Louder Than Liftoff Silver Bullet

List price on the site – $1999 plus shipping. They don’t come up used very often and when they do sell within hours. They’re often sold out and have a waiting list. I was able to get in on the current batch, so only had to wait a couple days plus shipping time.

1 Like

Is this something you could use to sample loops, then build tracks with?

Yes, that’s a big part of what attracted me to it was the overall flexibility. It has six different inputs (only two can be used at a time) for: 2x MIC, 2x ‘track’ mode (tracking) and 2x ‘mix’ mode (mixing)

MIC mode: Microphone inputs – pretty self explanatory. You get to choose between API or Neve preamps. There’s no dual mono mode though… you can run two different sources, but they’ll both share the same ‘mojo’ and ‘eq’ settings.

Track mode: Inputs to be used for tracking – e.g. running your synths/samples/whatever external gear through

Mix mode: Inputs to run your DAW master outputs through for master bus use

The unit has two pairs of outputs: one for ‘mix’ and one for ‘track’. Mic inputs go to ‘track’ outputs I believe.

There’s a selector knob to go between the three modes. “Track” also acts as a bypass while audio is running through the ‘mix’ inputs

I do very little with microphones myself, so the mic inputs will only get occasional use. I’ll primarily be using it for mix mode, however the overall idea is that you’re not just using it at any one stage (e.g. master bus) though you can certainly do that. Most people are using it throughout the recording process building up individual parts. You’re layering “flavor, color and tone” as you go, tracking live or running parts and/or stems through it. Since my primary use is in a mastering context I’m using the mix mode.

Operationally, it’s incredibly easy to use and takes only 2-3 minutes to get your head around the workflow.

I’d suggest looking at the setup diagrams in the manual if you really want to visual it:

1 Like

These two videos walk you through the workflow.

1 Like

Wow - first I learned about the Silver Bullet when you posted in the other thread (your setups, I think?) and now I just learned about the Tegeler Creme. Both sound like really awesome products that are above and beyond my needs. For now, I’m content with Analog Heat and keeping an eye / ear on your work. Your post was very well thought out. It’s interesting to hear about people auto-commenting with negativity whenever the “M-word” is mentioned. Though, that’s not surprising in this day and age of e-experts. I hope I can pick up some tips and tricks for making my own crap music sound a little less crap!

1 Like

Thanks! With the “other” forum (pretty sure you can guess which one) there’s just endless negativity and putting other people down to make themselves feel better or more important. It’s especially prevalent with mastering… the arrogance and pomposity is astounding. Some guy just starting out asked “What are the best speakers for mastering around $1k?” and was immediately hit with comments like, “Why bother? You’re wasting your time”. I can’t stand that. Like all these just guys woke up one day with $100K in gear in a perfect room not having started anywhere. There’s very little help or encouragement… just tearing other people down. I rarely post there… I go to read 20% of comments that are useful about the gear I’m interested in.

I have a separate thread about the Creme here if you’re interested:

And if you ever want to hear any of your tracks through either or both of them feel free to PM me:

4 Likes

Greetings! I see that you have a SB going into a CREME. I have a Creme currently and am about 90% sure Im going to pull the trigger on a SB and probably use it the exact same way you do (Have the SB going into the Creme, bypassing the Creme when no in use)

Just wondering if now that you have had the SB for a few months if you still like it going into the creme? What does your gain structure typically look like? Get good crest factor while using these two in tandem like this?

1 Like

In short, I absolutely love it. It’s a terrific pair. The Creme, I have no plans to part with it, but if I had to I could live without it or do with something else. The EQ (especially the high end) is beautiful as you likely know. I love it, but if I had to, I figure something else out. Now the SB… I don’t think I could ever part with it. I seriously think at times about buying a 2nd one down the road as a spare unit. It’s that important to me.

I primarily use mine for mastering purposes and I work on mostly house, techno, electro – those genres. On the SB, I love the ‘N > A’ (Neve into API) setting with input gain around 10-11 o’clock position and output around 1-2 o’clock. For input into the SB, I place it in my chain such that when I’m coming out of the DAW I can use a gain plugin to keep things somewhere between -16 and -18db. I then use the SB to get a decent amount of gain out to get that flavor and tone. I’ll push the meters to somewhere around +2 to +4. The Creme doesn’t seem to mind the input. I’m nearly always (98% of the time) using the ‘tight’ filter on the SB.

In the Creme, I’m generally using the EQ, but not always (tend to use 1-2db of high more so than always using low). I do my EQ corrections in the DAW prior to hitting the SB and Creme, so at this point it’s more final polish and shine. For the music I work on, it’s typically 30ms attack, 0.1 release and either 2:1 or 4:1 ratio. I’m never doing more than 2db overall reduction and it’s usually more like just barely moving the needle or maybe 1db at most. Just a bit of ‘glue’ at that point. Like EQ, I’ll have done any corrective or multiband compression in the DAW prior to going out. I use the Creme as the last bit of analog gain to bring the level up a much as I can prior to hitting the converters on the way back in. Once back in the DAW, I’m doing any final gain increases, clipping and/or limiting.

One thing I didn’t expect is how nicely the EQ’s on the two units work together. I was afraid I’d have a lot of overlap since they’re both just simple BAX EQ’s. Fortunately, they both have pretty different and distinctive sound to them. I actually really like the ‘sub’ option on the SB sometimes more than the Creme (and that’s saying a lot). I love the ‘presence’ as well. So, for example, if I’m needing it, then I might use a touch of low (on either unit), a little ‘presence’ on the SB, then finish it with a bit of high on the Creme. It really works out quite well!

Of course, I’m really bitten by analog outboard gear now and that’s what I GAS over. I’ll add more in the future specifically for mastering, but I’m really happy right now overall. Everyone I do work for loves the results. I can’t comment on using the SB for tracking or the MIC pre’s – just haven’t used it like that yet. My own musical efforts are pretty basic and I plan to use the SB for that purpose very soon, but hasn’t been a priority.

If you have any audio you’d like me to pass through the SB or SB and Creme as a sample, I’d be happy to do that for you. Just PM me with details and send a DropBox or similar link. Make sure it’s WAV and not MP3. Happy to answer any other questions.

Hope that helps!

2 Likes

Good to hear that it works with the Creme well. I have lots of tracking outboard stuff but only the Creme on the 2 bus, which is awesome, I love the the Creme, but also at the same time feel it is lacking.

I was looking for something for gain staging prior to the it and came across the silver bullet and pretty much read everything about it on that giant Gear Slutz thread about it. Read a few people asking about how it works with the creme, but no one really has that combo, save for you. I do alot of mixing, production and mastering and would be using the SB and the Creme in tandem for alot of bus duties (I print alot of stuff and move on during production and mixing)

I also see you have an analog heat box…How do you like that? I am thinking about getting a Handsome Audio ZULU for my saturation needs, but also want to wait till I get an SB to see how well it saturates (I WANT TO DRIVE SOME TRANSFORMERS!)

I think I do have something to test out Ill hit you up in your PM

Yes, still have the Analog Heat though it gets used a lot less for mastering now. The SB has filled that role for the majority of ‘flavor’ I was looking for. That said, the Heat can still be useful to beef things up. When it works it really works well, but I don’t find myself using it a lot now. I still want to keep it though and it’s amazing as a creative production tool. The Brainworx (Plugin Alliance) Vertigo VSM-3 is pretty brilliant for adding that low end beef as well with the M/S implementation. I don’t even want to think about the hardware version… someday. :laughing::joy:

It goes on sale regularly and sometimes as low as $49 which is a steal. You can also often find it 2nd hand for around that price.

New relevant video since a few people have been discussing!

Now the only thing your chain needs is a little tube flavor :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. I highly rate the Henry Amps Michelangelo. Amazing eq but also just has a killer box tone running it flat. It’s pretty much lived on my mix bus/mastering chain since I got it a few years ago.

1 Like

Would love one. Thought about one of these or something like an HG-2. Lot’s of options… :laughing:

I just ordered one of these, and I’m super excited to get it. Now, I have to sell a bunch of stuff :joy:

1 Like

more budget-minded (=poorer) people like me might want to look at LTL´s “chroma” and “Mr. Focus” (etc.) modules for the 500 Series Range and/or their COLOR hardware plug-ins for the colour palette.

good way to get CLOSE to “Silver Bullet” Territory while staying at around 1/4 to 1/2 of the price (depending on which COLOR carrier module you opt for, there are cheaper ones than LTLs Mr. Focus/Chroma etc.).

1 Like

Congrats! I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. I’ve never read a single account of someone saying they got one and regretted it. I’m sure they get sold off, but you don’t see them pop up used that often either. In any case, report back once you’ve had a little bit of time with it.

For electronic music, my starting point is:

  • Mix mode (I primarily use it as outboard processing)
  • N > A (Neve to API) mojo path
  • Both circuits having gain about 11 o’clock position and output at 1 o’clock
  • Tight filter engaged
  • Vintage off

90-95% of the time that immediately gets me in the ballpark for a mastering session with only minor EQ tweaks (if needed) from there.

For EQ, I tend to use the ‘sub’ more than the ‘bass’, but that’s largely due to my pairing it with a Tegeler Creme and it’s Pultec style EQ. In small amounts the two can play off each other nicely, but I’m typically using one or the other and it’s entirely source dependant. For the high EQ, I’m almost always on ‘Presence’ with small boosts… usually like .5 to 1.5dB and generally never more than 3, but again, entirely depends on the song and what cuts/fixes I’ve done ITB prior to hitting the outboard chain. Again, the preference for ‘Presence’ is due to the Tegeler where I prefer to use that for ‘Air’ sweetening, but the SB to entirely usable for that too. Just comes down to preference and what you have.

I like the output meters usually around +4 for the flavor and saturation. Usually anything +2 to +6 is usually OK. Higher than that can still sound ‘good’ but it gets too heavy handed for my application. If I’m feeding in more gain with the amps I’m obviously compensating with the output gain lowering it on each. I’m generally never above 12 o’clock position on either and if I am then generally one of the circuits is somewhere 12 to 1 while the other is much lower (like 9 to 10).

Of course, YMMV on all of this stuff, but hopefully you’ll find that useful. The thinner/weaker the source material the more heavy handed (within sensible limits) you can get. This box is a ‘desert island’ piece for me. Other things will come and go, but not this one. Hope you enjoy it too!

3 Likes

Thanks for all the tips! Your enthusiasm for the SB in this post actually really helped nudge me into splurging for it. In my head, I was thinking that N > A would be my preference as well to achieve the punchiness I desire.

My ultimate plans are to pair this with a Stam SA 4000 MKII with API mod I preordered as well to sit on the master bus… which is just a Roland Integra 7 sequenced by a Squarp Pyramid (while using the Integra 7’s in/outs to mix in audio side-chained by a FMR RNLA). I really appreciate simple, powerful setups.

I have an OTO Boum and AH MKII I plan on selling to help finance the SB; I feel the SB will fill the role that those two pieces had in my setup.

Thanks! Please do report back once you’ve had it. Good or bad, I’m sure it’ll help other people too.

ok, will do

Oh… I forgot to mention one thing… feed it a -18dBFS level on the MIX inputs. That’s where it seems to be most happy. Depending on how hot the mix I get is I’m usually gaining it down a few dB in the digital domain prior to going out to the analog chain.

Also, read the manual. It’s pretty short and sweet but provides some good info and examples. PDF version is available on the LTL site if you haven’t already seen it.

1 Like