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Vertigo Sound VSC-2 Review
Old 11th April 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Vertigo Sound VSC-2 Review

Hey guys,

I got a chance to demo a Vertigo VSC-2 this past week and wanted to write up what I thought about it.

First Off, a big THANK YOU to JOEL @
ECSTATIC ELECTRIC - pro-audio, vintage audio, microphone rentals

He set me up with the demo and was/is very kind and helpful. Don't hesitate to call him to set something up!

Initial reviews were that is built like a TANK, and Very Clear/Airy/Transparent...with a touch of gloss.

The compressor is actually pretty cool once you learn its quirks. I liked it as more of a "Light Use Compressor". Something that allows you to make your mix a little punchier, or just tame some of the peaks to bring up the overall level up. If you are looking to add some grit to your digital tracks, this can do it if you push the output, but I find other units like the SSL G-Series Comp to be better fitted for such a task.

For $***** it is a bit pricey, considering that we could most definitly achieve the "slight" gain reduction thing for less..but it might not be as transparent.

If you do find yourself in need of HEAVY Gain reduction without artifacts, the VSC-2 will without a doubt get you there, so that is something to think about.

I was able to compare it side by side to the SSL G-Series Comp and I found the Vertigo to be Cleaner, Clearer, More Transparent and Airy.

The SSL has more of a tighter boxier sound to it. And definitly takes some of the high end out when hitting your mix with about 3db of gain reduction.

The High Pass Filter @ 60hz and 90hz is really great too. I found the 60hz to be better suited with Hip Hop and getting that 808kick to punch through and not trigger the compressor. For Rock, the 90hz was better.

All in all, if I had the money, I would a vertigo just becuase its built to last and because I feel it would really acell in a mastering rig. If you are interested in something in this price range, don't hesitate to try the unit out.

Kyle D
Old 12th April 2009
  #2
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Hello,

thanks for the review! I would like to ask:

1. Did you try the VSC-2 on individual instruments (bass, drums, vocals...?)

2. Is there any input on the rear panel for side-chaining?

3. How did you like the ballistics of the meters?
Old 12th April 2009
  #3
Gear Addict
 

I was so strapped for time this week, that I did not get to try it on individual instruments.

I can see it working VERY Well on Vocals. Would be really clear and Clean.

No inputs for side chaining...would have liked that.

Meters are great!
Old 12th April 2009
  #4
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airmate's Avatar
 

I bought the Vertigo with the stereo buss in mind, but I haven't used it too often for that purpose yet. However, this is just because since then I was mainly working on projects where the Pendulum OCL-2 seemed to be a better option for mix compression.
But this was just the nature of the respective projects, it doesn't mean that I don't generally like the Vertigo on the mix buss.

So my main application for it is either the drum buss or kick/snare. For those tasks I use either the Vertigo or the DBX 160SL, with the latter being a bit more aggressive, its faster attack has more "bite", but it also sounds a little less 3d.

Last week I was mixing an avantgarde project where I ran a buss consisting of various string instruments through the Vertigo - i.e. several Celli, Violins etc.
I did not compress these instruments on the individual tracks, but the Vertigo held them perfectly in place. It provided just the right dynamic control with a very glossy, direct, natural yet full-bodied sound. Think of strong muscles used gently, for the lack of a better explanation.

The meters react a bit faster than the ones on several vintage units. But I like their behaviour, and it seems not to be too different in comparison to those on the SSL compressor.
Old 12th April 2009
  #5
AB3
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for your post. I would be interested in some sample comparisons on a mix using the Vertigo versus the Safe Sound Dynamic Toolbox which is 1/2 the price and highly acclaimed by mastering engineer, Bob Katz.
I would like to see how many people pick the Vertigo as the best one.

Also for the money, it is getting really close to the cost of the Shadow Hills unit and many others.

Without sample comparisons, (and even with them) - the best people can do is demo these units and see how it works for them.

However, I am learning, perhaps the hard way, that the more you spend, does not mean that the results are worth it. This certainly can be an exception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate View Post
I bought the Vertigo with the stereo buss in mind, but I haven't used it too often for that purpose yet. However, this is just because since then I was mainly working on projects where the Pendulum OCL-2 seemed to be a better option for mix compression.
But this was just the nature of the respective projects, it doesn't mean that I don't generally like the Vertigo on the mix buss.

So my main application for it is either the drum buss or kick/snare. For those tasks I use either the Vertigo or the DBX 160SL, with the latter being a bit more aggressive, its faster attack has more "bite", but it also sounds a little less 3d.

Last week I was mixing an avantgarde project where I ran a buss consisting of various string instruments through the Vertigo - i.e. several Celli, Violins etc.
I did not compress these instruments on the individual tracks, but the Vertigo held them perfectly in place. It provided just the right dynamic control with a very glossy, direct, natural yet full-bodied sound. Think of strong muscles used gently, for the lack of a better explanation.

The meters react a bit faster than the ones on several vintage units. But I like their behaviour, and it seems not to be too different in comparison to those on the SSL compressor.
Old 12th April 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Thanks for your post. I would be interested in some sample comparisons on a mix using the Vertigo versus the Safe Sound Dynamic Toolbox which is 1/2 the price and highly acclaimed by mastering engineer, Bob Katz.
I would like to see how many people pick the Vertigo as the best one.
I have tried the Safe Sound at some point, but I haven't compared them side by side. From what I recall the Safe Sound is a pretty versatile bang-for-the-buck unit than can do a lot of things in decent quality at a very reasonable price point. I was only a hair away from purchasing it. However, it does not sound euphonic. It does what it does, but it does not make things sound "nicer". And whereas the Vertigo is extremely transparent, it still adds some "niceness" to the final result. It might be a little, but sometimes that goes a long way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Also for the money, it is getting really close to the cost of the Shadow Hills unit and many others.

However, I am learning, perhaps the hard way, that the more you spend, does not mean that the results are worth it. This certainly can be an exception.
That's the law of diminishing returns...!
When you're on a tight budget I have no hesitations to warmly recommend the Safe Sound (or many other not-so-expensive) tools.
But that does not mean that more elaborate, more expensive pieces of gear can't deliver something else.
After all, it's only you who can decide whether it is "worth" for you.

Be sure to always listen with your heart and not with your wallet, though!

I for one do not own a large console nor a huge Pro Tools setup. However, I have a very nice outboard collection and many more goodies including a studer tape recorder and other things.

So far I have gotten fantastic comments on the sound of this project I was speaking about above. And I am sure the quality of certain components of my studio is a huge factor amongst others. So to me the admission to things like the Vertigo or the Quantec Yardstick 2496 (another example of a comparatively expensive but indispensable piece of gear) is definitely worth it. Someone else may come to a different conclusion.
Old 12th April 2009
  #7
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate View Post
I have tried the Safe Sound at some point, but I haven't compared them side by side. From what I recall the Safe Sound is a pretty versatile bang-for-the-buck unit than can do a lot of things in decent quality at a very reasonable price point. I was only a hair away from purchasing it. However, it does not sound euphonic. It does what it does, but it does not make things sound "nicer". And whereas the Vertigo is extremely transparent, it still adds some "niceness" to the final result. It might be a little, but sometimes that goes a long way...



That's the law of diminishing returns...!
When you're on a tight budget I have no hesitations to warmly recommend the Safe Sound (or many other not-so-expensive) tools.
But that does not mean that more elaborate, more expensive pieces of gear can't deliver something else.
After all, it's only you who can decide whether it is "worth" for you.

Be sure to always listen with your heart and not with your wallet, though!

I for one do not own a large console nor a huge Pro Tools setup. However, I have a very nice outboard collection and many more goodies including a studer tape recorder and other things.

So far I have gotten fantastic comments on the sound of this project I was speaking about above. And I am sure the quality of certain components of my studio is a huge factor amongst others. So to me the admission to things like the Vertigo or the Quantec Yardstick 2496 (another example of a comparatively expensive but indispensable piece of gear) is definitely worth it. Someone else may come to a different conclusion.
Hello airmate,

have you found that the VSC-2 colors the material when it compresses it harder or is it still very transparent and clear?
Old 13th April 2009
  #8
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
Hello airmate,

have you found that the VSC-2 colors the material when it compresses it harder or is it still very transparent and clear?
It increasingly generates additonal harmonics when you crank up the make-up gain, but the Vertigo remains a very transparent, glossy sounding compressor even in more extreme applications.
Old 5th May 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleDiSanto View Post
All in all, if I had the money, I would a vertigo just becuase its built to last and because I feel it would really acell in a mastering rig.
That it does. I consider it an almost equal workhorse to the Cranesong STC-8.
(Recent post: here)
Old 5th May 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 

I think it functions as a really good mix bus compressor. The extra shine it gives is helpful for most music while the compression adds weight and power without strangling anything.
Still waiting for Andy to finish the matrix thing he was demoing at SAE.
Old 5th May 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I met the vertigo guys a year ago after having them rack some v72's for me. They showed me their vertigo compressor and explained to me that part of the reason the vertigo is priced the way it is is because they consructed it in a high quality and environmentaly friendly manner. Also the unit is hand made in Germany not mass produced in China. I think that well made items that are made to last are worth the extra initial investment. These guys dont compromise when it comes to quality with any of their products.
Bigos
Saraswati Studios
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