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The Hardware Compressor & Limiter Comparison Thread (With Audio Files)
Old 13th February 2012
  #1
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ghostwriter's Avatar
The Hardware Compressor & Limiter Comparison Thread (With Audio Files)

Ronan Chris Murphy did a great review of the Analogue Tube AT-101 (Fairchild 670 recreation) on Ronan's Recording Show.

Analogue Tube AT-101. A new Fairchild 670 style variable bias compressor | Ronan's Recording Show

The music sample is by LA based duo called JIBILIAN/SETAR.
Check them out at http://www.garyjibilian.com/

I thought the music sample had great dynamics for demonstrating different compressors/limiters, while still being short enough to host the files on the Gearslutz server. So, with Ronan and the bands' permission, we have these files to play with.

Please download the Unprocessed WAV file and strap your favorite hardware compressor or limiter on it then upload the file. Please include the settings used.

Pendulum ES-8, Neve 33609, Anamod AM670, Chandler, etc…, lets try to get as many as possible. I think it will be a great way to compare the different comp/limiters on the same file.

Please adjust your levels to match -24 dB RMS and let's keep this to hardware examples only, since we can all download trials of the plugins.
Attached Files

Unprocessed.wav (7.49 MB, 17285 views)

Unprocessed.mp3 (1.13 MB, 16094 views)

Analogue Tube AT-101.wav (7.49 MB, 16157 views)

Analogue Tube AT-101.mp3 (1.13 MB, 15374 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #2
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ghostwriter's Avatar
Manley Var-Mu with 6386 tubes.
1-3 dB gain reduction
Compression Mode
Fastest attack
Recovery 12:00
HP SC Out
Unlinked

I went with settings that would show off that classic 6386 tube tone.
Listen to that beautiful kick air.

I personally would love to hear other variations of the Manley Vari-Mu with the same settings.
Anyone have a version with 5670 tubes with T-Bar Mod and one without?
Attached Files

Manley Variable Mu with 6386 Tubes.wav (7.53 MB, 16029 views)

Manley Vari-Mu 6386 tubes.mp3 (1.13 MB, 15442 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
ghostwriter's Avatar
Stereo Pair Retro Instruments 176.
1-3 dB gain reduction
Interstage Transformer On
Ratio 2:1
Slowest attack
Fastest release
Sidechain HP Off
Unlinked
Attached Files

Stereo Pair Retro 176.wav (7.53 MB, 16069 views)

Retro Instruments 176.mp3 (1.13 MB, 15337 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
ghostwriter's Avatar
Stereo Pair Distressors.
2-3 dB gain reduction
Ratio 2:1
Dist 2
Attack 4.5
Release 2.0
Unlinked
Attached Files

Stereo Pair Distressors.wav (7.53 MB, 15736 views)

Distressors.mp3 (1.13 MB, 14818 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #5
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Stereo Pair Distressors British Mode.
British Mode On
2 dB gain reduction
Ratio 6:1
Detector HP
Dist 2
Attack 4.5
Release 2.0
Unlinked
Attached Files

Distressor British.wav (7.53 MB, 15490 views)

Distressors British Mode.mp3 (1.13 MB, 14419 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
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SSL XLogic G-Series.
1-2 dB gain reduction
Ratio 2:1
Attack 10
Release: Auto
Attached Files

SSL G-Series.wav (7.53 MB, 15771 views)

SSL XLogic.mp3 (1.13 MB, 14921 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
ghostwriter's Avatar
API 2500.
1-2 dB gain reduction
Attack .1
Ratio 2:1
Release .25 s
Knee: Hard
Thrust: Loud
Type: New
Link 70%
Makeup Gain On and set to about 2
Attached Files

API 2500.wav (7.53 MB, 15598 views)

API.mp3 (1.13 MB, 15136 views)

Old 13th February 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
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AnaMod ATS-1 Analog Tape Simulator.
Not a compressor, but thought some people might still enjoy hearing it's compression qualities.
Machine Type: 351
Tape: GP9
30 IPS
All other dials at zero
Ref Level -6
VU meter peaks at 0

I have all the cards if there is a particular one you would like to hear.
Attached Files

AnaMod ATS-1.wav (7.53 MB, 15064 views)

ATS-1.mp3 (1.13 MB, 14372 views)

Old 14th February 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
GoldMember's Avatar
the at101 has a very nice 3D space.
too bad it does not have the Lat/Vert.

have some photos ?
xlogic or x-rack?

P.S. like EDM?
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/7193423-post45.html
Old 14th February 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
 
chrisjones's Avatar
 

TK Audio BC1
3-4 dB gain reduction
hpf: On
Ratio 4:1
Attack 10
Release: 100mS and Auto

Lynx Aurora 8, mogami cables...
Attached Files

TK Audio BC1 100mS.wav (7.53 MB, 15617 views)

TK Audio BC1 Auto.wav (7.53 MB, 15559 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
Here's the Obsidian with the same settings as your SSL since people like to compare those two.

Obsidian 500
Att: 10
Rel: Auto
Rat: 2:1
NO HPF
1-2 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used

Regards,
Frank
Attached Files

Obsidian 2 10 auto.wav (5.02 MB, 14456 views)

Obsidian 2 10 auto.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14826 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #12
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ionian's Avatar
Hitting the Obsidian a little more aggressively.

Att: 30
Rel: Auto
Rat: 4:1
HPF: 330 Hz
4-6 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used

Thanks,
Frank
Attached Files

Obsidian-4 30 Auto.wav (5.02 MB, 12642 views)

Obsidian-4 30 Auto.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14549 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #13
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Elysia Xpressor

Att: 80
Rel: 250
Rat: 2:1
SCF: 120 Hz
Auto Fast: ON
Log Rel: ON
3-4 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used
Attached Files

Xpressor-2 80 250.wav (5.02 MB, 12302 views)

Xpressor-2 80 250.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14545 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #14
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ionian's Avatar
Elysia Xpressor

Att: 60
Rel: 400
Ratio: 3:1
SCF: About 300 Hz
Auto Fast: ON
Log Rel: ON
GRL: 4 dB

When engaged, reduction was 7-9 dB but I used the Gain Reduction Limiter (GRL) to limit the amount of compression to 4 dB only so after 4 dB it let the transients through.

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used
Attached Files

Xpressor-3 60 400.wav (5.02 MB, 12380 views)

Xpressor-3 60 400.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14089 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #15
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Another Xpressor. This one's a bit pumpy on purpose since the Xpressor does that very well.

Att: 65
Rel: about 55
Rat: 5:1
SCF: 160
Auto Fast: OFF
Log Rel: ON

3-4 dB Reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used

There's a million possible settings, especially for the Xpressor. If there's any specific settings anyone wants to hear on the compressors I'm posting, feel free to post a request or PM me to keep the thread clean.

Regards,
Frank
Attached Files

Xpressor-5 65 55.wav (5.02 MB, 12294 views)

Xpressor-5 65 55.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14327 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #16
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SPL DYNAMAXX

Compress: 6
2-4 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used
Attached Files

SPL DYNAMAXX-6.wav (5.02 MB, 12371 views)

SPL DYNAMAXX-6.mp3 (1.14 MB, 14059 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #17
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SPL DYNAMAXX

A little more aggressive.

Compress: 8
Effect Comp: ON (Sets release to 60ms)
4-6 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used
Attached Files

SPL DYNAMAXX-8.wav (5.02 MB, 12200 views)

SPL DYNAMAXX-8.mp3 (1.14 MB, 13878 views)

Old 15th February 2012
  #18
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SPL DYNAMAXX

Compress: 7
Soft Limit: ON
2-4 dB reduction

Mogami Cables / Mytek 8x192 ADDA used
Attached Files

SPL DYNAMAXX-Limit 7.wav (5.02 MB, 11871 views)

SPL DYNAMAXX-Limit 7.mp3 (1.14 MB, 13787 views)

Old 7th May 2012
  #19
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SSL FXG384 gray face (file courtesy of adc004)
1-2 dB gain reduction
Ratio 2:1
Attack 10
Release: Auto

The Ghost
.
Attached Files

SSL FXG384.wav (7.65 MB, 14694 views)

SSL FXG384.mp3 (1.16 MB, 14346 views)

Old 13th May 2012
  #20
Gear Nut
 

maybe Im not qualified for this but for me........

like retro 176 , api 2500, british distressor.....
Old 17th May 2012
  #21
nms
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Good thread.. I'm looking forward to really checking these out. I'm taking my distressor to the grave but have been contemplating an SSL type (Serpent, C2, TKA) for a while now.

@ghost - As ionian did you should definitely add what converters were used for these so we know.

A gain matching strategy is essential for comparing these too. RMS matched perhaps.
Old 17th May 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
@ghost - As ionian did you should definitely add what converters were used for these so we know.
I used a Digi 192.

The Ghost
.
Old 18th May 2012
  #23
nms
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nms's Avatar
wow.. the kick really gets lost in the distressor clips once the track drops in. It sounds great on the drums before that. I'll run this through mine in the next couple days with different settings and see what I can get with it.

Sometimes these shootouts aren't so good due to the source choice but I think this is a good one with the right balance, detail, & quality.

We need to see a Serpent Audio SB4001 in there and an Alan Smart C2. For anyone who contributes, be mindful of settings that let the kick get washed out once it kicks in.

and yeah, sitting around talking and recycling hearsay on internet forums is bloody useless in comparison to proper testing!
Old 20th May 2012
  #24
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Chandler Zener (Custom Built with Carnhill/St. Ives Transformers)
Gain reduction: Needle Barely Moving
Input Gain: High
Limit Mode
Attack: 8
Release: 4 (Yellow)
Side Chain: 150
Dual Mono

The Ghost
.
Attached Files

Chandler Zener Side Chain.wav (7.49 MB, 14707 views)

Chandler Zener Side Chain.mp3 (1.13 MB, 14457 views)

Old 18th June 2012
  #25
jac
Gear Addict
 
jac's Avatar
Shadow hills mastering compressor

MYTEK DAC96 + MYTEK STEREOADC192 (on RME AIO pcie)
Vovox Direct Cables

Settings:

SHMC1
Optical Threshold 17
Optical Gain 17
Discrete Ratio 1.2
Discrete Attack 30
Discrete Threshold 14
Discrete Recover 1
Discrete Gain 3
Iron position
Sidechain filter IN
Reduction: 2 db on Optical, 1 db on Discrete

SHMC2
Discrete Ratio 2.1
Discrete Attack 30
Discrete Threshold 13
Discrete Recover 1
Discrete Gain 14
Nickel position
Sidechain filter OUT
Reduction: 1-2 db

SHMC3
Optical Threshold 20
Optical Gain 16
Steel position
Reduction: 3-5 db
Attached Files

SHMC1.wav (7.69 MB, 16315 views)

SHMC2.wav (7.69 MB, 15568 views)

SHMC3.wav (7.69 MB, 15600 views)

Old 18th June 2012
  #26
jac
Gear Addict
 
jac's Avatar
Empirical labs fatso el7

MYTEK DAC96 + MYTEK STEREOADC192 (on RME AIO pcie)
Vovox Direct Cables

Settings:

FATSO 1
Comp Buss
Input 6
Warmth 3
Tranny on
Output 3
Reduction 2-3 db

FATSO 2
Comp Buss + G.P.
Input 5
Warmth 3
Tranny off
Output 5
Reduction 5-7 db
Attached Files

FATSO 1.wav (7.69 MB, 15577 views)

FATSO 2.wav (7.69 MB, 15217 views)

Old 18th June 2012
  #27
jac
Gear Addict
 
jac's Avatar
MYTEK DAC96 + MYTEK STEREOADC192 (on RME AIO pcie)
Vovox Direct Cables

Settings:

IGS TUBECORE 1
-6 db switch off
Link switch off
Gain -30
Attack 0
Release 7
T-Hold 0
Output -2
Reduction 1-2 db

IGS TUBECORE 2
-6 db switch on
Link switch off
Gain -25
Attack 7
Release 0
T-Hold -12
Output -1.5
Reduction 3-4 db
Attached Files

IGS TUBECORE_1.wav (7.69 MB, 15389 views)

IGS TUBECORE_2.wav (7.69 MB, 15179 views)

Old 18th June 2012
  #28
jac
Gear Addict
 
jac's Avatar
MYTEK DAC96 + MYTEK STEREOADC192 (on RME AIO pcie)
Vovox Direct Cables

Settings:

IGS VOLFRAM 1
Input 32
Output 16
Attack 12
Release 12
Ratio 8:1
Reduction 4-6 db

IGS VOLFRAM 2
Input 36
Output 16
Attack 1
Release 12
Ratio SLAM
Attached Files

VOLFRAM 1.wav (7.69 MB, 15044 views)

VOLFRAM 2.wav (7.69 MB, 15017 views)

Old 18th June 2012
  #29
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ghostwriter's Avatar
Thanks for posting all of those, they all sound great.

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is a beast!!
I particularly liked the very first sample's settings.

The Ghost
.
Old 18th June 2012
  #30
Here for the gear
 
McKeen's Avatar
 

can't figure it out

Hi Guys,
Does anyone now how the VU meters on the Shadow Hills Equinox measures?
I just can't figure it out... where is 0.0 db?
Sounds OK but it looks weird...
If I play a mix right out on DAW 1-2 and it hits 0.0db in my PTHD10 straight out via the 192 (blue) via Dsub - Dsub..... It closes the green eye (VU) and goes over that somehow...
Talked to some guys the didn't know..... so I turn to the pro's here at gearslutz

I might look like fool now but I gotta ask....
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