ART Voice Channel - Tube Channel Strip

ART Voice Channel - Tube Channel Strip

ART Voice Channel - Tube Channel Strip

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Product Highlights

  • Single Channel
  • Variable Impedance Mic Preamp
  • Dynamics
  • Semi-Parametric EQ
  • Digital Output
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ART Voice Channel overview

  • 1Description

The Voice Channel from ART is a single channel recording strip that features a tube based microphone preamp, a comprehensive dynamics section, a semi-parametric 4-band EQ and an output section that provides both analog and digital connectivity.

Microphone Preamp
  • Class-A differential preamp optimized for low impedance microphones as well as line level signals
  • The impedance of the front and rear XLR inputs is continuously variable for fine-tuning the preamp to a wide variety of microphones
  • Selectable tube plate voltage
  • Switchable phantom power
  • Selectable 100Hz 6dB/8ve low-cut filter for removing rumble, and wind noise
  • Switchable 20dB pad and phase invert switches
  • Front panel DI provides a high impedance unbalanced input for instrument
  • Consists of an above threshold Compressor/Limiter with De-esser, plus a selectable Expander/Gate
  • Variable ratio control
  • Variable attack and release controls
  • De-esser control sets how much more the gain is reduced at high frequencies when using the compressor/limiter - commonly used for taking out sibilance
  • De-esser frequency control selects which frequencies to reduce
  • Gate has an intelligent detector with a fast attack and release, coupled with a program dependant hold
  • Gain reduction LED meter
  • 4-band semi-parametric equalizer
  • EQ can be bypassed and also positioned before or after the dynamics section
  • High and Low EQ bands are shelving type with a switch selectable turnover point
  • The Mid bands can be continuously tuned over a 5-octave range
  • +/-12dB boost on each band
  • Output level control provides gain or attenuation and affects the levels sent to the analog-to-digital converter, and to the balanced analog output jacks
  • Mic preamp output provides a direct signal from the preamp and in conjunction with the insert input allows for insertion of external processing prior to the EQ and dynamics
  • Signal processing can be added between the analog output of the Voice Channel and the "left" and "right" channels of the A/D converter by using the A/D main insert and the A/D CH2 insert respectively
  • In ADAT mode, channels 1 and 2 are the "left" and "right" A/D outputs of the Voice Channel respectively. If the A/D insertion jacks are not being used, both channels 1 and 2 carry the same signal
  • If the ADAT input is being used, channels 3 through 8 are passed through along with channels 1 and 2 of the Voice Channel
  • Sample rate/dither knob selects the sample rate for the AES/EBU, S/PDIF and optical digital outputs
  • Wordclock input and "thru" on BNC connectors
  • USB 1.1 jack provides the output to a computer USB connection
  • Analog and digital output meters
UPC: 840402018292
In the Box
ART Voice Channel - Tube Channel Strip
  • AC Power Cable
  • Three (3) Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    ART Voice Channel specs

    Number of Channels Single
    Inputs 1 x 1/4" TRS/XLR combo analog (rear panel)
    1 x 1/4" TS/XLR combo analog (front panel)
    1 x 1/4" TS phone EQ/dynamics Insert
    1 x 1/4" TRS phone A/D Main Insert
    1 x 1/4" TRS phone A/D CH-2 Insert
    1 x TOSLink optical ADAT
    1 x BNC Wordclock In
    Outputs 1 x XLR analog
    1 x 1/4" TRS phone analog
    1 x 1/4" TS phone Mic Pre Direct Out
    1 x XLR AES/EBU
    1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
    1 x TOSLink optical ADAT
    1 x BNC Wordclock Thru
    Frequency Response 12Hz to 100kHz, +0/-1.0dB (analog in to analog out)
    Noise EIN:
    -130dBu A-weighted, input shorted, maximum gain (mic/line)
    -105dBu A-weighted, input shorted, maximum gain (instrument)
    Gain Range Microphone: 60dB
    Instrument: 37dB
    Maximum Output +20dBu, balanced and unbalanced
    Input Impedance 150Ω to 3.4kΩ, variable
    Phantom Power +48V
    Threshold Range -40dB to +20dB
    Ratio 1:1 to 20:1
    Attack Time 250µSec to 100mSec
    Release Time 100mSec to 3Sec
    Slope 1:1.5 (expander)
    Sidechain No
    Filter Type High and Low: Shelving
    Mid: Peaking
    Frequency Bands Low: 50Hz/150Hz, selectable
    Mid 1: 100Hz to 3kHz, continuously variable
    Mid 2: 500Hz to 15kHz, continuously variable
    High: 5kHz/15kHz, selectable
    Bandwidth Fixed
    Range (Boost/Cut) +/-12dB on each band
    Light Indication
    Threshold Range As per compressor section
    Ratio As per compressor section
    Attack Time As per compressor section
    Threshold Range Off to -20dB
    Frequency Range 2.5kHz to 15kHz, continuously variable
    Gate Threshold Off to +20dB
    Gate Rate Fixed
    Power Requirements 105 to 125VAC/60Hz
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 9.2 x 3.5" (483 x 234 x 89mm)
    Weight 10.5 lbs (4.8kg)
    Specialties Sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176 and 192kHz
    Wordclock rates: 30kHz to 204kHz
    USB 1.1 port
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 13.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 21.9 x 11.1 x 5.4"

    ART Voice Channel reviews

    Voice Channel - Tube Channel Strip is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 10.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Sound for Price!! I was looking to start my own home recording studio for local bands and through a lot of research, I found this neat little device. It allows for very clear and warm audio recording. I use it for recording vocals, acoustic guitars, grand piano, etc. In all of these instances, this device performs extremely well. The expander and compressor are both very nice features to have. My setup also includes the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40,Rode NT1-A mic, and Sure SM57 mic and I am able to get recordings at a very high level of quality; Almost no hissing in the recording which is very important to me. I will definitely be buying more of this product soon to add more channels.
    Date published: 2010-11-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Price is Irrelevent! Lots of reviews start out with lines like Best Bang for your Buck and Great Value etc. This unit compares favourably both sonically and feature wise to units in the boutique segment of channel strips, hands down! In fact, you just won't find all of these features on units in the 4 figure price range, anywhere, seriously-this is the swiss army knife of processors. If you've got 10's of thousands of dollars to blow on Strips, Pre's, EQ's, limiters, Compressors, and DAW input interfaces etc, I'm sure you could out perform the ART. But if you prefer to grow your mike locker and studio effects DO NOT HESITATE to add this fine piece of engineering to your studio, heck, if you want to add some snootique flavour to it, drop another $50 or so bucks on a NOS Mullard 12ax7 or ECC83 to really vintage this guy up!
    Date published: 2014-02-14
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from ART VOICE CHANNEL REVIEW i purchased the Art Voice Channel close to a month ago...i chose this due to many reviews on B&H and a few other places and the high esteem of this product....and so far, its pretty good....but i felt it couldve been a little bit better compared to some of the other competitors in its price range....i do vocals, nothing else...when i first starting speaking into my microphone, the sound was good, clear, everything you would want....but it sounded TOO clear...almost like solid state would...come to find out, its a starved plate tube design, which means its not really the same as a unit with full tube characteristics....i initially felt i replaced the cheap chinese stock tube that was in it with a Tung Sol 12AX7 tube....NOW we talking! it warmed up my vocals rather tremendously....whether on normal or high tube plate voltage...that alone made me keep this channel strip rather than swap it out with something else....i called ART at first and they say dont change the tube, its not going to make a difference and messing with the internal parts can void the warranty (a risk i was willing to make, turned out pretty easy to do)...of course they want you to keep it the way THEY want you to have it....adding a quality tube makes a difference TRUST besides that, the unit is quality made, built like a tank, knobs are smooth except for the gain/output level knobs...which is fine...alot of features also....i dont use everything because im still learning how to use those CORRECTLY...impedance selection is good and it has a wide spectrum of choices for different mics...i like the compressor, it does a good job with flattening vocals the way it supposed to not crazy about the de esser its based off what the compressor is doing....EQ is good, i just make subtle changes to the vocals....i like you can put it before/after the compressor, and change the low/high frequencys to where the eq responds...the gate is AWESOME for knocking those background noises down, such as ac units, cars driving past your house, etc in a less than ideal recording enviornment (i live in an apartment complex and it works)...expander i dont use really...and the several options behind this piece routing wise, especially digital output, wordclock, etc make me sold on this channel strip...get a DIGITAL cable to use for AES/EBU, that is pretty important to get the true quality you are looking for...i use the digital output to pair with the TASCAM UH 7000 audio interface (also very awesome), and now i hear the magic...good combination...overall 4 stars (4 1/2 really) its not a 5 due to the starved plate tube design but as i mentioned, change the tube and it will become a top notch masterpiece for vocal work...
    Date published: 2015-10-15
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good equipment, but mine had a bad tube This mic preamp/processor had everything I was looking for in one box. I'd been using an ART Tube MP portable, which was working well, so I wanted to stick with the same brand. If you're new to ART products, one of their selling points is that they've got vacuum tubes (one per channel, so this unit only has one, since it is mono). So why is this a good thing? Well, it adds a bit of analog warmth to the audio. However, it is worth noting that these are not quite the same as older preamps from past decades that amplified the signal using the tube directly. Instead, the amplification is done with solid state hardware first, and then passed through the tube. The end result is lower voltage requirements (cheaper hardware) with the trade-off of the tube having less of an impact on the audio. Another cool feature is that it is possible to open the ART Voice Channel up and replace the tube, although it should be noted that doing so has the possibility of voiding your warranty. Should you decide to do this, you must unscrew 10 small black phillips screws: 1 on top, 3 on each side, and 3 in the back. The black metal panel will then slide off the top of the unit. The vacuum tube is located on the left side. It is contained in a silver, cylindrical metal shield. Remove it (may require removing two more screws). Then gently wiggle the tube free from its white plastic cradle. Make sure you have bought a 12ax7 orECC83 model replacement tube (these are the same,ECC83 is just the European designation while I'm fairly certain 12ax7 is American). Modern manufactured tubes generally cost in the range of 10 to 25 USD. There are also vintage tubes, most of which were manufactured in the 1950s/60s/70s, but they can be really expensive. Your audio will be colored slightly differently depending on which tube you swap to. Tung-Sol, as mentioned in another review, is popular, and offers a balanced, punchy sound with sharp clarity. I opted for a Telefunken Black Diamond, which is really just a re-branded JJ tube. JJ manufactured tubes get a bad reputationtube aficionados seem to find them to be too warm and not very lively, but I'm pleased with the results. Compared with the cheap stock Chinese manufactured tube that came with the unit, the Black Diamond has smoothed the audio out quite a bit, added a lot of bass and warmth, reduced harsh sibilance, and has overall give my microphone that deep radio voice quality. Still, if I had to do things over, I'd probably opt for something cheaper. So with all that said, despite the ART Voice Channel offering everything I was looking for and more (preamp, compressor, gate/expander, an awesomely functional de-esser, impedance dial, parametric EQ, a wide variety of signal quality settings, balanced out, digital TOSLINK optical out, USB out, and plenty of gain)... I still have to take a star off. Why, you ask? After using the using my unit for a dozen minutes, give or take, it would simply stop picking up a signal from my microphone. Nothing would register on the VU or gain reduction meters, and I would have to tap my mic with high gain to get it to wake up. I was also getting some harsh distortion spikes. After wasting a lot of time tweaking various settings and swapping out cables in an attempt to fix the issue, I went online and read on a forum board that someone had had the same problem, and had managed to solve it. How? You guessed it: they fixed it by replacing the vacuum tube. I had initially not planned on changing the default tube so soon, but on the off chance that this would fix the problem, I ordered one. After a week of waiting, it arrived. I swapped it out and voilaproblem solved. I'm a little disappointed I had to go through with all this. Shipping it back would have been an expensive hassle, as the box it came in is rather large, and the device itself is built like a brick (solid and heavy). But, on the other hand, I would have replaced the tube eventually in an attempt to get a better sound. Better sooner than later, I guess?
    Date published: 2017-02-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from So impressed I dont give products 5 stars ever. But today I'm doing that. Let me tell you I am really impressed. I can see why ART named this thing the Voice Channel. I keep reading about people using this for bass or overheads (It would work great for these) but this is really designed for the voice. After owning one for just a couple of hours and really getting a feel for the unit, it took my voice to a brand new level. Admittedly this is the first time i've done compression/eq/de-essing/gate/expand out of the box. However i feel like the investment in plugins (and the fact that very successful producers like Chris Lorde Algie and Graham Cochrane use plugins) prove there's nothig wrong with that approach. I've been recording in the box (plus a preamp) for a while. This was such an immediate upgrade. I've tried both using the USB out as well as running direct into my interface. The quality is absolutely there. The control though? If you're an in-the box mixer, you should still get one of these. Add a bit of compression and De-Esser on the way in and your singer can relax and focus on the performance. You can get SO MUCH MORE out of the singer that way. Overall i've been so impressed with this unit. The Preamp goes from SUPER clean to as much breakup as you would ever realistically use. It's a very musical preamp. And then the controls let you fine tune. I went from doing everything in the box to now I just use reverb and maybe a touch of further eq once I have my mix almost finished. When I expand and buy more channel strips, I'll probably just buy more of these.
    Date published: 2015-04-20
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Value If you are on a budget the Voice Channel is the best fully loaded channel strip in it's price range. I spent a lot of time researching before I bought it & I'm happy to say I made the right selection. I had recently lost some gear & was forced to move from the Avalon 737 to the ART unit. Tuning in your settings is much touchier with the ART but I was able to duplicate the same sound after a couple days of small changes.
    Date published: 2012-12-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice sound, good value Nice sounding tube preamp with lots of options. Tube plate voltage can be adjusted between (low) warmer sound and (high) cleaner sound. The high tube plate voltage option is good for chaining with another tube preamp (e.g. UA 610) for getting a different character. I get a lot of use out of the channel strip features -- the compressor / expander, de-esser, and EQ, which all work pretty well. Digital out too in a lot of formats, if you need it -- I don't. Fit and finish / physical quality is very good on the two that I ordered.
    Date published: 2011-05-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Once you add a tungston bulb this thing shines
    Date published: 2016-08-10
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