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hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 997
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 - 4:21 pm:   Edit Post

I have some stuff in the works that I intend to use my SF-2 to process/fix. I had lost a harddrive when I moved three years ago and finally dug it out! This has some old hieronymous studio material, some of it released, much of it unfinished. One track in particular I think will really benefit from the SF-2. My schedule isn't too busy from now through the new year, so I might try and work on some of this stuff.

Here's another idea - I haven't utilized my SF-2 in a band setting yet - used it a lot for recording, but when I took it to a rehearsal, I couldn't remember how it worked! Or at least I couldn't get it going when I was trying to set up my gear, so I gave up! But I have an idea for how I might try it next time:

Normally I use the direct signal as the base, and add in some low end with the 1st filter in low pass mode, maybe with some high pass filter from the 2nd filter to add some sparkle. Instead, I think I might try ONLY using filter number one, with the "damping ratio control" set low so that it doesn't make that much of a bump at the cutoff frequency. Basically you get an Alembic low pass filter for whatever bass you are using. So normally I would have the frequency set very high, to let the natural sound of the bass come through, but for ballads could turn the cutoff frequency way down for big fat bass.

Not sure if the filter gain should be set all the way at 10 or below that - it might be cool to have it on 10 and boost the signal a bit, since the manual says "the filter controls provide a 10dB boost when fully up."

The biggest drawback is having to go back to the rack to adjust the frequency. Would be cool to have one in a box with a foot pedal to control it, like that Pluto filter that was on eBay a while back...
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1047
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 8:26 pm:   Edit Post

So I started this thread and never got the chance to experiment. So I'm bumping this back up so it doesn't slip into the archives - maybe we can conduct some experiments at the upcoming Gathering!
xlrogue6
Advanced Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 205
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post

Bring your lab coats and safety goggles!
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 523
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 1:44 am:   Edit Post

My SF-2 is coming today! I can't wait to experiment with live & recording tones!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2866
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

I'm wondering if I can experiment amplifying two channels separately my current rig so that I wouldn't need to consider an extra F1-x.

I was thinking of putting my bridge pickup into F1-x then into one side of the SF-2, The Neck pickup direct into the second SF-2 channel then send each SF-2 channel outputs into their respective sides of my qsc power amp.

The alternative was to use the F1-x for the bridge pickup only and the SF-2 only for the neck pickup or vice versa then separate outputs to the power amp channels.

Jazzyvee
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2455
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 1:42 pm:   Edit Post

Jazzyvee,
If you are writing about your Series II, in my opinion you will optimize your results in "Stereo Mode" with this signal path ;
DS-5R power supply to SF-2 to power amp . I would use the SF-2 before the gain stage of the F1-X . You could add the F1-X after the SF-2 from either pickup signal path or even run it as a 3 channel rig if you bi-amp by using the active cross over from the F1-X !
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 8:04 pm:   Edit Post

Yay, my experiments thread is finally taking off! Even if I'm not the one doing the experimenting :p

Jazzyvee, I agree with sonicus - go stereo through the SF-2 first, then pre-amp/amplifier. It's interesting to think about which pickup to put the F-1X on. My initial thought was the neck pickup - get some fat tubey bass - but maybe the low end is better being amplified clean, with the oomph coming from the SF-2, then put some grit on the less-low-frequencies.

The neat thing with the F-2B is that it can be run in mono with the signal from both channels summed to a single channel. So you can do SF-2 --> F-2B and then out to stereo OR mono.

I haven't done that though! I usually use the SF-2 in mono during post-production. It's great to fix a bass track that wasn't recorded ideally. One of these days I hope to experiment with it in a band situation, but that won't be for a while. I was planning on trying at the Gathering but in the end I didn't even end up bringing in an amp!
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 526
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 8:40 pm:   Edit Post

I got mine today! Unfortunately it arrived after I came to work tonight, so it will be tomorrow before I can be awestruck! It's going to be a LONG night!!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2867
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 11:32 pm:   Edit Post

I will have a go at those suggestions when I next put my rig up.
Jazzyvee
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2457
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 11:58 pm:   Edit Post

I had my SF-2 at the recent " Northern California Alembic Gathering V 2012". It was in my "All Alembic Signal Processing " rack.
The signal path was in STEREO mode _ Series I Bass _to_IN-2 _to_SF-2_ to _F-2B _to_CREST fa901 Power Amp feeding a Gauss 4580 15"speaker in an Original Alembic A-15 Cabinet (Bass /neck pickup) and a Mesa-Boogie 2X10 Road Ready cabinet loaded with Electrovoice 10" speakers ( treble/bridge pickup).

I played through that rig there in a few jams.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1104
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 6:18 pm:   Edit Post

Maybe next year we should have some workshops - Wolf, you could explain your setup, people could talk about different filter settings, etc.
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1468
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 6:35 pm:   Edit Post

I don't have an SF-2, but I would love to see some of you guys who post stuff on Soundcloud use that to show some of us what the SF-2 can do.

Perhaps take a picture of settings on your SF-2, then record a short passage playing through the SF-2, then the same short passage with the SF-2 bypassed? I would think that would be the best way to share this type of info, since tone can be so subjective in terms of trying to use written words to describe what you're hearing.
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 531
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 7:38 pm:   Edit Post

I think a workshop is a great idea! You should also video it & post it on You Tube for those of us who aren't fortunate enough to attend the Cali gathering. I got my SF-2 yesterday & while I haven't had much time to experiment, I did try some of the settings in the manual & was getting a lot of distortion with the input & filter gain at 10. I had to back off on the input gain to around 7 to get a clean sound. This is with the SF-2 patched into my effects loop & running in the mono mode (effect out to channel A in, channel B out to effect in). Most of the posts I have read say to run the input gain at 10, so have any of you had problems with distortion doing that? Also some of the knobs are loose. They appear to be the same knob I have on my SCSD so I assume I can pop the cap off & tighten the screw. Have any of you had to do that too?
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1105
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 7:45 pm:   Edit Post

A video sounds like a great idea! Wolf and I have been looking for an excuse to get together - maybe we can throw something together...

In the meantime, here's an older thread with some SF-2 adjusted recordings. I didn't go into detail about my settings though. I think I have taken some pictures though when I have used the SF-2 - will try and find those.

You can hear the "final" version of the track here: initial android avarice
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1470
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 9:18 pm:   Edit Post

Harry- those recordings are what prompted me. I remember listening to them when you posted them originally. I think if people were able to take a picture of the settings, and post it along with the soundclip that it would prove useful.

Just a suggestion- I don't have an SF-2, so won't be a contributor, but I do like listening to you guys discuss settings and sounds!
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1106
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, this sounds like a fun project! I could have sworn I had some pictures of my SF-2 that I took while using it but I just can't find it. Well, that much more incentive to put together something new!

Actually, I found something!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2464
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post

Sure , at the next Northern California Alembic Gathering we could do workshops . Gain structure in a rack rig is a good place to start next time . The Alembic SF-2 is an Audio Filter that is very well designed for musical application ( the best In my opinion). There have been others in the "State Variable Filter " variety that were not as successful in making the cross over from the test equipment classification into the hands of the musician and designed for musical performance .I can mention others but shall refrain from dropping the names of other products that were less successful in this endeavor.

Something to remember when using SF-2 is that all factors of the other components within the signal path are relative to what your will perceive to be the result of your settings . There are such a vast amount of variables from product to product that one can insert in your signal chain that even if you log the settings on the SF-2 and then replicate them on another rig that unless every thing is identical then you as the musician and the listening audience will not have the same experience . Your speakers and amplification will be a large variable in the possible visceral effect that can be produced and experienced with this remarkable product . By visceral I mean vast amounts of gain boost or cut over the audio spectrum that you can really FEEL ! With enough Watts and speakers you can produce sounds like thunder ______ Maybe at a gathering in the future we will do that .

Of course there are certain basics that can be a rules of thumb on the control interface as per the" book of instructions "to get off the ground and fly right .
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2870
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 1:33 am:   Edit Post

Rusty I had my set wired the same as you, into the send and return loop of my F1-x and it sounded fine and I don't recall getting distortion but then I've never had it up loud.

Mica did suggest that I would be better off putting the SF-2 after the F1-x rather than in the send and return loop of my F1-x. I have a reggae gig next week so really looking forward to getting some serious rich low end in the mix.

Jazzyvee
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2465
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 4:39 am:   Edit Post

Jazzy , Are you sure ? After the F1-X Not before the F1-X ? The voltage measurement of the output of the F1-X or F-2B can get high . From a perspective of building the gain structure to avoid distortion and not overloading the input stage of the SF-2 , Thus; Alembic SERIES Instrument output FROM DS5R to SF-2 line level inputs , then SF-2 output to FI-X input , OR SF-2 outputs directly to Power Amp inputs.
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 533
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 5:01 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Jazzyvee, I am off the rest of the week so I will be doing LOTS of experimenting! I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a problem with my unit. Has anyone else had loose knobs on their SF-2?
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2466
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 7:51 am:   Edit Post

Here is a link to past Alembic Club SF-2 threads;

http://alembic.com/club/messages/16271/17596.html?1112538443
jbybj
Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 364
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 10:14 am:   Edit Post

ďSomething to remember when using SF-2 is that all factors of the other components within the signal path are relative to what your will perceive to be the result of your settings.Ē

Itís with these unknown variables in mind that I offer up my SF-2 settings philosophies, no specific settings, just the various ways I have approached the beast.

When I first got my SF-2, I used it as a stand alone preamp, instrument input, mono mode, to a power amp. For the last year or so, I have used it in mono mode, in the fx loop of an F-1X. It gave me the same results sonically in both applications.

1. Using it as an additive EQ. One approach is to start with the direct input as the basis, for me, itís direct up all the way. Then you can use each filter to add selected frequencies on top of the direct signal.
Add some boom: LP between 80 -200hz, damping between 3 and 8. Add some snap/clack: HP between 1K and 6K, damping between 3 and 8. Mid boost, or any boost at a more targeted frequency: BP at whatever suits your mood.

2. Emulating the on-board Alembic instrument filters. For this you leave the direct down all the way, and use the LP only. Set frequency to taste, and the damping acts like a continuously variable Q. Iíve never played a series instrument, but I think this is the rack version of those filters.

3. Going where only the SF-2 can go. So continuing from, no direct, LP filter only, you can add the HP on the second filter, and have a wide range of scooped sounds to create. Try it with a huge gap in the mid freqs, by lowering the LP frequency and raising the HP freq, vary the damping, you can get some really interesting combinations. From here you can head off in all sorts of directions. In a HP/LP scoop mode, try sneaking in various amounts of the direct, or pairing the LP with a BP. Or all direct with a nice mid boost using the BP. Between the potential variety in the combination of sources and the frequencies and damping settings, the SF-2 is worthy of the praise.

The way I use it, I never actually reference any visual metrics. I donít start out thinking, Iím gonna boost 80Hz, I just start twisting knobs until I get the desired or unexpected physical response, you know, sternum resonating, lower gums itching, buttocks quivering, I know it when I feel it. Have fun Rusty!
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 548
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 9:57 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Wolf & James! I have played with the SF-2 enough the last few days to get an idea of how it works, but I am still experimenting with different hookups & amp/speaker combinations. I know my ultimate bass sound is in there, I just have to find it! I fixed the loose & free spinning knob problem by putting some stick on felt pads behind the loose knobs. now they don't wiggle when I turn them & have more resistance to turning.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2885
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 6:24 am:   Edit Post

I've been trying my SF-2 out today with my big rig and also trying to see what kind of use I can get from running the bass on two independent channels.

Maybe I need a bigger space than my living room to judge the sound. But here is what I tried.

(1) - Bridge pickup direct to F1-x and full range out into Channel 1 if QSC, Neck pick direct to SF-2 front jack in mono mode then into Channel 2 of QSC.

This was ok but not great.

(2) - I then tried going mono out of bass into F1-x full range out into SF2 in mono mode then out from there into QSC in parallel mode. This sounded great especially leaving both filters fully open on the bass and controlling the sound from the SF-2 and using the volumes and CVQ on the bass to alter my tone. That worked great and seemed to give me a good full range sound. Crisp and bassy.


More playtime soon.

jazzyvee
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1391
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

I use mine after my F1-X,
Exploiter ->
F1-X --> high pass ->SF-2 chan.1 (LP /freq >680 /DR 3-5 )
. . . . --> low pass ->SF-2 chan.2 (LP /freq =45 /DR 4-6 )
==> Lexicon MX400 ==> Power amp

I use a 15 JBL 2225 in one cab for the bottom and a 12" for the top.

The F1-x tone settings are usually something like
bass 2-4 /mid 6-8 / treble 2-4 ...My volume is usually relatively low on the F1-X , maybe 3-5.
High freq level on the crossover is set at around +2 to +4 . Crossover freq is 150hz-200 hz .

I open up the power amp around 2/3...a bit more for the low channel .

Setting the filter frequency lower than most of the resonances in the low cab seems to work really well .
There's a nice slope up in volume as I play lower notes but no distracting resonances. Of course you
have to use the damping ratio and filter gain carefully . I rarely have levels (direct or filter) over 6 .

Once I added an MX400 for a little reverb and time based effects it was a Eureka moment.
I haven't had to change anything since then and still love the sound .

hope my ramblings help some,
; )

(Message edited by elwoodblue on May 08, 2012)
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 551
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 6:23 am:   Edit Post

I just got a killer deal on an Eden World Tour 800 amp, & it is set up perfect for my SF-2. It has a stereo effects return loop, so I go effects send to channel A on the SF-2 in stereo mode, then out of channel A to the left effects return on the amp & out of channel B on the SF-2 to the right effects return on the amp. So I have one channel for lows & one channel for highs. I currently have an Eden 4X10 I will use for highs, & am getting a 1X15 this week for the lows. So I don't have any SF-2 settings to pass on yet, but the stereo setup seems to work well with my amp. The rig sounds incredible just going into the 4X10 right now, I can't wait to hear it when I add the 1X15!

jbybj
Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 365
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

Looks cool Rusty, now all you need to do is to get rid of that nasty graphic EQ. IMHO, phase coherency between the various combined signals, is where much of the magic lies in an SF-2. That graphic is just one big phase plooker.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10683
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 4:17 pm:   Edit Post

Here's how mine sits in the signal path ...

rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 552
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post

Nice diagram Dave!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10685
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - 4:47 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks! I thought it would be beyond my meager computer skillz, but it worked out ok and didn't take too terribly long.
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 567
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 1:28 am:   Edit Post

James, I took your advice & unhooked the 31 band. I only used it on my Jazz Bass for drop D tuning songs so I could boost the signal to match my Alembic so I wouldn't have to reset my whole amp for the different basses. But I was getting a nasty hum with the 31 band patched in, not sure why, it never did that on my old amp. I am currently running my Eden World Tour 800B in Bi-Amp mode & have the SF-2 patched in the Post-EQ stereo effects loop. I go effects send to channel A in on the SF-2 in stereo mode, then channel A out to the high return on the WT-800 & Channel B out to the low return on the WT-800. I was experimenting today & I noticed that both filters on the SF-2 have a slight effect on both low & high outputs on the WT-800. The amp has a balance control so you can pan between the low & high speakers. I would have thought that the channels would be completely seperate in stereo mode on the SF-2. Is it because I'm only going into channel A with the send then out of A & B? This was one of the possible hookups in the manual. I wish the amp had stereo sends as well as returns then I could patch the SF-2 into the individual channels, but the amp only has one send & 2 returns in the post EQ loop. The Pre-EQ loop only has one send & one return.
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1399
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post

The Channels are discreet in stereo mode,
If you turn the Direct signal of each SF-2 channel to zero so you are only passing the filtered signal, do you still here the 'crosstalk' ? How are you splitting the post EQ effects send ?
( If it's a 'Y' cord without mixing resistors that might be suspect.)

If you have the time, try putting the SF-2 after the F-1X using the high and low outputs to feed the SF-2 in stereo mode.
I guess you would match the crossover point on the Eden with the setting on the F-1X to make sure there aren't any holes .
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 568
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post

I go effects send to channel A in on the SF-2 in stereo mode, then channel A out to the high return on the WT-800 & Channel B out to the low return on the WT-800. No "Y" Cord. I figured it out though, it has something to do with Bi-Amping on my WT-800. When I take it out of Bi-Amp mode, the cross talk is gone. So the problem isn't with the SF-2. It's not really a problem, the tone is amazing, I just thought it was curious. Thanks for the reply though!
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1400
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 5:17 pm:   Edit Post

I'm glad your making good progress.
I didn't realize that the SF-2 could take one input in stereo mode . Those little black boxes are amazing! :-)
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 601
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2012 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post

SF-2 update - After some discussion on the Eden forum (apparently I was the ONLY one running in bi-amp mode) I reconfigured my rig to full range & switched my SF-2 to mono mode. My signal path is Pre-EQ Send to channel A in on the SF-2 in mono mode, channel B out of SF-2 to Pre-EQ Return. Here's my settings for my rig using an Eden D115 XLT & Eden N410 RS speakers.

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