Originally Posted by dokushoka
Craig, in my opinion they're not really worth it. Really a one trick pony and its a trick easily achieved with many other cheaper/better boxes if you look around and can be creative.
I have a symetrix compressor/limiter where if you engage the limiter section and clip the make up amp (you'll need something to pad down its output) you can do the trashy, distorted room mic thing much more effectively...
In my experience (with the Drewtronics Sherlock clone), the LevelLoc does something different than standard issue trashy distorted sounds. One big difference is the release time - it's pretty slow. If you run a drum mic through a stomp box, you get a thick/continuous wall of fuzz. The LevelLoc, in contrast, sucks a loud transient down to a tiny blip, waits a sec, then whooshes the gain back up. The result is not a continuous wall of fuzzed/limited sound, but a kind of delayed blooming of whatever ambience is hanging in the room. I believe this release time varies by how hard you're hitting it, but it's not a directly controllable parameter.
Whether it's "worth it" or not is another matter entirely... and yes it is a one trick pony. You could kind of emulate one with a limiter, maybe with a delay (50% wet) on the sidechain to emulate the delayed release effect. Just setting a long release time wouldn't do the trick, b/c it holds it down for a bit, then whooshes up rather quickly (shortish release time). Adding a delayed signal to the sidechain would keep the limiter mashed down in reduction for longer.