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SPL Transient Designer Review: Hardware vs Plugin comparison

April 24th, 2013 | 15 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 46  |  Next »


In this episode I see how my beloved SPL transient hardware compares to the plug in version I just bought.

For info about the upcoming courses I mentioned in LA check our Recording Boot Camp and for the Vocal Recording Master Class in the DC area May 11 check out the Chuck Levin’s web site.

Download the audio samples here

Download the m4v version for your ipad or ipod

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15 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Frank Muscato

    Another home run video,
    Thank you, I always look forward to them coming through.
    Thank you
    Frank

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  2. Justin

    Cool episode, but man there were all kinds of issues with the audio samples. Even your outtro track was over some speech. Either way, the point was made and I will be looking into this gear. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for us Ronan!

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  3. sonictimbo

    Always love Ronan’s show and it’s a hardware / software debate that everybody will have a different answer on.
    I have both and use both. Usually increasing sustain on my room mics (hardware) and multing the snare and paralleling the Transient Designer on another track and mixing it in (software) on the mix for a bit of snap.

    My only one question would be – do you think the Cranesong Hedd added the extra quality you were hearing? Maybe you should have used the Pro Tools converters instead?

    Looking forward to the next show!

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  4. James Ting

    I have both SW and HW of Transient Designer, I love them all, and I must say the SW get used more since it is more easy to put in my signal flow.
    There are some differences between the two, and I think the hardware always sound fatter, but if you just want that snap for your drum sound, the SW is good enough.

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  5. Chad Kelly

    nice video, man. it would be cool in the future if you could shootout all the different incarnations of the Transient Designer (the Plug-In Alliance vs. the UAD plug-in version, and the 3 different hardware versions (unbalanced, professional, and lunchbox versions).

    CK

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  6. Ronan

    My only one question would be – do you think the Cranesong Hedd added the extra quality you were hearing? Maybe you should have used the Pro Tools converters instead?

    Hey Sonic, great question, but I chose the Craneson HEDD because when used without any of its additional DSP functions it is extremely clean and transparent. I feel that using the Pro Tools converters would have colored the sound more and made it less of a true A-B comparison.

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  7. Ronan

    nice video, man. it would be cool in the future if you could shootout all the different incarnations of the Transient Designer (the Plug-In Alliance vs. the UAD plug-in version, and the 3 different hardware versions (unbalanced, professional, and lunchbox versions).

    Thanks Chad. I would love to do stuff like that, but unfortunately my studio schedule is usually a little to insane to be able to do all of that. I do not make any money off doing the show at all (except maybe some more people knowing about me), so most of the shows I am able to do is taking a little time to share with fans of the show things I am currently working on or thinking about. But I am always looking at ways that I can do the show better and share more info. I do love it though when viewers chime in with their own perspective about topics I am covering.

    Thanks so much for the input.

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  8. Dave

    Great show Ronan… I use the plug-in extensively…
    I like adding sustain to room mics as its a great way to add ambience with out the washing out that can sometimes happen with reverb.
    Also it can sound more natural than reverb plugins as youre only manipulating the original space not adding to it…

    I have used the UA version as well and honestly to my ear there is no significant difference between it and the plug in alliance version except that running it on the UAD card is nice for saving some processing power. All that being said the plugin really doesn’t put that much strain on my very middle of the road system.

    thanks for the knowledge Ronan
    keep up the good work

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  9. Mark

    Thank you for another great episode of the show. You mentioned that the hardware version tone was a bit better, or that the body or thickness of the tone on the bottom end that was better with the hardware. I was just wondering if the hardware version was adding something to the low end that was not originally there, or was the software taking some away that was originally there? Or something else, like what someone else mentioned – like something in the chain was affecting the tone or body?

    Thanks again

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  10. jeff

    This is why I refuse to put together a mixing studio for myself. Other than having the personal taste of an old ashtray, I would never spend this amount of time sniffing out the subtle details of all these wonderful toys.

    It’s an absolute joy to watch you do it so keep ‘em comin’.

    Thanks again,

    Jeff [N'Obody]

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  11. Audioshapers

    Good video Ron!

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  12. Throstur Johannsson

    great review!!

    Thanks

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  13. AlienRelic

    Justin must have been watching the show on iTunes. The website version was just fine, but the iTunes version was a bit er…. rough.
    Love your show, by the way. I’ve gotten a great deal from it.

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  14. Rob

    Another great show, thanks Ronan!

    Quick question for a novice transient designer like myself….

    Do you find you get most success from the SPL transient designer from using it on the overhead tracks or, for example, the snare top (or bottom?) track exclusively?

    Appreciate there is no ‘one size fits all’ – just interested in your initial approach of things to try…

    Thanks again!

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  15. Gerry

    Nice video Ronan! I love my Transient Designer hardware especially during recording but I only have 2 channels, this might push me to get the plugin as well for those mixing situations where I need more of it.

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