Post by jeromemason on Jan 14, 2019 10:27:32 GMT -6
Has anyone tried this version out yet?? Just flipping through the limited reviews and the description written on it, they are saying it's acting more like a UA176 or their version of the UA176. Interesting that Retro is keeping the original in production as well, that must mean they're different if not significantly a pretty good bit. I'm really curious to how these sound, if they do indeed sound closer to the UA176. I know I love the original Doublewide in how it makes a vocal extremely thick and I remember how it was a lot like the STA and a little like the UA176 in how you just want to kiss it with like -2db or -4db with quick attack and medium release, really made the vocal massive and sit above all in the mix.
Anyone ran this through its paces?? Would love to hear some feedback on it and the original.
Post by jeromemason on Jan 14, 2019 16:43:56 GMT -6
Sure seems like they're doing a retake on this one. It's loved already for vocals and bass for being thick and keeping the vocal/bass in the same spot mix time. They had quite a few beta testers out there just going off what I'm reading on the site, that's a good sign to me. They reference the 176 specifically where as the first version was based more on the STA Level. My favorite thing about the UA176 is how it makes whatever you put through it sound large while also pinning it down, for a tube compressor it can give the vocals some bite and really pull the chest out, or it can absolutely pin one down and sound super smooth. A mix between the original Doublewide with additions of UA176 characteristics sounds really really promising. I can only imagine what a kick or bass sounds like through this sucker as well. What I always loved about the 176 was how responsive the attack and release are, you turn the knobs and they do things. Retro is good at nailing that kind of stuff.
This must be really new because I haven't seen anything out there or any clips at all.
Post by jeromemason on Jan 16, 2019 13:08:38 GMT -6
Well I've got one in the rack..... it's quite interesting and it's definitely a different compressor all together. Instead of the quad pack of tubes like the original it's just a pair, a 12AU7 and a 12AT7. What is good about this is that you have a much larger variety of tube flavors to swap out. There are some really nice 12AT7 tubes out there that impart more harmonics and there are some that are audiophile grade for extremely detailed and super quiet operation.
If someone with the original wants to post up some vocal/acoustic/bass etc. files I'll gladly do a A/B, you just dial the same settings and compression as I do. It also doesn't have the weird off switch which you had to turn the release knob clockwise to turn it off. The first original I demo'd I thought I'd broke because I didn't know this and couldn't get it to turn on, it wasn't until I wanted to see if the pots were detented that I actually turned it on!
Let me know if anyone has anything they want ran through it, I've got a little free time before diving into an EP, at that point I won't be able to dick around with any of the settings on it.
Post by jeromemason on Jan 16, 2019 22:19:36 GMT -6
Yeah so this baby is very different from the original IMO. Still gives a "largeness" to whatever is going through it, but compression is very sensitive. I honestly thought mine wasn't calibrated right or something but it takes a bit to get the hang of where there sweet spot is on this compressor. It's very much like the Retro 176. I just had that box in here a couple of weeks ago and printed a vocal through it, pulling that same vocal back up and comparing this compressor to the 176 it definitely has the mojo. I will say though, and this is not any different than I have always used compression on vocals, but if you really want this compressor or the 176 to shine, put a fast aggressive compressor in front of it, like an 1176 or even another 176 with slow attack fast release and pretty much pounding it. Running the Doublewide II after that and using it to smooth things out and pin things down, it's really really great. Make no mistake though, you could use this as your fast compressor as well, this little box has some ass to it and meanness! Downright meanness! I also feel that when you switch between "single" and "double" there is more happening with this comp. It pretty much is a different compressor, making me feel like it was more like an old Collins in "single" and more like a fat version of an 1176 in "double."
These are just my first impressions and I've only used it on female vocals so far. I will say that working with your converters input and output level can make this box sound even better. I pulled the output of my converters down and the input up a little so I can have more throw with the "input" on the box. If you run line level it has a massive amount of headroom but I found the input knob can be a little too course, trimming down the converter output allows much more fine adjustment of compression.
I'll put more as I get familiar and fully confident with this comp, but it's staying that's for sure. I am going to reach out to Retro and make sure it's supposed to have that much gain on the input stage though, it's massive! You can dial in probably -25db of freaking compression like that.