Tube Amps on motherboards

(jack)

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That looks awful..

Get a tlAudio tube compressor/EQ and use modern routing options (SX3 can do plug in delay comensation of external plugins too) to get your sound out of your sequencer and back in...

I have a TLaudio valve compressor bus seemlessly intergrated in to Nuendo 3. :Grin:
 

nomis

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Yes, moving the analog part of the signal chain is better. Analog amplification inside a computer cabinet is like begging for interference from processor clock/oscillator. The use of tubes can be good from a subjective point, at least it colours your sound in some way. The replacer for tubes is a component called FET, which stands for Field Effect Transistor and provides colouration similar to a tube.
It is more important moving the AD conversion outside the computer, use of tubes etc. i would say, depends on taste.
 

absorbentgnome

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I'm not sure if spending loads of money on, IMO, valves on motherboards or racks of special equipment is worth it. It's all to easy to get wrapped up in all the 'goodness' of various bits of equipment, soundcards, valves and general subjectiveness. If the 'colouration' or sound you are after is worth it by using a valve compressor then yes - but is it truly noticable for any listener other than yourself? This is a debatable point.

Considering that in most cases the audio path is purely digital (unless you are specifically using analogue equipment) then nothing really matters. The audio from your sequencer is recorded to cd (or whatever) verbatim. What matters from then on is the amplifier and speaker system it is played on.

All that is required for sound output from your PC is low noise and flat frequency response. If you are using MIDI equipment then the lowest latency (in terms of audio buffer size and hardware acceleration capability) is best. Many soundcards are this good, even some pretty cheap ones.

My cheap motherboard however has HORRENOUS audio output, but my bog standard soundblaster live PCI card has a surprisingly clean output. I don't think moving the D to A conversion outside of the PC would make much difference, but there would be a tiny improvement. However the improvement would be barely perceptible - be ready to get out the spectrum analyser! The signal to noise level is too high anyway for it to be worth it.

Software synthesis and signal processing is just as good as separate hardware - after all they are one and the same thing except one is in a physical box. If you can do it just as well in software then you don't need the somewhat expensive hardware.

Heh of course it doesn't matter in the end we all have our hobbies or madness we want to spend our cash on. I built myself an amplifer that cost me more than I could buy a normal one in a shop. But hey it was something to do and pleasure is more important than money! (http://www.psy-forum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=35859)

And it is certainly pleasurable to look at a rack full of tasty equipment....
(even if you know you've only gained a few dB of S/N and improved the response around 12kHz :Wink3: )
 

silky

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yeah i pretty much agree, having not had any direct experience of listening to anything that has been amplified with valves im not sure what the benfit, if any, would be after you've ran it thru a computer afterwards. ive always wanted to own a nice valve amp just for home use though, if only to see the little bastards glowing in the dark as you smoke da 'urb.

nice to see you built yer own amp, how easy is it to build a valve amp? is that possible?
 

JPsychodelicacy

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The whole deal with valves is that they introduce a degree of harmonic distortion into the signal chain (pleasing to the human ear, but in terms of reproductive accuracy not good). For die-hard audiophiles, I could kind of see the point, but for production I'd imagine it's a nightmare.

J.
 

absorbentgnome

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silky said:
How easy is it to build a valve amp? is that possible?

You can get valve amp kits that give out around 100W RMS. They didn't used to be that expensive, but because everyone's harping on about valve sound they've hiked up the price.
(a 90W RMS valve amp kit from maplin is 700 quid, the fucking ripoff merchants)

When i was little I had several valve record players ... lol i wish i hadn't ripped them to bits. Oh well. :rolleyes:

JPsychodelicacy said:
The whole deal with valves is that they introduce a degree of harmonic distortion into the signal chain (pleasing to the human ear, but in terms of reproductive accuracy not good). For die-hard audiophiles, I could kind of see the point, but for production I'd imagine it's a nightmare.

J.

Yeah, I have enough trouble with the speakers attached to the computer. Good for listening to tunes, rubbish for production. I don't want to think about adding even more wibblyness!

(jack) said:
Stick yer bassline through one and then say that

Or not.

Heh well you would say that .. and I would likely agree if I heard the difference. But I would not be surprised if you could get a very similar sound using a cunning combination of digital effects. And if you ain't got the cash for valve compressors, it a bit of a no-brainer.

(And if u wanna help the rest of us then find a combination of effects that sound the same and post em up here!)
 

absorbentgnome

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This looks interesting

http://www.musictechmag.co.uk/mtm/download/blue-tubes-2

Looks like getting the valve sound from standard plugins was a tad more difficult than expected - until this - I'd love to see exactly how it was done and modelled.

I still reckon that it must be possible to get a very similar sound using standard digital effects- a good challenge for someone who can compare. :Wink3: Some plugins and effects support soft clipping etc that is characteristic of electronic valves.
 

(jack)

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Something very special about the psycho-acoustic properties of having a vintage box of analogue out there. I think that gets most people.

I only use mine to resample through, but it does sound nice.
 

absorbentgnome

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Can you post some before and after samples? On something that highlights the valve sound only? I'd love to hear the difference. :Smile3:

<edit>
On second thoughts that may be a bit difficult with MP3s - and wavs are a bit large to upload. Interesting anyway. Do you have any tunes or work on the internet I can listen to?
 

(jack)

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I use it for distortion mainly... what you'd hear is a bass noise I'd jammed through the valves until it was a pulp of nameless noise....
 
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