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Best 500 series tracking compressor?
Old 13th September 2009
  #91
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emrr's Avatar
Pretty cool how some of the Pico time constants behave in an entirely new manner when used in feedback mode! In messing around, it feels like I will end up using the RMS/Peak combo some too, seems to have possibilities. I noticed how AR mode, when set for slowest attack AND release makes a really good AGC, for those times you need one. That can be tough to pull off well with most units that aren't specifically designed as such.
Old 17th September 2009
  #92
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emrr's Avatar
...and the rest of the story; the stereo slave module:

Foote Control Systems P3500S Stereo Expander Module for P3500

It's cool; full featured stereo buss compression with one set of dedicated controls.
Old 18th September 2009
  #93
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
...and the rest of the story; the stereo slave module:

Foote Control Systems P3500S Stereo Expander Module for P3500

It's cool; full featured stereo buss compression with one set of dedicated controls.
This little stereo wonder has been doing some heavy lifting on my master buss for the past few nights, and its been really awesome. Mixing into the thing, I can really build a denser mix without unwanted artifacts. The P3500 is a clean compressor that has the option of getting a bit hairier if you "make it so". So far I absolutely cannot take this thing of Feed Back mode, as I love the gentle thickening it provides when I add some output gain after a gentile squash. Its really clear and keeps the stereo image intact, and does not fold into itself AT ALL!!! It tracks stereo better than some rack units!!!!!!

The combo uses True Power Summing, which is why there is only one set of controls. There are a number of different ways to run the P3500, so I'm still getting my feet wet with it currently, but I can tell you its NOT a one trick pony. Its very versatile as a stereo compressor for tracking, so far. I got a tremendously useful acoustic GTR sound with an E22s and a Beyer M160 going though a pair of Purple Biz MK preamps, then onto the P3500S.

Some important bits of info: The P3500S Expander module combined with a P3500, is sent from the factory tuned to an expander module, so you have two choices here, as there is no way for the end user to link two mono P3500 modules. Stereo Expander modules must be calibrated to the individual P3500 module that they will be paired with. This means that unless the P3500 unit and the stereo extender are purchased together, the P3500 unit must be sent to FCS for calibration if you wish to add stereo capabilities after the fact.
Old 18th September 2009
  #94
Thanks Adam

Glad this thing is getting some mileage!

Best
Roger
Old 18th September 2009
  #95
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Guitar Zero's Avatar
Does this mean the pico has been discontinued?
Old 18th September 2009
  #96
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emrr's Avatar
I believe yes, for the original red panel version. The new version matches the sound, and expands it.
Old 19th September 2009
  #97
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
buzz essence is a truly amazing compressor that can handle many different sources. I love it for vocals. Its a very safe compressor in that it rarely mangles anything even with heavy peaks. Very transparent operation except there seems to be some sort of thickening of the sound without changing the color.
Old 4th October 2009
  #98
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zvenx's Avatar
 

Clearly doesn't affect the sound, but will the P3500 be available in other colours?
thanks
rsp
Old 4th October 2009
  #99
Well, what colors would you want?

I might consider something different in the next production run...

Thanks
Roger
Old 4th October 2009
  #100
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zvenx's Avatar
 

I am partial to black....red.....I actually even liked the old orange on the previous one....or even yellow....I assume the current on is military green, which for whatever reason doesn't do it for me. but clearly it isn't critical. Is there a pdf manual anywhere?
thanks
rsp
Old 4th October 2009
  #101
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Klauth's Avatar
Black is easiest on the eyes(during long studio hours)for rack gear. I think color schemes have gotten out of hand. ~klauth.
Old 4th October 2009
  #102
AB3
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A great great great great compressor. Even if it was not in a 500 series format.
It is greaton everything. Not a snappy SSL type. But smooth and great sounding. It is under-rated on this forum for some reason. It also links well. (thought to be frank - I like dual mono sometimes as much.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u View Post
buzz essence is a truly amazing compressor that can handle many different sources. I love it for vocals. Its a very safe compressor in that it rarely mangles anything even with heavy peaks. Very transparent operation except there seems to be some sort of thickening of the sound without changing the color.
Old 4th October 2009
  #103
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Buzz audio essence for me is the one 500 compressor I tend to use most especially on vox, bass and keys. It does add a little weight to the sound very subtly ( HAS TRANSFORMERS) but won't get in the way by stamping its sound to much ! Also its an optical side chain compressor which I find very musical on dynamic intruments but has the ability to be faster than most other optical compressors. I find that its sweet spot is when its driving it quiet hard which you may want to consider in your set up / your gain staging.
All the best
-Dec
Old 4th October 2009
  #104
OK

The current color is called "Middle Bronze" and does not look green, more brown/slate.

The old "Orange" was red, plain red... I like yellow too, but don't have access to that material.

Looks like we won't get anywhere on the color question. The color I chose was for maximum visibility not fashion per se, btw. Although I think they look good the way they are.

Re transformers in 500 gear:
I really want full low frequency response in my offerings and that is the main reason I don't use output transformers.

The 500 format just does not have the space needed for an output transformer that does not limit LF info. The P3500 is down 3dB @8Hz btw...

In a mic pre it's OK but this is a major drawback of the 500 format space requirement.

I am not sure whether the Buzz offering has an output transformer or not, the poster doesn't specify. I am sure that the Buzz is a great piece of gear and in no way want to talk it down. I would like to have one as well.

Roger Foote
FCS
Old 4th October 2009
  #105
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zvenx's Avatar
 

maybe I need to readjust my mac monitor :-)
thanks for the response.
rsp
Old 4th October 2009
  #106
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Sofa King's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recman View Post
Adam, not everyone has access to trial and demo products.
Then youre shopping at the wrong place.
Old 4th October 2009
  #107
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zvenx's Avatar
 

not necessarily.
I live in Kingston Jamaica.
If someone was to take the chance to send me a demo it means:
high shipping cost.
and exorbitant duties, between 45-50%.....and maybe you can talk to the customs department on a per shipment basis but by the time you deal with the bureaucracy and time involved you might as well say it isn't avaiable.

rsp
Old 4th October 2009
  #108
Quote:
Originally Posted by zvenx View Post
maybe I need to readjust my mac monitor :-)
thanks for the response.
rsp
That is possible. That "Plain Red" anodize can look a little burgundy too.
But there really shouldn't be any visible green hue to the bronze.

Best
Roger
FCS
Old 4th October 2009
  #109
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emrr's Avatar
Yeah, there's nothing green about the p3500. Funny you like red, I think someone else hated the old red version, and that was their sole apparent reason for not wanting it. I really don't see these color debates about much other gear, why is that? There are plenty of well regarded 500 series pieces that look much less impressive than the p3500.
Old 4th October 2009
  #110
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zvenx's Avatar
 

maybe my eyes? I just looked on my PC with dell monitors and I see the same military green type of look......
I have an Avedis MA5 and I love the red on that.... from the pictures I had looked on mercenary site, the previous incarnation did look orange to me.. maybe my computers don't like the mercenary site? :-)

And I guess taste is always subjective....having said all of that, I will probably get one, military green and all :-)


rsp
Old 4th October 2009
  #111
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emrr's Avatar
I have them both, and they are definitely red and bronze. Light reflections on metal in photos can always be misleading. These look real nice in person, being engraved panels, rather than silkscreen.
Old 4th October 2009
  #112
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerFoote View Post
OK

I am not sure whether the Buzz offering has an output transformer or not, the poster doesn't specify. I am sure that the Buzz is a great piece of gear and in no way want to talk it down. I would like to have one as well.

Roger Foote
FCS

I have never used the Buzz Roger, but I have read the specs, it's got lundahl transformers on both the input and the output, and a custom class A ampflifier that buzz makes called the BE40.

This along with the Sidechaining I/O force it to be a two-slot unit for 500 series.

I've never used your compressor either, but you're using a VCA to drive your unit right? So you're going to be high-headroom / low distortion with a much harder knee than the Buzz...that officially makes you apples and oranges. You wouldn't want the tranny's that give an ELOP that kind of harmonic girth since you're probably looking to do something like a G-Comp on steriods from what I'm reading spec-wise.

That being said I'd love to try your unit sometime, maybe over the new year I'll be able to put one on a credit card and get one on trial from Mercenary.

One question though, when you add in your stereo expander device, does that affect anything when I want to use the new revised p3500 on a mono source as far as gainstaging or anything like that?
Old 4th October 2009
  #113
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I have never used the Buzz Roger, but I have read the specs, it's got lundahl transformers on both the input and the output, and a custom class A ampflifier that buzz makes called the BE40.

This along with the Sidechaining I/O force it to be a two-slot unit for 500 series.

I've never used your compressor either, but you're using a VCA to drive your unit right? So you're going to be high-headroom / low distortion with a much harder knee than the Buzz...that officially makes you apples and oranges. You wouldn't want the tranny's that give an ELOP that kind of harmonic girth since you're probably looking to do something like a G-Comp on steriods from what I'm reading spec-wise.

That being said I'd love to try your unit sometime, maybe over the new year I'll be able to put on on a credit card and get one on trial from Mercenary.
The IRON FOOTE!!!
Old 4th October 2009
  #114
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Hey Adam...what say you about this "stereo expander" for the p3500? Does it just make the unit a stereo unit like the RNC or a G-Comp? Does it affect gainstaging using it in mono?

Also..."Iron Foote" sounds kind of like a new cooking show...
Old 4th October 2009
  #115
Gear Head
 

Where would the Safe Audio P501 fit in all of this?
Old 4th October 2009
  #116
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
Hey Adam...what say you about this "stereo expander" for the p3500? Does it just make the unit a stereo unit like the RNC or a G-Comp? Does it affect gainstaging using it in mono?

Also..."Iron Foote" sounds kind of like a new cooking show...
Yea it makes the P3500 TRUE stereo, using power summing. ALL controls and settings are linked including gain. You can't use it in Dual Mono, where there are two sets of controls. Its then better to opt for two mono 500 modules so you can vary the compressors for stereo applications. There are two schools of thought about compressor linkage and they are both right. The "S" Module is the same guts minus the knobs. I think its really going to be great for the program, but I have been using it for tracking stereo setups, and drum overheads, which I find it really impressive for. So far as I can tell, the units you mention are not similar to Rogers boxes. His design is much more versatile as far as dialing a smoothing non-adverse type compression. There is no "snap" and "pump-age" with aggressive ratio and threshold settings.

I would characterize it as a a very fast and accurate compressor that won't hinder tone and depth one bit. Its captured a stigma as a fail safe comp at the MEth Lab, because you can't screw it up on anything. There is also a cool distortion setting with all buttons out, and then the ratio varies the amount of crunch. Its pretty cool! In regular use, I find that its MUCH smoother in action than a SSL G-Comp, and HAS WAY MORE "glue" and "cohesion" when in Feed Back Mode, than the RNC ever will. I like FB mode the best so far for the buss.

With regard to the "IRON FOOTE", if your going to be @ AES NY this year, I would invite you to swing by the Mercenary booth, [#154] as we will not only have the P3500S and P3500 in the frame, but we will have a new product from Roger on display with signal running though, both in a mix and in context setting.
Old 4th October 2009
  #117
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I have never used the Buzz Roger, but I have read the specs, it's got lundahl transformers on both the input and the output, and a custom class A ampflifier that buzz makes called the BE40.

This along with the Sidechaining I/O force it to be a two-slot unit for 500 series.

I've never used your compressor either, but you're using a VCA to drive your unit right? So you're going to be high-headroom / low distortion with a much harder knee than the Buzz...that officially makes you apples and oranges. You wouldn't want the tranny's that give an ELOP that kind of harmonic girth since you're probably looking to do something like a G-Comp on steriods from what I'm reading spec-wise.

That being said I'd love to try your unit sometime, maybe over the new year I'll be able to put one on a credit card and get one on trial from Mercenary.

One question though, when you add in your stereo expander device, does that affect anything when I want to use the new revised p3500 on a mono source as far as gainstaging or anything like that?
Yes, a Blackmer(tm) VCA is used for it's accuracy, but with a soft knee.

On mono material, the only changes you would make in normal operations would be if you use RMS and only one input driven... In this case go a little counterclockwise (around 3dB) on the threshold control and you are good to go.

Best
Roger
Old 4th October 2009
  #118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
The IRON FOOTE!!!
Hi Adam, it will be there on Monday. (The new version that is)

Thanks for everything!
Roger
Old 6th November 2009
  #119
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pilopio's Avatar
 

Im a Happy User of one of this compressors. P3500s (stereo)

I have it for just a couple of weeks now and I love it..

First Mexican Owner... I suppose??

Thanks Alex (from Mercenary)
Old 6th November 2009
  #120
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tapehiss's Avatar
what would be cool is if roger made the twospace 500 unit called the "iron foote" that was a stereo comp that also had the carnhill output just like the 1u 19'' version.

all for $1299.00
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