Added: 13-May-06 | Author: admin
New price: £ 500.24 - € 725.00 |
S/H price: Not listed
Company Link: Focusrite
This review and info page contains 2 videos for download which you will find further down the page, as well as audio examples of Liquidmix in action - This page was started in 2006 just before the product release when we added a preview of the unit demonstrated by Rob at Focusrite's HQ, and has been added to with date-notations at intervals
Could this be an amazing new step in home-studio recording like we had when we first beheld things back in the day like Midiverbs & Fostex 8 tracks??... For pretty much the same release price as the original Basstation back in the 90's, Focusrite have their new Liquidmix offering now fully available for both Mac and Windows.
Liquidmix is a convolution multi fx unit which emulates classic old and new hardware compressors and eq units by recording their impulse responses and using those to emulate the characteristics of the hardware units... I noticed when I visited Focusrite last year (summer of 2006) before the product's release that there was some unfinished sections from the manual which showed each preset compressor emulation, including an image of the original unit and even it's serial number. All the sampling was done by Sintefex who jointly developed this project with Focusrite. Sintefex seem to excell in these things, having a pretty good raft of industry awards. www.sintefex.com
Update 15th august 2007 - Well, i handed back the Liquidmix to Focusrite last week, having hung onto it since around christmas trying it out with a variety of PC configs and a few programmes, and while also working my way through the various driver updates which were released over the previous 8 months - at todays date (15/8/07) we are now at driver version 2.0
My main reason for hanging on to the unit for so long was an attempt to get it working with Logic V5 on PC which still has a big user base. To be fair to Focusrite, even though they offered absolutely zero clues or help on this, their reasoning is that Logic for PC is a discontinued product, and thus there is no onus on them to even try it. Anyway, I stumbled on over the months, finding time whenever possible to try the new drivers as released & play with the new 'toy', but I wasn't having much luck with Logic 5... rats!
Finaly Focusrite started issuing demands for the unit back or that we make a purchase of the unit, and I was so desperate to find a solution to why it would not even run with Logic 5! - I had found nothing on forums over previous months, surprisingly there is zero info from anyone who might be running it with Logic 5, so finaly in an act of desperation I started to translate in Alta-Vista Babel ANY google result for the search term: 'Logic5, liquidmix'
i started translating foreign language pages and found some info in French from a user on a forum. Finaly I got Liquidmix to work with Logic 5! yay!... but with a caveat..
You can use Liquidmix in STEREO with Logic 5 PC | only as stereo instances as far as we can tell.
You can insert a Liquidmix into a Logic MONO track, but only as a MONO - TO - STEREO insert (stereo)
It was then I realised how stupid the situation was. All the time I'd been trying the driver updates and seeing Logic fail, I was trying to run a MONO instance of Liquidmix, rationalising (I supose) that running a single MONO instance was going to offer the least stress on Logic and thus this was a good starting point... "If I cant get one MONO instance to run there's little point trying a stereo one", was the reasoning I guess, lol... All that time it failed to run a mono instance and I suppose I never tried starting out with a stereo instance.. isn't that daft?! (certainly Focusrite didn't know this or offer this as a solution to the crashing, so this page might now be a primary source for Liquidmix and Logic 5 PC workarounds in English on the web.
Anyways, the bottom line is, you have to run it in stereo only for Logic 5 PC, which reduces the possible instances of Liquidmix in to just 16 of course, wether this devalues the product is up to you, but Focusrite have no mandate to look at this issue and it is unlikely it will be addressed.
Checkout the video which shows all this. There are 2 videos to watch below - One is the pre-release video which shows an edited dairy of an afternoon spent with Rob at Focusrite previewing the unit, and the second shows the unit working with Cubase SX and Logic V5 for PC.
Summing Up: 15/8/07 - After using Liquidmix for 8 months on and off my conclusions are that it offers excellent sound quality given the medium and price. There is a real distinct difference between emulations, and some of the snapshots work really well; for example adding an acoustic guitar snapshot gives a nice woody tone to your acoustic recording etc. The unit itself is quite easy to use and if you use it often enought you certainly can operate the hardware interface without actualy looking at the unit, doing it all by feel. The hardware unit's feedback is realtime with no problematic delays. If you mostly mix recorded songs this unit could be a big boon for your budget studio, and if you do dance stuff it also can offer quite redical pumping and other sounds, but with the caveat that the firewire latency doesn't really allow you to push a sound through the Liquidmix and then compose by playing that synth sound through the Liquidmix in realtime; the latency is too high for realtime use in any practical way. But as a mix tool, it's a superb product!
The only downsides I could find apart from it only working in stereo with Logic 5 PC, is mentaly lining up the named emulations with which units those emulations actualy represent; you'll need to keep a piece of paper handy by your workstation to compare with so you can know which emulation title represents which actual hardware unit. Apart from that, there may be issues with the firewire cable length reaching from your computer position to your mix position depnding how your studio is layed out, and of course you must add Service Pack 2 for windows XP to even install Liquidmix which then means you have to do a firewire fix to bring it back to faster pre-SP2 firewire speeds. There is an excellent manual-fix details on RME's website which they have added for one of their products, but it tells you in stages how to manualy do the firewire update.
Product Videos Dancetech Liquidmix 1 - Full Product Preview (divx) Google 'quick-fix' lo-fi version Download the higher quality version
The video is 720 x 576
Running Time: 30 minutes - size: 182mb You MUST use a DivX codec to play the d/l video
Summer 2006 - I popped over to Focusrite with a video cam to take a look and listen. It was a really sweltering day, and with all the windows & doors flung wide open, you get quite cool background audio fx here and there on the video, you can hear swifts flying past occasionaly, a bee decides briefly to invade the set, and even the local ice-cream van makes an audio appearance! lol :)
TBH we got so into it I kinda forgot about the video camera running, so it's more like an intro walkthru and then an edited diary of us messing with the unit during which features are shown and explained here and there. Also, to show the detail properly it had to be rendered to a hi quality plus a hi rate audio stereo track is used, much higher in bandwidth than most web video. Sadly we couldnt get the s/w to interlace a 128k mp3 with the video image, the highest it'd do was 64k, but you can actualy hear the compression at work etc, but not the detail of the original wav audio on the camera soundtrack... and that camera soundtrack of course in no way represents properly the experience of the sound coming from Liquidmix... Eq's we're smooth, and compressors sounded 'real'. As to the closeness of these emulations using convolution type technology?... you'd have to do an A-B with the real thing and see, but I can say, for the money and aimed at the user market this price implies, it is very impressive indeed!... The emulations did have noticeable character... You might hear perhaps an eq hi band on some material and it's air-y-ness just made you think of BV's and vocals and gorgeous fine wispiness type things, while others made loverly woody tones. The compressors also the same, they all have their own destinct or sometimes subtley different characters, it's audible, and the sound is very present and focused...
Dancetech Liquidmix 2 - Working with SX & Logic 5 PC (mp4) Google 'quick-fix' lo-fi version
Download the higher quality version
The video is 640 x 480
Running Time: 27 minutes - size: 90mb
You MUST use an hd264 codec to play the d/l video
This video shows Liquidmix working on an older amd2000 and an amd64 dual core with Cubase SX & Logic 5 - You can see the PC easily running 32 emulations with Cubase. The video also shows the issues with Logic 5 on PC, including adding a sample delay into other non-Liquidmix tracks to cancel out delay issues caused by adding Liquidmix to channels. If you're thinking to run Liquidmix on a PC version of Logic 5, this video is especialy of interest to you!
Here's some demo audio courtesy of Focusrite - I sent them over the loop being used on the Gearslutz hardware bus compressor shootout because I thought it might be intresting for users to compare the Liquidmix sound to those of hardware and other emulators being compared on gearslutz - Rob @ Focusrite processed the loop through Liquidmix and sent the results over (this was before I got a unit to use)
All the compression is fairly heavy - most are set to a Threshold of -20, with a pretty high ratio and attack of 1ms. Releases are mostly around the 300ms mark and gain is around +10 for all.
Instead of trying to get identical settings for all (shoot out style), the settings are set to pretty obvious compression to demonstrate some variety in flavour to give people an idea of the Liquid Mix's range rather than compare as near as possible settings between emulations. The first loop is dry, it's the loop used in one of the Gearslutz forums compressor plugin shootouts, so you can compare these perhaps with some of the examples on that shootout if you can find it. The dry loop is followed by 6 emulation examples:
1. FF 130 (emulation of Focusrite 130)
2. VINTAGE (emulation of Fairchild 670)
3. DUNK 1a (emulation of Manley Slam! FET limiter mode)
4. BIG GREEN (emulation of Joe Meek SC2)
5. MIX BUSS (emulation of SSL FX G384)
6. TRANYC (emulation of API 2500)
Liquidmix doing Drums - (.aif - 10mb)
Ok and to give this some context, here's the link to 3 compressors working on the same drum loop from the Gearslutz shootout, albeit the settings are much more conservative, so this isnt for some sort of direct comparison:
Gearslutz NewTest DrumsOnly Test1.wav
Gearslutz NewTest DrumsOnly Test2.wav
Gearslutz NewTest DrumsOnly Test3.wav
Here's the starter list of emulations the unit ships with... it's probable that Focusrite will release more emulations for download in future, but even if they dont, remember that you can mix and match these compressor and eq emulations to create Hybrid eq's using seperate bands from diferent eq's. So you can have for example, a 4 band eq with each band coming from a different eq emulation!
The 40 original factory compressor emulations
• FLAT COMP/ CLEAN SOUND FREE CONTROLS Focusrite Liquid Channel DSP compressor.
• TRANY C/ US CLASSIC DISCRETE 1C Based on an API 2500*stereo mastering compressor, (US) serial #0016 (Old/Normal/Hard settings.)
• US RADIO/ US CLASSIC SOLID STATE 1 Based on a dbx 165* compressor/limiter (US) serial # 1821
• COPY CAT/ US MODERN COPY CAT Based on a EMPIRICAL LABS EL8 DISTRESSOR* (US) serial # 1689A
• VINTAGE/ US VINTAGE TUBE 1 Based on a FAIRCHILD MODEL 670* (US) serial # 530
• FF ISA 130/ FOCUSRITE CLASSIC ISA 130 Based on a FOCUSRITE ISA 130 (UK) serial # F00069T
• FF GREEN 5/ FOCUSRITE GREEN CHANNEL STRIP Based on a FOCUSRITE CHANNEL STRIP (UK) serial # GO05116
• FF RED 7/ FOCUSRITE CLASSIC RED 7 Based on a FOCUSRITE RED 7 (UK) serial # FO6350T
• DUNK A/ US MODERN FET 1 Based on a MANLEY SLAM!* (US) serial # SLAM120 (FET limiter)
• DUNK B/ US MODERN OPTICAL 1 Based on a MANLEY SLAM!* (US) serial # SLAM120 (ELOP (opto) limiter)
• PRIMITIVE/ US CLASSIC TUBE 2 Based on a MANLEY STEREO “VARIABLE MU”* (US) serial # MSLC61536
• BIG GREEN/ BRIT CLASSIC OPTICAL Based on a JOE MEEK SC2* COMPRESSOR* (UK) serial # 05-1038
• TRANY A/ US CLASSIC DISCRETE 1A Based on an API 2500*stereo mastering compressor (US) serial #0016 (Old/Normal/Soft settings.)
• NEW AGE 2E/ US MODERN HYBRID 2E Based on a MILLENNIA STT-1* (US) serial # 0-161 (Solid state input, solid state compressor settings.)
• NEW AGE 2A/ US MODERN HYBRID 2A Based on a MILLENNIA STT-1* (US) serial # 0-161 (Vacuum tube input, Vacuum tube compressor settings.)
• CLASS A 1 / BRIT 70’S CLASS A 1 Based on a NEVE 2254/A* dual/stereo compressor/limiter (UK) serial # 5008K
• CLASS A 2/ BRIT 70’S CLASS A 2 Based on a NEVE 33609/B* dual/stereo compressor /limiter (UK) serial # 108
• BRIT DESK1/ BRIT CLASSIC DESK 1 Based on a NEVE VR CONSOLE* compressor (UK) serial # unknown.
• MEAT PIE/ BRIT 60’S CLASS A Based on a PYE 84 4060/01* compressor/limiter (UK) serial # 60
• GRINDER A/ BRIT MODERN DESK COPY A Based on a SMART RESEARCH C2* bus compressor (UK) serial # C217.
• GRINDER B/ BRIT MODERN DESK COPY B Based on a SMART RESEARCH C2* bus compressor (UK) serial # serial # C217. (Crush setting.)
• MIX BUSS/ BRIT CLASSIC BUSS Based on a SOLID STATE LOGIC FX G384* stereo compressor (UK) serial # FX384-180
• BRIT DESK2/ BRIT CLASSIC DESK 2 Based on a SOLID STATE LOGIC SL 4000 G+* console compressor (UK) serial # unknown.
• SILVER 2/ US MODERN TUBE 1 Based on an AVALON VT-737SP*valve channel strip (US) serial #28150
• BRIT DESK3/ BRIT MODERN DESK 1 Based on a SOLID STATE LOGIC SL 510* (5000 series dynamics module) (UK) serial # unknown
• ACME 1/ US MODERN TUBE 3 Based on a SUMMIT DCL-200* dual compressor/limiter (US) serial # 0721076
• ACME 2/ US MODERN TUBE 4 Based on a SUMMIT TLA-100A* tube levelling amplifier (US) serial # 0120429
• LEVELLER/ US CLASSIC TUBE 3 Based on a TELETRONIX MODEL LA-2A* (US) valve compressor/limiter serial # 00227 (Silver face, pre-Harman)
• BRIT TUBE/ BRIT MODERN TUBE 1 Based on a TL AUDIO C-1*dual valve compressor (UK) serial # 121739
• VIKING 1/ DANISH CLASSIC TUBE 1 Based on a TUBE TECH CL-1B* compressor (DK) serial # 04150
• VIKING 2/ DANISH CLASSIC TUBE 2 Based on a TUBE TECH LCA 2B* dual/stereo compressor/ limiter (DK) serial # 04010
• STELLAR 1/ US CLASSIC SOLID STATE 1 Based on a UNIVERSAL AUDIO 1176LN* mono limiting amplifier, (US) serial # 1394 (Black face, pre-Harman; a re-issue of the Urei 1176LN)
• STELLAR 2/ US CLASSIC SOLID STATE 2 Based on a UREI MODEL 1176LN* mono limiting amplifier (US) serial # 11854 (Silver face)
• STELLAR 3/ US CLASSIC SOLID STATE 3 Based on a UREI/TELETRONIX* mono levelling amplifier LA-3A (US) serial # 1584 (Black face, 30dB switch setting on rear panel.)
• LIVE SOUND/ BRIT LIVE SOUND 1 Based on a BSS DPR402* dual compressor/limiter (UK) serial #02-9983-B
• STELLAR 4/ US CLASSIC OPTICAL 1 Based on a UREI LA-4* compressor/limiter (US) serial # 4832A (Silver face)
• LONDON/ BRIT BOUTIQUE TUBE 1 Based on a CHISWICK REACH* (UK) stereo valve compressor serial #RMS0061
• WASP 2/ BRIT CLASSIC SOLID STATE 1 Based on a DRAWMER DL221X* (UK) serial #1008X
• WASP 1/ BRIT CLASSIC TUBE 1 Based on a DRAWMER 1960*(UK) vacuum tube compressor amplifier serial #1002
• BIG BLUE A/ US MODERN SOLID STATE 1A Based on a dbx 160S* (US) compressor/limiter serial # 000004 (Standard compression setting.)
• BIG BLUE B/ US MODERN SOLID STATE 1B Based on a dbx 160S* (US) compressor/limiter serial # 000004 (OverEasy compression setting.)
The 20 original factory EQ emulations
• CLASS A 2 / BRIT 70’S CLASS A 2 EQ Based on the 4-band EQ section of a Neve 1073 - serial # 1742
• SILVER 3 / US MODERN HYBRID 3 EQ Based on an Avalon Vt 747sp 6-band EQ - serial # 27093
• OLD TUBE 3 / US 60’S TUBE 3 EQ Based on a Pultec EQH-2 3/4-band EQ - serial #s 6140
• VINTAGE 3 / US CLASSIC DISCRETE 4 EQ Based on an EAR 822Q 3/4-band EQ -serial #s TH82
• BRIT DESK4 / BRIT MODERN DESK 4 EQ Based on the 6-band EQ section of a single module from an SSL E Series desk
• BRIT DESK5 / BRIT MODERN DESK 5 EQ Based on the 6-band EQ section of a single module from an SSL G Series desk
• HUGE TUBE / US MODERN TUBE 6 EQ Based on a Manley Massive Passive 6-band EQ - serial # MSMPX1100
• BRIT DESK6 / BRIT 80’S CLASSIC DESK 1 EQ Based on the 6-band EQ section of a single channel from an Amek Angela Console - serial # 01314
• SILVER 2 / US MODERN TUBE 1 EQ Based on the 5-band EQ of an Avalon Vt 737sp channel - serial # 12545
• SILVER 4 / US MODERN TUBE 1 EQ Based on the 4-band EQ of an Avalon 2055 - serial # 10747
• PLATINUM2 / FOCUSRITE PLATINUM BASS FACTORY EQ Based on the 7-band EQ featured on the Japanese exclusive Platinum Bass Factory - serial # P060929
• TRANY 4 / US CLASSIC DISCRETE 4 EQ Based on an API 550b 4-band EQ - serial # 02212
• ZEBRA 2 / US ZEBRA DESCRETE DESK COPY EQ Based on the Chandler Limited EMI Passive TG Abbey Road
• TRANY 5 / US CLASSIC DISCRETE 5 EQ Based on an API 559 9-band EQ - serial # AX-GP-02211
• OLD TUBE 1 / US 60’S TUBE 1 EQ Based on a Pultec EQP1 3/4-band EQ - serial # 1253
• OLD TUBE 2 / US 60’S TUBE 2 EQ Based on a Pultec MEQ5 3-band EQ - serial # 1742
• PLATINUM1 / FOCUSRITE PLATINUM VOICE MASTER EQ Based on the 5-band EQ featured on the original and first Platinum unit- serial # P070110
• ISA 115 / FOCUSRITE ISA 115 EQ Based on a Focusrite ISA 115 6-band EQ
• CLASS A 4 / BRIT 60’S CLASS A 3 EQ Based on the 3-band EQ section of a Neve 1058 Channel - serial # 375
• TRANY 3 / US CLASSIC DISCRETE 3 EQ Based on an API 550a 4-band EQ - serial #s 3855
Product details release
Liquid Mix's onboard DSP hosts 32 classic EQs and 32 vintage compressors simultaneously in the mix - an impossible task to achieve with your computer's CPU alone.
Each of Liquid Mix's 32 channels provides Compressor and EQ emulations selected from a huge pool of high-quality vintage and modern day classics. 40 Compressors and 20 EQs are available straight out of the box, with an expanding library online. Furthermore, a totally unique hybrid 7-band 'super EQ' can be built out of separate classic EQ sections in every one of the 32 channels. Each channel appears as a separate VST/AU/RTAS effect within the sequencer and will work within all major applications, including Pro Tools.
Liquid Mix uses the same patented Dynamic Convolution process as Focusrite's Liquid Channel. Unlike standard convolution techniques, Dynamic Convolution utilizes vast processing power to sample the effect of a classic processor on a series of audio pulses, at many different gain settings and frequencies. In Liquid Mix, all this processing is done using onboard DSP, so the processing has almost no effect on your computer's own CPU.
Liquid Mix's DSP is housed within an elegant desktop control solution and connects to the computer via Firewire, which also provides bus-powering. The physical metering, screen, rotary controls and buttons on the hardware help to provide a tactile ergonomic solution, placing the sounds of an array of high quality vintage processors at your fingertips. You can choose to control each channel either from the desktop control unit, or from within the sequencer, using a simple GUI that functions exactly like a plug-in.
An optional expansion card is available for Liquid Mix, allowing users to increase the number of available channels at higher sample rates (sold separately). The card is quick and easy to install and fits neatly into the underside of the unit.
The original Liquid Channel won a plethora of awards, and has been a worldwide hit in the audio production world, from project studios to post production and broadcast facilities, not to mention the Live arena. Liquid Mix complements the original, delivering dynamic convolution for use in the mix. Since The Liquid Channel's vast, elaborate and expensive analogue mic pre section is not required at mix down, Focusrite has been able to bring Liquid Technology to the masses at a much more accessible price. Liquid Mix Highlights One of a kind - any Compressor and EQ in history
Every Liquid Mix channel uses dynamic convolution to provide 40 compressors and 20 EQs, with a free expanding library online. Onboard DSP
32 Channels of Liquid Mix Compression and 32 EQs run off the desktop hardware's own DSP - many more than are possible with CPU alone Software and Hardware control
EQ and Compression can be applied via a hands-on control surface, or within your DAW application via a simple GUI. Hybrid Super EQ creation
Unique 7-band super EQs can be created, constructed from separate classic EQ sections of your choosing Desktop Metering
Large format LED bar-graphs mean ergonomic display of levels and processor impact. Optional Expansion Card
An optional DSP expansion card is available to increase the maximum channel count at higher sample rates.
Price and availability
The Mac version of Liquid Mix is targeted to ship in Q2 of 2006. The PC version is expected to follow later in 2006. The unit is expected to retail for just £499 inc. VAT in the UK. Please contact your distributor for local pricing (visit www.focusrite.com/wheretobuy.asp
for a full distributor listing).
This from Sintefex's news section announcing the alliance with Focusrite:
Focusrite announces strategic partnership with Sintefex Audio LDA
The 115th AES convention in New York sees the unveiling of Focusrite’s groundbreaking ‘Liquid Technology’.
The LIQUID Channel provides access to the sound of an unlimited number of vintage Mic pre’s and Compressors with all the added benefits of digital processing and control, in a 192kHz 2 U device.
The LIQUID channel was made possible by the development and integration of two unique technologies. Firstly the LIQUID Channel features a vast pre-amp circuit with the ability to change its impedance and vary its signal to perfectly replicate the interaction characteristics of an original vintage design, whilst remaining entirely transparent within the signal path. Secondly, Sintefex’s patented Dynamic Convolution technology is then used to replicate unique leveldependant impulse responses to every sample of audio to exactly re-synthesise the ‘sound’ of the chosen Mic pre or Compressor.
With entirely digital front panel controls, all parameters can be saved in one of ninety-nine User Memories, meaning that entire session set-ups can all be recalled at the touch of a button. A brand new digital EQ is also featured and a USB connection on the rear panel links to a software application enabling the archiving of both replicas and surplus User Memories, as well as providing remote operation of the unit itself.
The LIQUID Channel ships preloaded with forty classic mic-pre’s and forty classic compressors but is infinitely expandable, since the USB port also facilitates downloads of further replicas from a dedicated website; www.ffliquid.com.
“Liquid Technology is the final product of two years pure research into what makes an analogue box sound exactly the way it does. The results of this research have enabled us to develop a hybrid system of analogue and digital technology, capable of recreating every sonic attribute of any classic processor. Focusrite has a history of manufacturing high performance equipment, and of making that technology affordable to all those at every level of the recording industry. The LIQUID Channel goes further and makes the obsolete, the priceless and the historically significant, available to everybody for the first time.”
Robert Jenkins – Director of Product Strategy – Focusrite.
"We have spent a number of years perfecting the unique, patented technology that allows the subtle sonic characteristics of analogue processors to be sampled directly from the original, accurately recreating frequency and phase response and the way it changes with signal level. This is not just a programmer's approximation to the original sound as found in plug-ins but an actual sample of the original equipment. Coupled with Focusrite's immense expertise in pre-amp technology, the LIQUID Channel is indeed a unique combination of digital and analogue processing capturing the true performance of rare and expensive classic mic pre-amps and compressors."
Mike Kemp Sintefex Technical Director
For further details see website; www.ffliquid.com
Product Manuals or Files
no user manual
Last added comment
Looking for the manual? - Check this page above under the heading: 'Product manual or files' - We might have it!
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