Buy Avalon VTsp Class A Mono Tube Channel Strip Limited Edition: Tubes – ✓ FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases. Specifically for VOCALS. So anybody who has spent time on GS knows that the ‘s compressor gets hated on fairly routinely, I wonder how. I’ve had my Avalon for years, but used to sing into it without compression, preferring to control dynamics with mic distance. Recently tried it.
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Mix Magazine “Compression And Compressors”. The is a self-contained and single-channel complete recording signal chain for processing any audio source regardless of its signal level or source impedance. When I think of all the individual pieces of equipment that I would collect and patch together to simply record a vocal, the VT seems like a godsend indeed since it is a combination of microphone tube pre-amplifier, tube opto-compressor, discrete Class A transistor four-band equalizer with side-chain routing ability and tube line level balanced output stage.
To begin, the Avalon VT is housed in a stout aluminum and steel, two rack-space cabinet and styled like the rest of the Avalon line with back-lit push button switches and an oval-shaped VU meter.
Avalon sent me the new “SP” or Special Performance version that upgrades the original VT unit’s purple knobs and face plate.
Besides the standard Avalon metal knobs and a more detailed face plate, the SP has a new higher level mic input transformer.
The front panel, at first glance, may seem a little busy and complicated but all four processes are grouped in an ordered and logical way. I think it is a design challenge to build a unit this comprehensive and powerful yet still simple to learn and use. Avalon helps bend the learning curve by including a “Quick Set-Up Operating Guide” in the form of a full-size drawing of the front panel.
One look and you’re an instant expert! There are three separate inputs on the A front panel rotary switch selects between: Having three inputs available means you can immediately switch the between recording a direct guitar to recording a vocal to processing an already recorded track with the EQ and compressor.
A single, continuously variable pre-amp gain control trims the input level for all three inputs: This gain control is a ganged-pot that sets input level and gain of both dual triode stages together in the cascaded tube mic amplifier. A total of four Sovtek tubes are used in the unit: If you need more mic gain, then a front panel switch called “High Gain” that, when pushed, zeros out the negative feed back in mic pre-amp circuit for an open loop gain increase of 18dB for a max total of 58dB.
There is a variable bass cut filter between the two pre-amp tubes. It is front panel switchable and a 6dB per octave passive design with an adjustable corner frequency of 30Hz to Hz. In operation I used the unit at the upper end of the gain range. I find that there is more of a “linear” feeling in setting an appropriate level. I used “high gain” for a “hotter” mic sound but then the adjustment of an exact, working level becomes touchy.
In any case, getting a level is easy with the smooth and noiseless controls. When using the mic pre-amp section only without the EQ or Compressor switched in I compared the to some of the other mic pre-amps I use. I found the sound very clear, open and flattering to everything I recorded.
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Using a tube U mic, the was a tinge brighter xvalon some of the others. Or I could say the others were a tinge duller The opto-compressor features two Class A triode tube sections. The optical attenuator acts as a passive level controller. You can play the balancing game of juggling threshold settings against preamp input gain settings–they are totally interactive and shape the nature of the compressed sound.
The Compression control adjusts ratio and the “knee” of the slope at the same time. You have a choice of compression 7737sp from 1: The Attack control adjusts attack time from 2ms at the fastest to as slow as ms. Release is also adjustable from ms to 5 seconds. In operation 737wp found the compressor very smooth and nearly impossible to make sound bad. The VT uses an all discrete, Class A transistor circuit in the four-band equalizer.
The equalizer is divided into two separate equalizers: The Bass band’s frequency selection points are: The Treble band’s frequency selection points are: I found this part of the equalizer very good, broad and smooth.
Even boosting 32kHz affected the high frequencies in subtle and good way although I got more with less down in the consumer ranges of 10 and 15kHz. The dual mid-band section of the equalizer is where you can really carve. The low-mid variable frequency range is from 35Hz to Hz while the high-mid section goes from Hz to 2. Both sections have an “Hi-Q” switch that narrows the Gaussian curve width from a Q of 0.
A “X10” switch multiples the indicated frequency ten times. You can boost or cut 16dB. I found the equalizer to be smooth and prefect for vocals but not quite as cranky as I sometimes want when recording certain musical instruments such as percussion or drums.
I got big, fat and impressive results with the on acoustic guitars, bass direct and vocals. I recommend the for any recording task where an open and natural big sound is desired and appreciated. When you push in the “EQ to SC” switch, the two mid-band sections get routed to the sidechain input of the compressor. With EQ to SC you make the compressor more sensitive to certain frequencies or band of frequencies. With the two overlapping EQ sections of the dual mid-band equalizer you can zero in on problem frequency peaks and cause the compressor to clamp more.
You must arrive at new settings of Threshold, Attack and Release that cause the desire sidechain modulation as well as proper mainchain compressor operation. In practice, I found this feature worked well on certain synth patches that present big level jumps when either the filter rolled through resonance or a chorus effect caused giant, in-phase level build ups.
I also use this feature on a bass guitar part in which the particular instrument had uneven output level from one string to the next. In this case the G string was really loud when an open G was played For de-essing, my results were mixed since it is hard to arrive at optimum settings that squashes the S sufficiently yet doesn’t over compressed the rest.
If avalkn have a singer with a big “S” problem, you probably need to rely on an external de-essor.
This is where you “make up” or “take away” level to achieve your final recording level to tape. The tube amplifier is followed by a transformerless high voltage discrete transistor balanced output amp circuit.
The unit’s discrete internal toroidal power supply is powered from any external AC source from to volts. There is a “soft start,” 40 second time delay power up routine that is said to enhance tube life. The manual states that the unit should be powered up for 30 minutes for best sonic performance.
Avalon VTSP – Thomann UK
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