The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
500 Series Vocal Compressor
Old 8th June 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

500 Series Vocal Compressor

Any suggestions for a 500 series compressor/ limiter used primarily for making sure vocals don't clip during recording? I mix ITB but want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time and not worry about ruining a vocal performance because of clipping in dynamic parts of the song.

Thanks
Old 8th June 2016
  #2
Old 8th June 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetothink View Post
Any suggestions for a 500 series compressor/ limiter used primarily for making sure vocals don't clip during recording? I mix ITB but want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time and not worry about ruining a vocal performance because of clipping in dynamic parts of the song.

Thanks
In reality, you very much want to clip the dynamic parts. You clearly stated it when you said, "[I] want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time".
Also, if you're driving your preamps, you run the risk of driving the input of all the other devices downstream of your pre. Using a compressor to "make sure vocals don't clip during recording" will not yield professional results.
Instead, try using appropriate gain staging to make sure your recordings dont clip or make sure you use an attenuator between the output of your mic pre and the input of the next device if you really want to distort your vocals without distorting anything else in your chain.
Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking.

Some might say that my thinking is too rigid and that recording is an art in itself and that a person should feel free to do whatever he or she wants. I agree. I also believe that people could live on nothing but tree bark and water, but why would you want to?
Old 8th June 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
In reality, you very much want to clip the dynamic parts. You clearly stated it when you said, "[I] want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time".
Also, if you're driving your preamps, you run the risk of driving the input of all the other devices downstream of your pre. Using a compressor to "make sure vocals don't clip during recording" will not yield professional results.
Instead, try using appropriate gain staging to make sure your recordings dont clip or make sure you use an attenuator between the output of your mic pre and the input of the next device if you really want to distort your vocals without distorting anything else in your chain.
Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking.

Some might say that my thinking is too rigid and that recording is an art in itself and that a person should feel free to do whatever he or she wants. I agree. I also believe that people could live on nothing but tree bark and water, but why would you want to?
Having blown all that hot air, I'll say that I love the Buzz Audio Essence. Im also really digging the Realios TLCompressor for light, transparent compression.
There is currently an Essence on the classifieds here for only $630 which is a total steal in my opinion.
Old 9th June 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
I have an Empress Effects Ecm 519 that has become my goto for tracking vox. The manual settings just seem to work and they employ 2 side chains to trigger compression, one faster to catch peaks and the other slower to level the signal. The Leviathan is cool but the ECM wins out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetothink View Post
Any suggestions for a 500 series compressor/ limiter used primarily for making sure vocals don't clip during recording? I mix ITB but want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time and not worry about ruining a vocal performance because of clipping in dynamic parts of the song.

Thanks
Old 9th June 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
Forgot to mention I got great results from a JLM La500 when it was in my possession.
Old 9th June 2016
  #7
From what I recall reading through quite a few "vocal tracking compressor"-threads here, there seems to be some favorite "flavors" here on GS...
On the top of my head these three seems to be the most popular:
LA2A-style
1176-style
2254/64-style

IGS offers both LA2A and 1176-flavors in their product range, but there are of course other manufacturers as well. For the Neve'ish sound I personally went for the AML 54f50.

Last edited by Slogun; 9th June 2016 at 01:40 PM..
Old 9th June 2016
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
Forgot to mention I got great results from a JLM La500 when it was in my possession.
This! This comp sounds fantastic and for those tracking ourselves damn near impossible to screw it up! My next purchase will be another to make a pair for bus work.
Old 9th June 2016
  #9
I enjoy the Retro Doublewide as a Vocal Compressor, but I like really smooth compression. Some people like snappy compression. I love smooth compression.
Old 9th June 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
This! This comp sounds fantastic and for those tracking ourselves damn near impossible to screw it up! My next purchase will be another to make a pair for bus work.
Second the JLM LA500,
but you might find the 99V opamp to be, well, character yes, but maybe not high end.
I use a OPA2604
Old 9th June 2016
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Second the JLM LA500,
but you might find the 99V opamp to be, well, character yes, but maybe not high end.
I use a OPA2604
It's a perfect complement to my Manley Elop and Vari Mu. And I like the red dots, 2520s or 1731s I use in my CAPI FC526s

Last edited by KevinNYC; 9th June 2016 at 05:54 PM..
Old 9th June 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
I have been working with a rapper lately,.. and out of boredom I moved from my elop/1176 path to a dbx 560A (just because I hadn't tried it on anything yet),..
The client and I agree it was the right choice.
I know it isn't that slutty,.. but you can get one for pennies and I would just say try it.


D
Old 9th June 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
 

JLM audio LA500 all day long
Old 9th June 2016
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Pred80r's Avatar
 

Heritage 2264jr

I used this once and it was amazing, I tried again last week and I think the routing through my juicebox 8 or the patch was off as it had issues. Once I get it working perfectly again I will report with details again about how amazing it is. I mean in reality it is supposed to be an emulation of the 1073 mic pre and the 2254 compressor in a 2 space 500 rack. It doesn't get much better than that does it?
Old 9th June 2016
  #15
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
In reality, you very much want to clip the dynamic parts. You clearly stated it when you said, "[I] want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time".
Also, if you're driving your preamps, you run the risk of driving the input of all the other devices downstream of your pre. Using a compressor to "make sure vocals don't clip during recording" will not yield professional results.
Instead, try using appropriate gain staging to make sure your recordings dont clip or make sure you use an attenuator between the output of your mic pre and the input of the next device if you really want to distort your vocals without distorting anything else in your chain.
Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking.

Some might say that my thinking is too rigid and that recording is an art in itself and that a person should feel free to do whatever he or she wants. I agree. I also believe that people could live on nothing but tree bark and water, but why would you want to?
Have to disagree plus you contradicted yourself..
I use a compressor to prevent clipping the input, so do a boatload of other people, prevents ruining a good take...
And yes to each his own..No doubt....
Old 9th June 2016
  #16
Gear Head
Looptrotter Emperor 500. It's fantastic if you're into 500 series gear, but theres not a lot of fine-tuning on it.
Old 9th June 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Have to disagree plus you contradicted yourself..
I use a compressor to prevent clipping the input, so do a boatload of other people, prevents ruining a good take...
And yes to each his own..No doubt....
How did I contradict myself?

Proper gain structuring prevents "ruining a good take" and it won't add more noise like adding a compressor will.
You're an electronics genius and I say that without any sarcasm at all; I own your 500 series compressor. I find it shocking that you have the opinion that you have.
Old 9th June 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
How did I contradict myself?

Proper gain structuring prevents "ruining a good take" and it won't add more noise like adding a compressor will.
You're an electronics genius and I say that without any sarcasm at all; I own your 500 series compressor. I find it shocking that you have the opinion that you have.
"Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking."

Reducing the dynamic range CAN prevent peaking or clipping..
It might not be the main reason SOME people use a compressor but it's a good thing, the limiting part...
No doubt some compressors add a LOT more noise than others, make up gain...
Plus; how does using a compressor during tracking will not yield pro results?
A singer with a WIDE dynamic range needs a compressor during tracking IMHO...

I helped an engineer buddy track a guy a while back that was SO soft on some parts I thought he was not even singing, plus before I inserted a compressor he could not be heard by anyone...during those soft parts..

No big deal, just because I build gear does not mean I use it like everybody..good or bad..Sorry for the comment.

Last edited by nosebleedaudio; 9th June 2016 at 11:50 PM..
Old 10th June 2016
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
"Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking."

Reducing the dynamic range CAN prevent peaking or clipping..
It might not be the main reason SOME people use a compressor but it's a good thing, the limiting part...
No doubt some compressors add a LOT more noise than others, make up gain...
Plus; how does using a compressor during tracking will not yield pro results?
A singer with a WIDE dynamic range needs a compressor during tracking IMHO...

I helped an engineer buddy track a guy a while back that was SO soft on some parts I thought he was not even singing, plus before I inserted a compressor he could not be heard by anyone...during those soft parts..

No big deal, just because I build gear does not mean I use it like everybody..good or bad..Sorry for the comment.
No need to apologize for expressing your thoughts.
I didn't say using a compressor during tracking will yield non-pro results. I said that using one to prevent clipping will. I never record vocals without electronic dynamic control but I ALWAYS practice conservative gain structuring which is what I was recommending in my initial post.
Old 10th June 2016
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
Having blown all that hot air, I'll say that I love the Buzz Audio Essence. Im also really digging the Realios TLCompressor for light, transparent compression.
There is currently an Essence on the classifieds here for only $630 which is a total steal in my opinion.
I second the Buzz Essence for tracking.
Old 10th June 2016
  #21
Another + for the JLM LA500, absolutely foolproof and adds a very subtle warmth.
Old 10th June 2016
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
In reality, you very much want to clip the dynamic parts. You clearly stated it when you said, "[I] want to be able to drive my preamps from time to time".
Also, if you're driving your preamps, you run the risk of driving the input of all the other devices downstream of your pre. Using a compressor to "make sure vocals don't clip during recording" will not yield professional results.
Instead, try using appropriate gain staging to make sure your recordings dont clip or make sure you use an attenuator between the output of your mic pre and the input of the next device if you really want to distort your vocals without distorting anything else in your chain.
Compressors are for altering/reducing dynamic range, not trying to keep a signal from peaking.

Some might say that my thinking is too rigid and that recording is an art in itself and that a person should feel free to do whatever he or she wants. I agree. I also believe that people could live on nothing but tree bark and water, but why would you want to?
Actually having a transparent comp after the preamp to jump on any signal that may otherwise nick 0dbfs is a great routine to get into, even if its not consistently triggering gain reduction. I fail to see how this will deprive the engineer of "professional results"?

Last edited by gt_jumper; 10th June 2016 at 03:42 AM.. Reason: cant spell
Old 10th June 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_jumper View Post
Actually having a transparent comp after the preamp to jump on any signal that may otherwise nick 0dbfs is a great routine to get into, even if its not consistently triggering gain reduction. I fail to see how this will deprive the engineer of "professional results"?
I no longer feel compelled to defend my position.
Keep doing what you're doing if it makes you happy.
Old 10th June 2016
  #24
My favourite 500 series compressors for vocals are the Anamod AM660 and the AML 54F50 (which is a 500 series 2254). I did a shootout thread somewhere...

...here it is: 500 series compressor fun
Old 10th June 2016
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
I no longer feel compelled to defend my position.
Keep doing what you're doing if it makes you happy.
Well if you are always defending your opinion, maybe your opinion isnt worth pushing onto others as gospel.
Old 11th June 2016
  #26
api 525 for every day use...Great River compressor for hardcore solid-state type duties.
Old 11th June 2016
  #27
Working on a project now where I am using the BAC 500 on lead vocals and The Brute on all backing vocals.
Its pretty sweet I think!
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump