always demo it could you not compy? Surely it would be the most painless way of finding out the information man. I know the demo limitations/policy is very snide (imagine going through the Mercury bundle in 7 days!?! That would be something) but you would then be able to depend on your own strict measurements/tests.

Perhaps when you have pretty much at least the good part of seven days/a week so that the ridiculous demo flash and its gone period you can fully utilize in the studio context man.

Do you have a second machine/laptop? That is the method I use with only abit of audio stuff on the laptop but enough to run something through demo paces and then if it is really obviously going to be a good buy then I'll go for it or if I feel like longer time is needed for example or must run it in the much more complex mixes the DAW machine takes care of then It'll find its way over onto the DAW. It keeps a heck of alot of garbage (including myself sometimes :hihi: ) off of the business machine

I know not much help but it honestly seems like it is only yourself that can answer these ones in the depth/scope you want.

Its abit naff that hard fact is not available on these things and part backs my prior rant of how rose tinted nostalgia can get in the way of the bottom line, If they really are so legendary/important then I would of thought details would be plentiful :shrug:

Just my humble honest opinion/2 pence again that last part obviously

Dean
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:56 pm

Unfortunately no second rig, but fortunately good contacts where I can test. Which I will definitely do.

After watching that YT video by Jeezo, it's hard to understand why the EQ reacts like it does compared to the plots printed in the "Recording the Beatles" book. Granted, they were simplyfied for easy understanding. But they didn't mention the cut in the mid section on HF boost.


Then again, more important to me are certain aspects like "crosstalk", the THD plot, how the fader affects all this (read: have they modeled the behavior). I'll see if I can test that today.
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:43 am

Okay, so I sit here in front on an EeePC at a friends studio running Abbey Road REDD. I'm a tiny bit shocked, and definitely not surprised.



First and foremost the Drive and Analog knobs.

Drive seems to be a standard "waveshaper", go above 0VU, and you have aliasing that isn't even funny. The Analog knob only raises the noise floor (see "crosstalk" below). My advice, actually turn down the gain and only add "subtle analog" (noise) if you need it.




On to the EQ:

I just compared the plots of the REDD 37/51 (set up to 51) with the plots from the "Recording the Beatles" book.

If we talk about this particular setup, then the readouts are pretty much similar compared to the plots from the book. Only that the frequency "boost" around 20Hz to 50Hz and around 10kHz zo 20kHz that exists in the book, doesn't exist on the plugin. If setup in default, only the LF boost is there. The HF is rolled off. Chances are the plot of the book is wrong, I just needed to point that out.

The maximum boost/cut volumes are also shifted down. Not much, by 1-2dB. But the plugin is definitely not as strong as what was plotted in the Beatles book. Else, the frequencies are somewhat spot on. Just keep in mind, both frequency bands interact strongly, and the Q's are really(!) wide in terms of shelving. You have to listen to what's going on.


Then I noticed something while messing with the EQ and switching between the REDD .37 and .51 console. The frequency response is sometimes completely different.

Example: I used the CLASSIC EQ setting, only boosted the HF to it's maximum and switched between .37 and .51. On the .37 board I actually had a peak EQ at around 60Hz, while on the .51 board it wasn't there. Only the "tilt" figure of the frequency plot with a rotary point at about 5kHz. The switch between these consoles (or preamps) also result in a shift of the HF. You can say that the .51 is more flat than the .37 - though this is certainly not a correct term IMO. Neither is "character".


There is no significant difference between switching from Channel I to Channel II. Sometimes it's even minor. At least on the plots and the .51 - it's more noticable on the .17 however. According to VST Plugin Analyser, there is even no stereo shift happening, unless you switch one channel to .37 and the other one to .51 - which is also clearly noticable on the THD plot.



The .17 console shows some significant "sound shaping" right from the start. If the frequency response test would be boosted by 3dB, it would result in a somewhat croocked peak EQ at around 35Hz (about +3dB) and a high shelf around 10kHz (+1dB). Important however: a steep low cut starting at 20Hz. If you shift down the frequency response test again to zero, the "peaks" are at 0dB, and we actually have a mid frequency drop over the whole frequency spectrum.

EQ wise, the PAD results in a somewhat flat response at -10dB. Else, the HF boost doesn't even reach +2dB and rather turns down the mid sections around 500Hz. Cutting does result in a shelf EQ with a starting point around 5kHz and wide EQ, maximum is around -6dB.

LF boost/cut is similar, but here both boost/cut reaches +/-5dB respectively. Crossover point around 120Hz, wide Q. Bass lift gives about +6dB.


Another thing to notice:
According to the Beatles book, the EQ and Gain was "stepped" (multi-switch) and no potis. This was not ported in this plugin. Something I actually prefered with Nomad Factory's British EQ, and their ANTEC Clone. Not many developers take the risk to go that route but rather play it save. Sad really.




The fader:

I really, really hoped for an actual interaction of the frequency plot or the harmonic distortion while messing with the fader. But it looks like that there is nothing like that happening. Not even the slightest bit. You can turn up/turn down the volume. No interaction. Pity - coal resistors are known to mess with frequencies to a certain extend. Even if only slightly.

Makes me really sad.




The Meters:

On first glance, accurate. The VU's are calibrated to -18dBFS, can be shifted from -24 to -8. However there is no interaction with the preamps (saturation). The vertical meter in the middle is (indeed) a PPM that shows the maximum peak of a signal. Though sometimes I have a feeling that the VU is faster than the one from Klanghelm. Different meter sizes, different animations.

Also the PPM is a bit small. With lower signal levels, it's hard to read where you're at if you want to completely trust on that VU/PPM combo while doing post-pro.




Crosstalk:

Er... yeah. With a constant sine signal and the analog knob turned all the way up, I could see a certain "crosstalk" in RME's Digicheck. But on closer inspection, it is not any crosstalk whatsoever. Thankfully, the plugin has a "monitor" switch where I can focus on one channel only. And this test confirmed that there is no bleeding happening from one channel into the other - just raising noise.

Just to be sure, I changed the channels (from I to II), I tested the 17, the 37 and the 51 - nothing. So to those of you that thought of using it as "summing" plugin like NLS/VCC/TESSLA PRO - it's not working. Sorry.

IIRC, that wasn't even planned originally (real console), as it had several outputs that the signal could be routed to. Which in turn was directly printed on tape. Though I might be wrong on that in terms of understanding what was written in the book.



:arrow: SUMMARY:

Still interesting, yet pricey plugins. The GUI's could have been toned down, they even have a different GUI width in both stereo and mono mode. For sorting on screen, a bit moot. Else they're large enough, even on bigger screens than 22". Except for the VU/PPM maybe.

I like the idea of having access to these old EQs, but they are IMO too expensive for that. The modeling is also not really as I expected. Granted, there is a distinct THD fingerprint which is on the lines to that of Slate's VCC RC. But I somewhat expected... more "magic". The drive and analog mode is just a joke IMO, same with the fader. Wasted space really just to have a more beautiful GUI.

I really wish Waves and Abbey Road would improve on that, maybe even port the preamps over to NLS to those that don't want to use the EQ or get fancy with a vintage GUI. Else, it's nice to finally see that thing ported. Though I hoped the dynamic duo Slate/Gabriel would be first. :shrug:


Would I get it?

Actually yes. But not for higher than 199USD, maybe not even higher than 150USD. Unfortunately we talk about the brand "Abbey Road", where every plugin is priced around 250-500 quids. I'd love to get the full set (Brillinace Pack as add on to the REDD, the RS124 comp set, the TG transfer console EQ's and NLS on top of it), but this would cost me a fortune.

Fortunately, I do have the one or another plugin already that is on a similar level of the REDD/TG - but who knows what might happen in the future.

One thing is for certain - you have to(!) listen to these plugins. Just slamming them on a signal and tweak some EQ and the input gain doesn't work. It's also not recreating an instant "50/60ies" sound - for this we would also need the mics and the recording chambers. Maybe even rerouting again through another channel strip.

But we can get some of that limitation from yesteryear back again - thanks to plugins.
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:41 am

Hm... nearly 5k reads, and thread ended after my post.

Looks like I killed another one. :tu:
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cyphersuit
KVRAF
 
2147 posts since 12 Nov, 2009

Postby cyphersuit; Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:13 am

I was torn about VTM and REDD to ad to my setup. I already have Kramer Tape, VCC, Helios, Aphex and a lot more. gonna go with VTM now ;)
Finally!
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Dean Aka Nekro
KVRAF
 
6083 posts since 4 Oct, 2007, from A shitty little village that I will re-escape soon

Postby Dean Aka Nekro; Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:38 am

Compyfox wrote:Hm... nearly 5k reads, and thread ended after my post.

Looks like I killed another one. :tu:


Well there is not much else to add as you have answered alot of (if not all) questions man. I think for me at least it has confirmed that it is an EQ with alot of specific to itself behaviour but obviously not anything more when it could of obviously been alot more.

To give it 'X' It would seem that an instance of Slate's RC Tube or perhaps to get closer the nebula library for the same mic/line amps used is going to be for an engineer wishing to have a virtual REDD at thier disposal best bet. Why they didn't just call it REDD EQ? Would be fair enough then IMO

It just seems a shame that Waves have the means to do more than they have done with this. GUIs look great but should be alot smaller considering most of the stuff is a waste of space.

I use that URS CCS Pro 2 for getting abit of colour on my clean mic pre-amps should I wish along with ThrillseekerLA with no range on the dyanamics for some saturation also as you mentioned the new TeslaPRO Mk II (I have a few other options but they are 'goto' for the purpose of getting some character from sterile mic pre-amps). Funnily enough I have nearly all of the Abbeyroad Plugins, The 'mastering pack' even though it has no mojo/magic the main 4-band EQ is just really quick to work with, The RS135 is abit special but when it is right for something its great and the Brilliance Pack is great for use for me/my needs as an exciter almost, On paralel bus/aux channels for example but obviously can be used alot more subtley to lift the higher frequencies

None have anything close to what using any of the outboard Equalizers and Dynamics processors chandler have available on source material, Those things are instant mojo/colourful/character wise. So other than a new flavour of non-surgical EQ what else does it offer other than having official branding/blessing? My rant still standing about 'glory days' and the mythical tools of the trade that unfortunately will sell with the name. Pity

Thanks for the details and similar feeling of dissapointment, ATB :)

Dean
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:21 pm

cyphersuit wrote:I was torn about VTM and REDD to ad to my setup. I already have Kramer Tape, VCC, Helios, Aphex and a lot more. gonna go with VTM now ;)


But VTM is another tape machine. Granted, it's not an AMPEX but two STUDER's - but still. We're talking about a tube console here with a very own kind of two-band EQ.

You can still use the REDD plugin for saturation, it just doesn't offer any crosstalk. Unless you know your ways around it.


Dean Aka Nekro wrote:Well there is not much else to add as you have answered alot of (if not all) questions man. I think for me at least it has confirmed that it is an EQ with alot of specific to itself behaviour but obviously not anything more when it could of obviously been alot more.


I kind of expected a summing matrix myself, like with the actual console. But this can easily be done with a host. The main thing I kind of expected was the "modeling" of the fader, and stepped potis. But this is unfortunately with a lot of emulations - variable potis rather than stepped ones.

Kudos to the rare devs that do this.



Dean Aka Nekro wrote:To give it 'X' It would seem that an instance of Slate's RC Tube or perhaps to get closer the nebula library for the same mic/line amps used is going to be for an engineer wishing to have a virtual REDD at thier disposal best bet. Why they didn't just call it REDD EQ? Would be fair enough then IMO


It is more than an EQ, since it comes with an own saturation stage (at least in terms of pre-EQ).

In theory, this can be done with Nebula or VCC's RC Tube, the ANTEC preamp by SoundToys and an appropriate EQ. But it won't be "a" REDD.


Dean Aka Nekro wrote:It just seems a shame that Waves have the means to do more than they have done with this. GUIs look great but should be alot smaller considering most of the stuff is a waste of space.


I unfortunately agree on that end.


Dean Aka Nekro wrote:None have anything close to what using any of the outboard Equalizers and Dynamics processors chandler have available on source material, Those things are instant mojo/colourful/character wise. So other than a new flavour of non-surgical EQ what else does it offer other than having official branding/blessing? My rant still standing about 'glory days' and the mythical tools of the trade that unfortunately will sell with the name. Pity


I actually never understood why the Chandler/TG/Abbey Road plugins didn't have any modeling schemes in terms or preamps for the EQ (he RS124 is full of mojo!). But then again, they focused on the behavior of the EQ's - which actually adds to the usability. The "Brilliance Pack" is a prime example: instead of boosting frequencies, it uses a steep bandpass and reduces the rest in terms of volume (passive, non powered EQ design).

So if you combine either of these plugins with NLS or the Brilliance Pack with the REDD Channel Strip, then you can get close to the actual hardware. But you have to get the routing!


Actually, I'd prefer that Waves would outsource the REDD preamps as well. Then people can mix and match to their hearts content. Like the RED .37 preamp with the PULTEC EQ (which would be an actual evolution of the console!), or the TG EQ with a Class A console. A fusion of old and new. This is why I actually like these kind of plugins.

But spending 350 bucks (MSRP) for the REDD to pull that off, is just a bit much IMO. If they'd bundle the Brilliance Pack as well, then it'd be worth the money and actually offer people the same soundshaping capabilities that Abbey Road had at the time as well.

Sans the mics of course. ;)


Dean Aka Nekro wrote:Thanks for the details and similar feeling of dissapointment, ATB :)


I'm not fully dissapointed, Dean. Just a bit scared off.

The price is steep (if we look at the MSRP) for what you get - but we're talking about the brand Waves and(!) Abbey Road. If the price stays at 199USD, then it's still competitive considering what is in the bundle, or if you want to compare it to the rest of Waves modeling series.

The shell system is just a turn-off.


You have to listen to the EQ, you have to know it's limits. If you know your ways around it, or actually prefer these limits - then it's a great tool. I'll definitely keep an eye on it. Maybe Abbey Road Plugins will drop the prices eventually, or someone else creates a console preamp port - then we have some competition to choose from. And that can't be bad, no? :tu:
Lenticular
KVRian
 
511 posts since 7 Apr, 2010

Postby Lenticular; Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:35 pm

No, this is not VCC or NLS console emu with summing.
You didn't mention much about the sounds of these plugins & how it effects certain material.
That's key to me, not whether the gui is too big...
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:06 pm

Lenticular wrote:No, this is not VCC or NLS console emu with summing.


Indeed, no summing - just a channel strip. But the characteristics of the THD fingerprint (read: saturatoin) is similar (not saying close) to that of VCC RC. At least for the preamp.


Lenticular wrote:You didn't mention much about the sounds of these plugins & how it effects certain material.
That's key to me, not whether the gui is too big...


Depends on what you actually want to hear from me. This is definitely a subjective topic.


I didn't drive the signal over the 0VU point, barely +1VU on percussive material. So as with VCC's RC Tube, I find the sound shaping by the preamp fairly subtle if "underdriven".

The .17 had a own sound right from the start due to the bump around 50Hz and the highshelf bump around 10kHz, the rest was as if there was a mid frequency dip - as mentioned earlier. While testing, I mostly used the .51


The EQ... well the POP EQ module can work on percussive material, depending on the used snare however, the CLASSIC module works better. I didn't test other material like Bass or Vocals. But as also mentioned earlier, you have to listen. I even compensated the output volume with the fader for simpler A/Bing - you might need to do that as well since the EQ is sometimes really strong. Even at low values.

The Bass Lift is actually a cool concept. It was originally introduced to compensate microphones that lacked lowend (due to their frequency response back in the days), it can definitely work wonders on (modern) kick drums or vintage loops. But I wouldn't use that feature on vocals due to the lowshelf boost around 50Hz. Especially with modern mics. Unless you say "ah to hell with it, let's boost some more".


Else, due to the nature of the EQ, you have some sort of tilting going on. Depending on the used console (in this particular example, the .51 due to the peak EQ on boost) - you raise the HF, this results in a peak EQ and in turn reduces the LF. Or, depending on the console, creates another (reduced) peak EQ in the LF section (centered around 75Hz to 200Hz) and a hige mid-frequency dip. Use the .17 and you don't have a peak EQ, but a shelf EQ. Different sound shaping alltogether.

Very simple (though compilcated interaction), but this clears why 50ies/60ies recordings sound as if there is barely any lowend existing. Also why there were the "Brilliance" boxes were created in the first place - to compensate frequency bands that are not available through the console, but later in the TG transfer console.


If you're after a modern sound - forget it. You're better off with a full parametric EQ like SSL or NEVE (see SSL, IKM, UAD, Nomad Factory, etc). This is a fixed two band parametric EQ with passive design. It's even stronger interacting than the ANTEC 9063B (ALL-TECH by Nomad Factory).


If you really want to know how it sounds, or affects the signal - especially your(!) signal. Then I'm afraid that you have to test it for yourself.

I can't give much more feedback than that.
sunny_j
KVRist
 
318 posts since 8 Sep, 2008

Postby sunny_j; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:18 pm

Compyfox wrote:Drive seems to be a standard "waveshaper", go above 0VU, and you have aliasing that isn't even funny.

Typical of sooo many "emulations".
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:31 pm

Funny that this is only for the "drive" section (which seems to be post EQ), not the "gain" knob.


BTW:
I didn't find anything regarding OS or internal OS (manual or plugin). Unfortunately VST Plugin Analyser can't test that. And I don't remember the CPU usage. So I can't tell you folks anything about that either.
sunny_j
KVRist
 
318 posts since 8 Sep, 2008

Postby sunny_j; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:37 pm

OS? oversampling?
Compyfox
KVRAF
 
11075 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany

Postby Compyfox; Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:44 pm

Yes - but as I said, I didn't see any mention of it.

Then again, no manual at hand to check again.
On the other hand, why shouldn't it be internally oversampled? Unless you want to save on CPU usage.

Only the dev can answer this. :shrug:
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