Focusrite Liquid Channel
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Focusrite Liquid Channel

Liquid Channel, Channel Strip from Focusrite in the Liquid series.

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blackle 07/08/2012

Focusrite Liquid Channel : blackle's user review

« Convulation and modeling .. »
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The Focusrite Liquid Channel hosts a true analog preamp, followed by a preamp and compressor section (40 choices for each) using techniques convulation and a digital equalizer modeled on the ISA 110 ..

UTILIZATION

The Liquid Channel is a processor rather large (2 units high) and its size is nice in its use. Of power switch at the input section, a friendly gauge, a switch mic / line and the gain, not to mention the (indispensable!) clipping. But even in this aissi input section we find the activation of the power supply 'ghost, the phase inverter and high-pass filter. Several LEDs indicate the selected input (mic, line, digital, with or without insertion of the input transformer built according to the type of emulated preamp). There is also a key indicator and two baptized "Session Saver": this useful feature detects any situation where the analog input signal can overload the digital converters, and reduces the level, if necessary, in 1 dB steps, until 'to 3dB. Very convenient, even essential at high voltage sessions, where retakes are inenvisageables! On this same section there are also buttons / indicators choice of digital reference: internal / external AES or Worldclock, and the sampling frequency (up to 192 kHz, requires Focusrite ..).
The central section of the machine allows the exploitation of its emulation functions of preamps and compressors. The LCD, the encoder 6 and 4 keys are enough for me to work. The "replies" (emulated devices) are chosen by pressing the Pre and Compressor located just above the screen, then scrolling list of choices via the data wheel, and pressing to confirm. From left to right, encoders let you get into the harmonics, a way to introduce some "heat" of distortion which vary depending on the model used preamp. We will return later .. But also to adjust the threshold, the release and catch-up gain. Called "Make-Up." No doubt there is much in the presence of a bike Focusrite.
Then comes the section of the digital equalizer, which is modeled and not based convulation. It offers three bands: Shelve corrector type for bands bass / treble and parametric equalizer for the medium (Q switched) circuit based on the ISA 110. But especially designed for minor procedures!
The last section of the front in turn ensures the overall configuration of the processor: input names and registration programs .. Subtlety anyway. It is in this section that we find a way to access the cutoff frequency of the highpass filter of preamp hardware of the unit .. You can find it in the "Setup" menu.

SOUND QUALITY

We're in the thick of it .. As a regular user of certain machines that it purports to, and exploring the dozens of combinations of compressors and mic preamp, tube or transistor, the "replies" go to satisfactory through the successful " I'm confused .. .. ". The sound is alternately colored or neutral, warm or analytical, rich or slightly lean, shiny or dull. Everything with a fine control of dynamics. The sound ranges from subtle to intense, but compared to real machines there still remains some frustration. The convulation still much progress to make, although some results are perfectly usable. Modeling based equalization, I recall on the ISA 110, is at times questionable. In digital it is still very very difficult to get all the characteristics of an analog equalizer. Compared to the ISA 110, the sound is more narrow. This fact is particularly noticeable when applying corrections called muscular. Harmonics are much less enjoyable .. Given this, the ISA 110's Liquid Channel is not done that .. So just, as said above interventions subsidiary.
Needless to say the converters are excellent. The preamp is high caliber, and is almost alone the fact that you can store this Liquid Channel in machines of the highest order.

OVERALL OPINION

The Liquid Channel interface has a solid and well thought out. The main access is immediate. The sound quality is above reproach. However convulations the various machines, as mentioned above, can leave you hungry. The real skill lies in the choice of the user and the application of sound color desired. Configurations are very easy to record. Those working in post-production can take advantage of this function to fit the voices redone in postsynchro and those recorded when shooting.
In use music studio, the great advantage of this bike is that you can select a particular machine not present in the racks. But we must not forget that Focusrite can unfortunately not completely compensate for a shortage. It is also imperative to remember that there is also a reaction time at the helm, of course absent in the original devices, which respond instantly to their hand, and an equalizer (I know I repeat myself) a little shy but still remaining usable.
In contrast to the studio the domestic supply of such a machine seems fairly limited. As with the channel strips, compressors, etc. .. upscale (read: professional). To fully the quintessence of what it will be essential Focusrite than the rest of your studio is in keeping. Otherwise I think some see no interest.