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I went into the studio with the new Focusrite Liquid Channel (LC), which contains digital "replicas" of 40 different preamps. I also took 7 different hardware preamps that were "modeled" in the LC. I was determined to see how close the replicas came to the original models. The units I compared were Focusrite ISA-110, Manley SLAM, Millennia Media's TD-1 with the HV-3 preamp, Cranesong Flamingo, API 3124+, Avalon 737 and a Groove Tubes VIPRE. This CD-R contains 24-bit/48K .wav soundfiles (along with the original ProTools session so you can double-click and listen if you have PT), and it will allow you to hear what I heard.
This carefully calibrated comparison utilized a prerecorded female voice with a loudspeaker as the playback source (Tannoy DMT-10) into a vintage Neumann U67, using Mytek DAC and Cranesong HEDD-192 ADC. You can hear the LC version beside the original hardware box, but also there are versions with the odd and even harmonics boosted on the LC so you can hear that effect. Also included are recordings of all the other 32 preamp "models" or settings on the LC, 69 soundfiles in all. There has been lots of speculation about whether the LC can deliver on its promise of capturing the sound of all these hardware units. Now you have a chance to hear and decide for yourself without forking over $6000 to get one in your studio.