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M76 Review With Sample Clips
by Jeremy Park

The following information was compiled in order to document the audio samples engineered by Jeremy Park, in an effort to demonstrate various applications of the Vintage Audio 1176. The Artists used in this demonstration are: Cruiser (Andy States), and SILVA (Lucio Souza).

"For all of the samples provided, I used Lynx Aurora 16 converters and Pro Tools HD Accel sessions. The Vintage Audio 1176 was inserted into the path just as you would insert any standard audio plugin, and the hardware delay compensation was calculated accurately. If I already had a plugin compressor or multiple compressor plugins inserted into the original audio chain, I simply removed any and all plugin compressors for the “uncompressed” samples. I would then insert the Vintage Audio 1176 into the path (in the exact order/position where a plugin compressor would have been insterted) for the VA1176 samples. All sample mixes are unmastered versions."


Cruiser: Snare Drum Room, and Bass
Co-produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Jeremy Park

Drum Room

Uncompressed
  .wav  | .m4a
Compressed: 4:1
 
.wav  | .m4a
Compressed AllButtons
 
.wav  | .m4a

"I used a medium attack and faster release in order to accentuate the attack of the kick and snare, while exaggerating the overall room tone. The 2 settings showcased here are at 4:1 (up to 10dB of gain reduction), in addition to an “All Buttons In Mode” (up to 20dB of gain reduction)."

Settings:
Input: 18
Output: 18
Attack: 4
Release: 6 (a touch above)
Ratio: 4:1 /All Buttons
GR: 10 to 20dB

      
Snare with Drum Mix

Uncompressed
  .wav  | .m4a
Compressed_4:1
 
.wav  | .m4a

"I used a slightly slower than medium attack to allow the transients to be present, while at the same time crushing the hardest part of the attack. I went with a quicker release to showcase what happens to the snare/strainer (really bringing up that rattling/aggressive sound)"

Settings:

Input: 28
Output: 19
Attack: 4
Release: 3.5
Ratio: 4:1
GR: 3  to 7dB
      
Bass with Drum Mix

Uncompressed
 .wav  | .m4a
Less Compression
 
.wav  | .m4a

"At first I was using the slowest possible attack and fasted release settings, because I loved how the tone seemed to blossom, but I noticed that I could get a bit more grit if I increased the speed of the attack - ever so slightly. I favored the fasted release time, as it allows for the most overall tone."

Settings:
Input: 31
Output: 18
Attack: 2 (a  touch below)
Release: 7
Ratio: 4:1
GR: 2  to 5dB


SILVA: Vocals with Music Mix
Co-produced and Mixed by Jeremy Park
Vocal - uncompressed

Vocal - uncompressed
  .wav  | .m4a

"Notice how this version is too dynamic compared to the two compressed versions. The vocals have an overall lover average volume due to the hardest hitting sections being too loud, and it has a difficult time staying on top of the mix in the latter half of the song - comparatively (more noticeable around 1:40 on) The quite parts seem dynamically too quiet and the louder parts feel a bit awkwardly loud at times."


      
Vocal - compressed

Vocal - compressed
  .wav  | .m4a


"I hit the vocals with a healthy amount of compression on this version, with the gain reduction hitting in the upwards of 12 dB on the hardest peaks. The average compression amount was probably somewhere around 4 or 5 dB, which sounded great to my ears. I messed with the attack and release for a good amount of time before settling on the most transparent settings."

Settings:
Input: 32
Output: 19
Attack: 2.5
Release: 5.5
Ratio: 4:1
GR: 3  to 12dB

      
Vocal - less compressed

Vocal - Less Compression
  .wav  | .m4a


"After A/B comparing the compressed and uncompressed versions, I decided to tweak the settings even further. The compressed version, at times, came across as too even, so I wanted to see if I could get a similar sound, while also allowing the vocal to sound a bit more dynamic. I simply slowed the attack a little and slightly tweaked the  input/output volumes."

Settings:
Input: 34
Output: 17
Attack: 2 (a touch above)
Release: 5.5
Ratio: 4:1
GR: 2  to 10dB


Additional Observations
"Overall, I love the way this unit sounds. It can literally handle anything from smooth and transparent compression, to aggressive and dirty effect type processing. I absolutely loved it in the drum room squashing application, where I was able to get a good amount of crushing attack and blossoming room tone, without things sounding awkward. I was especially impressed with the way it handled vocals. The way it was able to level out the vocal performance was incredibly smooth - perhaps one of the smoothest 1176's I've heard. I thought that the unit added an nice amount of warmth without sounding muddy, while allowing the top end to pass in a very musical fashion. Utilizing more output volume increases the transformer warmth, which seems to add a little more analog character (I really noticed this on bass). Really nice work!"