Legendary 1980s Lexicon 480L as a $35 plug-in... for now

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by simoncroft, May 5, 2021.

  1. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    I can remember the first time I heard a Lexicon digital reverb. Engineer Pete Hammond gave me a demo in TMC Studios, south London. This was a serious investment, and a complete game changer after plate reverbs. It was so revolutionary, we both started laughing out of excitement.

    Relab Development is offering the LX480 Essentials for $35. Its full LX480 Complete sells for $349, but $35 gets you four reverb types, and a whole bunch of usable factory presets. I've just bought in, because it sounds like the real deal.

    https://offers.relabdevelopment.com

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  2. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have the Lexicon Reverbs and Effects plugs. Cost me 500 bucks about 5 ? years ago. This is a bargain. I still use my PCM80 for live work.
     
  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Update: I've just had confirmation that the Essentials version is of identical audio quality to the Complete version, but offers less user control. In many real-life mix situations, that's probably not such a bad thing. :D
     
  4. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy CERTIFIED HACK Silver Member

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    Simon, in your studio and life travels, did you ever play with the Klark DN780? I still have one. That’s the most unique and best sounding reverb I’ve ever heard, especially on drums. Lexicons sound great, but very different than some of other brands of the day. I think my PCM70 got stolen but still have aPCM60 sitting here. I had to satisfy lots of tech riders so I have or had some tasty things sitting around. Now all that stuff is built into the digital desk...or close replicas. In my opinion Allen & Heath has the best sounding reverbs built in, but they’re all pretty darn good anymore.

    On a different note, do you remember the first inexpensive Yamaha R1000 reverb? $750 back in the 80’s and sounded like hamburger. SPX’s not much better...:whistling:
     
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  5. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    I leased the full version through the Slate bundle for a while, and it sounds lovely.
     
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  6. misterwogan

    misterwogan Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you Simon, I am now thirty-five bucks poorer.

    Here is the LX480 in action on my latest track. It's on the main reverb aux, the drum room aux, and the gated reverb aux - replacing the Eventide SP2016. Now I consider myself pretty hopeless at telling one reverb from another, but the thing that jumps out at me is that the LX is smoother than the SP2016 on the instruments but the SP2016 delivers more presence and bite on the drums.

    Does this this sound eighties enough to you?

     
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  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Klark Teknik was a British company, cleverly disguised as a German company for marketing purposes. I'm pretty certain it launched in 1985/6, which was the year KT upset the APRS (Association of Professional Recording Studios) by parking an OB truck directly outside the annual APRS exhibition, rather than renting a booth inside. And yes, I was in that truck for the Press launch. I was the editor of Sound Engineer magazine at the time, and we reviewed it.

    Although I thought the DN780 was excellent, I was less impressed by the DN50 spring reverb, which predates it by about six years. Weirdly enough, I was only thinking this morning about the time Pete Townsend of The Who came into the pro audio store where I worked in the early 1980s. The DN50 had just come in, so I invited him to take a listen. He put on the headphones, and immediately switched the tape machine off. I seem to remember he gave a non-committal grunt and that was the last we said about it. After he'd gone, I copied what he'd done and realised he was listening to the reverb decay. It was somewhat lop-sided, and he'd sussed it in a second.

    Oh yes, I remember the Yamaha R1000 reverb! I was the store manager by then, and we sold a shed-load. The UK importer, Yamaha-Kemble, did something very cunning. They announced the R1000 months before it was actually available. Of course, by the time it actually arrived, it was massively back-ordered, because no one dared buy anything else. We were the central London Yamaha Pro dealership, so sold the lion's share over here. OK, it hasn't aged well, and neither has the SPX line, but they were a massive breakthrough at the time.

    I shall take that as a welcome endorsement sir! :)
     
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  8. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Woo-Hoo! This is great! If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed this actually was a late 80s release. Excellent use of the LX480 too. I have the Eventide 2016, but it doesn't get a great deal of use. :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
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  9. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy CERTIFIED HACK Silver Member

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    Ugh...well I don’t know anything about a KT spring reverb but that just sounds wrong. You might as well tell me that Bentley makes golf carts. But an interesting thing is that so many studios used the DN780 for drums. Nothing sounds like a KT on drums. So there was the A.L.I.V.E preset (preset 26). Remember that one? That was “the money sound”. Sort of a super enhanced gate program - think Robert Palmer record drum sound Addicted to Love.

    Anyway, the story is, for quite a few years whenever you would see a studio in pictures, look for the DN780 in the rack and it would be on program 26.... I think it was kind of cult thing between studios or something.
     
  10. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    I'd forgotten about preset 26, but drums were definitely its strongest point. I don't recall ever actually selling a KT spring reverb, mainly because the Great British Spring was a strong contender.

    https://www.vintagedigital.com.au/klark-teknik-dn50-spring-reverb/

    https://soundgas.com/product/great-british-spring-1/

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    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  11. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    This is awesome!
     
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  12. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy CERTIFIED HACK Silver Member

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    Well that DN50 looks pretty cool, lots of old school mojo for sure!

    And that reverb tube! That’s crazy! But pin 1 hot??? WTF? :confused: Why on earth ( pun intended) would someone do that? I’ve never seen a XLR connector that wasn’t wired pin 1 is ground/earth.....on anything ever....
     
  13. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Yeah, that is an odd thing to do. Now, I know XLR actually stands for eXtra Low Resistance, but I used to tell team members they could remember the correct wiring like this: 3=X, the screen or shield; 2=L, the Live wire, and 1=R, the Return or anti-phase. Alternatively, Cold, Hot, Earth spells CHE.
     
  14. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster

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    I dont what the hell this is....

    But I want one!!!!
     
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  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    It's a plug-in for any software DAW: Logic, Reason, MixBus, Ableton, GarageBand, Steinberg...
     
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  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    It also comes with access to a remarkably patronising set of three tutorial videos: https://community.relabdevelopment....to-get-the-most-out-of-your-lx480-essentials/

    I could live with: "If you are unfamiliar with the terms Plate, Hall, Ambience and Room, you may find it helpful to write down..." But I'm not putting up with: "I want you to write down what each sounds like and how it makes you feel."

    What!? Listen, sonny, I was doing this stuff when your mum was still going to discos and hoping to get laid. (Oh does she? Sorry to hear that... :sneaky:) I'm assuming this was originally part of a recording course for entry-level students, but even in that context, it's really condescending IMO.


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  17. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, for $35, I went for it, too. These are awesome sounding verbs at a cheap-as-free price. I bet this $35 purchase does everything I used to use the full version for.
     
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  18. misterwogan

    misterwogan Senior Stratmaster

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    Smart move. I've decided to use it as my default verb on my tracks from here on. Well why not? After all, I've tried absolutely everything else (including Lexicon's PCM) and never really been totally happy.
     
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  19. stratology

    stratology Strat-Talker

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    If an authentic Lexicon lookalike UI is not important - you can get free Lexicon LX480 impulse responses that work with any convolution reverb plugin (like Space Designer in Logic, or the free Melda MConvolutionEZ) here.
     
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  20. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    I just fired up the DAW to authorize the LX480, and it sounds fantastic. And there’s nothing missing, as far as my use is concerned... this has all the control I need.

    Maybe I’ll make some music of some kind...
     
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