USA: Sunset Sound Tel: +1 32 3469 1186 Fax: +1 32 3465 5579
AUSTRALIA: Mark Armstrong Electronics Tel: +61 (0) 4 1854 4766 send email
Products and Prices Custom Products About Smart Research Client List
Products and Prices:
All prices are for the UK, exclusive of VAT. Dealer prices outside the UK may vary slightly as a result of shipping charges, import duty and Taxes that apply for international shipments.
Connects ProTools to an SSL E/G Computer. Locate from your
console, or run SSL mixes from ProTools. Compatible
with all ProTools versions to date: over 110 in use in 9
**Update now available for HUI midi protocol**
C2 Dual/Stereo Compressor
High performance stereo mix or instrument compressor.130dB dynamic
external sidechain inputs, 'Crush' mode, fast limit. New generation
fast slew rate amplifiers.(Also available in multichannel versions) Two
sets of controls and two audio channels. UK£1950
**Sidechain Filter option now available**
C2M Stereo Compressor
One set of controls and two audio channels. UK£1575.
C2R 2-Channel Expander
Two channel audio expander to add to a C2 or MC2 for multichannel systems. UK£1250
C1 Dual/Stereo Compressor
Original black front panel version of C2 compressor.(No sidechain inputs, or crush facility) Two sets of controls and two audio channels. UK£1575
Smart Guitar Di System
Transmit box, Receive Box, Power supply. UK£245
**Re-Amp option now available**
Smart Guitar Di -Deluxe System
Transmit box, Receive Box, Power supply. UK£315
01/7 Channel Amplifier Card
Replacement Mic, Line and Channel amplifiers for SSLE and G series recording consoles. UK£315
C2 Compressor Family:
The C2 compressor houses two independant mono compressors, or in STEREO mode, the left-hand controls operate both audio channels, with the right-hand controls not used, giving true Stereo operation. The C2M version has one set of controls and two audio channels for Stereo use, whilst the C2R is a dual channel remote expander for building up to 8 channel systems controlled from one C2M or C2.
The characteristic sound of this unit arises mostly from the fast response at the onset of compression, which when delayed to occur around the mid range attack settings (after 0.3 to 3 milliseconds) results in a window through which transients can still pass. When used accross a mix, or with any dynamic programme, this has the effect of adding 'punch', as the sidechain 'breathes' around these transients, while still controlling overall levels. CRUSH mode has been developed as an extension of this 'musicality', adding to and accentuating the factors involved in producing the character of the unit. CRUSH may sound surprising to those interested in more gentle applications, being capable of exaggerated compression effects, but in conjunction with the fast limit settings also introduced with this unit, it allows the C2 to be used for a much wider range of applications than the C1.
Priced at UK£30 per a pair of cables (one per channel).
High Pass sidechain cable.pdf
|C2 Family Specifications:|
|Power:||100v-240v AC selectable, 30 watts.|
|Noise floor:||Below -104 dBm (flat 20Hz-20Khz).|
|Distortion:||Below 0.005% (1K/+4 THD 20Hz-20Khz)|
|Frq. Response:||Within 1/2dB from 20Hz to 100Khz.|
|Depth in rack:||258mm.|
|Main input:||Balanced, impedance 1K8 per leg.|
|Sidechain i/p:||Balanced, impedance 10K per leg.|
|Output:||Discrete transistor. Above +26dBm into 600 ohm load.|
|Threshold:||Adjustable -20 to +20dBm.|
|Make-up gain:||Adjustable 0 to +20dBm.|
C2 Family Performace Graphs:
C2 Film/Multichannel Systems:
In a normal C2 unit, when in 'Stereo' mode, the left channel front panel controls become the masters for both the left and right audio paths, and the right hand controls become inactive. Both audio paths are 'sensed', the result processed, and then acted on equally to eliminate image shift (so a 'peak' on either channel results in the compression of both). By extension of this method, in a multichannel system, the master set of controls can be interlinked to sense and control any number of audio channels where image shift would otherwise be a problem. When 'stereo'or 'left master' mode is selected, the left hand front panel controls become the masters for all channels in the system.
A multichannel system comprises a master C2 or C2M unit, to which is added one additional remote controlled 1RU audio rack per pair of extra channels needed. A four channel system would therefore need one master C2 (or C2M), and one C2R (remote C2). The system can be extended as needed, for more or less channels, or the additional channels unplugged and the master unit used on its own functioning as a normal unit (the only difference being that the 'sidechain' XLR connectors on the rear panel are changed to multipin types for additional control lines to and from the C2R chain). As an example for film mix formats this can be used to build a system with three interlinked channels for L-C-R to avoid image shifting, with suround L-R handled by a second pair of channels. Sub bass can be either processed separately or combined with the surround channels.
This approach has been adopted for two reasons: first as the most
in allowing for different choices of mix formats and the ability for
C2R channel capacity to 'float' between control rooms or be purchased
needed, and second because of being able to offer the C2R unit at a
reasonable sale price than a complete unit. In allowing for the above
we have also provided for further customisation. The master C2 unit has
an external fader input, and we would be happy to discuss any further
C1 Dual/Stereo Compressor
Original black front panel version of C2 compressor. (Two sets of
and two audio channels, but no sidechain inputs, or crush facility).
in UK and US west coast studios.
|Power:||100v-240v AC selectable, 30 watts.|
|Noise floor:||Below -92 dBm (flat 20Hz-20Khz).|
|Distortion:||Below 0.025% (1K/+4 THD 20Hz-20Khz)|
|Frq. Response:||Within 1/2dB from 20Hz to 20Khz.|
|Depth in rack:||240mm.|
|Main input:||Balanced, impedance 10K per leg.|
|Output:||Unbalanced (p2 hot default). Above +21dBm.|
|Threshold:||Adjustable -15 to +15dBm.|
|Make-up gain:||Adjustable 0 to +15dBm.|
Smart Guitar D.i System
Designed to solve many instrument recording and D.i problems. For instance, one guitar feeding down long cables to 3 amps in a different area, without hums or change of tone. Includes: Balanced line driver for long cables; speaker level D.i input, and one unity gain Di Box/Splitter for two D.i or Amp feeds. Conceived at Real World Studios, to solve the problem of a guitarist wanting to play in the control room and have amplifiers set up in a live room sometimes several hundred feet away. Prototypes were also used at Virgin/ EMI Townhouse and Manor studios. Since then producers and artists such as Tom Lord Alge, Peter Gabriel, Paul Weller, and Tears for Fears have bought systems. Four systems were used to cure problems for Peter Gabriel's live show, where two stages had to be inter -connected with 300 feet of cable carrying guitar signals from radios to effects pedals on both stages and back to amps on the main stage without degradation, (allowing each stage to be patched independently).
The system comprises a TRANSMIT box and RECEIVE box. The TRANSMIT
has a high impedance input and line driver, which will drive long
to the RECEIVE box input, which feeds the Di/splitter giving two
outputs.(In the Deluxe version, there are two Di/splitters in both the
TRANSMIT and RECEIVE boxes, giving 8 isolated outputs) In addition, the
RECEIVE unit has a speaker simulator input, so you can plug the speaker
output of an amp in for 'dirty' Di sounds with or without a speaker
All the Di/splitters on both boxes have break jack inputs and can be
as separate Di's if desired, as well as earth lift switches to stop hum
problems. This means there are a total of 8 outputs with the Deluxe
(or 2 on the normal system); a line driver and receiver; and a speaker
Di System Re-Amp cable:
Used to send a recorded signal back through
a amp, pre-amp, or effects pedals for further treatment. XLRF
input to standard mono jack, incorporating a balanced to unbalanced
pad. Can be used to feed the D.i System 'Instrument' input for
distribution to several devices; or one isolated output to an amp
or pedal if the system is being used at line level. UK£20
Smart Guitar D.i System - Deluxe version
As above, but including: Balanced line driver for long cables; speaker level D.i input, 4 unity gain Di Box/Splitter for up to 8 D.i's or Amp feeds.
Block Diagram of Deluxe TRANSMIT box
(normal version does not have Di/Splitters)
Block Diagram of Deluxe RECEIVE box
(normal version has only one Di/Splitter channel)
01/7 Channel Amplifier Card
High performance Mic and Line Amplifiers, Channel Switching and Buffers. Upgrade for SSL-E and -G series* Channel Modules. Easy to fit card.
The Input Card contains a significant part of the circuitry in each console channel module, and can therefore greatly influence overall module performance. Mic, line and insert return inputs and selector switching; channel fader selector switching; phase reverse circuitry and buffers feeding the record bus outputs all reside on this card. Operationally, our mic-amp offers 16; 4dB gain steps from +4dB to +64dB; and silent phantom power switching (the output mutes to avoid thumps). The card is easy to install by soldering a two wire link, and can be swapped back with no changes to the module. The measurements for the card appear on the following page, and to date (perhaps more importantly), all the opinions expressed to us by users have been favourable (most being surprised at a quite audible difference). The design philosophy has been to incorporate every factor that may yield beneficial performance; (detailed below) and score as highly as possible in each; the most crucial being the sound of the final circuitry. The design has been the result of some five years of research, a process that included surveying every op-amp and switch I.C currently available, with the final devices chosen through auditioning those short listed.
Subjective but potentially audible factors include the use of DC-servo amplifiers in all circuits to avoid electrolytic capacitors. Transformerless input. Removal of all wiring in gain critical areas of circuit. Mic amp gain is remote controlled, also allowing control from existing mic gain controls. Use of fet/transistor hybrid 'Butler' input op-amps. These are latest generation devices, and tend toward even harmonic distortion components. Total symmetry to minimise phase error in all balanced circuits. Use of latest generation electronic switches to reduce switch-on impedance and hence minimise switch colouration.
Measurable factors include: Noise floor. Distortion. Slew rate/frequency response. Headroom. Common Mode Rejection Ratio. Switch 'off' isolation.
We believe that the most significant factors affecting the audible performance in this case are slew rate, and switch 'off' isolation. The older NE5534 op-amp used in the existing channel has a quoted slew rate of 6v/µs with 22pf compensation; which can be further degraded by capacitors added to the feedback path to improve stability. The op-amp we use is unity gain stable, needing no compensation capacitors, and has a slew rate of 22v/µs; an almost four-fold improvement. With regard to the existing electronic switches, if signal transients approach within 5 volts of clipping they can break through the J-fets used. These devices also exhibit significant on-impedance. Both of these factors do not apply to the analogue switches used in our design. Examine the following figures yourself, and if you would be interested to hear the difference, please call us.
The following figures compare the Smart Research 01/7 Channel input amplifier to the original input card measured at Metropolis Audio (Australia). Note that these figures are not necessarily guaranteed for other situations. All figures are measured 22Hz-22KHz RMS at the channel insert send; for 3 gain or frequency settings as indicated in the graphs as 1,2 and 3.
CMRR (dBm) measured with -20dBm/1Khz into + and - inputs. Figures
Distortion (%) measured with 0dB/1Khz input.
Off isolation (dBm) with +10dBm/1Khz input; and input not selected. Figures ref: +10dBm.
Noise measurements (dBm) are with 150ohm source impedance.
Slew rate (microseconds) is measured as time for output to reach 90% of maximum output
Frequency response (dBm) measured with -60 in/0dBm out for Mic Amps.
SSL E or G* series consoles.
*Please contact factory for details and availability*
SING SING STUDIOS, MELBOURNE. (48 frame SSL4000E, extended to 64 using one producer table)
* SSL,E,G-series, and Total Recall are all trademarks of Solid State Logic Ltd.
About Smart Research:
Originally formed by Alan Smart for the development of high performance audio equipment. He has worked in the professional audio industry for some 20 years since starting as an assistant engineer in Wave Studios in London, and then as an electronics engineer at Digital Audio Systems, who provided Sony PCM mastering systems to UK studios; manufactured Weber test tapes, and restored and extended several Neve consoles and other equipment. Engineering at SSL's 'Huge' studios in Oxford led to a position as commissioning and service engineer for SSL. His first assignment abroad was to commission George Benson's SSL at Lahaina Sound in Hawaii, after which he went on to either service or commission many of the rapidly expanding collection of SSL Studios such as Virgin's Townhouse 1 and 2; Sarm West; Wessex; Abbey Road; Air Studios and others. Experience with broadcast studios came at the UK's BBC, Denmark Radio, and Japan's NHK, and travel for SSL included visiting Holland, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the West Indies and the USA. This period involved solving the problems at each new installation, as SSL moved to from around 25 console sales, to become a world standard .
Alan left SSL to become chief engineer at Eddy Grant's Blue Wave Studios in Barbados, where he engineered an album; singles and film music for Eddy Grant, working with two Otari MTR90's and a Synclavier system. He took care of maintenance and ran the studio for projects such as Sting's first solo project 'Dream of the Blue Turtles'; and expanded the studio's facilities to allow for video sync and midi distribution. During this time many artists visited Blue Wave including the Thompson Twins, Bryan Ferry, Jon Anderson, and Mick Jagger.
Returning to the UK in 1984, freelance projects included work for many artists and studios. After engineering various projects for Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, and others (such as Joni Mitchell's 'Chalk Marks in a Rainstorm') at Peter Gabriel's earlier studio, Ashcombe; he then became involved in the planning and construction of Real World Studios. This involved 3 Studios, and numerous custom electronic projects; such as modifying the main control room SSL to allow status changing and metering in groups of 8 modules; and 64 split group outputs. Alan also designed the 'ASM' system for Real World, increasing the SSL's capacity from 5 to 9 automated cue sends per module. (This system was later sold to several studios, Rhinoceros in Sydney amongst others). While working with Real World, Alan designed and travelled with Gabriel's 'So' world tour stage system, and more recently the 'Secret World' tour. The latter involved the establishment of two complete music equipment systems, linked with custom built midi-automated switching and level control, multicores, line drivers, and used some 35 radio frequencies, and also involved extensive live recording of both midi and audio; an offshoot of the tour which he followed through to help in post production and mixing at Guillaume Tell in Paris.
The challenges of spending years involved with touring have otherwise proven avoidable; with the exception of Tears for Fear's 'Seeds of Love' tour, for which he designed and built 48 channels of preamplifiers/splitters to allow the isolation and on-line fault finding of all audio from the stage; as well as a stage radio foldback system for the two principles, at a time when commercially available systems were tested and found too unreliable to use.
Complete studio designs have included a 56 channel SSL/ 96 tape track capable mitsubushi equipped facility, Neptune's Kitchen, for private use; studios for Jamiroquai and others, and custom electronic solutions for projects such as Virgin's 144 microphone input Manor Mobile; the Manor Studios, Matrix's Maison Rouge mix room facility and many others. In 1987, The Engine Room began business custom building Studio equipment, and since then has established a client list we hope will be enhanced by its evolution into Smart Research into the future.
Currently Smart Research have facilities in England and Australia.
Partial client list:
A & M STUDIOS, USA. ANDREW RICHARDSON, AUSTRALIA. APOCALYPSE,
AUSTRALIA. BACK BEACH RECORDING, AUSTRALIA. BARNEY PERKINS, USA.
BATTERY STUDIOS, UK. BLACK BARN, UK. BLUE WAVE STUDIOS, WEST INDIES.
BRIAN NEW, UK. CHANNEL 7 TV, AUSTRALIA. CLAIRE BROTHERS, USA. CROWDED
HOUSE, AUSTRALIA. D'ELIA WITTKOFSKI PRODUCTIONS, USA. DAVE FROGGATT,
AUSTRALIA. DAVID TICKEL, USA. dB PRODUCTIONS, AUSTRALIA. dB SOUND,
CHICAGO. DUBBY ROAD, UK. EDDY GRANT, WEST INDIES. EFFANEL MUSIC, USA.
EMI STUDIOS 301, AUSTRALIA. FARMYARD STUDIOS, UK. FELIX KENDLE, UK.
FIREHOUSE PRODUCTIONS, USA. GANGAJANG, AUSTRALIA. GARY BEERS,INXS.,
AUSTRALIA. GERARD SMERICK, USA. GIANT PRODUCTION CO., AUSTRALIA.
GREENHOUSE STUDIOS, UK. IAN STANLEY, UK. JACK JOSEPH PUIG, USA. JACKSON
BROWN, USA. JACOBS STUDIO, UK. JAMIROQUAI, UK. JESUS AND MARY CHAIN,
UK. JIMMY BARNES, AUSTRALIA. JOHN JONES, UK. JOHN LEMON/BRITANNIA ROW,
UK. JOHN PAUL JONES, UK. KARISMA, CANADA. KEITH MARLOWE, USA. KICK AM,
AUSTRALIA. KYLE LEHNINT, USA. LARRABEE STUDIOS, USA. MAISON ROUGE
STUDIOS, UK. MANHATTEN CENTRE STUDIOS, USA.MANOR MOBILE, UK. MARK SPIKE
STENT, UK. MASSIVE
ATTACK, UK. MASTER ROCK, UK. MATRIX, UK. MAYFAIR STUDIOS, UK.
METROPOLIS AUDIO, AUSTRALIA. METROPOLIS STUDIOS, UK. MUSICMATIC,
SWEDEN. NEIL DORFMAN, USA. NEIL STREET STUDIOS, SINGAPORE. NELLY
HOOPER, UK. NEPTUNE'S
KITCHEN, UK. OLYMPIC STUDIOS, UK. PAUL KENDLE/ MUTE RECORDS, UK. PETE
KAY, USA. PETE WALSH, UK. PETER FRAMPTON, USA. PETER GABRIEL, UK. REAL
WORLD STUDIOS, UK. REVOLVER, NEW ZEALAND. RHINOCEROS RECORDING,
AUSTRALIA. ROCKFIELD STUDIOS, UK. ROLAND ORZABAL, UK. SCHNEE STUDIOS,
USA. SECRET SOUND STUDIOS, USA. SILENCE RECORDS, SWEDEN. SING SING
STUDIOS, AUSTRALIA. STEVE VIE, USA. STUDIO MARCADET, FRANCE. SUNSET
SOUND, USA. SWANYARD STUDIOS, UK. SWEET SILENCE, DENMARK. TAVI MOTE,
USA. TEARS FOR FEARS, UK. TERRY BRITTEN, UK. THE CHURCH STUDIOS, UK.
THE HIRE COMPANY, USA. THE MANOR STUDIOS, UK. THE TOWNHOUSE, UK. TIM
FERRIS/INXS., AUSTRALIA. TIM FINN,PERISCOPE, AUSTRALIA. TOM LORD ALGE,
USA. TONY BERG, USA. TURTLEROCK MASTERING, AUSTRALIA. WARNE LIVESEY,
UK. WHITE ROOM STUDIOS,
USA. YORK ST.STUDIOS, NEW ZEALAND.