Recording - October 2015 - 51

[Phil Moore comments: "The Doublewide
is capable of going pretty slow, but it is also
capable of going fast. It just doesn't clamp
hard on peaks like a limiter. The meter shows
how fast it is... the feeling of slowness is due
to a dynamic ratio on the attack impulses. It
creates punch."-Ed.]
As with the Sta-Level, it is very easy to dig
into deep reduction levels with out sounding
over the top or overbaked. Comparing the
Sta-Level and Doublewide, my analogy
would be: if the Sta-Level is molasses, the
Doublewide is maple syrup.
In use
On vocals I could get the Doublewide
behaving like the Sta-Level but with a touch
less weight to the sound. In other words,
while it's not equivalent to the Sta-Level, it
does serve as a great vocal control box, just
like its big brother does.
On drums, it's an instant snare fattener.
Unlike a Universal Audio 1176LN or
Empirical Labs Distressor-both of which
make snare drums snap, crackle and pop-
the Doublewide makes the snare big and
slow, as if the sticks weigh 100 pounds
each. Experimenting with Single and Double
modes on snare, I found Double to be faster
and more meaty, while Single is slow, even,
and buttery. Playing with the attack will
shape the snare sound from smacked and
chunky to gentle and huge. Changing the

recovery can take it from slow and sluggish
to a state of nearly suspended animation.
I really liked the Doublewide on a baby
grand piano miked with an Advanced
Audio CM49 (review forthcoming) about
7' up from the open piano lid. With 10 dB
of gain reduction, an attack of 80, and

recovery of 100, in Double mode the
pounding rock-style line was forward and
solid with a beautiful gentle pumping. Put
in Single mode, the pumping went away
and the playing was smooth, yet firmly
controlled.
It's a similar experience on strummed rock
acoustic guitar with 3 to 10 dB of reduction
in Single mode. Setting the attack to 40 with
a full, fast release, you get a consistent big

controlled sound. On bass it works well too,
although I will say that to my ears it just doesn't have quite the massively weighted magic
of the Sta-Level. It's a nice electric guitar thickener; set the attack at its slowest and the
recovery at its fastest, in Double mode, and
go for about 8-10 dB of gain reduction.
I could keep going all day; there is really
nothing that the Doublewide won't work its
magic on... as long as you like your compression big, smooth, and slow-feeling.
Conclusions
Even though the Doublewide is not as magical as the Sta-Level on a few sources, it is
easily the more versatile jack-of-all-trades of
the two. Considering that the Sta-Level costs
$2700 and the Doublewide is $1000, that's
saying something. You could get a pair for
stereo (although they are not linkable), and
still be financially ahead with a brilliant versatile tube compressor in its own right.
If you're looking for real tube character
and that lovely massive smoothness of a
variable-Mu design in your 500 Series rack,
the Doublewide can put you in the interesting position of buying a brand-new compressor... in order to go Retro.
Price: $995
More from: Retro Instruments,
www.retroinstruments.com


http://www.retroinstruments.com http://www.cras.edu http://www.cras.edu http://www.audiorecordingschool.com/consumer.html

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2015

Contents
Recording - October 2015 - Intro
Recording - October 2015 - Cover1
Recording - October 2015 - Cover2
Recording - October 2015 - 1
Recording - October 2015 - 2
Recording - October 2015 - 3
Recording - October 2015 - 4
Recording - October 2015 - 5
Recording - October 2015 - Contents
Recording - October 2015 - 7
Recording - October 2015 - 8
Recording - October 2015 - 9
Recording - October 2015 - 10
Recording - October 2015 - 11
Recording - October 2015 - 12
Recording - October 2015 - 13
Recording - October 2015 - 14
Recording - October 2015 - 15
Recording - October 2015 - 16
Recording - October 2015 - 17
Recording - October 2015 - 18
Recording - October 2015 - 19
Recording - October 2015 - 20
Recording - October 2015 - 21
Recording - October 2015 - 22
Recording - October 2015 - 23
Recording - October 2015 - 24
Recording - October 2015 - 25
Recording - October 2015 - 26
Recording - October 2015 - 27
Recording - October 2015 - 28
Recording - October 2015 - 29
Recording - October 2015 - 30
Recording - October 2015 - 31
Recording - October 2015 - 32
Recording - October 2015 - 33
Recording - October 2015 - 34
Recording - October 2015 - 35
Recording - October 2015 - 36
Recording - October 2015 - 37
Recording - October 2015 - 38
Recording - October 2015 - 39
Recording - October 2015 - 40
Recording - October 2015 - 41
Recording - October 2015 - 42
Recording - October 2015 - 43
Recording - October 2015 - 44
Recording - October 2015 - 45
Recording - October 2015 - 46
Recording - October 2015 - 47
Recording - October 2015 - 48
Recording - October 2015 - 49
Recording - October 2015 - 50
Recording - October 2015 - 51
Recording - October 2015 - 52
Recording - October 2015 - 53
Recording - October 2015 - 54
Recording - October 2015 - 55
Recording - October 2015 - 56
Recording - October 2015 - 57
Recording - October 2015 - 58
Recording - October 2015 - 59
Recording - October 2015 - 60
Recording - October 2015 - 61
Recording - October 2015 - 62
Recording - October 2015 - 63
Recording - October 2015 - 64
Recording - October 2015 - 65
Recording - October 2015 - 66
Recording - October 2015 - 67
Recording - October 2015 - 68
Recording - October 2015 - 69
Recording - October 2015 - 70
Recording - October 2015 - 71
Recording - October 2015 - 72
Recording - October 2015 - 73
Recording - October 2015 - 74
Recording - October 2015 - 75
Recording - October 2015 - 76
Recording - October 2015 - 77
Recording - October 2015 - 78
Recording - October 2015 - 79
Recording - October 2015 - 80
Recording - October 2015 - Cover3
Recording - October 2015 - Cover4
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