The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Which Compressor
Old 7th August 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Which Compressor

Looking for advise on what compressor to pick up.

I'm torn between a Retro 176, Daking FET II, UBK Fatso or a SPA Dragon.

I'm interested in a compressor that can handle whatever I throw at it. Mostly Drums, Bass, Guitar and Vocals, and for many different genres. But most important I'm looking for a character compressor. I know people have there different tastes and not just one compressor will always do the job. But if there's one that can handle most well, what will it be. What would you suggest? And if there's another you recommend please chime in.

Much appreciated...
Old 7th August 2010
  #2
Re: Which Compressor

I got a lot of 1176's. That spa dragon looks siiiiiiiiiiick!!!!!!!! Looks like it'll give most options huh?
Old 7th August 2010
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoLeoLeo View Post
I got a lot of 1176's. That spa dragon looks siiiiiiiiiiick!!!!!!!! Looks like it'll give most options huh?
Yeah the Dragon looks impressive with allot of different flavors. But the UBK Fatso has many flavors too. What to do...
Old 7th August 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

do you have a budget?

for a "swiss army knife" compressor, i like the shadow hills MC, aurora gtc2, or a pair of crane song trakkers. with any of those, your bases are covered for pretty much anything. thumbsup
Old 7th August 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
CJ1973's Avatar
 

I did a shoot for pop vocal compressors. My fav was TUbe Tech CL-1B.
I would say consider the UA 1176 Blue Stripe as that is also a solid piece and can be versatile for what you need.
Old 7th August 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
do you have a budget?

for a "swiss army knife" compressor, i like the shadow hills MC, aurora gtc2, or a pair of crane song trakkers. with any of those, your bases are covered for pretty much anything. thumbsup
I'd like to spend no more then $3,500. I'll do some research on those compressors you mentioned. Thanks!!!
Old 7th August 2010
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
I did a shoot for pop vocal compressors. My fav was TUbe Tech CL-1B.
I would say consider the UA 1176 Blue Stripe as that is also a solid piece and can be versatile for what you need.
Where can I get my hands on a Blue Stripe?
Old 7th August 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
I'd like to spend no more then $3,500. I'll do some research on those compressors you mentioned. Thanks!!!
gotcha, the aurora audio gtc2 i mentioned fits the bill. the others are a bit out of your range...

it's one of my favorites. a lot of options and a lot of vibe!

i use it on everything from vocals to bass to the mix.

really a great compressor.
Old 7th August 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
gotcha, the aurora audio gtc2 i mentioned fits the bill. the others are a bit out of your range...

it's one of my favorites. a lot of options and a lot of vibe!

i use it on everything from vocals to bass to the mix.

really a great compressor.
Sweet! Reading up on it now
Old 7th August 2010
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
gotcha, the aurora audio gtc2 i mentioned fits the bill. the others are a bit out of your range...

it's one of my favorites. a lot of options and a lot of vibe!

i use it on everything from vocals to bass to the mix.

really a great compressor.
Hey how does it sound when you have it in Comb mode? Opto and Fet together. Must sound interesting huh
Old 7th August 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
Hey how does it sound when you have it in Comb mode? Opto and Fet together. Must sound interesting huh
yeah man, it sounds great. like i said, this comp gives you a ton of options. it's pretty common for people to run say an 1176 and an la2a together for vocal compression. honestly, you can come up with so many creative ways to run this comp and they all sound good. in your price range it's really the only contender.
Old 7th August 2010
  #12
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Mattski, every single one of the compressors you are asking about are featured in the Clipalator gear test page on my site. You can hear 9 or 10 audio files of each, and also view a video of me twisting knobs to bring some context to the full parameters of each unit.

If you're on a regular laptop or PC, do yourself a favor and listen with good studio quality headphones at least...

War
Old 7th August 2010
  #13
Re: Which Compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973
I would say consider the UA 1176 Blue Stripe as that is also a solid piece and can be versatile for what you need.
I do run to 1176s alot. It just has that sound....to me.

Haven't used that dragon but want to bad!!!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Which Compressor-imageuploadedbygearslutz.jpg  
Old 7th August 2010
  #14
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

You've got a good list there, but there's not much overlap between them so it should be pretty easy to eliminate two so you can grab the remaining ones and do a shootout.

First question I'd ask is what other comps do you already own?

Second question is what *kind* of character are you looking for? There's compressive character, and there's tonal character.

Third question is how closely do the tracks you work with compare to the final sound you're going for? IOW, how much will you be relying on the comp to either make drastic changes, or to not screw with your sound?

Last, will you need 2 channels for buss duties?


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 7th August 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
tapehiss's Avatar
From your list and what your seeking, I'd eliminate the 176 for lack of versatility, seeing as how you want it for many genre's, and the Fet II because it isn't exactly a character piece. As fabulous as both of these are, I would eliminate them based on UBK's recommendation for picking a comp.

I can't help but want the Dragon. It just looks like it could handle many things so well.

Other options for stereo pairs under $3.5K:
Mohog76 - 1176 with multiple output xfmr's
Distressor - because there essential no matter what heh
Lunchbox - with you name it BAC, Little Devil, Shadow Hills, Buzz, Elysia..... with this route, you could get the Elysia for the buss, and the BAC for everything else with money to spare.

Good luck on your search!!!!!! and I wish I had $3.5K right now.
Old 7th August 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Mattski, every single one of the compressors you are asking about are featured in the Clipalator gear test page on my site. You can hear 9 or 10 audio files of each, and also view a video of me twisting knobs to bring some context to the full parameters of each unit.

If you're on a regular laptop or PC, do yourself a favor and listen with good studio quality headphones at least...

War
Thanks man, I'm gonna check em out right now...
Old 7th August 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
You've got a good list there, but there's not much overlap between them so it should be pretty easy to eliminate two so you can grab the remaining ones and do a shootout.

First question I'd ask is what other comps do you already own?

Second question is what *kind* of character are you looking for? There's compressive character, and there's tonal character.

Third question is how closely do the tracks you work with compare to the final sound you're going for? IOW, how much will you be relying on the comp to either make drastic changes, or to not screw with your sound?

Last, will you need 2 channels for buss duties?


Gregory Scott - ubk
Hey Greg, good to hear from you. I emailed you twice a few days ago but I never heard back from you.

To answer your questions:
This will be my second compressor. Well I wouldn't consider my other one a real good one so I'd call this my first good one

I'm looking for both tonal and compressive characters.

Clean smooth compression is always great. But I also need it to transform boring drums to Holy Crap Drums! Smacking hard in your face oozing with analog grit. I have an album I'm working on that has a 50's style blues ballad song to Adult Contemporary to Modern Rock. It's pretty much everywhere, and if one really good comp can handle most of what I throw at it pretty well then that's the one I want. Eventually I'd like to get many compressors that'll fit the bill. But I gotta start with this first one.

I really only need one channel but two is great as well. If it's stereo and with in my budget then great!

Thanks
Old 7th August 2010
  #18
Here for the gear
 
Tomba's Avatar
 

Distressor anybody?

Hey Mattski

Ive tried the 176 and the UBK fatso (...briefly but I have used regular fatso on 100s of mixes.

Both awesome compressors but if Versatility is the name of the game id point you in the direction of a Distressor.

They are my absolute favorite "HAMMOR OF THOR!" super fast in and out compressor to take the nasty bits of kicks, snares, vocals, and I reckon thats probably the most important compressor in the chain. The one you don't hear at all that lets you get the meat of the sound up without hurting electronics,converters whatever.

You can slow the ditressor down quite alot and in alot of ways there a bit 1176 ish. (also a super versatile compressor)

Not to mention the overall sound of the box has that empirical labs flavour. I hate abstract terms like "its sounds musical" but for lack of a better way of saying it.....uuurghgh it sounds so effing musical I could cry. All of that is true of the Fatso to.

urgh i could go on but ive probably upset the mix by adding another box to think about.

Peace.

T.
Old 7th August 2010
  #19
Shy
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
Clean smooth compression is always great. But I also need it to transform boring drums to Holy Crap Drums! Smacking hard in your face oozing with analog grit.
Get The Dragon. I think it does the Smack thing better than all others you mentioned. Not because it's a "better compressor", but because its attack and release are just more suitable for it. It can also be "gritty" or "clean" but with a character.
Old 8th August 2010
  #20
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
Hey Greg, good to hear from you. I emailed you twice a few days ago but I never heard back from you.

!!?? That doesn't seem possible, I've answered all my emails, where are you writing to?

Anyway, I think tapehiss is right about checking off the daking, I love that box and recommend it all the time but it's not gonna blow things up for you the way you want.

I have a hard time believing any comp can out-smack mine or make things more in-your-face with tons of grit, but I'm probably biased. I've also never used the dragon so I can't comment on it, but from your description of what you're after I think those are the two from your list you need to shoot out because the other two simply won't get you there.

It's also really hard to go wrong with a good old fashioned 1176 for this kind of stuff, although I'd say 1176's are more about thwack than smack. Thwack hits me in the chest, smack gets me between the eyes. SSL gives good smack too, the 384 is a classic for good reason but it's probably not dirty enough for you.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 9th August 2010
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
!!?? That doesn't seem possible, I've answered all my emails, where are you writing to?

Anyway, I think tapehiss is right about checking off the daking, I love that box and recommend it all the time but it's not gonna blow things up for you the way you want.

I have a hard time believing any comp can out-smack mine or make things more in-your-face with tons of grit, but I'm probably biased. I've also never used the dragon so I can't comment on it, but from your description of what you're after I think those are the two from your list you need to shoot out because the other two simply won't get you there.

It's also really hard to go wrong with a good old fashioned 1176 for this kind of stuff, although I'd say 1176's are more about thwack than smack. Thwack hits me in the chest, smack gets me between the eyes. SSL gives good smack too, the 384 is a classic for good reason but it's probably not dirty enough for you.


Gregory Scott - ubk

Hey, I'm writing to: [email protected] I'll resend them to you.

I put the Daking on my list because a few people I was talking to said it was really versatile and will out do a Distressor any day. And it's pretty cheap too. But I think it probably lacks the character I'm looking for.

Yeah man after hearing your UBK Fatso and seeing the vids I was really impressed. That's why I WANT ONE!!! That sucker just oozes with character. And that's just off the video I saw of you demoing it.

I decided not to go with the Dragon because my sails rep had a few negative things to say about it. And I really trust him.

After much thought I have my heart set on getting a UBK Fatso and Retro 176. I think I'll have to find a way to come up with the extra money some how.
Old 12th August 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
keano's Avatar
Which Compressor

I demo'd a Dragon. Great compressor, very fat. Great tweaking ability. Warmer then MC77
Old 12th August 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
turk sanchez's Avatar
What about the chandler germ? Might fit the bill of what your looking for (colored yet flexible).
Old 12th August 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
Looking for advise on what compressor to pick up.

I'm torn between a Retro 176, Daking FET II, UBK Fatso or a SPA Dragon.

I'm interested in a compressor that can handle whatever I throw at it. Mostly Drums, Bass, Guitar and Vocals, and for many different genres. But most important I'm looking for a character compressor. I know people have there different tastes and not just one compressor will always do the job. But if there's one that can handle most well, what will it be. What would you suggest? And if there's another you recommend please chime in.

Much appreciated...
dont take the advice of anyone who says "i think" or "it looks like".

i have a UBK fatso at home and its very versatile for sure. the other 3 i havent tried and wont be commenting on.
Old 12th August 2010
  #25
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keano View Post
I demo'd a Dragon. Great compressor, very fat.
I keep assuming it is the choice of transformers on board, but the Dragon does have a BIG sound to it whether it's compressing or not.

War
Old 12th August 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 

I know you want a single high end comp to be colored yet versatile for your $3500 budget. I think you would be better off with several less expensive comps and a patchbay. I think of colored comps as basically an effect. Just like reverbs and delays, all the boxes can accomplish the same effect but sound distinctive (are all voiced different) where one might work better than another depending on the source/song. If you get some variety of the three type of comps (opto - FET - VCA) you will have a lot of ground covered. Maybe something like this . . . Opto: Peavey VC/L2 ($800), Art Pro VLA ($275) VCA: Urei LA22 ($600), DBX 160X ($200), CBS Volumax (solid state version)($150), Symetrix 501 ($100), CAD CGM-2 Champ ($75) FET: ADR F601-RS ($600), LA Audio Classic Compressor ($400). The above totals to $3200. Look at the ground it covers, all are usable colors with much variation and no one here craps on any of these tools. Spend another $300 on a Jim Williams modded Aphex 651 to cover transparent comping and you'll have an impressive tool kit for your $3500. How many of you high enders like my proposed rack versus one comp for the same outlay? I guess the debate I'm raising is it better to have many color comps or just one expensive "all in one" comp?
Old 14th August 2010
  #27
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
How many of you high enders like my proposed rack versus one comp for the same outlay?

I like that rack a lot... if I have a patchbay, console, lots of channels of good conversion, and I want to mix otb without automation or deal with inserts and latency in a hybrid setup. Personally, I don't want to deal with either of those mix scenarios, I've tried them and they're not ideal for me.

I think what a lot of guys like me want and need to do these days is have a minimal but stellar, colorful chain to track everything thru (pre, comp, & eq), then use those pieces again to print key elements thru for mix processing, then mix it all down itb with minimal or no plugins then run the mix thru the golden chain once more for the last layer of glue and color.

Both approaches --- lots of channels running live, and everything processed a la carte thru a more streamlined setup --- can be fast and fluid depending on how your brain works and what kind of flow you get yourself into. The benefit of the having fewer pieces you print thru is that it forces you to make decisions and commit to things earlier in the process, so you create your own little Beatles in Abbey Road deal.

It's the way I work these days, because I want to stay more focused on music and less on production, and for whatever reason having very small racks with limited choices helps me to do that. So I went from having 14 channels of compression and 10 eq's to having 6 channels of compression and 2 eq's, and I work faster and things sound better in the end.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 14th August 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
for that money and for what you want it to do i would say Purple MC-77 and a Distressor. yes, get the newer one with the "Brit Mod". i actually use that mode more than i thought i would.

next would be somehtibng softer and "larger / fatter / rounder"... LA2A / CL1-B / 176 / etc."

for in-yer-face pop / rock vocals, you can't beat the 1176 / MC-77 / Distressor, which, funny enough, are all great for other things like drums, bass, guitars, the works...

... with any of those boys, when you figure out how to really dial them in you can use them on anything.

start with an MC-77, then a distressor... if you ask me!
Old 14th August 2010
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Upfront2K's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattski View Post
Hey, I'm writing to: [email protected] I'll resend them to you.

I put the Daking on my list because a few people I was talking to said it was really versatile and will out do a Distressor any day. And it's pretty cheap too. But I think it probably lacks the character I'm looking for.

Yeah man after hearing your UBK Fatso and seeing the vids I was really impressed. That's why I WANT ONE!!! That sucker just oozes with character. And that's just off the video I saw of you demoing it.

I decided not to go with the Dragon because my sails rep had a few negative things to say about it. And I really trust him.

After much thought I have my heart set on getting a UBK Fatso and Retro 176. I think I'll have to find a way to come up with the extra money some how.
Your problem can easily be solved by getting (2) Chandler Little Devil compressors. Put them in the A Designs Rack and you will never look back.

They will give you all the character and smack your after and when needed can also do the clean and smooth and anything in between.

You won't regret it and you can get something else down the line.
Old 14th August 2010
  #30
Not sure who your sales rep is that had negative things to say about the SPA Dragon but I just got one here and it's amazing. I really haven't found much it doesn't sound great on and it's extremely versatile, especially with the built-in sidechain and parallel compression.

The SPA Dragon is highly recommended.
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