Originally Posted by Tube World
Question about the use of this compressor; Is it best used on a 2 bus to control things and add punch, or best used like a Pend, Manley, and Avalon compressor where you just hit about up to -2db on the master bus to just gel things and add a little character to the mix? If you say it can be used in both situations fine, but which one do you use it for more?
Obviously a SSL, Nail or standard Portico compressor is best suited for a 2 bus. Then the comp's for gentle finishing touches are the comps listed above.
For most things in a mix I'm on a low ratio in RMS, hitting anything 1-4 dB. That suits most of what comes through the door here, but when I get a heavy guitar band I might go to NL and hit it 6 dB. Usually I'm looking for 'gel', 'tightening', and 'framing', without smashing anything, leaving things relatively open.
I have run two FCS in series before (on a session requiring a live mix as final), one set low ratio RMS for light tightening, and the second run 12:1 NL as a peak eraser. I found no objectionable artifacts in that case, and was able to deliver a high level live mix with finished sounding presence, and no worries about the FCS chain sounding like I'd done too much in the quest for one-shot loudness.
I use FCS pieces during tracking, and they tend to be my first choice, after 4 years of using them. They consistently deliver good results, with no processing accidents if pushed harder than expected. I can set them to be invisible, or as obvious peak erasers that almost invert the envelope.
I have experimented with any and all of the extremes of FCS devices, and found it's very hard to get it to misbehave. You could forget to look at the meters, and run a mix at 4:1 RMS hitting -12 dB into compression, and not find it falling apart.
There are a ton of processing samples based around the same drum loop in the FCS P4 DMS thread link below, every extreme of the device. While not the same device, still fairly representative of the range of the P3S family. FCS P4 Dual Mono / Stereo Compressor