Aurora Audio Sidecar

10 channels of pure Class A discrete fury complete with 4 band EQ

Features

  • Gain = -10dB to +80dB on the input sensitivity switch plus 10dB in the fader.
  • Input Impedance = 1.2Kohm (XLR I/P), 10Mohm (DI I/P)
  • Output Impedance = < 50 ohms balanced
  • VU Meter Range = Standard VU points from -20VU to +3VU where 0VU = +4dBu = 1.228 vac. Front panel trimpot to align the 0VU point.
  • Input headroom = 26dB
  • Output Gain = Stereo outputs are unity gain
  • Output Impedance = < 50 ohms balanced
  • Frequency response = < +/- 0.5dB at 20Hz and 20KHz ref. 0dBu @ 1KHz
  • Noise = < -75dB
  • Crosstalk = < -70dB @ 1KHz
  • Headroom = Maximum outputs all > +26dBu
  • Distortion = < 0.075% @ 1KHz

€ 23.800,-
Price excl. VAT
excl. shipping

General

Sidecar – A small one wheeled vehicle attached to the side of a motorcycle to hold a passenger. (Oxford English Dictionary)

A sidecar used in recording, like the motorcycle sidecar is intended to be attached to the users current setup to hold extra passengers as well. In this case, more preamplifiers and equalizers.

Traditionally speaking, sidecars were used to either add channels to a larger console or more often, add a different flavor available for tracking or mixing. The best example of a sidecar is the Neve BCM10, a broadcast console from the early 1970’s. The parts needed for broadcasting would be disengaged and the 1073 preamp/EQ and busses would be used in conjunction with the main console or used in any way the studio seemed fit.

Now, these sidecars are about as rare as a hen’s teeth. So after years of Aurora Audio manufacturing Class A discrete equipment, requests kept coming in for something bigger, better, and bolder than anything that Geoff Tanner and his colleagues had done before.

You said you needed this, so Geoff Tanner built it.

Links:

dB says

The sidecar is built from the original GTQ2 and GT4-2 components, 10 each.

As for the GTQ preamp:

Ever since I first got my hands on a GTQ2 – some 6 years ago – it has been my personal “go to” preamp.
I use it for just about everything one could possibly want to record, such as lead or backing vocs, guitars, bass D.I., keyboards, you name it.
I particularly love this preamp on drum overheads.
Its fascinating that in this application you can set the GTQ2 so that bassdrum and snare will sound powerfully saturated or distorted (due to the much higher peak level) but cymbals and high hat will at the same time retain a clean and gentle openness.
I cant say why I have not yet gotten similar results with other preamps.

As for the GT4 EQ:

I have two GT4-2’s in my rack.
Obviously they are my goto tools for recording elemental stuff like BD and SN, or anything else that needs raw power, or weight or some razorblade shine.
My advice is not to be subtle here. Patch the GT4-2 on the mics that REALLY want treatment.
And dont go easy with that bass shelf.Twist it all the way you like. The unit will never ever produce the tiniest bit of overload artefacts, no matter how much level you send in and how much gain you might add with the bands.
Just make sure you dont blow your speakers as you fiddle about with that low end!!!
There’s not too much too worry there when tracking, cause whichever frequency you pull up something nice will happen.
You might find yourself boosting frequencies that you would usually be prone to taking out – but when it sounds good it’s right.
Best not to think about it too much. It’s particularly the mid frequencies, anywhere between 140hz and 1k that I find myself boosting frequently with this EQ. I will usually patch the GT4-2 onto the signals that need bigtime eq’ing, lesser for the cosmetic stuff.
I’m not worried about cosmetics these days when tracking. Actually there’s a ton of plugins that do the necessary cosmetics fairly nice and accurate. What you want for recording is something that can give you that “extra push over the cliff”, that no plugin can do just yet.

Mixing of course is a different story:
More often than not I will use one GT4-2 on Bass (that is D.I. and mic’d amp) and my second GT4-2 on the L-R chorus distortion guitars.
The GT4-2 is my very first choice for bass cause I cant think of any other EQ that handles the instrument so well.
The high pass frequencies are carefully selected, so in combination with the low shelf I can do that old trick of boosting bass and low-cutting at the same time to perfection – better and tighter than any Pultec would do. The result is also gonna be clearer and tighter, and add more grip than with a Pultec, original or fake.
Also I can use the low mid band for adding a “honk” around 800hz to better hear that bass, or give it more tone around 400 or more weight around 200 and under, depending on the arrangement of course and the available space in the spectrum.
The high mid band will be the one to bring out the distortion, or the pick, whichever, finally the high shelf will take care of the overall presence of the entire instrument.
That’s right: The high shelf is not quite what the name suggests. Well, in theory it is I guess but the effect is very different than from most shelf EQ’s.
The GT4-2 high shelf sounds – and acts – like a magnifying glass, like a presence knob. I have caught myself using that pot to placing an instrument further back or more up front in a mix, like finding it’s perfect position in a track. I think this is more effective than doing it with the actual volume fader cause it will create way more 3D-imaging that way.
When EQ’ing distortion guitars you will sure find that one high mid frequency that cuts through the track, at the same time you might counterbalance this effect with some low mids as well as defining the low end with a similar trick than with bass, just with higher frequencies.
And there we go again: When I’m happy with that guitar sound I will probably use the high shelf to find the final position of these guitars in my mix.
No other EQ that I have worked with offers me this admittedly rather peculiar feature.

PS: Dont forget to print your keys and pads through the GT4-2, the more so when they were done ITB.
With a tad of luck they will sound like the real analogue shit after the treat.