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Falken
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6th December 2005
Old 6th December 2005
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compressor opinions wanted

I am going to take the plunge and get some $1000+ compressors. I am looking at (how many times have you heard this) the distressor, the 1176ln, and an ADL 1000. I am probably going to start out with the 1176ln and the distressor, but that is going to depend on what I can find for what price where. here is the opinion I need. which one of these three should I double up on and use as a stereo comp for rock music? the use would be on stereo drums, perhaps stereo vocals, and definitely on the mix (between the 2-track and the PC). thanks in advance.
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6th December 2005
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For Rock stuff 1176

I'd go for two 1176...they are very easy to use, a standart on vocals and cool on drums, on 2 buss I'd say soso... the thing is they all sound a little different, this can be the salt in the soap or to much salt depends on the units... I don't use a stereo link on 2 buss but I'd recommend it for stereo acoustic guitar tracking, so you may also buy the 1176-SA stereo adapter (it's a bit fiddly to use but it works well)... and very important: first try then buy.... good luck

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6th December 2005
Old 6th December 2005
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I like Distressors or a Fatso on drums
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6th December 2005
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if the stereo option is the 1176 I would just get an 1178.

I should also mention that I am usually trying to get quite a bit of gain reduction, something the cheapies usually don't do well.
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6th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
if the stereo option is the 1176 I would just get an 1178.
I don't get it??? Do you wanna double up or get an extra 2 buss compressor? There are much better 2 buss choices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
I should also mention that I am usually trying to get quite a bit of gain reduction
I thought as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
something the cheapies usually don't do well.
Not really, it depends on what sound you are after, actually there are very cool cheapies.
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6th December 2005
Old 6th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G
I don't get it??? Do you wanna double up or get an extra 2 buss compressor? There are much better 2 buss choices...


Andreas is right IME. The Distressor or Purple MC77 are good choices for individual tracks. The Purples are every bit as good as my vintage 1176's from 1973, maybe even a little more appropriate for vocals even. For two bus look at the Drawmer 1968, Roll Music Super Stereo RMS 755, Crane Song STC-8, pair of Crane Song Trakkers, Pendulum OCL-2, anything that links well. There were a few threads around here about two bus compression recently, but I think they left out some fundamental choices so explore deeply.
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Falken
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6th December 2005
Old 6th December 2005
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Thanks, Nathan.

Tampa Bay, Orlando, Sarasota, and Gainesville eh? that's a lot of places to be at once. The store is in tampa, right?

as to the double up vs stereo comp question...

I was looking to experiment with a couple high end comps for rock music, and I would like one of them to do stereo material, be it 2-linked or 1 stereo. an 1178 is just less expensive than two 1176's or two MC77's. Although I see myself using it on mono material most of the time, I would like a stereo option. however, if people seem to like the distressor, for example, better on stereo material, I would consider getting two of those and just an 1176. Either way I want two sounds and one to be stereo capable. I have a bunch of low-end compressors that can fill in the gaps. similarly, if people tend to prefer the la-2a sound on stereo material, I would consider getting an ADL 1500 instead of the 1000.

sorry if this was confusing. looking for two compressors total, one of them stereo. if that is the distressor (not likely but who knows) it would be the most expensive option because I would have to buy two.
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6th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
Thanks, Nathan.

Tampa Bay, Orlando, Sarasota, and Gainesville eh? that's a lot of places to be at once. The store is in tampa, right?

thumbsupWe're technically a studio more than a 'store' (there is no cash register or guys with polo shirts with our logo on it!)...the tracking room is in Plant City, and the main mix room is in Brandon, but you'd be surprised at how many people in Florida don't know where those two place are, so I listed the 4 places where I am the most (Central Florida is not Miami or Jacksonville LOL).
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6th December 2005
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Hi, I have the Focusrite Blue 230, I like it very much how my mixes sound, also I have an Amek 9098 CL it sound very transparent , I use it for drumd & vocals, please comments about this gear.
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6th December 2005
Old 6th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
thumbsupWe're technically a studio more than a 'store' (there is no cash register or guys with polo shirts with our logo on it!)...the tracking room is in Plant City, and the main mix room is in Brandon, but you'd be surprised at how many people in Florida don't know where those two place are, so I listed the 4 places where I am the most (Central Florida is not Miami or Jacksonville LOL).

Yep. I was in Tampa this summer and wanted to come check out the "store" - they told me I had to have an appointment, and they had no openings that week.....not really a "store" at all. Oh well, maybe this summer.........
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6th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
as to the double up vs stereo comp question...

I was looking to experiment with a couple high end comps for rock music, and I would like one of them to do stereo material, be it 2-linked or 1 stereo. an 1178 is just less expensive than two 1176's or two MC77's. Although I see myself using it on mono material most of the time, I would like a stereo option. however, if people seem to like the distressor, for example, better on stereo material, I would consider getting two of those and just an 1176. Either way I want two sounds and one to be stereo capable. I have a bunch of low-end compressors that can fill in the gaps. similarly, if people tend to prefer the la-2a sound on stereo material, I would consider getting an ADL 1500 instead of the 1000.

sorry if this was confusing. looking for two compressors total, one of them stereo. if that is the distressor (not likely but who knows) it would be the most expensive option because I would have to buy two.
OK, in this case my first take would be an 1178 and an ADL 1000, as its a nice complement and cool for rock stuff. Later on you may add a nice 2 buss comp. As for the distressor, you may also look at a used one, I think they are not sooo expensive any more, at least I'd check them... it's worth! And as for what the people say or prefer... that's only a starting point! You really should try all out! Who knows, maybe you'll do a really cool mix on a ADL1500 or a pair of distressor which are not known as the first choice for 2 buss. The big secret is to use them from the beginning of a mix... and I mean that especially when checking them out!!! Only then you'll compensate the lackings of a compressor by mixing and eqing (for example muddy lowmids) but keep the cool sonic signature for example in the uppermids/highs. I know that's a lot of comparison work but believe me it's worth, you'll have some surprises at the end of your work.

Andreas
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7th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NL5
Yep. I was in Tampa this summer and wanted to come check out the "store" - they told me I had to have an appointment, and they had no openings that week.....not really a "store" at all. Oh well, maybe this summer.........


I'm not surprised, I worked something like 60 consecutive days in the studio this last summer. It's a trade off. I have to work in the studio, I have to meet clients at their studios in other places for consultation & travel, so we can't be a 'walk in' store. I've had to fire two employees because they weren't able to give customer service at an "A+" level. Not to mention my Father in Law passed away at the beginning of Summer. So for anyone who feels slighted because I'm not able to have a same day/same week meeting, please give a ring a bit in advance. Thanks.
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18th December 2005
Old 18th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G
OK, in this case my first take would be an 1178 and an ADL 1000, as its a nice complement and cool for rock stuff. Later on you may add a nice 2 buss comp. As for the distressor, you may also look at a used one, I think they are not sooo expensive any more, at least I'd check them... it's worth! And as for what the people say or prefer... that's only a starting point! You really should try all out! Who knows, maybe you'll do a really cool mix on a ADL1500 or a pair of distressor which are not known as the first choice for 2 buss. The big secret is to use them from the beginning of a mix... and I mean that especially when checking them out!!! Only then you'll compensate the lackings of a compressor by mixing and eqing (for example muddy lowmids) but keep the cool sonic signature for example in the uppermids/highs. I know that's a lot of comparison work but believe me it's worth, you'll have some surprises at the end of your work.

Andreas
Thanks, Andreas.

Is it really better to "mix into" the compressor or is that just a personal thing you do? it seems like it would depend on what you are going for? like it probaly wouldn't be good for jazz but maybe that's how pop is done? It seems to me that this technique would be relatively new. I've never tried it.
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18th December 2005
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I'd go with a pair of Distressors. You'd probably want a pair that is calibrated for stereo, if not one of the stereo ones. 1176LNs are "no bueno" on the 2-buss. Out of the three comps you mentioned, the Distressor is the most versitile. I've never fallen out of love with mine for even a second. I want 6 more!
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18th December 2005
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1176, Drums, etc.

The 1176/1178 is/are good for drums if you use them on overheads with all the ratio buttons pushed in <i>if the tempo of the song isn't too fast</i>; otherwise the release time can't keep up with the drummer, and you just get mush.

Why do you want to compress the stereo bus?
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18th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioMoo
Why do you want to compress the stereo bus?
'Cause it sounds good.
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18th December 2005
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I agree with Nathan that the Purple MC77 is great for tracking sources. They are really worth considering! I also have several Distressors, while a lot of people say they are whatever you want them to be, I disagree. They are great tools with a good vibe but not the vintage color of the tools they are suposed to emulate; but still great. Purples, 1178 or Distressors OK by me!!
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18th December 2005
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now my process is to get my mix perfect; mix it loud to tape, and then bring it into the PC to burn (or skip the tape if the piece is only for me to listen to). I've been adding a bit of limiting on the PC but it just doesn't sound good. I think the 1178 might be the best option to put between the tape and the coverters.

I am curious what kind of attack and release is on the La-2a and why it would be the second choice for a rock setup; and not the distressor. which of these three would give the largest bass drum? which of these three would fix a singer's dynamics most transparently ? are any of these three pretty sounding? I certainly don't want any prissy sounding sparkly bullcrap.
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18th December 2005
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Need really low cost high-end and no compromise.
Drawmer 1968 ME 1800$ (or less) + TF Pro P38 1800 $ (or less)
It's hardly to beat this pair of stereo comps (VCA+opto) for 3500$.
Versatile, nice sounding, good for tracking, mixing, mastering.
Actually way much doughs necessary to get substantially more from comps nowdays.
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18th December 2005
Old 18th December 2005
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Here's a quick personal assesment of the compressors that you are considering plus a recommendation.
I own or have used all of these extensively.

You can't beat an 1176LN for an all around compressor.
It is a VERY versatile tool and I've probebly owned (or used daily) ten different ones!
The backface LNs are the quietest, but due to age they could maybe use a re-cap.
I had a blue stripe unit that I loved, too.
The later ones (suffix E onward?) have a differential amp instead of a transformer to convert the balanced input signal into an un-balanced signal.
There is a slight difference in sound due to the IC (a 3324) differential amp.

Because the 1178s were introduced after UREI went with the IC based differential input amp they have the 3324IC instead of a transformer.
It's not really a big deal though.

I personally didn't like the ADL unit.
I do like UA LA2s though.
Maybe it was the situation?
I wouldn't use an opto compressor on a stereo buss.
They color the sound too much IMO.

If you want to have a unit that works well as a stand alone compressor and is a great stereo buss compressor then get a Neve 33609!
I had a pair that I had to let go because they were mounted in a Neve 3128 console that was sold a package.... I miss it!
I had them AND two blackface 1176LNs and I used the 33609s more often.
Plus, 33609s are GREAT stereo buss compressors.
They are VERY versatile and they rock on rock stuff.
I don't know what the re-issues go for, but you should be able to get a used unit in the $2200.00 to $2400.00 range.
It would be money well spent!
You'd cover a lot of bases and have a very versatile piece.

I just mastered a project using two Neve 1073s, a GML 8200 and a 33609 and it just sounded so good!
For fun we tried an Alan Smart C2 and a Manley VariMu, but the 33609 won hands down.

Danny Brown
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18th December 2005
Old 18th December 2005
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thanks all.

is the amek 9098 compressor simillar to the 33609 ? I doubt I'll see a used 33609 anytime in the next 6 months.
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18th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falken
thanks all.

is the amek 9098 compressor simillar to the 33609 ? I doubt I'll see a used 33609 anytime in the next 6 months.

A resounding NO!!!to your first question.


And look on Ebay as a reply to your second comment.
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