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OK, sorry to keep everyone hanging so long. We got into this project, but as usual, some things have changed along the way. First, we want to make Juice sound as authentic as possible. So our original concept of how we would do it changed. We decided we really needed the real gear, in our hands, not at a studio, or on a loan, for as long as it takes. That way we can analyze, listen and analyze some more till we have the sound. Without the pressure of knowing we have to send it back. Or freak out if we broke something during all of our poking and prodding. Needless to say, collecting classic consoles is not an easy task, from both a finding, and a finding the cash, perspective. But, now… the gear is here. SWEET!
Yes, we still have plenty of work to do, but we just wanted to let everyone know we’re moving forward, and hope you’ll enjoy the new twist we have in store for you. In the mean time, check out this picture of one of our new toys, and see if you know what it is. More pics later to give you a good look.
I’m going to try to keep this one short, with the 4th of July holiday weekend coming up quick, and lots of work to do on new plug-ins and new releases. Here’s a few quick shots of what’s sitting on my lab bench right now… from the inside. Can anyone guess what it is?
In the first shot, the darkish green square on the upper right is the mic input transformer. One side of the transformer is connected to the mic input, and the other side is connected to the mic preamp circuit.
In the second picture, the lighter green square on the upper right is the line input transformer. It’s about the same size as the mic input transformer. The fuzzy green wire in the foreground is one of my test leads attached to the secondary (the output side) of the line input tranny.
And in the third photo, the brown and black thing on the bottom is the output transformer, and it’s a lot bigger than the two input transformers.
A lot of people seem to equate bigger transformers with bigger sound. In a way that’s sort of true. If you want to get loud sounds or a deep low end, and especially loud and deep low end out of your analog box, you need big transformers. But some people say that it’s transformer non-linearities that give analog gear its juicy goodness. Well, if that’s true, then you might want smaller transformers, because those will saturate more easily. So which is better, and what IS the sound of iron that everyone’s talking about? More, louder, low end… or more saturation?
Hmmm… something to ponder over the holiday weekend. Happy Independance Day to all the Americans out there!
Our Decapitator plug-in was built out of abused and tortured analog gear, and is meant to be used as a not-so-subtle effect. The feedback has been amazing, and so many of our users having been telling us that we really nailed the sound of analog with this one. If you’re interested, check out this new GearSlutz thread. But it’s also been interesting to see how many people have been using it for much subtler stuff than we designed it for. For some people, even ZERO drive isn’t clean enough, so they’ve been inserting trim plug-ins before Decapitator to pad the inputs and dial the effect back even more.
As thrilled as we are by all the love for Decapitator, we also thought it would be even better to create a new tool designed for the subtler side of analog. So meet Juice™, our upcoming analog input channel modeling plug-in.
We learned so much developing the modeling technology that’s in Decapitator, and plan to take it even further with Juice. We’ve also collected a ridiculous amount of rare and high-end analog input channels here in the lab, and need to put those to good use.
Our plan for Juice is to develop 4 to 6 entirely new input models based on console input channels and/or mic pres, running at normal to slightly driven levels (just the preamp part, not the EQ… yet.) And with this one we’re going to hold our destructive urges in check (sorry, no punish button!) to give you just the right amount of sweet juicy goodness for all of your tracks.
We’ll have more to say soon, but here’s a look at the first draft of the interface for Juice. Whatcha think?