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favourite accoustic gtr compressors?
Old 13th October 2002
  #1
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

favourite accoustic gtr compressors?

As i sit here wastimg time and listening to a nice accoustic CD by UK group Turin Brakes 'The Optimist' which i skinda lieka new age Neal young crossed with stax of different influences. It reminded me that i have a project coming up soon... and it will involve a few accoustic gtrs. I have not recorded one of them for years and was looking for some feedback or ideas as to what ppl seem to think are decent sounding comrpessors/limiters for accoustic gtrs. I have my mics sorted out as well as preamps.

Mics will be:

Neumann Km84
Neumann FET 47
AKG c12a

Preamps:
Shep Sn8 (neve 1084 rippoffs)
Ward Becks.

My main compressor that i am suingthese days is a locally made FET 1175/LA2A solid state job which sounds great on most hing but may not be flexible enuf for this job. POreviusly i have used Neve 2264's and they are great but VERY dark sounding compared tot he brighter 2254's. Also i heard some dakings a few yrs awhich i loved but there are none in OZmadd ..

Sp ppls lets hear it pls!

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 13th October 2002
  #2
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hey Wiggsly,

Kinds off topic but... Actually very OT...

Regarding your home grown audio guys, have you heard this of this particular fella?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...item=913133993

Good luck with the acoustics.

And let me know how the Wards work out.

R.
Old 13th October 2002
  #3
I read a special about Country music in Mix mag. One top engineer interviewed said he used; a pencil valve Neuman a focusrite 215 and an SSL (outboard model) compressor on 'automatic'. I happened to have all that to hand at the studio I was working at and you know... It sounded DAMN GOOD!

Old 13th October 2002
  #4
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Betsey...

I dont know this guy... hes from Sydney which is up tha road bit ..like 1500km...lol.. But there is one dude.. Dave Peach who makes awesome preamps in Sydney.. but this guy aint him!!!!!

ill try and dig up a web address .. for u!

The guy i was talking about B4 who is in Melbourne makes a tube compressor that is awesome and like u can do 30dB GR and not even hear it!

RE: WB they are being racked and powered so when they are ready ill let u know... (dont worry Kev.. the SHEPs will kik arse so there is no pressure!)

thanx for the tip Jules... will keep it in mind..

this will also be the frist project for my new eMAC/Mbox combo which im getting soon.... this tape slut is finally losing his oxide coating! lol

PEACE
Wiggyyuktyy
Old 13th October 2002
  #5
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davemc's Avatar
 

Hey Wiggy,

Just sent you that ebay listing a moment ago myself.
Depending on when you are doing it, you could borrow the 1969 if ya like. Or my Buzz dual pre the best for acoustics.
Or if you can swing them for a weekday, you can borrow the whole studio, and try the U99 which you have been dying too...

Yeah those peach pres look nice, but I am going through my be good no more gear period. Have you heard them in person everything audio tech reviews is great.
Old 13th October 2002
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Those thin, white Jim Dunlop picks are the best sounding acoustic guitar compressors ever made. You cannot play loud with them. These things can even out the levels of any player. They are cheap too. They tend to bring out a little more pick noise though.

An 1176 with the attack turned all the way left (but not to the off position) and the release turned all the way right is a great sounding acoustic compressor. I use the Alan Smart quite a bit as well. I still prefer the Jim Dunlop white picks when I can get by with it.
Old 13th October 2002
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 

I'll typically cut acoustics with a either a pair of KSM 44's (preferred) or Neumann KM-184's, depending on whoat's not being used elsewhere. I've got to send the Neumann's back for repair next week, so I may substitute a pair of AKG 180's, unless the THE 25mm mics show up like they're supposed to.

I'll either use Manley 40dB preamps or a Great River MP-2 (again, unless thgey're being used elsewhere, in which case, I'll use the preamps in the D&R console). I'll almost always use a Manley ELOP when tracking, and my default mix chain is a Millennia TCL-2 and an NSEQ.

I always make the first acoustic pass with two mics, and if I need to do a second acoustic pass, I'll simply take one of the two channels out of record and run the song again to get the second pass.

As far as placement, I've gotten to where I'll either to an XY about 18 inches in front of the guitar (if I'm using small diaphragm mics) or I'll point one mic around the 12th fret and the other at about the level of the player's nose, and pointing down at the guitar from a foot or so back. Pan hard left and hard right, position for phase, then EQ to taste
Old 13th October 2002
  #8
For tracking:DBX 160SL,Vari-MU, RCA comp,Tubetech CL1B. When mixing acoustics these days: Distressors,LA3a, Neve 32264a,DBX 160SL or Buzz comp. For mixing stereo guitars I like stereo comps where I can compress differently on each sides, and get a shifting image.
Old 13th October 2002
  #9
Re: favourite accoustic gtr compressors?

Wigs,


You think that 2264's sound darker than 2254's? Wow sounds like your 2264's may need to be recapped. The 2254's are much darker than the 2264's which makes them less versatile. Their great for "darkening" bright instruments like "shrilly" female vocals or "thin sounding" strings. I think the 2264/32264a are the most versatile comps on the planet next to the Distressors and 1176's. With the right EQ they sound great on everything.



Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
. POreviusly i have used Neve 2264's and they are great but VERY dark sounding compared tot he brighter 2254's

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 13th October 2002
  #10
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Dave wrote

I always make the first acoustic pass with two mics, and if I need to do a second acoustic pass, I'll simply take one of the two channels out of record and run the song again to get the second pass.
Hey Dave,

I don't quite understand when you say you take one ch. out of record and run the song to get the second pass. Do you mean you're recording with one of the two mics on the 2nd pass?

I guess I'm confused about why you wouldn't record with both mics again for a 2nd pass.. but I'm likely misreading it.

If this is the case, how do you choose which mic to get the second take with?
Old 13th October 2002
  #11
Fav Acoustic Guitar comp?

Crane Song Trakker...color or clean, always hi-fi.
Old 13th October 2002
  #12
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax


Hey Dave,

I don't quite understand when you say you take one ch. out of record and run the song to get the second pass. Do you mean you're recording with one of the two mics on the 2nd pass?

I guess I'm confused about why you wouldn't record with both mics again for a 2nd pass.. but I'm likely misreading it.

If this is the case, how do you choose which mic to get the second take with?
Sorry - this is another one of those things I do without thinking about it, therefore, writing about it can be a little strange to explain without leving something out.

If I only put one acoustic on a song, it's stereo. If I want to double the acoustic rhythm guitar, I'll take two mono passes. The reason I set it up like I explained is because since the two mikes are panned hard left and right in the headphones, on the first pass, the guitarist is hearing himself in stereo. When I make the second pass, he'll hear the first pass on one side and the current pass on the other. (That helps him to lock in with the first pass - if you can't tell which guitar is the one that you're playing live and which is on tape, it can be hard to lock in...). So I don't have to move a knob or a microphone for the second pass.

If I were to take both passes in stereo (and mix them panned hard left and right), then essentially, I'd have two mono guitars panned center in the mix. This way, there is some separation. As it works out, the mic closesst to the 12th fret is a bit brighter than the other, and the one pointing at the body is a bit fuller. When I'm doubpling acoustics, it doesn't really matter which mic I use on the second pass (though I'll usually take the body mic on the second pass, for no reason), since the end result will be two guitars with a little bit different sound in the final mix.

The real point of the exercize is that I don't have to do anything to double the acoustic except hit rewind, take one channel out of record, and then press play and record again. It saves time and energy.
Old 13th October 2002
  #13
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drundall's Avatar
 

I've always used the LA2A or Tube Tech for tracking, but Thrillfactor, I'll try out the 160SL next time, thanks for the tip.
Old 13th October 2002
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 

I use the el-ops in my DVC.
Old 14th October 2002
  #15
dfegad El-Op compressors of most any type are horrible on acoustic to my ears. The only one that I have been happy with is the Pendulum...it's not just a tone issue it's the fact that they are all program dependent. The Pendulum is program dependent, RMS, or peak...not your usual mortal Opto compressor! For me it's a Trakker or specifically a Pendulum Variable-Mu which IMO is the best sounding version on the market (the lows are extremely tight right out of the box).
Old 14th October 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 

For acoustics, your favorite mic, Focusrite 215 with a touch of air at 12K and a TubeTech CL1B with a wee slow attack and pretty quick release.

Beyond that, it's in the instrument and the fingers For recording, I'm digging Taylors these days.


BT
Old 14th October 2002
  #17
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT

Beyond that, it's in the instrument and the fingers For recording, I'm digging Taylors these days.

I'm recording them a lot, but I can't say that I'm digging them - for most things, gimme an old D-18...
Old 14th October 2002
  #18
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Taylors seem to be a popular choice nowadays. There are three of them in the studio at this moment being tracked with a C800G, 451 CK1s, KM84s.

I don't usually compress strumming acoustic gits when tracking, though I might use a CL1B, 1176 or distressor on a solo or picked part.

On mixdown, the SSL channel comps work great on acoustic gits.

Distressors, which are polyvalent but my first choice on very few things...sound pretty good on acoustic gits IMO. Still, I usually just save them for smashing room mics...and throw the SSL channel comps on the acoustic gits.

An 1178 can work, as can an SMC2B, but I'd personally save them for other things in the mix.
Old 14th October 2002
  #19
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Curious G's Avatar
 

well I'll be a monkeys' uncle!
Old 14th October 2002
  #20
Darian when you do, use very low ratios(between 1:5-1 and a high threshold). You've probably have noticed that the 160SL sounds better when you don't over do it right?



Quote:
Originally posted by drundall
I've always used the LA2A or Tube Tech for tracking, but Thrillfactor, I'll try out the 160SL next time, thanks for the tip.
Old 14th October 2002
  #21
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e-cue's Avatar
 

A good Gates Sta-Level kicks total ass on Acoustic Guitar.
Old 14th October 2002
  #22
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Thanx Everyone for ur replies!

I am even thinking of using an RNC.... altho i ahve used one briefly b4 it was not on accoustic.. suffice to say i liked it a lot, so perhaps it will do the trick after my custom FET LA2A/1176 hybrid

Was in @ the studio today, and they were funnily enuff recording accoustics and they sounded good...

AKG 414 --> 1073 --> LA2A --> distressor on light ratio to pull in peaks no more than 2dB GR.. was kinda nice..

e-Que.... i only know of one STA in OZ.. and its certainly not moving outa my mates studio... thats for sure! i have allwyas been kinda curious.. are they really a poor mans Fairchild like an RCA Ba6a?

Thrill.... ill chek out them 2264's next time i talk to tech... if he can get off his freakin sorry ass.... There are 2 in the console, and i agree they are fantastic on most things... cos they are vertical and dual concentric layout they can be a bit of a mind fuck to gret aorund using etc, but well worth it. I like them on snares, drum ambience, vocals and electric gtr for PHAT rythms and searing electric lead tones..... btw u being MR compressor or seemingly having every desirable comrepessor that i lust over. can u give me the detailed differences in your humble opinion between the 2264 and the 33609?... Shep do a ripp of the 2264/32264 which they claim last time i spoke to Derek 'Neve God' was kinda very similar to 33609?.... pls elaborate? I mean i have their 1073/1084 ripp of whcih is every bit as good as 1073 IMHO so i am wondering if its worhwhile me investigating their compressor as a 'swissarmy knife' comrpessor for most things?

Also i think i am just going to borrow my mates Buzz optical compressor as it was fast enoug to cope with things last time i checked it out! how do u find ur buzz in that role?

thanx

PEACE
Wiggy
yuktyy
Old 14th October 2002
  #23
Hey Wigs,

The 2264,32264a and the 33609 all have the same circuit(all designed by Geoff Tanner by the way) and too my ears all sound similar. Right now i have(2) 2254e (1)2264 (2)32264a(out of Ocean Way) and i had the original 33609 for a while(its been sold...sigh!! Its been replaced since by the Focusrite Blue 230). My favorite for individual instruments is the 32264a and for the mix busses(drums and main) was the 33609. Again they both had a similar sound, the differences were slight. The 32264a always thickened up the sound some and the 33609 would thin it out. Again it may just be my units that sounded like this, but I did notice it at another studio recently. Its like what the Focusrite Blue 230 and Red 3 does. One is thicker(sometimes too much), the other faster yet thinner.

In terms of the Buzz OCL 1.1, yeah it works great on acoustics. I remember trying it the first time I got it on a Flamenco/latin guitar session for a song for Jennifer Lopez and it worked great. I got a lot of compliments on the sound. I just through it up and boom!!!the sound was there!!!

Lastly on the Shep stuff, it is possible they did a great job on it. I know Fletcher is not crazy on their stuff. I tried briefly there 1073 copy(for about an hour) and I liked it. But I didn't get to really hit it, so my opinion for now is kinda mixed.


Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
Thanx Everyone for ur replies!

I am even thinking of using an RNC.... altho i ahve used one briefly b4 it was not on accoustic.. suffice to say i liked it a lot, so perhaps it will do the trick after my custom FET LA2A/1176 hybrid

Was in @ the studio today, and they were funnily enuff recording accoustics and they sounded good...

AKG 414 --> 1073 --> LA2A --> distressor on light ratio to pull in peaks no more than 2dB GR.. was kinda nice..

e-Que.... i only know of one STA in OZ.. and its certainly not moving outa my mates studio... thats for sure! i have allwyas been kinda curious.. are they really a poor mans Fairchild like an RCA Ba6a?

Thrill.... ill chek out them 2264's next time i talk to tech... if he can get off his freakin sorry ass.... There are 2 in the console, and i agree they are fantastic on most things... cos they are vertical and dual concentric layout they can be a bit of a mind fuck to gret aorund using etc, but well worth it. I like them on snares, drum ambience, vocals and electric gtr for PHAT rythms and searing electric lead tones..... btw u being MR compressor or seemingly having every desirable comrepessor that i lust over. can u give me the detailed differences in your humble opinion between the 2264 and the 33609?... Shep do a ripp of the 2264/32264 which they claim last time i spoke to Derek 'Neve God' was kinda very similar to 33609?.... pls elaborate? I mean i have their 1073/1084 ripp of whcih is every bit as good as 1073 IMHO so i am wondering if its worhwhile me investigating their compressor as a 'swissarmy knife' comrpessor for most things?

Also i think i am just going to borrow my mates Buzz optical compressor as it was fast enoug to cope with things last time i checked it out! how do u find ur buzz in that role?

thanx

PEACE
Wiggy
yuktyy
Old 14th October 2002
  #24
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
A good Gates Sta-Level kicks total ass on Acoustic Guitar.
A RCA BA6A doesn't suck either.
Old 15th October 2002
  #25
Gear Head
 

I agree w/Nathan regarding opto's on acoustic- other than an obviously smashed sound, I've not had good luck. The exceptions to this (for me) are both Pendulums (6386 and ES-8). Very versatile, big, and not "pump-y".

My choice has been distressors, with consistantly good results. Try very fast (attack 2 or 3) peak limiting (10:1) with a medium fast to fast release. This gets great level to dig without hearing the compression.
Old 15th October 2002
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Hey Wigs,

The 2264,32264a and the 33609 all have the same circuit(all designed by Geoff Tanner by the way) and too my ears all sound similar. Right now i have(2) 2254e (1)2264 (2)32264a(out of Ocean Way) and i had the original 33609 for a while(its been sold...sigh!! Its been replaced since by the Focusrite Blue 230). My favorite for individual instruments is the 32264a and for the mix busses(drums and main) was the 33609. Again they both had a similar sound, the differences were slight. The 32264a always thickened up the sound some and the 33609 would thin it out. Again it may just be my units that sounded like this, but I did notice it at another studio recently. Its like what the Focusrite Blue 230 and Red 3 does. One is thicker(sometimes too much), the other faster yet thinner.

In terms of the Buzz OCL 1.1, yeah it works great on acoustics. I remember trying it the first time I got it on a Flamenco/latin guitar session for a song for Jennifer Lopez and it worked great. I got a lot of compliments on the sound. I just through it up and boom!!!the sound was there!!!

Lastly on the Shep stuff, it is possible they did a great job on it. I know Fletcher is not crazy on their stuff. I tried briefly there 1073 copy(for about an hour) and I liked it. But I didn't get to really hit it, so my opinion for now is kinda mixed.


Don't forget the lowly 33314 (a or b). Same circuit at well, but in broadcast form and therefore cheaper. The metal knob 33609 is just two 33314's put in a 2 rack chassis with one power supply.

My favorite for acoustic is my ancient LA2's. Perferably with API pres and 550a's or Pultecs if available.

Phil
Old 15th October 2002
  #27
Quote:
Originally posted by bobmix
The exceptions to this (for me) are both Pendulums (6386 and ES-8). Very versatile, big, and not "pump-y".
Affirmative...BTW, anybody know what time 'Mail Call' comes on? Semper Fi rollz!!
Old 15th October 2002
  #28
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by mplancke


A RCA BA6A doesn't suck either.
This is true. Much more expensive to find a good sounding unit than the Sta Levels, but yeah...
Old 15th October 2002
  #29
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Tim L's Avatar
 

I finaly got a Distressor about two weeks ago and absolutely love it on acoustic gtr. It's my new fav... I'd been prefering the Expressor up until now. The HFX expander on the 651 comes in real handy on acoustic's.
Old 15th October 2002
  #30
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dave-G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mplancke
A RCA BA6A doesn't suck either.
I concur wholeheartedly. The BA6A's are just lovely for that "grabby", compressor-y texture.

And after years of using U47's, MKH-80's, B&K's, etc, etc on acoustics, I've "rediscovered" my love for the KM84. From project to project, I just can't wait to hear the acoustic guitars (mandolas, etc) through a KM84. They do something wonderful and "slippery" to the highs that nothing else matches.

-dave
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