Praise for the Super Stereo
"One of the most important pieces of outboard gear in Rob Swire's studio is the Roll Music stereo compressor, which is a major component of the Pendulum sound. "It feels like pushing a mix into a pillow!" Rob explains. "Which I like. You just get some sort of resistance there, which you can work off. We'll start without it, and then when it starts sounding good we'll whack that on and keep A/B-ing between that and bypass.
"I love that. I've heard an SSL, and for our mixes I liked the Roll Music better. Most of the other ones we tested I couldn't stand. The API 2500 was the one other one that I liked, especially the 'Old' setting, but there was something about the top end, it made it slightly watery, it wasn't really what we were after.
"It's also the side-chain filter on that. They should tell people this in the manual, but if you open the box, there's a jumper and you can set the side-chain [filter] to whatever you want, so we can sort of get it above our big Def Leppard-style snare."
-Rob Swire of Pendulum - article by Sam Inglis (Sound On Sound, June 2008)
"The High Pass filter in the side chain is great on heavy-bottomed mixes, keeps the kick and bass from pulling down the track. It's got that smack for less (money). I've compared it to its more expensive counterparts and it ran neck and neck, sometimes surpassing."
-Tom Garneau (Engineer - Prince, Sting, George Clinton)
Download Resolution Magazine's review of the RMS755 Super Stereo compressor
(PDF format, 409kB)
Atlas Pro Audio discusses the Folcrom
I've been sitting here for the last 5 hours testing the Folcrom with some well recorded tracks of a good friends cover band (that I had specifically come in last week for this purpose). My tests were not extremely scientific, but were quite thorough, and this piece works and delivers as promised. I had 22 tracks stemming into 16 channels of a single Folcrom via multichannel DACs clocked to a Lavry Blue ADC, and was able to compare it to my modified SoundWorkshop series 30 by having two identical mixes setup in the DAW, one assigned to the D/A's going into the SoundWorkshop and the other identical mix stemmed to the Folcrom. The SW has 3 monitor switches, one of which is the main mix. The Folcrom/preamp outputs were assigned to #2 and volume matched to the main mix.
The Folcrom is extremely, or rather 100%, sensitive to the preamp used for makeup gain, and acts very much like a sonic chameleon to whatever it is run into, causing mixes to sound very very different both in general frequency curve and in instrument balance depending on the characteristic of the preamp. So far I've used 8 different stereo preamps, including refurbished Neve and vintage API with 2520's. Some of the preamps caused the Folcrom to sound less subjectively desireable than my SoundWorkshop, some preamps pushed it into something quite a bit better (wider, tighter, even more extenion on the top and bottom frequencies, generally allowing it to track every little transient better). This is subjective I suppose, but in general my tastes for things that treat an entire mix all at once reside in hi-fi but with an 'edge'.
Ironically (and I say ironic because I was really looking forward to having something like a 'psuedo' API mixing platform), so far the original API's were the lowest on the totem pole for my tastes, not enough in the low end, and not enough air, almost like an 'upside down smiley face'. The Neve sounded bigger and better in both of those respects, but was still not my favorite mostly because it seemed to pronounce and soften the mids far too much. To refrain from coming off like a sales weasel, I won't name my favorites (especially until I've gone through at least 10 or more different types), but so far there were two that were leaps and bounds over the rest and allowed the tracks to have huge amounts of depth, width, and space in addition to having a nice clear midrange without sacrificing lows or highs.
The "vintage" type preamps seem as if they would need a lot more EQ on infontdividual tracks in general. Where these shine in tracking is their downfall as a two bus amplifier. Not so with something more hi-fi (specifically with just a touch of color...too clean however and it became boring and anemic, at least for rawk). I've still got a large handful of different preamps to test, but generally from here it's just plain subjective. The unit is dead quiet, seems to handle lots of hot signal, does not lose detail with many layered tracks (I'll most likely be using two linked together in the future), and does not require very much make up gain at all (around 35db as advertised).
II. Seperate stems to multiple seperate channels on the Folcrom VS everything stemmed down to two tracks: (I even avoided the "two bus" in Samplitude and assigned the individual tracks directly to the stereo D/A, I'm making an educated guess that there is less math involved by doing this, giving the 'stemmed to two channels' as much of an advantage as possible).
When everything was stemmed across 16 channels the mix had more depth and a lot more seperation. When everything was put to two channels, it didn't suck horribly, but it became somewhat of a sonic mess. The tracks came more to the front of the speakers, instead of having the feeling of being able to 'reach into' the mix. The seperate sounds became less distinct in a not so good way, and they lost much of their sweetness and air, as if they were being choked. I tried playing around with it for 30 minutes and still couldn't get it to the level of quality it was at just by simply switching it back to seperate stems.
The differences were not even subjective. With those results, I wouldn't mix like that if someone was paying me to engineer and placing my name on the CD (unless of course laziness and convenience is more of an important factor than taking a bit more effort to achieve quality)....definitely 16 seperate channels (or more) for me. Conclusion, you will get greater benefit from using the Folcrom with seperate stems or multiple seperate channels.
Many of you may already know I own two recording studios. Essentially one is my A room (Mastering, Mixing, Commercial Work, Tracking), which I've been doing for over a decade. I recently opened another location, and the other studio is essentially my B room (Tracking, Mixing (Surround), Mastering). I have the bulk of best gear in A, as well as the better console of the 3 I own. The dilemma is that I can't tote around my modded Soundworkshop Series 30, which I am really happy with and would like to use at both studios of course, but can't. With the Folcrom, I plan on being able have better mixes at the B room, because we will not have to rely on B's console for summing. I'm adding 2 Folcroms to my B room and now only have to bring my favorite 2 Channels of mic preamp for the makeup gain on the Folcroms, a lot lighter than a console. I can say I am one happy camper.
--------- Best Regards Nathan Eldred atlasproaudio.com