33 and 1/3.for arguments sake let's say a classic sought after Neve, and then that second channel's direct out into the next, and so on for 32 channels - at what point would the extra 'nice' distortion introduced become 'nasty' distortion.
I'm simply failing to understand why a subjective improvement that is an absolute objective distortion of the waveform is considered nicer. I remember the friendly banter on early internet forums with Cadacs Tony Waldron. He cheerfully admitted technical mistakes in designs were suddenly appreciated as wonderful. His own designs along with Rupert Neve's were happy accidents - design flaws that people liked. Old Quad amplifiers that were actually perceived as special, when they weren't, technically.
I just have a problem with having flavours of distortion.
I would rather have no change in the waveform unless I have control over it. Does anyone ever look at any other data stream in analague or digital and consider distortion a positive thing? Radio astronomy preamps for example? Those studying RF emissions from planetary bodies for example? would they consider adding distortion to be remotely positive in any sense? The camera folk with their quest for low light level, noise free imaging sensors? They'd quite happily add processing and non-linearity afterwards. You never find them actively seeking distortion in the source devices like we do. Hence my categorisation of this stuff as firmly in the hi-fi campThe avoidance of hum, noise and distortion remains my preference.
That must be the preamp, right?I question what people are hearing when they talk about saturating a preamp that has 25dB of clean headroom, or when they complain about too much fatness at 200Hz when the signal is flat from 10Hz to 50kHz +/- 0.5dB, yet they rave about the smoothness of mics with 5 and 7dB humps and dips between 30 - 20kHz.
And the third?Since the first compressor changes the envelope the second one will see, the second one will react differently than the first. When I've done this, I would have a limiter with only a couple db of reduction first, then something with a lower ratio and slower attack and release times to level the volume. The first one knocks back the peaks that the second one would choke on trying to level everything out.
Thinking like an electric guitar player. I've worked with a number of touring artists that used Pendulum preamps. Nothing non linear about them. For players in the Michael Hedges percussive style of playing, using a high quality in body mic in addition to the piezo pickup, these were the perfect tool. Add multiband compression and this combo yielded some of the best recordings I've ever done with acoustic guitar. The list of artists using Pendulum guitar preamps is mighty impressive.I would rule out ANY guitar type preamps, since they are, by design, non linear devices. Their whole reason for existence is to completely color, distort or alter the basic sound. That's what we guitar players do!
I was referring to microphone/recording preamps, where I want a device that simply increases and passes the signal with as little alteration as possible. I don't want to be pairing a mic with a 4dB boost at 7k with a preamp that has 2dB sucked out at 7k by design. For me that's like fixing an out of round tire by putting it on a bent axel.