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[Product Review] Warm Audio WA-MPX & WA-1B by Ryogo Kuwahata

2024-03-05

Theme:sound&person, Audio equipment

Hello everyone.
My name is Ryogo Kuwahata, a drummer based in Tokyo.

Today I’m going to show you new products from Warm Audio:

Tube Mic Preamp WA-MPX

WARM AUDIO ( ウォームオーディオ ) / WA-MPX 真空管マイクプリアンプ

Tube Compressor WA-1B

WARM AUDIO ( ウォームオーディオ ) / WA-1B チューブ・オプティカル・コンプレッサー

WA-MPX

First, let’s take a look at the exterior.
The rough and brushed surface is very cool.
Just after taking a quick look, I got the impression that it is easy to use.
I thought the weight would be heavy because of the tube in it, but it’s lighter than I expected.

Let’s try it out!

Since this WA-MPX is a recreation of vintage equipment, I recorded with a single microphone like in the 50’s.

The setting is as follows
Drums→ AKG 411 mic→ SSL 2+ (4K switch not used) →Logic X

I first tried

a raw sound without any modification.

Rather than having a plain sound, I thought that this preamp sounded like a rather distinctive character. I got the impression that this model has a smooth sound with a finer texture, especially in the midrange.

Next,

I turned on the Tape Saturation Control.

The difference was more pronounced with the mic than with the Inst In.
It has an EQ-like role, but the sound quality changes without changing the center of gravity of the sound too much, so I thought it was convenient to be able to easily select a sound as a sound variation during the sound check stage.

Next,

I turned on the Tone Switch.

I thought it was very interesting to get a tape recorder-like effect just through the preamp. Of course, it can be good to intentionally distort the sound to make it sound aggressive, but it was also very effective when the switch was turned on in a clean state.

It literally sounded as if tape saturation had been applied, with rich overtones and a hint of compression.

Audibly, the sound source sounded more upright, and I could confirm that the waveform signal was more well-defined.

Thanks to this effect, I thought that the use of EQ and compressor would be reduced.
I often hear people say, “If you just run it through the analog gear, the sound improves,” and I think this switch is the reason for that.

WA-1B

I basically left the WA-1B on when tweaking the overall mix.
The attack and release controls were intuitive and very easy to use!
Most of the tracks I recorded were not fast, so I used a slower attack and release.
I felt that there was a bit of choppiness below 80 kHz with the Logic X plug-ins, but the WA-1B had smoothed that out.

By applying it lightly rather than harshly, each piece of music sounds fuller. The sound becomes mellow.

Since I did not use it by itself this time, I would like you to see the reviews of other people who have reviewed it!

Most modern recording is done on a computer DAW, and the only way to think of it from a studio console perspective is as a monitor section.
It would be a great value to have a single outboard that could fill the role of an input section and a recorder section from the 50’s and 60’s.


I have never used the original model so some areas might have come out bad.
Thank you for reading.

This is the kind of music I recorded this time!
I used these gears for part of it.
Please take a listen.

I’m so thankful that my album is now ranked no.1 among the blues albums in the iTunes Store!

B.B.B | The Broken Blues Band

コラム「sound&person」は、皆様からの投稿によって成り立っています。
投稿についての詳細はこちら

Ryogo Kuwahata

2001年11月25日に宮崎県で生まれる。 小学生の頃にギタリストとして活動後、ドラマーに転向。
高校生の時にNHKドラマ『ひなたの佐和ちゃん〜波に乗る』に出演と並行して、様々なバンドのサポートドラムを担当。
2020年に高校を卒業後、上京してリハーサルスタジオで働きながら、スタジオミュージシャンとして活動中。ビンテージドラムのコレクターである。

WARM AUDIO / WA-1B チューブ・オプティカル・コンプレッサー

WARM AUDIO

WA-1B チューブ・オプティカル・コンプレッサー

¥178,000(incl. tax)

チューブ・オプティカル・コンプレッサー、2U

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WARM AUDIO / 	WA-MPX Vacuum tube microphone preamplifier

WARM AUDIO

WA-MPX Vacuum tube microphone preamplifier

¥108,000(incl. tax)

Tube microphone preamplifier, one-channel

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