The Hardware Megathread


cocaine audio where you at?



He got a gig as Kanye’s gimp.


A quick glance at that as me seriously reconsidering the Akai Fire. That looks way more


I have the shelving unit where my desk is going to go emptied and out of my room, desk is coming friday (from Wayfair). Yes, I tried Ikea, but I think I did better here. Gonna pull the trigger on a rev 2 in the next month or so. I actually have a legit reason to do so now too, as my doctor was telling me to cut down on screen time for the sake of my eyes which are drying out.


If only human decision making was rational.

I like color and distortion


You own exactly the unit that is dedicated to making it a convenient, separate process: the Elektron Heat.


I know you’re talking compressors, but what’s your preamp setup? I like a compressor warm up as much as the next nerd, but I’ve traditionally had more luck pushing a good analog pre into soft clip for that ‘warm and saturated’ sound, much more so than compressors. Might be an avenue to explore.

Or just get a Culture Vulture to throw in line and dial in exactly what you want every time.


If the idea is to push things in the red, anything is fair game. Some high end pres have a lot of headroom but don’t exactly clip all that nicely when you push them beyond the specs. They don’t design these things to be used as distortion pedals lol. I have a lil’ Art Tube Mp that does a far far nicer job at overdriving signals than most any transistor pre I’ve done this with.

Back to compressors… when they say that a 160 or a 1176 works well on drums, well they mean acoustic recordings of drums. These devices do indeed a good job at averaging the shit out of a pair of overheads and stuff. And yeah they have quirks and things that the VCA’s and whatever else do that may make your mileage vary. They wont really do a better job squashing an dry electronic beat than what you already have. If anything, the old stuff is usually not all that great at processing the ultra violent transient of a clicky kick with a snare and hat on top…

There’s a bunch of digital emulations out there for you to check out what you’re not missing out on.

Don’t you also own a BSS comp that needs a small repair? That thing is the tits.


Funny you should mention…

I am running the RE-303, TB-03, and Model D through a Unit Audio Micro-Unit and an ART TPS-II pre. It was more based on the advice I got to not just use Y-cables to join inputs (I do listen, @thom!) than any “warm” and “analog feel”. But… it does have that warm and rich analog sound. I just think that anything run through a tube something just instantly sounds 10% more awesome. You know, more “round”, “thicker”, “fuller”, and “soft”.


Yup. Tubes and tape are great at shaving off that spiky stubble some sounds may be plagued with…and adding a nice subtle layer of varnish on the harmonics of content that has been dynamically tamed beforehand.

Computers can do this nicely now. But analog boxes just sound a lil more complex and the results most always tend to jump out of the speakers more.

That said, I’m currently demo’ing Line6’s Helix software and uhm… yeah computers can do distortion now. It’s impressive.


I was going to suggest some 500 lunchboxes, either API or Neve repros, or something like an Avalon 737 (which also has a great compressor), not a starved-plate pre you can get on ebay for $200. If you think the ART sounds good, get a real tube preamp and push it a bit. It’s a whole different ballgame.


My point, mainly, was that distortion is like ice cream flavors. Yes a nice tube UA or whatever sounds interesting when pushed. But expecting it, for some reason, to sound better than a TubeScreamer on a 303 is just weird.


The $200 ART serves to preserve the illusion that I have some special tube base gear without actually paying tube based gear prices. I mean, wtf do I know?! I can’t tell half the time whetherthe darn compressor is actually on (well, by now I sort of can, but you get the idea)…


To be fair, the 500 series lunchbox stuff isn’t tube, but it is (usually) classic design that has that sweet ‘classic breakup’. The saturation comes at the transformer, which is usually subtler and more controlled than a tube’s output. It’s the same circuit design that literally thousands upon thousands of hours of musical parts were recorded directly into. I’d have to hunt down the specifics, but I believe the Neve designs were mostly even order harmonics, while API designs blended even/odd for a bit more ‘bite’.

But at the end of the day, it’s all distortion - tape, tube, compression, preamp, etc. That’s why I suggested something like a Culture Vulture or some other versatile distortion unit that can go from practically unnoticeable glue all the way to full blown mess, and let you dial in that perfect amount you’re looking for while just letting compressors be compressors.


Well this thread is already off to a great start


Yeah, that thins is amazing.
From slight boost to full nasty!


Guys, I did it!

Ebay had a 10% off sale, I met my financial goals for the year, and my next paycheck is free and clear to cover most of this. Just got my desk built today too.


Nice! A rev2 would be great to have.


Sweet WN! I am happy for you!


16 voices AKA be-all-end-all poly.