miro wrote:Nebula has definitely turned into a console monster
I have to admit, that I STILL haven't bought ANY of them. Hard decision, since there's many choices. These look tempting aswell as "the others"...
You too? its funny though I joined many conversations as well on console librarys and I haven't bought one yet. Maybe if I mixed frequent I'd go for them to save time instead of trying my previously bought Nebula librarys.
Till now though the one that got most of my attention (not that others aren't awesome..) is the Globe console as far as listened examples. It has that "something" I like that S*L consoles lack (makes sense?)
I definitely understand and agree it can be a tough decision on these. After having a lot more hands on experience with such a variety now, I've grown even more fond of the art of subtlety with consoles.
I am always glad to answer specific questions about a good console match to your music or production style via email.
I like doing audio examples when I know the character of the hardware will be best represented despite music style, the variation in mix aka number of tracks and eq choices etc, but also in translation across different speakers. But, when it comes to program demos I prefer just keeping the cost of these really low so that once you decide on a good match or two it's easy to use them in the context that works best without having to put a huge investment down.
Also, some actual hardware is easier to guess than others, and some of these are intentionally as rare as they come. I'm always glad to share info via email.
In general, I do have some favorites for different purposes and maybe this will help some others as well.
I do think that my absolute favorite console that I could use on everything is the Globe. This may be a tie with the use of the N-TEN-AT4 channel depending on certain material. The way that it enhances just a little bit but always in a pleasant way, is just one of those aesthetically magical pieces of gear.
The Tried-N-True is probably my favorite in the warm-character clean console category. Especially when blending a combination of eq on and bypassed depending on amount of color desired, it is great for giving a little more to guitar and vocals and a little less color to drums overheads and bass. It isn't as deliberate and enhancing as the Globe, but I always love what it does.
The Bogen is the biggest 'bang for the buck' character hardware choice, with very obvious tube character and a wonderfully nonlinear high/low eq. It is perfect for overly 'vintag-izing' and people seem to love it for real minimal wave-shaping and drum 'n' bass processing. It is also remarkably awesome for shaping guitars drums and bass around each other, scooping one item while going a little mid-range on another with reduction.
The MCI may be the second 'prettiest' sounding console I've heard, and I would place it sonically near an A*I but cleaner and a little more forgiving on transients and therefore not as obvious a result as something like a Legacy console. I like it for just about everything and it is a hard one to compare to others, except to say that I would be ok if I were 'stuck' using it on everything, but if I had to choose between the beauty of the Globe and the MCI's more delicate and flattering transients, I would have to choose the Globe, but I would miss the MCI
The Classic British Console and Vintage BBC Console are both very rare. the CBC is a well-known manufacturer but the board is completely one-of-a-kind and I would place it directly between a classic A-A/B N**e and Melcor A*I. It is flatter and a little more true with less color than both of these, but if applied to the entire chain of recording, track by track, it's character sits directly between these in my opinion and I absolutely love it. Again, if I had to choose just one, I would probably buy this as a compliment to something more obvious like the Bogen or Globe first, but knowing its character, I would miss it.
The VBCC is almost completely unknown in today's audio world and is the rarest most unique console I know of. It is as retro and as fun as discrete solid state gets. If the effect on harmonic content were as obvious as the Globe is on frequency, then it would probably be the one console that I said everyone has to have. But, it's enhancement is subtle enough that some may take longer to appreciate it than others. The spectrum is very smooth and almost linear all the way above 30,000Hz, and once up there it has a lot of energy that enhances the overlap of harmonic overtones and generates a wonderful super-high frequency effect that I like on everything. since the spectrum does reduce a very very small amount all the way along the range from high to low, it is easy to use on every track without having to correct things here and there. I consider this one a true treasure and I wouldn't even mind using it in addition to the Globe on every track, depending of course on the needs of the source.
One last thought about all of these... Keep in mind that the best results from the accuracy of the consoles is to use them with source recordings that have not already had a lot of processing done to them. Since the audio file contains not just eq and compression changes that have been made, but also whatever increases in harmonic distortion that are already processed, you get the most realistic response from the right console when using it in the first processing chain that has been applied to a file. And, I plan on having these around hopefully for a long time, so even though there are many choices, they have been labored over and analyzed for months and each brings an important signature that someone will value greatly. You can always wait until you know for sure which one will serve you best