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Best compressor for techno and house? What's got groove?
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#31
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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+1 for drawmer 1968

the bigger features is what every techno needs

cheers
#32
13th December 2012
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The way you use a compressor is much more important than its brand.
My 2 cents...
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#33
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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I have an API 2500 I produce mostly tech house/techno I think the APi works great gives a nice warm punch especially with the thrust engaged. I am also considering an SSL types
Dramastic Obsidian or Alan Smart c2 which are quiet expensive but for alot cheaper the Tk Audio Bc1 mk2 or elysia xpressor . Try picking up an API or Alan smart second hand that's what I did saved me about a Grand$$$
#34
13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourmant View Post
MrTechno

Post a clip of your hardware Mpressor breathing in the 2buss role.

Settings also please, we'll compare.

I don't have the software so no idea.

Love the compressor but not in this role. Anxious to be wrong, anything to ease pocket book guilt is fine by me.
check out the website. edit sorry but if I posted an example for every time I was asked this on here this is all I would be doing.
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#35
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Old, grey SSL G384. Done. Smiles around the room.
#36
13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend View Post
The way you use a compressor is much more important than its brand.
My 2 cents...
yeah true like everything else in life........
I could be a good driver in a Mazda 3, but the same good driver in a Maserati vanquish and you know what I mean.
#37
13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkovsky View Post
Thanks for the suggestion of the overstayer. But it's not quite what I'm interested in, same thing with the Alesis - too low end, I want the grungey vibe man!

DanGo, are there any SSL bus compressors in particular? Yeah, you're right about slower attack being important.

Kraku... I don't know if you're having a laugh, but I'm sure every 14 year old boy with a cracked copy of ableton and a paper bin full of sticky kleanex knows how to assign a kick drum to a compressor's side chain input to make a track that sound like house music that was popular 5 years ago. That is categorically not what I am after. I'm talking about using master bus compression in a creative and controlled way to supplement and enhance microdynamics (AKA groove). So yes, master bus compression and groove do go well together... and they have been doing their thing together for about two decades. To restate my point in a different manner, I'm not trying to limit the dynamic range of my track for digital format - there'd be no point anyway, as anything half decent is 12 inch only these days. TBO I find it kind of sad that these things need to be elucidated on a forum that's supposed to be about electronic music, but I digress.

As for what I am after, here's chris mccormack talking about compressors:
www.blacklistedmastering.co.uk - professional mastering services - Article 02

also here's one of his tunes:
Chris McCormack - One Day I'll Fly Away - YouTube

and for good measure, woman is the devil, where Levon Vincent uses some empricial labs stuff for tonal heathenry:
Levon Vincent - Woman is The Devil - YouTube

**** yes.

So I'm looking into the SSL bus comp? What about fairchild stuff? What else is right for this application?
The 3630 is too lo-fi, but you want grungy? (or maybe I missed the tone, no pun intended)

Fairchild, well, probably NOT the sound of any EDM music out there, considering a Fairchild 670 is going to set you back $50,000 or one mono channel of a 660 will be upwards of $10-15k+

Any other "Fairchilds" are crap and wishful thinking (believe me, I tried racking up a pair of 663s, hardly worth the time, not worth the money).

Your next best way to go (perhaps THE best way if this is your direction) is the Anamod 670 (or a pair of 500 series Anamod 660)... they ARE the sound, just don't try to think about "how" they are doing it (many a Golden Ear has lost this battle).

It really sounds like you want an SSL, but if you're looking vintage, then you want the SSL FX G384 (THE SSL buss compressor off the 4000 series consoles).

Everything else is to clean and new (The G384 is clean, but it has "that" vibe)

Hope that helps!

-andrews
#38
13th December 2012
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out of interest - what is it that the old grey SSL bus comps and others like the Alan Smart ones have - that cheaper ones like Gyraf clones and TK audio SSL comps dont have? Are they designed differently, or have transformers etc?
#39
13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
out of interest - what is it that the old grey SSL bus comps and others like the Alan Smart ones have - that cheaper ones like Gyraf clones and TK audio SSL comps dont have? Are they designed differently, or have transformers etc?
Dbx 202 vca's for the G384 would be part of it I think, but don't know for sure. I don't believe it has transformers. But the G384 is just right and flattering in that 'tis a record' type way. Much nicer than the lumpier sounding Smart to my taste. More soaring. Indeed 'that' vibe.

A friend of mine has had a copy built on an SB4000 board with dbx 202's and Lundahl output transformers which comes very close but in a slightly more liquid manner. Still very sweet though. I'd rather have that than a Smart, too.
#40
13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
out of interest - what is it that the old grey SSL bus comps and others like the Alan Smart ones have - that cheaper ones like Gyraf clones and TK audio SSL comps dont have? Are they designed differently, or have transformers etc?

I think the DBX 202 are key to that sound. I DO love the Alan Smart compressors and have owned the C2 twice, always ended up as a very tight drum buss compressor rather than the 2-buss (where the SSL G384 seems parked).

The Alan Smart feels more like what the evolution and higher-fidelity of the SSL "would" have become (Alan himself was THE top SSL tech out in the real world, so he could have made an exact replica, if he wanted.)

I'm not much of a tech at all, but I can help in terms of tone and comparisons.

-andrews
#41
13th December 2012
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thanks both thats interesting. Ive seen clones out there that boast about having the dbx 202 'gold cans' in them and was wondering what that was about...they all have roughly the same compression curve tho-or slightly different...so its just slight tone differences...?
#42
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Whatever you decide, i would heartily recommend a download demo of the glue and see how you like it.

For me, it is one of those "there is no excuse" products. Ie... if you cant make professional quality techno/house using it, it is probably sensible to hold fire on the big expensive stuff for now.

at $99 for full version it is virtually a no brainer for any house/techno producers using a daw. I dont care whether it sounds like x y or z, it pumps and sounds extremely good. Thats all most people off their tits on the dancefloor care about.
#43
13th December 2012
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I'll second Jim Plunkett's post: for $99 you can't beat the Glue. I actually used that as my buss compressor for my last release. Beat out hardware API for that particular usage... A good way to tell if the SSL sound is what you want.
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#44
14th December 2012
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i see the glue only shows support for cubase 5. does anyone know how it works with cubase 6? i'm on 6.5.2 and don't feel like downloading and installing the trial version to see how stable it is.
#45
14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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if you want fast dynamics and not too colored punch, I'd say a DBX-160a is a good compressor
there's more out there, cheap compressors and gates (Symmetrics, Drawmer ART, SSL clones etc.)
check this thread out: dirtiest compressor alive?
API 2500 is worth saving up for IMO it's a little different than all the others
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#46
14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
The 3630 is too lo-fi, but you want grungy? (or maybe I missed the tone, no pun intended)

Fairchild, well, probably NOT the sound of any EDM music out there, considering a Fairchild 670 is going to set you back $50,000 or one mono channel of a 660 will be upwards of $10-15k+

Any other "Fairchilds" are crap and wishful thinking (believe me, I tried racking up a pair of 663s, hardly worth the time, not worth the money).

Your next best way to go (perhaps THE best way if this is your direction) is the Anamod 670 (or a pair of 500 series Anamod 660)... they ARE the sound, just don't try to think about "how" they are doing it (many a Golden Ear has lost this battle).

It really sounds like you want an SSL, but if you're looking vintage, then you want the SSL FX G384 (THE SSL buss compressor off the 4000 series consoles).

Everything else is to clean and new (The G384 is clean, but it has "that" vibe)

Hope that helps!

-andrews
Interesting that you mentioned the Anamods 670 was really considering this a secondary compressor. Would you in your opinion go for this over a Smart C2 or Obsidian. I already own an Api 2500.
#47
14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rsantana View Post
Interesting that you mentioned the Anamods 670 was really considering this a secondary compressor. Would you in your opinion go for this over a Smart C2 or Obsidian. I already own an Api 2500.

Oh man, I own both (Anamod 670 and Smart C2) and can honestly say, there could not be two more OPPOSITE compressors in terms of character, hell, in terms of everything.

I love them both, but for complete other ends of teh extreme. I love the Anamod for that classic Fairchild squish and '60's vibe compression.

The Alan Smart is VERY hi-fi sounding, edgey and attacky (for lack of descriptive words)

If I had to have one for EDM or more "modern" sound, then I'd have to go with the Alan Smart C2 (API may also be a good choice, but I don't have one and don't want to talk out my arse... although that'd make me a good Gearslut )

That said, the Anamod 670 is an amazing compressor and it COULD be your main 2-buss, but it'd definately give you a more unique signature tone (hell, Abbey Road, Beatles, the sound of rock n' roll is often that Fairchild sound)

Oh, another word- I think the Anamod is around the $3500 mark and the Alan Smart can be had around low to mid- $2k (not totally up on my prices, but I think that's the ballpark).

Hope that helps!

-andrews
Tarkovsky
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#48
14th December 2012
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Wow, what a lot of replies! Thanks everyone.
I've had a look at the Neve 33609JD, Vintech 609CA and the Thermionic Culture Phoenix.
I heard the Alan Smart is a bit clinical, is this true? I'm not really after a modern sound, more vibe!

How would the anamod do for techno and house?

Also what's good for vox too? Shadow hills?
#49
14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkovsky View Post
Wow, what a lot of replies! Thanks everyone.
I've had a look at the Neve 33609JD, Vintech 609CA and the Thermionic Culture Phoenix.
I heard the Alan Smart is a bit clinical, is this true? I'm not really after a modern sound, more vibe!

How would the anamod do for techno and house?

Also what's good for vox too? Shadow hills?
I think I answered your Anamod question a few posts up, but to re-summarize:

I think the Anamod 670 could be cool for House and Techno, but I think it would be an unconventional choice.

The Anamod 670 is a Fairchild 670 and that whooshy '60's style of compression is a classic sound, but definately not used in electronic music in any large scale way (just due to rarity and access, most likely).

It could be cool. It's a rather expensive compressor, around $3500+, but I love mine (I tend to use it on vocals, or stems that are meant to have a more retro vibe, mixed among other elements).

Oh, I also have a Neve 33609 and can highly recommend that for both solid compressor with some definite vibe to it.

-andrews
#50
14th December 2012
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You need to work out whether you want a 'bouncer' or a 'hugger'. I took you asking for a groovy compressor to mean you want the former. You won't get any bounce from Fairchild or Varimu style comps. They'll give a smooth hug, no bounce.

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#51
14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
You need to work out whether you want a 'bouncer' or a 'hugger'. I took you asking for a groovy compressor to mean you want the former. You won't get any bounce from Fairchild or Varimu style comps. They'll give a smooth hug, no bounce.

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Such a good analogy!
#52
14th December 2012
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I remember a great thread by nicolasmasset where he posted a track that people seemed to like in the high end forum - and lots of people chimed in offering to run it thru their outboard. It was not house music - but it gave a interesting view into the different sounds of a load of different compressors.

here is the thread

Option number one, two or three? (empirical, thermionic, tk audio) samples inside

Tark maybe you should take an example clip like nicolas and post it in the high end forum see if anyone gets on board. Im sure plenty others like me would be interested to hear how various bus comps sound on house/techno tracks.
I think people are keen to show off their slutty pieces if you have something half decent to test...
#53
14th December 2012
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I used to use a Smart C2, but I didn't feel like it was necessary any more once I got a Nail. Great comp though.
#54
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I will buy an anamod ats 1 soon
I like the compression from tape
just what I need
think about it!
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#55
14th December 2012
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I have a single Slate Dragon and would like another for stereo work. Makes stuff bang. I don't know if it's the sort of thing you'd want on your master bus all the time... but I don't know that it isn't. Lots of color... lots of options. Sounds great.

My top choice is the Elysia Alpha. But I can't exactly afford that.
#56
14th December 2012
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I don't understand the question. Groove comes from the mix, and a mastering compressor serves a different purpose. If I was going to buy such a compressor I would get what most mastering engineers look for:


Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor

Weiss DS1

Rupert Neve Designs Portico II MBP

(Edit: The Drawmer 1968 looks like it might be right up your alley, suitable for mastering but not a "mastering comp")


For "groove" I think API 2500 on drum bus.
#57
15th December 2012
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I think you will find most people will just recommend what they are familiar with so best to try to listen to some examples of different compressors in action if possible. I will continue the theme and recommend the one that I know and love - the Thermionic Phoenix. Ended up getting rid of the Vari Mu and keeping this one...nice bottom end and softened top
#58
15th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindred View Post
I think you will find most people will just recommend what they are familiar with so best to try to listen to some examples of different compressors in action if possible. I will continue the theme and recommend the one that I know and love - the Thermionic Phoenix. Ended up getting rid of the Vari Mu and keeping this one...nice bottom end and softened top

True, sort of.

We have what we have for specific reasons (at least me). So, I'm not recommending because I have it, I'm recommending because I've shot out compressors and made choices.

-a
#59
15th December 2012
Old 15th December 2012
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Hmm you guys are talking about really specific mastercomps. To achieve a groove you'd have to be able to do radical things. Though I agree with a previous contribution, it's mostly what you do with the equipment, less so which compressor.
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15th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindred View Post
I think you will find most people will just recommend what they are familiar with so best to try to listen to some examples of different compressors in action if possible. I will continue the theme and recommend the one that I know and love - the Thermionic Phoenix. Ended up getting rid of the Vari Mu and keeping this one...nice bottom end and softened top
True, but I think listening to examples is not that great of a way to learn if a comp works on your material versus demoing it yourself. I need to try the Phoenix at some point, I really love the squish of a Vari-Mu.

I agree with Reptil's point, but certain comps will have drastically different effects on the material, at least from my standpoint. I would compare them to the effect that the envelope speed and curves of a synth will have. There are other factors that come into play as well, like whether or not it has a mix blend or or if you can insert a HPF in the sidechain so it won't suck out the bass.

Chandler comps (Zener, Germs) are waaay too sluggish for techno and house in my opinion, just to give an example, while dbx160x/xt's are nice and snappy in contrast.
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