If you're finding yourself cranking up the preamp on your interface, the ART Tube PAC is is a good way to add more gain.
cool unit, amazing for price
I'm a keyboardist, and I love guitar pedals, but I often overdrive them because they are designed for a passive instrument. This thing allows me to warm my signal and compress it at the same time, so I can get a hot, warm signal that won't overdrive the pedals. AND it fits in my pedal board. Perfect.
ART specializes in weird stuff that's affordable, perfect for anyone looking to experiment with outside--the-box applications.
GREAT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. TAKE YOUR TIME AND LEARN HOW TO USE IT. I AM NOT A GREAT SINGER I JUST GET BUY WITHOUT MAKING PEOPLE THROW UP!!! POINT IS**** IT HELP ME TO MAKE THE BEST RECORDING I COULD MAKE. COMPRESSOR WORKS GREAT IF YOU DON'T OVER DO IT. I LOVE THIS ITS A GOOD TOOL TO HAVE.
King Of Vintage Cheap
This is a great piece often overlooked in ART's line of affordable compressors. The tube sound is rich and full. Not brash and think like some other under$100.00 dollar Pre/Compressors. It excells on Direct bass, great on dobro and mandos etc.. for that real heavy "Steve Earle" sort of sound. Also puts some nice warmth or distortion on voice. It is killer for that! Drum room mics squashed with the limiter, beautiful. I have pres from $50 to $3000.00, this one rate extremely high on my list of hidden jems!
I've owned one for years and it is a good sounding pre. The compressor is really smooth and natural sounding. When driven hard the tube sounds harsh, but it works great at reasonable levels. I improved the tone greatly by replacing the stock russian tube with an old 1950's american tube I scavenged from a reel to reel. With the vintage tube she is smooth and only has a subtle and pleating distortion at high gain.
With a good tube, excellent!
Decent out of the box, but excellent with a fine old Telefinken ECC83/12AX7. I removed the left side panel to give the tube a little air, was runing too hot closed up.
I don't use the compressor. Record at 32 bit float and process later.
Also, keep drive level on the low side to prevent distortion. Easy to add a touch of EQ to give it a sound that rivals pres costing $thousands.
Does the job and sounds very good. Well worth the money and does an excellent job and is very quiet with a top quality tube in the preamp stage. (the other tube, for the compressor, doesn't interest me.)
Makes my Marshall sound better
I got one on Ebay to see if it would improve my Marshall MG 100 head. The MG is Marshall's entry-level Korean made solid state amp. It sounds pretty good as is but when I run my guitars through the Tube PAC it makes the Marshall sound warmer, more harmonic and, if desired, dirtier. My only complaint is it some times cuts out.
The ART Tube Pac is a quick, cheap way to warm up your signal path. Or make it sound like crap.
Like any studio tool, it's all in how you use it. I mostly use it to pump up an SM58 and make it sound more like a condensor mic, and after a Trace Elliot acoustic preamp to make my Alvarez Yairi's Fishman piezo sound less like an annoyed Mallard. I find that the 'Pac brings up the harmonics very nicely. You can bring up the gain until the way cool LED display shows as much red as you like, and you can get some tubey grit in your signal.
The compressor part of the package, I'm not a huge fan of. It breathes a bit, so you have to tread lightly with it. (Until I get an FMR Audio "Really Nice Compressor," it will do for the time being.)
I've run my six-foot-long,old EV shotgun mic through this little unit, cranked the gain, and had it sound like a million bucks on vocal tracks. Go figure.
The 'Pac is a great little device to have in your arsenal, and a lot of fun to experiment with. It 's not magic, just affordable, easy to operate, and well thought out. It really does give most of what you through at it a roomier, warmer sound. ART builds solid, useful gear that's always worth the money, and this unit is no exception.