In Hardware Focus, Audio Hunt explore the appeal of an item of classic studio gear. Derived from the grandfather of EQ, The Chandler Curve Bender establishes personality in music and brings life to a mix.
“I’m continually critical of the gear I use, always listening for whether or not it’s adding what a song needs,” explains Greg Abate of Neon Audio. “I’ve had the Chandler Curve Bender for a year now and I’ve yet to have a mix where it didn’t add something awesome.”
The Chandler Curve Bender EQ is one of the most tone-rich EQs currently available. It’s an externally powered, solid-state, four-band EQ with 51 fixed filter points which provide high- and low-pass filters, flexible Q and various gain options. Modelled after the legendary EMI TG12345 console EQ at Abbey Road Studios and made famous by artists such as The Beatles and Pink Floyd, this unit features unique germanium line amps that add character and dimension to any sound source.
Not only does the Curve Bender add tone and character, but it also creates an organic, emotionally evoking level of musicality. It has an incredibly pleasant way of smoothing out the high-end frequencies, especially for digital or sample-based instruments. It also produces strong, rich, in-your-face mid-range tones and builds body and density in the lower frequencies. Like other great analogue gear, it also imparts a 3D depth to stereo material.
With a retail price of £5,119, these units come with a higher price tag than most of us would want to burn a hole in our wallets for, but boy do you get what you pay for. All Chandler units are hand made, hand soldered and hand assembled, and are an object of beauty – staying true to the original nature of the original EMI consoles.
Greg uses his Curve Bender across the mix bus to add character to a mix, but it’s also great on drums or any sound source where you want more colour. He tells us: “For dance music, the Curve Bender is one of those analogue pieces that can breathe life into digital music. It adds convincing realism with the girth it brings to the lows and mids, as well as the 3D depth it can impart. Digital high end, often harsh or pointy, is also nicely smoothed out by the Curve Bender.”
This is where remote audio signal processing (ASP) can give everyone access to awesome, high quality analogue gear and enable users to make better sounding music, without needing to make a huge financial investment.