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A-Design Nail Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 20th October 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
A-Design Nail

Ahhh Some love only really ! I swear this thing is alien .. I looked over and it was doing around -5 of reduction on the 2-bus at times , still sounded natural ! I love it for everything . Thank you A-Design !!

Tee
Old 1st November 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Salty James's Avatar
I'm thinking I might be joining you soon...

still researching.. trying to make the right decision..
Old 1st November 2013
  #3
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
I just picked one up. Bit of a learning curve but the thing kills no doubt. For you veteran users:

How much are lead vocals triggering the compression?

Just asking because with my other buss comps, I find drums are whats triggering the comp. On my first mix with the Nail, lead vocals are driving the compression more than normal. They aren't any louder or less compressed than normal either so I'm wondering why.


BTW, tracked overheads into the Nail and it was perfectly transparent in terms of action with a tiny bit of sheen.
Old 1st November 2013
  #4
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Bryce's Avatar
Still loving mine.

dB
Old 22nd November 2013
  #5
This is the most expensive piece of audio I've ever seriously considered. I recently migrated to a hybrid setup with OTB summing, which has really cleaned up my act and improved my mixes, and the Nail just seems like it would complete my mix chain in the best way. I only see great feedback on this. But dang, is there any lower cost option even in the ballpark?

..ant
Old 22nd November 2013
  #6
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
I thought it was pretty good when I got to hear one, but I was looking for something else personally. I think for some people it's more on the lightly colorful to neutral side but not sterile, and really well made. It has a wide stereo image too...but for what I like to do I'm looking for a little more by way of harmonic distortion to beef up the 2Bus. For more mellow music than what I create I think it's not a bad choice. However for more neutral / clearer stereo compression I wound up with an Xpressor 500 by Elysia. (Which would be perfect if it had a dual mono setting.) Though...despite it's one flaw (said lack of a Dual Mono setting), I still might wind up with a few more of them since they're amazing and cost efficient. The Nail is going to be more colored than than the Elysia, but I feel the stereo image was a bit more middle friendly with the Xpressor in a way which felt "truer" (Though things do narrow slightly through it so I don't know about putting it on the 2Bus alone)...still neither beats a pair of Chandler Germanium Compressors for my money in terms of width / size and overall tone on the 2Bus for me. But then again I'm big on that sound...if you've listened to records done with the Nail and that's your jam, you should try one. It's definitely a quality piece.
Old 22nd November 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by antstudio View Post
But dang, is there any lower cost option even in the ballpark?

..ant
Not saying that $2500 isn't a lot of cash, but this box is a great value and does things that most other boxes in this range cant. I've seen them go used for around 1900-2000 in the last year--pretty much unbeatable at that price.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
I am debating getting the Nail to go along with a Massive Passive on the Master Buss. I want to test a Vari-Mu before deciding on the Nail. Regarless, the Vari-Mu is almost twice the Nail! Making the Nail look like a great deal.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #9
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngmain View Post
I am debating getting the Nail to go along with a Massive Passive on the Master Buss. I want to test a Vari-Mu before deciding on the Nail. Regarless, the Vari-Mu is almost twice the Nail! Making the Nail look like a great deal.
Vari-Mu is more my speed personally...but I can see people going both ways on that.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #10
Gear Addict
 
goldencd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngmain View Post
I am debating getting the Nail to go along with a Massive Passive on the Master Buss. I want to test a Vari-Mu before deciding on the Nail. Regarless, the Vari-Mu is almost twice the Nail! Making the Nail look like a great deal.
They are both so different that you will get very different results and vibe from one vs the other. It isn't about price or deal but more about what is gonna get you the sound you are looking for... Once you know that the choice should be pretty clear.
Old 28th November 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I have a nail that I use in conjunction with a Hammer and an Em-EQ2 on my mix. I typically just leave them at a certain setting and don't mess with them. Its transparent and is uncolored but if you put all that stuff in bypass you wouldn't want to mix without it. I feel like the master buss is you last place in the process to totally screw up your mix and the a-designs stuff helps me keep it balanced and stops the processing from getting too heavy handed. It would be my first choice as a compressor on the mix bus. I'm sure it would be a great stereo compressor on every source, I've never bothered trying it out on anything else.
Old 28th December 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I agree with boneshowel. I have had the Hammer and Nail now for about a month and I will never mix without them. I used them all over my buddy's covers EP
https://soundcloud.com/domliberati/s...nter-covers-ep

I am still learning how to treat my 2 BUS with them, but they have definitely improved the overall mix, and really made my vox and gtrs pop!
Old 28th December 2013
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclerico12 View Post
I agree with boneshowel. I have had the Hammer and Nail now for about a month and I will never mix without them. I used them all over my buddy's covers EP
https://soundcloud.com/domliberati/s...nter-covers-ep

I am still learning how to treat my 2 BUS with them, but they have definitely improved the overall mix, and really made my vox and gtrs pop!

ummm... you posted this yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclerico12 View Post
I dig all of those for sure. I've always been a big fan of the API and SSL comps. Thanks for sharing the samples!

Anybody use an A Designs Nail Compressor for the same? I have a buddy that swears by it. He recently put out a cover of Radiohead's "High and Dry" and used the Nail all over it, as well as the Master Bus Comp...
https://soundcloud.com/domliberati/h...nter-covers-ep

There's something really off-putting about the way some people pimp the A-Design stuff. It's a shame as i'm interested in some of their gear
Old 28th December 2013
  #14
Gear Addict
 

seems like the dude is trying to promote his own work more than a-designs. I think the reason a-designs has a lot of fans on here is because they make great products and have excellent personalized customer service which is what you would expect from an audio products company but so rarely get.
Old 28th December 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Sorry to sound overly-excited fellas. Not trying to "pimp" anything. Just trying to share, learn, and be of help to others. I figure posting samples, these being the most recent one's on which I've worked, are the easiest way to show a piece of gear or if anybody has idea of what they're talking about. Don't let me stop ya from getting beneficial gear! Just trying to help and not afraid to speak highly of any gear from anybody if it helps me do better work. Cheers!
Old 29th December 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by boneshowell View Post
I think the reason a-designs has a lot of fans on here is because they make great products and have excellent personalized customer service which is what you would expect from an audio products company but so rarely get.
This!
Old 28th November 2015
  #17
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proxy's Avatar
 

Non-pimp opinion here, I just continue to be impressed with this compressor.

It wouldn't be my only HW comp if I could only have one—for me that'd be an SSL flavor—BUT, I am just amazed at what this comp does.

The way it makes tracks clearer and closer than you ever thought is just magic.

Subtle, but not.
Old 28th March 2017
  #18
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once a roadie's Avatar
What is the best way to wire the nail input (and hammer) XLR when feeding from an unbalanced source?

Same question with the output feeding an unbalanced source...

Do you leave pin 3 of the XLR floating?

I've heard shorting pin 1 and 3 works on transformer gear but won't always work on electronically ballanced gear.


Thanks
Old 30th March 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
antichef's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by once a roadie View Post
What is the best way to wire the nail input (and hammer) XLR when feeding from an unbalanced source?

Same question with the output feeding an unbalanced source...

Do you leave pin 3 of the XLR floating?

I've heard shorting pin 1 and 3 works on transformer gear but won't always work on electronically ballanced gear.


Thanks
I can never remember so I always go back to this page:

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