Smart C2: awesome on insert, but on master bus...not so great???
I've gotten great results from my C2 as a "crush" drum parallel, vocal compressor, drum bus, vocal bus, instrument insert...but I originally bought it as a 2bus compressor, and it really doesn't seem to be living up to it's reputation for me. Perhaps I'm missing something. It's so good in the other applications that I don't think I'd sell it, but I need a great modern 2bus comp. When I use it on the 2bus (usually either 1.5 or 3:1 Attack 3, Release A, 1-3 db of compression) it seems to flatten everything, and add a hazy character to the upper mids and top. Maybe that's the hi-fi thing that some people have mentioned in the past.
To a certain degree, I like Digidesign's Smack, and Waves SSL bus comp, but the C2 doesn't really seem to be in this family. I haven't used a 'real' SSL comp, so the plugs is all I have to go by for reference. Is a 'real' SSL bus comp fatter and less hi-fi than the C2? Does the C1 have a different character than the C2?