In a mixing world dominated by digital plug-ins it can be all too easy to overlook or even dismiss the idea of buying studio outboard processors but don’t underestimate what these devices can bring to your studio and indeed your workflows. As we all know, buying an audio plug-in is incredibly easy to do. The vast majority are of course available for you to try-before-you-buy as time limited demos to help you determine if “said” plug-in fits your workflow or not, it’s a very different affair in the 19” studio outboard gear world.
For us to be able to get a feel for what sort of hardware could be suitable for our studios we need to put time and research into all the options available as well as hear as many audio examples as possible of the gear in action before committing to any firm purchases. Luckily, we have produced countless video reviews featuring a great many 19” studio outboard processors to help you in your decision making processes. From mic preamps to effects units, compressors to EQs… check out our Expert Reviews of studio hardware and outboard gear below:
In this video for Production Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the Neve 8803 Dual Channel Equaliser. The 8803 is a hand-wired unit built in the companies UK factory based on the EQ section of the Neve 88RS console. James puts it to work on Bass, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals and a full stereo mix to see what the 8803 EQ has to offer.
In this Production Expert video review, we take a look at the VTRC Vari Tube Recording Channel by Tegeler Audio Manufaktur.
In this video review for Production Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the new Chroma 500 series mic pre/line preamp. The Chroma offers the same A & N modes of mojo mic pre circuit found on its big brother the Silver Bullet but adds the ability to add your own flavour of tone shaping with a "Colour" module.
In this video review for Production Expert, Pro Tools Expert Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the new Convert AD+ from Dangerous Music.
This is a very unique tool, so unique I can't think of any other studio outboard gear available today that comes close to The Sckwerkraftmaschine's feature set, value for money and overall sound quality. This thing is a compressor Swiss Army Knife, watch our video review to find out if you agree.
The Magnum-K is a single channel (mono) 1u dynamics rack unit that features two types of compressors and one Maag EQ2 section.
In this video for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the Silver Bullet by Louder Than Liftoff. In this part 1 of 2, James takes us around the unit, explaining the 4 different modes of operation and uses the Silver Bullet in Tracking and Mic Pre mode to show off the Silver Bullets powerful tone blending capabilities.
In this video review, Pro Tools Expert Deputy Editor Dan Cooper takes a look at the Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip. The 6176 features a single 610 tube preamp section and 1176N limiting amplifier that can either be used as two separate units or joined together with the output of the 610 tube preamp feeding into the input of the 1176 Limiter.
In this review for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey takes a look at the Neve 4081 Quad Mic Pre. This box offers 4 remote-controllable Neve 1081 mic pres in a 2U half rack unit. If it's classic Neve 1081 tone you are after with a modern twist this could well be the unit for you.
In this video James takes a look at the RS124 EMI Compressor by Chandler Limited. This is a compressor like you have never seen or heard before. It is based on 3 units that are kept and used at Abbey Road Studios in London. This is not a compressor to be used gently. It needs and wants to be smashed. James tries these valve compression beast out with Bass guitar to see what he can create.
Any regular readers of this blog will know I'm a huge fan of Maag Audio gear, it's an affair that started with the Maag EQ4 plugin, then the 500 series hardware and was furthered cemented after meeting the Maag team, all super talented and some of the nicest people in the business. Since then we've become good friends who I'm delighted and honoured to know.
So when I found out that they were making a new rack mount 6 band mastering EQ I was excited to get hold of one to try. I was even more excited when they told me I was getting one of the first units in the world... Christmas came early in my house.
Dan Cooper reviews a microphone pre amp that he's been itching to get in his studio for some time. The LEV Solutions Integrity II. Watch to find out what he thinks and to hear a short example recording featuring his talented singer songwriter wife Georgie.
In this video we get up close and personal with an outboard EQ that Dan feels has no equal. It represents exceptional value for money, sounds beautiful on just about anything you throw through it and can be tested in your studio with no commitment to buy. For £1,500 this could very well be Dan’s outboard EQ bargain of the century. Do you agree?
In the first of this pair of articles, I talked about the studio clean-up operation and the physical relocation of my studio toys getting ready for the addition of the Flock Audio Patch into my studio workflow. In this article I’m going to talk about setting up, routing and managing the Patch, some of the choices I had to make early on in the process and how Patch has changed my recording, mixing and mastering world.
This article could easily have been titled “the great studio spring clean of 2019” as one of the major issues I had to deal with was a mass of extra cables in my rig. You know the sort of thing that was not really installed properly to “fix” an issue or run in a piece of gear for a demo or review session. But the main reason for this studio overhaul was to install not only a new piece of kit, but also a new and exciting way of working. Introducing the Patch, digitally controlled analogue patch back by Flock Audio.
In this studio test we put the Wes Audio Beta 76 through it’s paces. It looks like an 1176, all be it with a handful of neat additions… but does it sound like an 1176? What makes this take on a legend different from the original units which came before?
Mono instrument tracks are easy to deal with but they can sound a little “lifeless” in a mix. Now we all know that there are plug-ins and hardware units that can create a massive stereo image from our mono signal, but this is often at the cost of mono compatibility. I was recently switched on to a technique using Inductor based EQ that can create an interesting stereo image with no fancy plugins or M/S trickery. Let me show you how it works.
UnderToneAudio’s MPEQ-1 channel strip features a Swiss Army Knife style 4 band parametric EQ section and glorious sounding mic pre. In this test we provide you an up close and personal overview of the device supported by some uninterrupted audio examples of this comprehensive outboard EQ in action.
I was very excited to find out about the new SSL Stereo Analogue Colour processor, The Fusion and I was even more excited when the good people at SSL called me to say they were sending me one. In this article we are going to show you what the Fusion can do enabling you to see the unit, find out more about it and then hear it in the best way possible.
In this video we test Tegeler Audio Manufaktur's latest creation, The Raumzeitmaschine Tube reverb.
Watch the video to get an overview of the four main Raumzeitmaschine controls (size, decay, density & pre-delay) and to hear a selection of reverb settings on a full folk ballad mix and lead vocal example.