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Alan Smart C1 or C2 for stereo buss?
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Solunaris
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#1
3rd May 2006
Old 3rd May 2006
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Alan Smart C1 or C2 for stereo buss?

Looking to get the rock stereo buss comp. So far it looks like the C2 is gonna be the one but I'm still not positive. I heard it's just more versatile. Never heard the C1 though.
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3rd May 2006
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Nothing leaves our studio without the C2 on the buss. It makes the mix sound 'expensive'.
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3rd May 2006
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Why not an SSL G FX 384?

If you want that "expensive" sound, then it's that SSL sound.

I have both, by the way, so I'm just aying, I'd put that in the mix (no pun intended).

Acutally, while we're at it... Anyone prefer the orignal SSL G384 over the C2 around here?

-a

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Oh...

And by the way, the C1 was supposed to be the SSL G 384, the C2 is similair , but a different animal slightly, so it depends on the sound you want.

I'd say the C2 is more high-fi and the C1 is more of that classic SSL sound.

-a
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I had the chance to compare the C1, the C2 and the SSL in my studio, albeit briefly. I preferred the C1 - slightly - but could have happily lived with any of them on the 2-buss.
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I'm actually more a fan of the C1 on the mix buss than the C2.

Above all of them I prefer the G384.

Of course, I wouldn't kick any of these out of bed, but you asked for opinions so...
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Solunaris
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What do you like the C2 for?
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20th June 2007
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I found the crush mode not good at all on the mix or the drum bus, but perhaps it works well while tracking individual instruments.

Also, the Smart C2 doesn't sound anything like an original SSL FX G384 to my ears. Maybe the C1 sounds closer. And, in fact, the C2 was my LEAST favorite when I sat it next to the Portico 5043, Drawmer 1968 and API 2500. I returned it.

Of the comps that I own my favorite mix bus compressors are the API 2500 and SSL G384. I'm recording rock, dance, metal and electro.

The API has a snappier sheen-like silky high frequency thing when pushed hard and the SSL has a punchy sheen-like siky mid frequency thing. The API is dessert and the SSL a meal, if that makes sense.
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20th June 2007
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Guys quick question... Most Mastering Facilities dont like any 2 buss compression on the mixes they get...Limits their choices...

Are you guys just using them for in House mastering jobs? or are they going out that way all the time.. if so, do the MAstering facilties complain?
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20th June 2007
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How about the Roll 755 Super Compressor? How does it stack up against the others your mentioning?
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20th June 2007
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FWIW I dig the C2 on drum bus work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Guys quick question... Most Mastering Facilities dont like any 2 buss compression on the mixes they get...Limits their choices...

Are you guys just using them for in House mastering jobs? or are they going out that way all the time.. if so, do the MAstering facilties complain?
I think 2mix dynamics is all about nuance and subtlety. Never heavy handed use....Unless its a hiphop mixtape
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20th June 2007
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For most things I use some form of bus compression. Over the last 5-6 years I have gone (primarily) from a smart C2 to a Cranesong to Portico 5043 to Smart C1.

Hands down the C1 is my permanent bus comp. I have no desire to change again. It mostly sits on the same settings, I rarely look at it. When I'm finishing a mix I look over and the needles are being tickled. It does more to the mix in an effortless way than all of the others IME.

I hadn't worked on a C1 before, but heard good things (as I did with the stc8 i hated). I bought it from Vintage King simply because it was an open box and cheaper than the C2 and knew that I really didn't need the "crush" and was hoping that the lack of output transformers wasn't going to be a big deal....

I always liked the C2, but was looking to see if grass was greener on some other side. I moved to cranesong stc8 and never ever enjoyed working with it or got it. If a mastering engineer had to compress, that would probably be the stuff I would want him/her to put on. I'm compressing mostly for tone/glue/snap, not level control. It was NOT was I looking for.

Moved to portico. Liked it a lot and used it a lot, but I seemed to always fight some upper mid harshness and (to me it seemed) there was a really small sweet spot of the attack speed. Too fast and it really clamped, too slow and things got a bit pointy.

The C1 came in and I haven't had to think about it at all. I just finished a thirteen song mix on an album and it was a pleasure to work on not having to fuss with settings from song to song.

Now if money were hypothetically no object, I still think I would now choose the C1. I always remembered the C2 being a slight bit more touchy and grabby, but still very very pleasant. I've always heard the hi-fi reference as well. When I think of something as more hi-fi, i think of a lot more open top and bottom and clarity....and I don't think that the C1 is "Not hi-fi" for a second. I'm not missing any top or bottom (to my knowledge)
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20th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Guys quick question... Most Mastering Facilities dont like any 2 buss compression on the mixes they get...Limits their choices...
where do you get that impression from?

And C2 btw to the OP - the S/C feature is essential !
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20th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_hti View Post
I hadn't worked on a C1 before, but heard good things (as I did with the stc8 i hated). I bought it from Vintage King simply because it was an open box and cheaper than the C2 and knew that I really didn't need the "crush" and was hoping that the lack of output transformers wasn't going to be a big deal....

Now if money were hypothetically no object, I still think I would now choose the C1. I always remembered the C2 being a slight bit more touchy and grabby, but still very very pleasant. I've always heard the hi-fi reference as well. When I think of something as more hi-fi, i think of a lot more open top and bottom and clarity....and I don't think that the C1 is "Not hi-fi" for a second. I'm not missing any top or bottom (to my knowledge)
The C2 doesn't have output transformers. It has a discrete balanced output stage, which the C1 does not. There are other differences that you can check out on the Smart Research website.

As far as the C2 being 'grabby', it really depends on how you are using the thing, and what ratio you are using. If you are using the 'what I would use on an SSL' settings then you are going to get a different sound than you would expect. For me, I have found that the 1.5:1 ratio reacts a lot more like the SSL [or C1] 2:1 than the 2:1 on the C2.

cheers,
john
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20th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post
The C2 doesn't have output transformers. It has a discrete balanced output stage, which the C1 does not. There are other differences that you can check out on the Smart Research website.

As far as the C2 being 'grabby', it really depends on how you are using the thing, and what ratio you are using. If you are using the 'what I would use on an SSL' settings then you are going to get a different sound than you would expect. For me, I have found that the 1.5:1 ratio reacts a lot more like the SSL [or C1] 2:1 than the 2:1 on the C2.

cheers,
john
your info makes complete sense. I'm about 99% sure that Jeffrey told me the c2 had output transformers. It makes sense that it doesn't. I will have a look at the site.

I seemed to remember living on 2:1 or 3:1 a lot with 10 or 30 attack instead of a 1 or 3...and always as fast as a release as i could get away with

I still like the c1, other than not having detents. I never used the s/c
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21st June 2007
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I just got a c1 and I have had it on 2 mixes just kissing 2db of reduction - holy moly - it is really soooooo good. Just right - tight - smooth and punchy. My new favorite toy.
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21st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnyc View Post
I just got a c1 and I have had it on 2 mixes just kissing 2db of reduction - holy moly - it is really soooooo good. Just right - tight - smooth and punchy. My new favorite toy.
I really love my C1 too. Chose it over the C2 after a/b-ing the 2. I do find that I want a little EQ after it (or sometimes before) to bring the sparkle/top end aggressiveness back... but I really love it. I also just set it and forget it pretty much.

I do mostly rock, hard rock, pop, etc.

jmtc
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21st June 2007
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C1/C2

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard View Post
Looking to get the rock stereo buss comp. So far it looks like the C2 is gonna be the one but I'm still not positive. I heard it's just more versatile. Never heard the C1 though.
I initially bought a C2 and loved it so much I grabbed a C1 when it came up second hand. The C2 has side chain and a crush feature both of which are really useful (not usually on the mix bus) the C1 sounds a bit chunkier to me and always sits accross the mix in series with an old version Vari-mu and GML 8200. The C1/Vari-mu is a really nice combination.

Cheers
J
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21st June 2007
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Nice to see the C2 being talked about again!

Every other thread used to be about a C2 but I've not seen it mentioned for ages.

I switch mine between the drum and 2 buss. Crush/limit is nice on drum room mics. Never really tried it on anything else.
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21st June 2007
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C2 is really great. I've got 2, one for drum submixes and the other for either 2buss or other tracks. C1 I used but I like to have Crush for the drums so...
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one thing i dig about the C2 is the output pin selector on the back - i regularly go between an otari and a sony mix deck, so it's nice not to have to think about different cables. does the C1 have this as well?

i wouldn't miss crush, but sidechain is pretty key, haha.
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I can't imagine life without two things:

1) my C2

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I had a C-1 for quite a while... sold it and got the C-2 for the "crush" function... since I've been using the Dramastic Audio "Obsidian" the C-2 rarely gets used for much more than things like ancillary percussion tracks.

Between the "skull" ratio, the "auto release" and the "lo-fi" release I can make the "Obsidian" as aggressive or as transparent I deem to be required by the song I'm working on... and over all the audio from the "Obsidian" is just clearer and less grainy than the audio from either Smart Research unit [which is miles clearer than the SSL Logic FX G384!!].

Peace.
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21st June 2007
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Always remember to use the C2 in dual mono on the 2-buss BTW. CRAZY how much of a big difference it makes
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And if you can, get two of them and use one channel from each . . . the bomb!!!

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22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I had a C-1 for quite a while... sold it and got the C-2 for the "crush" function... since I've been using the Dramastic Audio "Obsidian" the C-2 rarely gets used for much more than things like ancillary percussion tracks.

Between the "skull" ratio, the "auto release" and the "lo-fi" release I can make the "Obsidian" as aggressive or as transparent I deem to be required by the song I'm working on... and over all the audio from the "Obsidian" is just clearer and less grainy than the audio from either Smart Research unit [which is miles clearer than the SSL Logic FX G384!!].

Peace.
You can always tell when Fletcher is pimping a new product
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22nd June 2007
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22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
one thing i dig about the C2 is the output pin selector on the back - i regularly go between an otari and a sony mix deck, so it's nice not to have to think about different cables. does the C1 have this as well?

i wouldn't miss crush, but sidechain is pretty key, haha.
Just a note about those pin lifts -- you should not use them unless you have to. If your mix deck has a balanced or/and transformer input, you shouldn't need them at all. The whole point of them being there is to stop the low side from driving ground if you are using the thing in an unbalanced situation, and the low side is tied to audio ground. When you lift one of the pins, you lose about half of the possible output, which you make up by using the output gain knob.

Cheers,
John
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Quote:
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Just a note about those pin lifts -- you should not use them unless you have to. If your mix deck has a balanced or/and transformer input, you shouldn't need them at all. The whole point of them being there is to stop the low side from driving ground if you are using the thing in a unbalanced situation, and the low side is tied to audio ground. When you lift one of the pins, you lose about half of the possible output, which you make up by using the output gain knob.

Cheers,
John
i discovered them when mixing to an Otari MX5050 - i flipped both switches and the output level was much better. i then learned that Otari decks are wired Pin2-Hot... ?
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22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I had a C-1 for quite a while... sold it and got the C-2 for the "crush" function... since I've been using the Dramastic Audio "Obsidian" the C-2 rarely gets used for much more than things like ancillary percussion tracks.

Between the "skull" ratio, the "auto release" and the "lo-fi" release I can make the "Obsidian" as aggressive or as transparent I deem to be required by the song I'm working on... and over all the audio from the "Obsidian" is just clearer and less grainy than the audio from either Smart Research unit [which is miles clearer than the SSL Logic FX G384!!].

Peace.
I don't know anyone who uses an "SSL" type of buss compressor for its clarity.
If that were the case, there would be tons of better options than any that you listed.
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