Ok...time to wade back into these waters.
- Interesting to hear Paul say he has forsaken the hardware for software reverbs.
You know, 3 years ago I would have been one of the snobs scoffing at computer/software reverbs and claiming that in no way could a software reverb ever compete with hardware. This is why I had an H8000FW a few Lexicon units ranging from the MPX-1 on up to the PCM's , I also had a TC M3000, a Roland SRV-330 and an Eventide Eclipse.
Then a switch was flicked and companies got it. In my opinion the Lexicon PCM collection is equal to the hardware PCM-96 and is easier to program. Universal Audio got the rights and the white papers and even worked with the original developers to put THE EXACT algorithms of the Lexicon 224 and the EMT240 into the UAD-2 card. The only thing lacking is the original low bit D to A converters and even that was modeled. There are countless others that are amazing.
The H8000FW is an amazing and perhaps the most amazing multi-fx box ever made, but as Immersion pointed out (or Mr. Roach told him) it is a way of life. As a father of 3 and a full time working audio engineer, I do not have the luxury to dig into a box that deep. Plus its programing is very archaic. You need a corse in hieroglyphics. If it had a good computer editor I may have kept it, but at $5500 it sat unused in my room unless I was playing live...IE not a good use of $$$ So I traded it to the owner of a high end mic company for two of his mics, one which I the sold, and one that really made a bigger difference in my studio than any mic before it. Win, win!
Immersion sorry to refute you but I CAN do everything the H8000FW did inside the computer with my various reverbs, and SoundToys plugins, UA plug-ins and PSP plug-ins. I can also do all of that with the same stunning sound quality and sonic integrity. This is not bragging, its just a fact of how I work and what I can do. The H8000FW is a sound-mangling effects box first and a reverb unit second. To buy it as a reverb box alone is a colossal waist of money in my opinion. Also pulling up effects plug-ins in the computer and chaining them is way easier than working with the Eventide. Again this is my opinion and how I prefer to work.
Please don't take this as bragging but I have had a 15 plus year career (you know where you get paid money for your work) of doing sound design libraries for various companies and in reviews of said product, as with my albums sound quality has always been mentioned as stellar.
I really am not trying to be rude, really I am not and if we were talking face to face maybe I would not sound like such a jerk but I just need to point out as Mike has more politely than me tried to point out, there are actual working pros on this thread who are staggered by your empirical statements of what is the best pieces of gear for "ambient" music. I actually find it demeaning to myself, and to many of the others here when you say things like "purity of sound and ultimate clarity and quality may not be as important to us as it is to you"...or what ever, I know I am paraphrasing. I mean seriously...my gut reaction is "do you know who you are talking to?" Most of the folks here have 10x the experience you do and you may do well to chill and listen a bit! You may just learn something.
I just ask, where are you getting all of your advice from??? Gearslutz??? The reason I ask is, you have all of your facts of whats great and what is the best...but I have mine, Mike has his, APK has his, so maybe just tone it down to "I am thinking about getting this or that because its what I want and its what I think or have been told will do a good job for me, what do you guys think" Rather than the assumed, "everyone knows this is the best, or that is the best widget in all of creation."
You see a conversation is when one party says I like this and here is why, what do think? Then the other says, I am not sure, I have always like this better, maybe you should check it out, but I am curious about what you just brought up...and so on."
Dude trust me I have been there, right where you are, I have! I chased sound purity for years, I have driven collaborators nuts with my obsession for scrubbing out noise and the clarity of gear, and in the end it got in the way of the music more often than not.
The two best pieces of advice that I have ever received over the years are:
1. NEVER BUY ANYTHING ON REPUTATION ALONE!!! ALWAYS WHEN POSSIBLE TRY IT FIRST!
2. NEVER BUY MORE THAN ONE OR TWO PIECES OF GEAR AT A TIME! IE-learn one, master it learn its strengths and limits and THEN add more.
Dude you already have great converters, nice monitors and the king of effects boxes...STOP NOW!
Learning the what the H8000 can do should take quite some time, enjoy that time. the think about compressors or other effects and synths or converters.
Lastly one other bit of factual nonsense...
3-Way monitors are a very poor choice for monitoring unless your room is big enough to have the throw where they can do their job, so telling others that everyone knows 3-ways are the best, is inaccurate if their rooms cannot accommodate them.
I once asked a respected person in the audio industry, a person who has demoed, used, reviewed and tried literally 100's of monitors, what his favorites were, and his answer was like a zen master. He told me "The best ones are the ones which YOU can mix on".
In my room I use a 2.1 KRK E8b set up, I also have a pair of smaller 5" Genelecs, and a small set of $40 computer speakers and I mix on all 3. In my editing suite at my day job doing audio for videos, podcasts and streaming I use a set of MKIII KRK Rockit 5's and at home I have Ribbon Tweetered Emotiva Pros. I can mix on any of them. Do I prefer my E8's
Yep. Do I wish I had Barefoot's Yep!
I do agree with you that monitors and converters are of utmost importance and often, because they are not fun toys most people leave them till last and I do think that is a mistake if you want to be a studio engineer. If you just want to be a musician, then get some instruments that inspire you! Even before getting great monitors and converters here is a Gearslutz mantra I wholeheartedly agree with treat your room!!! Treat Your Room!!! Treat Your Room!!! Spend $500 to $1000 making your room acoustically sound and it will make all of your gear sound better. Some may disagree, but when I converted my studio from a room with some gear in it, to a balanced and treated workspace it was night and day, and my work became easier.
Ok, I am done for now in this thread. Sorry if you think I am a jerk of the highest order, not my intention, but there it is.