NEW CREATIVE TOOLS FROM SPL
Everyone loves a great "success story," and we've got a terrific one for you. Sound Performance Lab (or SPL for short) was formed about ten years ago as a typical "garage company" with a heck of a lot of enthusiasm, but very little money (sound familiar?). The idea behind the company was that sound and performance should (logically enough) always be the key ingredients, and if the "accepted wisdom" in the industry needed to be questioned when designing a product, then they were prepared to do just that.
The SPL folks were all working in studios themselves at the time and realized that many of the tools they really needed to get the job done were either not available, or were just too darned expensive. So they decided to build equipment themselves that would transcend the limitations of current technology, removing the creative barriers that stood in the way of producing that much sought-after "perfect sound."
The products they began building weren't your average "crank-em-out" processors - they were beautifully-designed audio tools that soon began to get noticed by many of the industry's best known producers and engineers, people who recognized that these new boxes gave them new ways of working with sound.
Obviously, a discussion of all the complex psycho-acoustic principles and audiometry that went into the designing of these amazing processors is way beyond the scope of this brief article, but here are just a few of the exceptional products that SPL produces (and Sweetwater now carries):
This writer's personal favorite is the SPL Tube Vitalizer ($3399 list), the top model in the company's soon-to-be famous Vitalizer line. Everyone knows that tube technology produces a sound that's very sweet to the human ear, something that's missing from modern digital recording technology. The Tube Vitalizer employs a combination of real tubes, LC filters, IC technology, multiband compression and other exclusive SPL magic ingredients and is designed for use in pro recording, mastering and cutting applications. Sound processing is split into two sections: the proprietary Vitalizer circuitry and compression on the left, and the tube section on the right which can double as an ultra high quality, low noise mic preamp. If you need the ultimate in warmth combined with detail, the Tube Vitalizer may be exactly what you're looking for. Recordings, both old and new, will exhibit a clarity and sweetness that may have been impossible until now. The stereo field actually becomes wider while your mixes become tighter.
Of course, not everyone has the need or budget for an item of such incredible overall performance. Not to worry, SPL has a full line of processors that give you access to the amazing Vitalizer circuitry, starting with the model 9319 Stereo Vitalizer with 1/4" jacks at $599 list, and the model 9320 Stereo Vitalizer with balanced ins and outs for a hundred bucks more. Both give you the ability to add spatial enhancement and detail that until now were only available using specialized software and a dedicated computer. Trust me, this Vitalizer technology is way beyond description. It is truly something you have to hear to believe. Far from being just hype, this equipment actually delivers the goods! Adding any of SPL's Vitalizer line to your studio setup will result in an immediate improvement in your sound - it has in mine.
Other mind-boggling products created by the SPL design team include the aptly named Charisma ($1999 list) an 8-channel true tube processor designed to improve the power, punch and dynamics of your recordings, as well as the subjective loudness of the material being processed. The Optimizer ($1699) features four fully parametric equalizers specially designed for musically creative and corrective shaping of vocals, instruments (it's great on guitar) and complex stereo material. SPL's Spectralizer ($3700) is the first digital harmonics processor designed to re-synthesize second and third order harmonics, improving the clarity and transparency of any signal in the digital domain.
I don't have room to tell you about all the other cool processors (darn), but your Sweetwater sales engineer can do that for me. All it takes is a call from you to get complete details and your very special pricing on the entire SPL line.
- Michael Rief
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