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Limiter for the mix buss
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Ciozzi
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#1
21st May 2007
Old 21st May 2007
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Limiter for the mix buss

I'm searching for an hardware limiter for the mix buss. I've tried lots of plugs but I don't like them. I have an aphex dominator II wich I completely like for drum buss but when I use it as the final limiter on my tracks It makes the mix sound thin.

I was looking at the UA 2-1176. I never used it but I heard some samples. It's a great unit but at least for the moment It's completely out of my budget.

Any suggestion ?

Thanks in advice thumbsup
#2
21st May 2007
Old 21st May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciozzi View Post
I'm searching for an hardware limiter for the mix buss. I've tried lots of plugs but I don't like them. I have an aphex dominator II wich I completely like for drum buss but when I use it as the final limiter on my tracks It makes the mix sound thin.

I was looking at the UA 2-1176. I never used it but I heard some samples. It's a great unit but at least for the moment It's completely out of my budget.

Any suggestion ?

Thanks in advice thumbsup
Drawmer 1968 is a little closer to the Dominator than it is to the 2-1176 as far as price is concerned. Most others I can think of would either be about the same price as the 2-1176 (or more) or probably a step down in quality from the Dominator.

Maybe the Roll 755 Super Stereo compressor? I have absolutely no experience with it and very little knowledge about it, but here are a couple of threads about it in mix bus and/or mastering situations:

RMS755 "Super Stereo" compressor

RMS Super Stereo Compressor.. HEAR IT HERE
Ciozzi
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22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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Thanks for the reply beachhunt. Anyway it seems that there are no great alternatives in the price range I'm searching now. I have to wait and earn some more bucks.

Just to get some useful information out of this thread what do you think about:

-API 2500
-SSL G-Buss compressor
-Avalon AD 2044
-2 x distressor

Never tryed this gear before so any hint will be appreciated .

Actually I'm using the Waves L2 on the mix buss and what I dislike is the way it smashes the transient when pushed just a little bit harder than 2 or 3 db. On paper the API 2500 and the distressor seem to be the faster of the bunch... but are they fast enough to be a good alternative to the L2 ?
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22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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#5
22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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You can't go wrong with an SSL G comp
#6
22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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Pendulum ES 8

My favorite across the stereo bus
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22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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I'd say the SSL G Series for modern punch. The Fairman or a pair of Mercury 66 limiters for a classic sound. Thermonic Culture for a little bit of classic and modern.
#8
22nd May 2007
Old 22nd May 2007
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The API 2500 is great but you really need to spend the time to get to know this beast and then it delivers.

It won't win the race in the first few minutes but in time it will reveal its power through flexibility. You just have to get your head around it and the manual doesn't really help a lot.

Give it a go, but spend at least a week learning it as there are quite a few tricks it can pull.
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Ciozzi
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23rd May 2007
Old 23rd May 2007
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Ok guies, thanks for the suggestions. Any other user of the API2500 out there? The more I look at that... the more I like it.

What about the Distressor. Is that usable for mix buss duties ?
#10
23rd May 2007
Old 23rd May 2007
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yep.
using it with an NTP 179-400 limiter in front of it. I decided to sell that one, but keeping it a bit more, just for this purpose. Happy camper!
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#11
23rd May 2007
Old 23rd May 2007
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Solera

Just had a chance to try out Solera and A/B'd with L2 and Ozone limiter. It has a limiter in it which is much more musical to my ears. If you haven't tried this one, then you haven't tried one of the best plugs. In comparison L2 sounded really grainy and sounded like it was degrading the signal, Ozone didn't fair too much better either.

They have a demo version that you can try. Seriously, it's a bit complex, but you can just go to the presets and choose limiter. And besides you have a whole lot of other options that might come in handy to make the mix sound better than a limiter only.

Hardware might end up being the best for you, but this might raise the bar.
#12
23rd May 2007
Old 23rd May 2007
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api 2500 - for the mix buss

I had 4 compressors on test for the last 3 months: portico 5043, api 2500, drawmer 1968 and smart c2.

I kept the 2500 and portico.

The 1968 was great however.

The C2 was my least favorite of the 4.

The 2500, to my ears, was instantly pleasing, as was the 1968. The Portico had a subtler thing going on, that, it is true, goes deeper into the sound. I kept the portico because of the flexibility and it matched well with the 2500 (and my mic pres).

The C2 was obvious on the mix and I didn't like the sound.

Just an aside:
I would also recommend checking out the portico stereo field editor.

I'm new at the high end analog stuff, but I have been using plug-in technology since long before VST existed -- I was always more of a peformer / live sound guy (Age 12-30 roughly), preferring to play-out than to record -- there weren't many girls hanging out at recording studios ; )
I don't perform as much these days and have become much more interested in the recording/production end of things.

The analog equipment DOES sound MUCH better to my ears ... after years and years of scratching out recordings with syntrillium's cool edit pro, rebirth, my ensoniq pci card, my workstations and PLUG-INS, I can truly state with confidence that no plug in compressor has ever sounded as great as the 2500 (or even the RNC for that matter).

Again: the 2500 was the clear winner. The c2 was the clear loser.

Cheers
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23rd May 2007
Old 23rd May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
I had 4 compressors on test for the last 3 months: portico 5043, api 2500, drawmer 1968 and smart c2.

I kept the 2500 and portico.

The 1968 was great however.

The C2 was my least favorite of the 4.

The 2500, to my ears, was instantly pleasing, as was the 1968. The Portico had a subtler thing going on, that, it is true, goes deeper into the sound. I kept the portico because of the flexibility and it matched well with the 2500 (and my mic pres).

The C2 was obvious on the mix and I didn't like the sound.

Just an aside:
I would also recommend checking out the portico stereo field editor.

I'm new at the high end analog stuff, but I have been using plug-in technology since long before VST existed -- I was always more of a peformer / live sound guy (Age 12-30 roughly), preferring to play-out than to record -- there weren't many girls hanging out at recording studios ; )
I don't perform as much these days and have become much more interested in the recording/production end of things.

The analog equipment DOES sound MUCH better to my ears ... after years and years of scratching out recordings with syntrillium's cool edit pro, rebirth, my ensoniq pci card, my workstations and PLUG-INS, I can truly state with confidence that no plug in compressor has ever sounded as great as the 2500 (or even the RNC for that matter).

Again: the 2500 was the clear winner. The c2 was the clear loser.

Cheers
Since you experienced the API 2500 I would be very curios to know the behaviour of this compressor under extreme settings like short attact and low treshold.

I have for example a TFpro P38 and when I push the treshold low his effect become too evident.

I've seen that the 2500 has also lots of controls like Tresh Knee, Tone type and Detector thrust. Did you find them really effective ?
#14
15th June 2007
Old 15th June 2007
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I just picked up a pair of Distressors and have been running them through a bunch of tests.

So far they sound great for rock vocals, synth lead, synth bass, leads and pads.

I have not used them on guitar or bass or individually mic'd drums.

I WOULD NOT use the Distressors for the overall mix bus or even drum bus as someone mentioned above. They did something weird to the mix; similar to what the C2 does and I don't like it for what I'm doing these days.

However, the API is just so amazing. It does just the opposite in terms of ear bleeding. And the API just killed the Distressors on the drum mix bus. The 2500 just knows what to pull forward and push back and just butters up the sound. I was just kicking back running mix after mix of drums that I've recorded in the past. It was that nice. Wow. Everyone needs an API 2500.

I find the Portico 5043 OR API 2500 the best so far, for sitting on the entire mix. And the API 2500 the best on a drum mix.
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19th June 2007
Old 19th June 2007
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Just picked up an original SSL / Solid State Logic FX G384 mix bus compressor. I've been running it through my usual mix bus tests.

Just to get it out of the way, to my ears (and I just had them tested during my annual physical) the Smart C2 sounds NOTHING like this compressor. In fact, after running it through three different converters (apogee, i88x, ksp8) it consistently sounds quite similar to the API and not the Smart C2.

I've been A/B'ing the API and SSL for a few hours now. I set both with the just about the same settings -- difference being the release on the SSL is .6 and the API is .5. Both the threshold and make-up gain were eye balled for accuracy.

At the same level of compression (4-5db) the SSL was a little more open but not so snappy. The API was more crushed, but in a super sweet way on the drums ... it's like it knows where the drums are in the mix.

With the SSL the snare in particular was more forward and open but not as snappy ... so I guess it's whatever you are looking for. Snappier drums or not.

Also, the SSL low end was so very similar to the API -- running out of my Genelec speakers. I also patched in an 18' subwoofer loudspeaker ... pretty much the same bottom end.

So, in the end, the API 2500 and SSl FX G384 work quite nicely together.

I'm going to test them on just the drum bus next and see if the SSL does something else to the snap. But, to be clear, the API somehow makes the drums snappy in the mix, whereas the SSL does, but not so overtly.

The weirdest thing that I found or the most surprising, was when I patched the Portico 5012 instead of the DM2000 pre's on the i88x.
While the Neve was louder by 3db recorded, once I made up the gain in my DAW for the i88x, the i88x pre's were right there with the Portico in terms of body and overall resolution.

I just bought a Portico 5032 from MichaelT right here on Gearslutz which, with the EQ, is a whole different animal from the 5012. So, I'm thinking that if you want a single channel pre specifically for guitar or vox, you could quite comfortably use the i88x pre's for stereo applications like synths etc.

So, I guess what I am saying is, if you are a small studio, recording hobbyist or are on a tight budget, I would say the i88x should be counted as good pre's and quite usable at least from my limited tests. So there you go i88x people ; )
#16
5th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
The weirdest thing that I found or the most surprising, was when I patched the Portico 5012 instead of the DM2000 pre's on the i88x.
While the Neve was louder by 3db recorded, once I made up the gain in my DAW for the i88x, the i88x pre's were right there with the Portico in terms of body and overall resolution.

I just bought a Portico 5032 from MichaelT right here on Gearslutz which, with the EQ, is a whole different animal from the 5012. So, I'm thinking that if you want a single channel pre specifically for guitar or vox, you could quite comfortably use the i88x pre's for stereo applications like synths etc.

So, I guess what I am saying is, if you are a small studio, recording hobbyist or are on a tight budget, I would say the i88x should be counted as good pre's and quite usable at least from my limited tests. So there you go i88x people ; )
What are you monitoring with? If this comparison is true, maybe I'll get a new mic instead of that Great River pre...
#17
8th July 2007
Old 8th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Marrvel View Post
What are you monitoring with? If this comparison is true, maybe I'll get a new mic instead of that Great River pre...

Genelec 8032 and a second loudspeaker rig JBL g2 with B-52 ACT18 sub.

Yeah, it's pretty cool. I've been running all sorts of trance/techno stuff through the i88x pre's and then on to the API 2500 and SSL G384 and loving it.

The 5012 was a great unit to use, but I just couldn't justify keeping it with what I was hearing. The i88x pre's have enough gain to hit the compressors which is where my ears are hearing the character.

Everybody has different opinions I suppose.

When I can afford it, I do plan to pick up a second 5032 which will most likely replace the i88x pre's, but until then, I am very pleased with i88x amps.
#18
8th July 2007
Old 8th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciozzi View Post
Ok guies, thanks for the suggestions. Any other user of the API2500 out there? The more I look at that... the more I like it.

What about the Distressor. Is that usable for mix buss duties ?
I've been using the 2500 for 2 weeks now mixing and I really like it! the Manley variMu has been sitting around resting a lot lately.
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#19
8th July 2007
Old 8th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciozzi View Post
but are they fast enough to be a good alternative to the L2 ?

No they are not. The L2 is a digital brickwall limiter, the others you mention are not brickwall limiters and thus will still allow peaks to pass, the Dominator is sort of similar though still not like an L2, for a great analog peak limiter try the Pendulum PL2 i'ts still not an L2 though is extremely fast and neutral from reports, I have not tried it but those who have usually love it.

So if your expecting brickwall limiting out of any of these units think again as you will most likely be dissapointed, if your looking for a great compressor then these units are superb and will make you happy.

Do you want a peak limiter or great compressor? Leave the brickwall stuff for software. L2 has no place on a stereo mix buss anyway, should always be left for the last stage of mastering.
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