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What Stereo Compressor For Mastering and General Use Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

What Stereo Compressor For Mastering and General Use

I'm looking for a stereo compressor for mastering and also one that I can use in mono mode for vocals. I doing mainly guitar pop and electro pop. I was thinking something to add a bit of colour but I guess something that can give me some options would be more desirable.

From previous posts and research I'm thinking:
API 2500
Crane Song STC 8
Tubetech SMC 2B
Vertigo Sound VSC2
A Designs Audio Hammer Nail

Price-wise the hammer and the API are ahead. What I'm really after is to beef up my mixes and give them a more professional sound. Would I gain much more out of the more expensive options?

I should add I do have an SSL Mix Buss Comp - but I feel you can only use this subtly.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated
Cheers
G
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
Gear Nut
 
T-Stag's Avatar
How about Empirical Labs Fatso jr?

Erkka
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Once you hear the VSC-2 you'll never go back -- simply stunning... but as always, YMMV.

Peace.
Old 15th December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

The Fatso is getting mixed reviews. Probably good for vocals though which is something I'm looking for.

I should add that the compressor is more for vocals and Mastering than anything else.
Old 15th December 2010
  #5
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AllBread's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
but as always, YMMV.
My monkey may vomit?!
Old 15th December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Vomit!

Allbread - You not into the VSC-2 then?
Old 15th December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 

I personally like the sound and behaviour of an optical comp in to a VCA compressor, just like the SHMC. In your case if you feed an SMC2B in to your SSL comp, you will have a very powerfull combination for on the 2buss. Lots of control.

The TT is also cool on vox.
You could also consider a Thermionic Phoenix, great at both applications..


But indeed as always your monkey may vomit...
Old 15th December 2010
  #8
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AllBread's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by egoboo View Post
Allbread - You not into the VSC-2 then?
Never used it or even heard about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post


But indeed as always your monkey may vomit...
Bingo! I assumed that that's what YMMV stood for.
Old 15th December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Gml 8900?
Old 15th December 2010
  #10
Gear Nut
 

I think any on that list could possibly induce monkey vomit!
Old 15th December 2010
  #11
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I gotta say, that "Hard Threshold" on the A-Designs NAIL is very nice stuff and once you have your "ah-ha!" moment with it and how it interacts, the tool becomes very powerful. It's not just a mixing compressor, it can handle all sources very nicely and does so without eating into the top end. In fact, it remains very "open" sounding even with extreme settings.

War
Old 15th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Strut78's Avatar
All these compressors will sound great when used subtly, and it is rare in a mastering situation to be overly aggressive, 2-3 dB of gain reduction is the most I would use.

I use both the API2500 and STC-8 everyday and out of those two I find the STC-8 would be a better choice if you could only have one. The API2500 is awesome at what it does, but i find the STC-8 can cover the same ground in many ways and can do much more. Also in a tracking situation the STC-8 gives you full dual channel operation.

I have not had the opportunity to use the others that you listed but just thought I would share my experience with these two.
Old 15th December 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubbin View Post
I can only speak to what I know and that's the D.W. Fearn VT-7. It's way up there in the price region, but I've found it to be useful on everything. It tends to make things sound more "substantial" and I don't mean excessive low-mid buildup.

The gain reduction action is very subtle. Difficult to abuse it and initially, it might be hard to notice yourself abusing it. Ultimately, I wouldn't call it an overt color piece, but the tone is certainly there and overall, it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. It owns clean guitar.

I've never been one to strap things across the 2-bus, but I'm sure it would excel in this department as well.
The Vt7 is the stuff that dreams are made of. What a great box.
Old 15th December 2010
  #14
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

You want to beef up your mixes? In my experience with the comps you listed, the api and the vertigo are definitely the beefiest, with the api being thicker in a pleasantly veiled way and the vertigo being a touch more open and deeper.

I can't recall if I've used that particular tubetech, their nomenclature always confused the hell out of me, but 'beefy' is not a word I'd use to describe any of their comps I've used, more like 'round and present'.

Nail is the opposite of beefy, it's lean and clean. What comes into that box is what goes out, albeit with tightly controlled dynamics and a distinctly modern vibe.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 15th December 2010
  #15
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllBread View Post
My monkey may vomit?!
...or your ability to search and find answers to your questions may be inadequate...

YMMV - Wiktionary
your mileage may vary - Wiktionary

Google -- its not just for email anymore.

Peace.
Old 15th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
RonT's Avatar
 

FIIKheh

(F**ked If I Know)
Old 16th December 2010
  #17
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emrr's Avatar
Check out the FCS P4 DMS. Dual mono, or stereo, stereo tracks perfectly, tons of sonic options. Mercenary is the dealer.
Old 16th December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

What Stereo Compressor For Mastering and General Use

Api2500
Old 16th December 2010
  #19
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stagefright13's Avatar
 

I don't think anyone knows without a sample of the music. But I hire out several cool items from friends that are on your list.

John
Old 16th December 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
You want to beef up your mixes? In my experience with the comps you listed, the api and the vertigo are definitely the beefiest, with the api being thicker in a pleasantly veiled way and the vertigo being a touch more open and deeper.

I can't recall if I've used that particular tubetech, their nomenclature always confused the hell out of me, but 'beefy' is not a word I'd use to describe any of their comps I've used, more like 'round and present'.

Nail is the opposite of beefy, it's lean and clean. What comes into that box is what goes out, albeit with tightly controlled dynamics and a distinctly modern vibe.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Gregory - maybe beefy is too strong a word. But what you are saying about the 2500 and the vertigo is probably what I am after.

I was also thinking about the Manley but I hear its over priced and not as versatile as the other two. With Manley there is a certain amount of paying for the label.

And lastly, the Thermionic Phoenix could also be another option but I've been reading that their gear is not built too good.

So many options!! What to do???
Thanks for everybody's input
Greg
Old 16th December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
stagefright13's Avatar
 

You can try this stuff out local for a minimal amount of studio time. Why guess? Don't waste money!

John
Old 16th December 2010
  #22
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Once you hear the VSC-2 you'll never go back -- simply stunning... but as always, YMMV.

Peace.
Yes!

Very often you have to realize that compression on the mix bus is a compromise between what you already have, what you still want to achieve with compression and what you loose for it, for example depth of sound, precision in the time domain.

With the VSC-2 I never think I loose someting. You always only win.
Old 16th December 2010
  #23
Deleted User
Guest
What Stereo Compressor For Mastering and General Use

Aurora Audio makes a killer stereo compressor: the GTC2. It's like an 1176/la2a hybrid. You can run it in series or not: that is, feed each character circuit into the next. Great for vocals, bass, drums...everything. It gets a lot of love from feisty gearslutters. It should be on your list.

Tanner knows his $hit.

A mastering compressor or mix bus compressor? You own an ssl mix bus comp? This doesn't work on the mix bus?



Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
Old 16th December 2010
  #24
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Aurora Audio makes a killer stereo compressor: the GTC2. It's like an 1176/la2a hybrid. You can run it in series or not: that is, feed each character circuit into the next. Great for vocals, bass, drums...everything. It gets a lot of love from feisty gearslutters. It should be on your list.

Tanner knows his $hit.

A mastering compressor or mix bus compressor? You own an ssl mix bus comp? This doesn't work on the mix bus?



Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
thumbsup

The GTC2 will cover a lot of ground and is TOTALLY different from the SSL you already have. I'd definitely give it a look. The Vertigo is sick. I'm getting one myself in the next few weeks. Another very flexible set up would be a pair of Trakkers.
Old 17th December 2010
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Aurora Audio makes a killer stereo compressor: the GTC2. It's like an 1176/la2a hybrid. You can run it in series or not: that is, feed each character circuit into the next. Great for vocals, bass, drums...everything. It gets a lot of love from feisty gearslutters. It should be on your list.

Tanner knows his $hit.

A mastering compressor or mix bus compressor? You own an ssl mix bus comp? This doesn't work on the mix bus?



Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
I've got an ssl x rack with XLogic X-Rack Stereo Bus Compressor Module.
Old 17th December 2010
  #26
Here for the gear
 
TLHmixer's Avatar
 

Manley Vari Mu. It works great on every type of music. If you are not mastering, you can also use it for acoustic guitars, piano, and vocals and receive a real nice outcome!
Old 17th December 2010
  #27
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staudio's Avatar
 

I'm gonna put in another recommendation for the API 2500. I find it to be very good at both bus/master compression and as a track compressor. It has a nice range of settings for both applications.
Old 17th December 2010
  #28
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flute player's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Once you hear the VSC-2 you'll never go back -- simply stunning... but as always, YMMV.

Peace.
A good choice allthough it's a very transparant sounding one.
Keep that in mind if you also want to add some colour.

greetz,

Paul
Old 17th December 2010
  #29
Deleted User
Guest
What Stereo Compressor For Mastering and General Use

I have the API 2500 and ssl fxg384 ... However, my buddy has the Aurora and wow.
The API is amazing. I was simply addressing your stated need.
The API is opamp and transformer thru and thru.
The aurora sonics are stellar and it gives u options.



Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
Old 17th December 2010
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewh View Post
Gml 8900?
If you need transparency, that's a choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strut78 View Post
....

I use both the API2500 and STC-8 everyday and out of those two I find the STC-8 would be a better choice if you could only have one. ...
Yes, very linear.

I would suggest to check the QES Labs Variable Gm tube comp.
A really warm tone, and amazing depth. It can add colour in a really pleasant way.
Check this thread:
Tube compressor shoot-out: Pendulum ES-8 vs QES Labs Variable-Gm

and this
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