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Alan Smart C1 Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 20th August 2007
  #1
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Alan Smart C1

What do you guys think of the C1 as a stereo buss compressor? Does it also do other comp jobs well. It does not have the "crush" feature of the C2. This was the piece suggested to me by a gear salesman. I already own 1176 and mc77 for tracking.

other things i am considering- thermionic phoenix, neve 33609, 1968....
i track and mix on ampex 1200/102- so this will be going btwn them.
Old 20th August 2007
  #2
run a search for details, but the long and short of it (from my experience w/ both) is that the C2 is more versatile and the C1 more resembles the SSL G384
Old 20th August 2007
  #3
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I love my own. It was the most "SSL Console Compressor" sounding to me. In other words, when I have mixed on SSL's (4000 G, and G+ mostly) I really liked the compressor and used it.

The C1 reminded me more of that than anything else I tried (but I did not do any a/b tests). I did a/b the C1 and the C2 and I liked the C1 a little better for the main mix. I WAY preffered the C2 for a stereo drum bus though. Wow! Still want to get one just for that! The crush feature didn't really do much for me though. I prefer a distressor on nuke and british mode for that effect.

Hope this helps...
Old 20th August 2007
  #4
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Can anyone describe the effect of using the C1 sonically?From my search, it seems there is little enthusiasm about the smart stuff, but a lot of people using it...
Also looking at the API 2500???
Old 20th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
Can anyone describe the effect of using the C1 sonically?
Magic sonic glue.
Old 20th August 2007
  #6
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In my opinion, the C2's crush setting is pretty useless. Certainly don't make your decision based on its presence or absence in either unit. Put that issue aside. The Crush feature is a silly-sounding extreme saturation effect that is unlikely to be part of your every day use. I mean, you'll certainly never use it on a mix-buss!

There are a lot of debates about the relative tonal merits of the C1 vs. the C2. I went for the C1, myself. The C2 seemed "cleaner" but just not as cool to me.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was swayed by two facts (a) Tchad Blake, a longtime hero of mine, used the C1 on many of my favorite records and (b) I think the charcoal black faceplate of the C1 looks cooler than the C2. A lot cooler.

--- chad
Old 20th August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
In my opinion, the C2's crush setting is pretty useless. Certainly don't make your decision based on its presence or absence in either unit. Put that issue aside. The Crush feature is a silly-sounding extreme saturation effect that is unlikely to be part of your every day use.
I actually disagree 100% with this statement. Crush is not very good on the mixbuss but it can come in very handy at other times.
Old 20th August 2007
  #8
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I haven't used the C2, but the C1 is great. I prefer it on the two-buss to the SSL G384 rackmount unit. It is also pretty cool on kick drum, pianos, all kinds of stuff, it can add a nice glossy bite to things.

The Neve 32264a is pretty sweet too, we have a stereo pair here, and depending on the style of music it is either that or the C1 strapped on the 2-buss.
Old 21st August 2007
  #9
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I know I've commented previously, but I owned a C2 and now own a C1. It's one of those things that becomes a piece of the chain that you don't think about or futz with. In hindsight, I felt that the C2 was something that you could mix without and then stick it on at the end and hear some magic happen. The C1 I feel like I have to mix into it a bit for handling the top and bottom end.

Overall I truly like the C1 better and DO NOT MISS the crush feature even though I would use it. It is truly unique and can make a sound, but I wanted something over the mix bus that stays there and not something that slides around from drum bus to bgv bus, to some mult and then to mix bus.

If you are looking for a comp to move around from element to element, then maybe the C2 might be your pick. If you are looking for something to lock into the mix bus and stay there for an indefinite time, then the C1 would be my choice.
Old 21st August 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathen View Post
I actually disagree 100% with this statement. Crush is not very good on the mixbuss but it can come in very handy at other times.
That's what I said: it's not good on the mixbuss.

But I guess it comes down to aesthetics. If you like the Crush feature, I think you and I might have different musical tastes...

I only had a C2 for a while, but I found Crush to be just terrible. A really savage EQ curve and a really unpleasant super-compression effect.

I like extreme compression effects, just not that one.

To each their own, though.

- c
Old 21st August 2007
  #11
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The C1 is advertised as "good for organic" and "popular in UK and West Coast Studios".
???
How does the aesthetic compare to a tube based unit such as The Phoenix/pendulum/vari-mu???
Thanks, i think im buying a C1
Old 21st August 2007
  #12
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
Also looking at the API 2500???

similar vca glue (in feed forward), sweeter tone.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 21st August 2007
  #13
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
The C1 is advertised as "good for organic" and "popular in UK and West Coast Studios".
???
Marketing crap.
Try before you buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
How does the aesthetic compare to a tube based unit such as The Phoenix/pendulum/vari-mu???
Thanks, i think im buying a C1
A little goes a loong way.Can be very aggressive.
I don't use the smart on the mixbuss much these days.
If I do use it[C-2] on a stereo buss,I prefer it unlinked and with the sidechain in
The Shadow Hills comp[VCA section] does makes it sound kinda 2 dimensional in comparison though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
similar vca glue (in feed forward), sweeter tone.


gregoire
del
ubk
.

Yupthumbsup
Just got the API..diggin it.
Old 21st August 2007
  #14
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Strobian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
Also looking at the API 2500???
I have an API 2500 and I use it on the drum buss, and it sounds amazing. It has a few options etc as far as feedforward and feedback compression so you can somewhat go between the 1176 and SSL or newer style compressor type settings. Lots of options for tone shaping the mix as well if you want.

I also use it on the stereo mix in Old mode with light compression and it adds some real nice color and clarity that I like, great unit!
Old 21st August 2007
  #15
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Hey Roundbadge... are you suggesting i look elsewhere than the C1 for 2 buss. The Shadow Hills is just too much $. What else?
Old 21st August 2007
  #16
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guitoffee's Avatar
 

Another vote for the API 2500. It's very versitile once you get used to it. With it I can get the drums to pop out like nothing else....
Old 21st August 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
Hey Roundbadge... are you suggesting i look elsewhere than the C1 for 2 buss. The Shadow Hills is just too much $. What else?

You should try one and maybe a C-2 too .
i prefer the C-2,but thats just my taste.
it's just not my fav for the stereo buss these days.

Try the API..its really good and within your budgetthumbsup

I wonder if Geoff Tanner[Aurora Audio] has any demo's of his stereo comp here in LA..looks very cool.
You might wanna give him a call too.
Old 21st August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
That's what I said: it's not good on the mixbuss.

But I guess it comes down to aesthetics. If you like the Crush feature, I think you and I might have different musical tastes...

I only had a C2 for a while, but I found Crush to be just terrible. A really savage EQ curve and a really unpleasant super-compression effect.

I like extreme compression effects, just not that one.

To each their own, though.

- c
Just wondering if you ever tried it on strings, piano or synth pads. This is where I found crush actually really shines, on the most delicate instrumunts, I always have an eq after the C2 in crush mode to get it just right.

Just interested.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #19
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Any more advice?

I'm checking out a C1 tomorrow. There is also a C2 available locally for a good deal.
API, Phoenix, ?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #20
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

I've got the c2 and a 2500. The C2 has a nice shimmer, the 2500 has a meatier tone.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathen View Post
Just wondering if you ever tried it on strings, piano or synth pads. This is where I found crush actually really shines, on the most delicate instrumunts, I always have an eq after the C2 in crush mode to get it just right.

Just interested.

Hey Heath how you diggin the API 525.

nIC
Old 22nd August 2007
  #22
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Not to hijack but would anybody be able to draw up a comparison of the Portico 5043 to the already mentioned units ?

Not necessarily behavior-wise, but more general compression quality/flexibility.

I want to buy the Portico but it's quite new and references few.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordnielson View Post
Not to hijack but would anybody be able to draw up a comparison of the Portico 5043 to the already mentioned units ?

Not necessarily behavior-wise, but more general compression quality/flexibility.

I want to buy the Portico but it's quite new and references few.
i have the C2 and 5043 - i like the 5043 on the mix buss when i need something very open and transparent. in Feedback mode it becomes a different beast and i prefer it on drum buss and use the C2 for the mix. i want a second 5043, i like what they do wherever they are.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
i have the C2 and 5043 - i like the 5043 on the mix buss when i need something very open and transparent. in Feedback mode it becomes a different beast and i prefer it on drum buss and use the C2 for the mix. i want a second 5043, i like what they do wherever they are.
Same here..... and lordnielson, you said "I want to buy the Portico but it's quite new and references few."

Really? Did you check this thread out?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...or-smokes.html
Old 22nd August 2007
  #25
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so i have found C2 for around 2200$ locally, a new C1 for $2350, and an API 2500 for around the same....
What do you guys think...
how do these compare to tube-based units such as the phoenix, vari-mu, pendulums, etc..
thanks again, nico
Old 27th August 2007
  #26
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C1 on demo

So I've got a C1 on demo. So far using it on parallel drum bus and mix . I think it is pretty good. But i am not blown away. It a little hard sounding. I wish it had more squish. I have not really tried it on a whole mix, this is hopefully where it shines. It is built very nicely. But I think i am looking for something else. ??
Old 28th August 2007
  #27
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u b k's Avatar
 

you are SO looking for the 2500 in feed forward mode: aggressive ssl action, squishy or punchy depending on the knee/tilt settings, round vintage tone.

i'm with you, i never dug the tone of the smart boxes, too edgy up top.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 28th August 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_hti View Post

If you are looking for a comp to move around from element to element, then maybe the C2 might be your pick. If you are looking for something to lock into the mix bus and stay there for an indefinite time, then the C1 would be my choice.
Glad you like the C1 Doug... I sold "your" C2 right about the same time you sold "my" STC-8...

Also using a C1 when I need that thing.. go figure.

Hope all is well you and family!
Old 28th August 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYoder View Post
Glad you like the C1 Doug... I sold "your" C2 right about the same time you sold "my" STC-8...

Also using a C1 when I need that thing.. go figure.

Hope all is well you and family!
Hey Jerry, well we must have similar taste after all...yeah I was sad to see you sell it off, as that was when I began to miss it, and was not sad to sell off the stc8 (I'm odd from the folks around here I guess). The C1 has definitely been treating things right...when did you pick one up?
Old 28th August 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
so i have found C2 for around 2200$ locally, a new C1 for $2350, and an API 2500 for around the same....
What do you guys think...
how do these compare to tube-based units such as the phoenix, vari-mu, pendulums, etc..
thanks again, nico
I'll speak for the Vari-Mu/C1/C2.

I think the Vari-Mu is a great compressor and miss my old one (with original tubes), but use one (a newer one) very often at another studio. That being said, I didn't and still don't love it for the mix bus unless it's lower tempo and less dense material where you want a combination of level control and squish factor with a little fatness/nice tone added in. I LOVE the Vari-Mu on a string bus or a bgv bus, especially if they are harsh/peaky.

most material I deal with is higher track count/tempo and that is where the C1/C2/384 shine. Even though you can mix into them, they aren't fantastic for transparent level control. Most things come to the table (mix bus) pretty controlled level wise....I'm just looking for one or two more clicks of excitement and to tighten it up a bit and I can't find another compressor to beat them for that.
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