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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!

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