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Posts Tagged ‘Aphex’

Aphex Channel – Keep It!

August 3, 2021 Comments off

If you have an Aphex Channel Voice Processor, KEEP IT!

Of all the mic or voice processors out there I find the Aphex Channel one of the best for studio use. There are many good ones, but this one works the best. My major beef with this unit, and the company, is the lack of support for the hardware. So, let’s get into it and I will end with why I like it and how I set it up.

You will find that your unit will die. Yes, power cycle that puppy and it will not come back to life. Make the mistake of pulling a phantom powered mic, or plugging one in, and it will kill the unit. Why? Crappy power supplies. The power supply is easy to replace. Stay tuned for a tech note on how to do so as I start to make notes and lists of things to add here. You paid for this unit, for about $75 you can make it good again. You can purchase the power supplies through distributors like Broadcasters General Store (BGS). How bad is this issue? I replaced 15 of them in the last couple months. A new processor will last about 3 to 4 years before the power supply decides it doesn’t want to work again. BTW, the tube should last a good 10 years as one of my now retired 230s has proven.

I know I worked with Marvin with the 230 and Channel before Aphex sold the company. Rode, the maker of the now famous RodeCaster, purchased Aphex. It is very obvious that they do not care about the hardware and purchased Aphex for the technology as it is incorporated into the RodeCaster for mic processing. I say they are missing out on a lot of money by ignoring the hardware side of life. The design is the same as the original and that definitely includes the power supply. My suggestion to them is to make some minor tweaks and continue to supply and support us in the field. One tweak is cooling. Maybe include vent holes near the power supply as the single set of vents next to the tube is not conducive to air flow through the unit. I also suggest a little better support system. I’ve tried email via the web page, and direct contact. The latter is tough as they make it very difficult to speak to a human. As two new units were sent through “under warranty” and came back not working, I felt it was easier to just take care of it myself, and it has always been a power supply.

What I like and I cannot seem to find in other voice processors is a gate. Many do not even have a gate. Why? Studio and even live performances do use gates. Maybe in today’s world of production all this is done on the computers, but live stuff is live and needs such features. I have tried a replacement Presonus voice processor. It is a good unit, but the first and only complaint I received is no gate. Maybe these “talent” are spoiled, but I found it interesting that is what they noticed. If there is a main reason to keep the Channel is the gate.

For studio use, set that unit up with moderate level and put that release around the 9pm position, or slow. Set that gate threshold and the depth you wish so it doesn’t chop in and out. Set the Big Bottom and Aural Exciter for about 12 o’clock and adjust from there. Use the parametric EQ to get rid of that annoying air conditioner or some other background mess. Set the output drive to your best level on the console and you are done. You will find the Channel is smooth at controlling the peaks and the slow release helps keep a constant level for the talent.

Keep that Aphex Channel. Spend a couple bucks to replace that power supply. Enjoy. Until I find something that I like better, I am keeping with the Aphex even with the lack of support. Why mess with a good unit. Maybe someday Rode will find it in their best interest to improve on this piece of hardware.

Cheers!

Summary of Life

July 1, 2011 Comments off

Oh there is so much to write about.  I’ve been on vacation, and now back this week to much to do.  Twitter has been good for updates.  I sure would like to drill down and give you guys some substance, but here we are summarizing the fun we have had this week.

HVAC.  Finally, after 6 or so years, we have air conditioning at our Class A transmitter site.  The R2D2 type units just were not cutting it and when I had the vendor out to get the quote, one of the units would not stay on.  Now that the new unit is in, the room is consistent and hopefully will be much cleaner as it is a closed system.  We had a Fujitsu 2.5 ton split system installed.  It is quiet; almost too quiet.  The residence at the house will appreciate that.  It is rated at 19 SEARS, so it is efficient.  Let’s see how efficient over time.  Check that off the list.

I received my RF load for a station that had one under-sized since the HD installation.  That needs to go.  The thing showed up the day before I left on vacation.  I will squeeze that in shortly.  Should be straight forward.  Of course I plan on making the project a bit more complicated as the RF coax switch on that station needs to be rotated 90 degrees as the interlocks do not line up properly with the controller, position-wise.  Now that will be fun.  Drop switch, rotate it, and make plumb again.

New Avaya phone system was installed.  Some minor adjustments are required, but we had the first phones up and running 1 hour after the old system was turned off.  We’re good.  I congratulate the IT dude on his planning and the folks at GSolutionz for providing a good installation experience.  Can’t wait to play with the new features.  I do have one thing we are attempting to solve:  Connecting the system to the Telos 2101.  I have Green, but I do not have the numbers and the two systems are not quite talking with each other.  I’m waiting for a call from Telos now (been 2 hours already) on the error codes that are showing so I can get the techs to adjust the Avaya to provide what Telos needs.  Anyone else connect a phones system to the Telos?  Any luck, trouble, solutions?

I continue to find the time to run tests and evaluate the Orban 8600.  Stay tuned for a user report somewhere.  Hint:  I like it.  Now will Omnia step up and let me dig on that one?

I continue to rotate 6 year old Aphex 230 processors through as they fail.  All the same vintage and all getting capacitors replaced.  I am still not told which ones, but at least I know they get recalibrated when sent in for service.  Believe it or not, one unit had a tube replaced.  I need to dig up the type and get a couple replacements in house.  My oldest is 7 years old.

Keeping busy is good.  Makes the days fly by.  If there is a subject you would like to hear about, let me know.  I appreciate all comments, good and bad.

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Thorn of the Week

Why not mention that I love the Aphex 230 Voice Processor.  I find it an awesome device.  Yet, this week it has been a thorn in my side.  I am having a rash of failures among some of my older units.  It is not the tube.  When sent in for repair it comes back with a packing list stating 2 capacitors and 1 IC replaced.  It does not tell me which ones and why.

The symptoms of the failure:  1.  Power LEDs behind the Aphex  logo do not light; 2. Audio does not pass; 3. Clip/mute LED either flickers or is on solid; 4. The De-ess LED is lit with flicker.  I suspect a power supply issue, but no definitive answer to that question.  I await a phone call to find out more details and if I can do field repairs to the units.   As a “precision” voice processor I do not want to make repairs and have not way to calibrate the unit, so part of the phone call is to determine feasibility.

If you have one of these units I am curious at what the age it is, and if you had/have any other issues with it.  I will begin a routine replacement of tubes on the oldest units as they are pushing at least 7 years if my calculations are right.  I figure that is a good amount of time plus I want to find out if there is an audible difference between before and after.

Many minor items are burning in the background.  I am making progress on the Orban 8600.  I am still in the poking around stages.  Plan on some review in a trade near you soon.  Have a great weekend!

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Updates & and New Morning Show

February 1, 2010 Comments off

Wow, has it been that long since I posted?  For all 3 of you who follow diligently, thanks for staying tuned.  It has been wild to say the least; if you follow my Twitter you have been up to date without details.  We started a new morning show, and what comes with a new morning show is what we all expect:  Headaches!  If only they gave us time to prepare for their arrival.  Where would the fun be in that, eh?

First surprise is that it is a talk-it-up show with 5 people.  Nice.  We have not had a talking-heads type show here in years, so we only have the basics in place.  As we are a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality here on equipment that works, we do not update it.  We’ve been caught too many times with updates that bit us in the ass.  This one was better, though we did find you can mess up the whole system briefly with a “server” crash.  Being talk, we had to integrate the Assistant Producer call screening software from Telos into the mix.  We use the 2101 system.  We found you can choose a Show/Studio combination with it such that if that combination does not exist in reality, it barfs the hub/server briefly.  A call to Telos confirmed the older software was to blame.  Time to upgrade after how many years?

After a little preparation and another call to Telos, we figured out the best procedure to upgrade the 2101 Hub and Studio I/Os to the latest and greatest;  an upgrade released 3 years ago!  I figured I would try to do each I/O via the front panel and quickly ruled that out.  Telnet is the way to go.  I have to say the update was smooth and all I/Os and Hub are up to date.  I got the latest release of the Assistant Producer software and away we went.  Well, until we discovered that we once again are able to choose a Show/Studio combination that make the AP application drop connection with the server.  At least the whole system did not go down.  As we now know the situation, we happily run AP.

As an added feature, we purchased an wireless VGA “extender” so the Assistant Producer computer in the air studio can be viewed on our 32″ LCD T.V.  With a little font enlargement and making the entries bold, it works pretty darn well.

I think I may review the microphone the talent requested time permitting.  It is a Blue Blueberry microphone.  My first impression is it sounds good, though ascetically it is a bit ugly for me and bulky.  It is paired with an Aphex 230 voice processor.  As the main microphone is a Neuman BCM-104, I find there is not much difference between the two with this guy’s voice.  Part of this is he seems to know how to work a good mic.  It turns out the Blue mic is more expensive, too.  So much for the budget!

Carry on!

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