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Slate Digital VRS8 with ML-1 Large Diaphragm Modeling Mic
The Slate Digital VRS8 + ML-1 Large Diaphragm Modeling Microphone bundles the 8-channel VRS8 audio interface with a free ML-1 modeling microphone. Included is a perpetual license to the VPC "Virtual Preamp Collection", a single license for VMC "Classic Tubes" 1 & 2, and a 1-year license to the Slate Digital "Everything Bundle."
- VRS8 8-Channel Interface
- ML-1 Large Diaphragm Modeling Microphone
- VMC Classic Tubes 1 & 2
- VPC Virtual Preamp Collection software card
- 1-Year Subscription to the Slate Digital Everything Bundle
- Travel case
- Shock mount
Steven Slate and his team spent three years developing the new Slate Digital VRS8, the final piece in a suite of software and hardware tools that puts a Virtual Recording Studio in a single rack space, and it shows.
The Slate Digital VRS8 is packed with boutique components and boasts specs that reflects Slate’s “no compromise” design. This 8-channel audio interface combines the company’s familiar Ultra Linear microphone preamps with custom converter and CPU chips to deliver an industry-leading 124 dB of dynamic range across all eight inputs and an astonishingly low latency, whether using Thunderbolt (Mac) or PCIe (Mac/PC) connectivity.
These are the same transparent VMS-One preamps from Slate’s award-winning Virtual Microphone System, which means you can run any of the company’s microphone and preamp modeling software in real time. Slate’s new LLN (Low Latency Native) technology uses a hardwired custom chipset to enable a round-trip latency at 96 kHz of just 0.7 milliseconds, the same as Pro Tools | HDX and the lowest of any native solution. This enables you to monitor through Slate’s mic and preamp emulations while tracking or to change your mind and choose different models during your mix process. Unlike other interfaces, you control your preamp gains on the front of the Slate Digital VRS8, not through a software menu.
Additionally, there are two separate monitor mixes with discrete custom headphone amplifier circuitry, speaker switching capabilities, native — not USB — MIDI IO and satellite-grade clocking technology and this virtual recording studio in a 1RU box gives you the same experience as you would have with a rack full of pro audio tools.
Slate Digital has removed the CPU overhead and latency issues of USB connectivity, integrating PCIe and Thunderbolt options, which offer identical performance. You can link up to six Slate Digital VRS8VRS8s over Thunderbolt to achieve 48 inputs and outputs.
As Slate Digital says, it’s the studio of your dreams at a price you can afford.
- Eight Ultra Linear VMS-One mic preamps, enabling you to use Slate’s microphone and preamp emulations on every input and controlled directly from the front panel for easy control when tracking
- LLN (Low Latency Native) custom hard-wired converter chipset, which reduces managed components in the audio path and allows an incredible 0.7 milliseconds of latency at 96k (with a 32-sample buffer), allowing you to monitor through mic and preamp emulations while tracking
- Mastering-quality conversion technology incorporates the newest AKM converters, offering a whopping industry-best 124 dB of dynamic range on all inputs
- XTC satellite-grade clocking technology, utilizing four temperature-compensated crystal oscillators for ultra-stable audio performance
- Built-in monitor switching and discrete headphone amplifiers
- Native MIDI IO, for accurate MIDI timing that doesn’t utilize the USB bus
- The VRS8 comes with a free one-year subscription to the Everything Bundle — every plug-in the company makes
The Slate Digital ML-1 microphone is arguably the most important part of the Virtual Microphone System, because everything starts here. With a shock-mounted Mylar capsule sputtered in gold and custom-made components, the ML-1 is NOT just any ordinary microphone. It was designed in tandem with the VMS-One preamp to provide an exceedingly flat output for the VMS microphone and preamp software modules to act upon.
THE VIRTUAL MICROPHONE SYSTEM
The “VMS” is a hybrid system that utilizes the extremely transparent ML-1 condenser microphone, a sonically-neutral preamp, and state-of-the-art digital processing suite that recreates the tone of classic microphones and preamps. The Virtual Microphone System collapses the wall standing between audio engineers and expensive world-class audio tools, allowing them access to the virtual microphone locker of their dreams.
The ML-1 Modeling Microphone includes Classic Tubes 1 and 2 software featuring the following microphone emulations:
- FG-47: This mic will take you back in time. It’s lush, warm, fat, present, and BIG sounding. If you have a wimpy source, it gets fixed with this mic. It doesn’t have that modern sizzly top-end air, but it takes EQ in the top end like a champion. I love adding some Custom Series 10 kHz when using this mic. By pushing the intensity, it gets even darker, moodier, and a bit more saturated. Don’t just use this microphone on vocals. Put it on drums as a room mic. Put it on the outside of a kick. Put it on horns, strings.
- FG-800: The FG-800 is based on a solid performing studio vocal mic. This is a bright and airy microphone. That airy, clear, bright tone works perfectly in a pop mix with no EQ needed. When this mic works, nothing will sound as good. And it actually works a lot, even on modern male rock vocals.
- FG-251: The FG-251 sounds so good on just about everything. It’s the perfect balance of top, middle, and bottom. There is something so flattering about this mic that every singer just sounds better than they do in the actual room. The intensity is really fun with this one. This mic pairs well with both preamps, so try them both using the VMR A->B system.
- FG-12: The FG-12 emulates an Austrian classic known for being incredibly smooth and rich-sounding. Slate chose an absolutely incredible mic to model that is the perfect representation of this famous tone.
- FG-800M: The FG-800M emulates an older Japanese tube mic and is slightly fatter and darker than the stock FG-800. If you love the FG-800 but wish it was a tad less sibilant and bright, you're gonna love this.
- FG-M7:The FG-M7 takes one of the most famous dynamic vocal mics used by artists like Michael Jackson, and adds the tube stage of the classic 47 making it extremely punchy, crisp, with incredible mids that cut through the mix. Definitely gonna be a favorite!
- FG-269: The FG-269 emulates an extremely rare German classic that shares much of the same circuit as the 67, but has a different tube that makes it more open and clear. This is one of the best sounding vocal mics I've ever heard.
- FG67: The FG-67 emulates a German classic known for being bold, slightly dark, and thick. This is amazing as a vocal mic, room mic, horn mic, piano mic, and is probably my favorite on toms.
The Virtual Preamp Collection features the following emulations:
- FG-73: The FG-73 preamp module is modeled after one of the most famous discrete solid state preamps in the industry, made in Britain and used on countless recordings. It has a bold, present and warm sound that works great on any audio source – even full mixes.
- FG-76: The FG-76 preamp module is modeled after a vintage German tube preamp that has been used on many classic recordings. It has a thick and colorful tone that can make tracks and mixes sound more ‘alive’. The bottom-end saturates in a very unique and musical way, making it a great module for bass guitar and kick drum tracks.
- Quad core i5 processor
- 4GB of RAM
- macOS 10.9 or later
- iLok 2 or 3 required
- Intel Mac 32-bit & 64-bit: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX
This was quite a process to get up and running, literally took me a month to figure out how to get everything set up and order all the relevant parts. That being said though, I really couldn’t be happier with my end result. The VRS8 sounds amazing, the ML 1 sounds clean and brilliant. Everything I have recorded has been professional quality with no hassle (minus the delayed start of course). If you’re a home studio producer, this is an invaluable duo. I highly highly recommend everyone check it out!
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