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High end compressor addition
Old 28th August 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

High end compressor addition

Hey fellow slutz,

I've been on a bit of a gear splurge this year and I'm looking to go for one more round of compressors and call it quits for the year. Any advice for what I could add? FYI I'm totally hybrid now, from a 9000 up until late 2012 to completely in the box, to where I am now.

Here's my humble list of comps so far:

Tube Tech CL2A
Retro STA
DBX 160x x 2
WA76 x 2
SHDV (Shadow Hills)
SHMO x 2
Obsidian 500
Xpressor
UBK Fatso

What would you add if you had this rack? ~9k. Could be one or several. I'd like to add that out of all these comps, I'm not a real fan of the tone of the WA76 anymore. I bought them because at that price, it seemed like a no brainer. But as with all 1176s, the compression is useful.

Thanks in advance.
Old 28th August 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 

That's already a good list. What holes do you think you have?

If it's FET, audition some of the higher end 1176 makes and try out the Daking comp as well.
Old 28th August 2014
  #3
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vernier's Avatar
Probably UA 176 or clone but I haven't tried the clone.
Old 28th August 2014
  #4
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ps. if you have 9k, look into the UTA Unfairchild. It's like, cool, and like, stereo and stuff.
Old 28th August 2014
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Read good things about the daking comp. No glaring holes, but id like to have more options for parallel chains and just for more flavors in general.

I'm not sure I'm ready to go for a Fairchild clone. But looking into the germaniums and perhaps a cl1b to complement the STA on vocals. I don't really send and bounce because I'm constantly adjusting things so i'd like to have dedicated gear for each instrument, or multiple pieces for parallel chains.

Keep the suggestions coming!
Old 28th August 2014
  #6
Gear Addict
 
AwTAC's Avatar
 

our channel compressors will change your life

that said, Im always surprised by guys that have a bunch of nice stuff but dont have a compex. Old ones are a burtal pain to deal with but certainly worth it.
Old 28th August 2014
  #7
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steveschizoid's Avatar
Alta Moda Unicomp - really good for kick drums and bass guitar, given the incredible versatility (drive and blend controls that allow tonal control over the drive or the original signal blended, adjustable side chain HP filter, external side chain, feedback/feedforward button) would probably be useful for 2 buss, but I use something else for that.

Aurora Audio GTC2 - just sounds really really nice. Attack, release and ratio knobs detented for easy recall. Choice of fet or opto or both. Difficult to screw something up with it, especially in fet. Opto has the unusual (for opto) ability to achieve a very fast attack. Also has a very cool auto release setting.

You could get both of these for 9K, especially if you look for used units.
Old 28th August 2014
  #8
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwilson View Post
Hey fellow slutz,

I've been on a bit of a gear splurge this year and I'm looking to go for one more round of compressors and call it quits for the year. Any advice for what I could add? FYI I'm totally hybrid now, from a 9000 up until late 2012 to completely in the box, to where I am now.

Here's my humble list of comps so far:

Tube Tech CL2A
Retro STA
DBX 160x x 2
WA76 x 2
SHDV (Shadow Hills)
SHMO x 2
Obsidian 500
Xpressor
UBK Fatso

What would you add if you had this rack? ~9k. Could be one or several. I'd like to add that out of all these comps, I'm not a real fan of the tone of the WA76 anymore. I bought them because at that price, it seemed like a no brainer. But as with all 1176s, the compression is useful.

Thanks in advance.

I'd get the Obsidian dual mono expander, and a pair of Chandler Germanium Compressors (The Germs are an extremely powerful pair of compressors, SIX KNEES! Total swiss army knife and tone for days.)

My WA76's just shipped (we bought four for the studio.) I'm very excited to put them next to my Obsidian and Germaniums.

I'd think about the Radial Komit. I know it's not a high end compressor but it's a dual stage comp / limiter with transformers for $500. Just seems a no brainer for a compressor to "lock" something in place.
Old 28th August 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Do yourself a favour and at least audition the Drawmer 1973 stereo FET multi band comp.

Quite powerful…do not be put off by its 3 band comp.

You can dial in your sound at the source.

It is not just for fixing a problem mix.

Cheers
Old 28th August 2014
  #10
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gyraf's Avatar
 

What would you add if you had this rack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwilson View Post
What would you add if you had this rack?
NTP 179-170 (or maybe a couple of 179-120's if available)

G10/Hpf

API 2500

Neve 33609

Jakob E.
(who is particularly biased towards the G10, off course)

Last edited by gyraf; 28th August 2014 at 01:52 PM.. Reason: sp
Old 28th August 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I'd get the Obsidian dual mono expander, and a pair of Chandler Germanium Compressors (The Germs are an extremely powerful pair of compressors, SIX KNEES! Total swiss army knife and tone for days.)

My WA76's just shipped (we bought four for the studio.) I'm very excited to put them next to my Obsidian and Germaniums.

I'd think about the Radial Komit. I know it's not a high end compressor but it's a dual stage comp / limiter with transformers for $500. Just seems a no brainer for a compressor to "lock" something in place.

I got one of the first WA76, unless they changed something, I think you'll love it. I like it slightly better on many things than my 1176 and it easily holds up against my far pricier comps. I really like the weight the cinemag transformers add. Gives it a little meatiness but without the softness of some of the tube driven optical comps I have.
Old 28th August 2014
  #12
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Slug1's Avatar
Man thats some rack! You've got most things covered. A few things might include:
Neve MBC
Neve 33609
Thermionic Culture Phoenix
Elysia Alpha
Foote Control System P3S or P4S
Old 28th August 2014
  #13
I really like my One LA

ONE LA 500
Old 29th August 2014
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll try to cover most of everything posted.

AwTac channel compressor looks really cool. Picked the Fatso over the compex guys, believe or not. Compression is much more useful on the compex, but at the end of the day the sounds I was dialing in with the HF limiter on the Fatso was too good to pass up. Radial Komit . I was thinking of perhaps getting 6 or so 500 series compressors to spread the drums into before hitting the summing bus. I'll see how these two stack up with SSL and each other.

Probably will pass on the Obsidian Dual Mono Expansion since it's parked on my 2bus.

Let me know what you use the WA76s for, because so far they have yet to make it onto a finished mix :( I'm going to keep them anyways but for me it sucks the tone of the source too much. I wouldn't describe them as having any weight at all. More like a lot of color, which dulls the source in a really vintage sort of way. Recently the mixes coming through here have been a lot of mainstream/pop jingles, so maybe the WA76 will shine on other source material. Mine are serialized in the 500's.

Always thumbs up for germaniums. But a matched pair costs more than two single ones and at that price it opens it up to a lot of competition.

Nickknack what do you use the drawmer on? I just can't imagine subjugating my mix to those bandpass filters.

I actually really wanted to try the G10 when I purchased the CL2A but I couldn't get my hands on a demo at the time. How would you describe it's tone and compression, and what would you use it on?

I'm terrified of the Elysia Alpha.

One LA looks absolutely stunning. Get VK to carry these!

Would appreciate a brief explanation of why you purchased each piece of gear when recommending. Thanks.
Old 29th August 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwilson View Post
Hey fellow slutz,

I've been on a bit of a gear splurge this year and I'm looking to go for one more round of compressors and call it quits for the year. Any advice for what I could add? FYI I'm totally hybrid now, from a 9000 up until late 2012 to completely in the box, to where I am now.

Here's my humble list of comps so far:

Tube Tech CL2A
Retro STA
DBX 160x x 2
WA76 x 2
SHDV (Shadow Hills)
SHMO x 2
Obsidian 500
Xpressor
UBK Fatso

What would you add if you had this rack? ~9k. Could be one or several. I'd like to add that out of all these comps, I'm not a real fan of the tone of the WA76 anymore. I bought them because at that price, it seemed like a no brainer. But as with all 1176s, the compression is useful.

Thanks in advance.
Manley Vari mu?
Old 29th August 2014
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Sgalb's Avatar
 

Squeezebox?
Old 29th August 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 

To the OP ,

Before I bought my Drawmer I heard people say oh no don't get it because it can create problems at mastering time.

If left in capable hands at recording/tracking time it brings out a certain sheen and detail that I can attest to as being
full and powerful.

The FET compressor as we know handles fast transients.

Chuck it on the 2 buss and add in some parallel compression and the heavens will open.

I know that there are people out there that are way more knowledgable than me on this subject but if you can get a test drive on this puppy then do so.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers
Old 29th August 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
To the OP ,

Before I bought my Drawmer I heard people say oh no don't get it because it can create problems at mastering time.

If left in capable hands at recording/tracking time it brings out a certain sheen and detail that I can attest to as being
full and powerful.

The FET compressor as we know handles fast transients.

Chuck it on the 2 buss and add in some parallel compression and the heavens will open.

I know that there are people out there that are way more knowledgable than me on this subject but if you can get a test drive on this puppy then do so.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers
I love my Chandlers on the 2Bus because they're FET. My old boss (Shelly Yakus) used to use an old pair of Revision D 1176's on the 2Bus with a custom stereo link he had installed. (This same pair was later sold to Trent Reznor around the time he was cutting tracks for the Downward Spiral.)

I've tried a ton of FET designs out on the 2Bus and the Chandler just won out...it's great for tracking, but the Silicon Hard and Zenar Hard knees really open the stereo width of my mixes...and I never lose transient response since it's has Wet / Dry built in. As expensive as they are...and as colorful as they are, they just add something I really like.

I'm thinking hard about the Rupert Neve MBP next...I might move the Chandlers to the Drum Bus finally if I wind up buying that unit...it's the first compressor since that yielded similar results for me, but that felt a bit more "open" and less colorful in a way that might be better in the long run.

I keep gravitating towards these more modern designs usually...the only tube compressor I've tried that I truly loved on the 2Bus was the D.W. Fearn VT7 (which is on my list...just expensive, still I intend to get one sooner rather than later.) There's other great units...but the Fearn easily had the best stereo image and overall balance.

As for the Warm Audio units...I would call Bryce if you have a concern about the sound of yours. The ones I've tried were straight up competitive with vintage, UA, Purple MC77, and the Mohog MoFET76 when I shot them out. I wound up buying four because of this.
Old 29th August 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwilson View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll try to cover most of everything posted.

AwTac channel compressor looks really cool. Picked the Fatso over the compex guys, believe or not. Compression is much more useful on the compex, but at the end of the day the sounds I was dialing in with the HF limiter on the Fatso was too good to pass up. Radial Komit . I was thinking of perhaps getting 6 or so 500 series compressors to spread the drums into before hitting the summing bus. I'll see how these two stack up with SSL and each other.

Probably will pass on the Obsidian Dual Mono Expansion since it's parked on my 2bus.

Let me know what you use the WA76s for, because so far they have yet to make it onto a finished mix :( I'm going to keep them anyways but for me it sucks the tone of the source too much. I wouldn't describe them as having any weight at all. More like a lot of color, which dulls the source in a really vintage sort of way. Recently the mixes coming through here have been a lot of mainstream/pop jingles, so maybe the WA76 will shine on other source material. Mine are serialized in the 500's.

Always thumbs up for germaniums. But a matched pair costs more than two single ones and at that price it opens it up to a lot of competition.

Nickknack what do you use the drawmer on? I just can't imagine subjugating my mix to those bandpass filters.

I actually really wanted to try the G10 when I purchased the CL2A but I couldn't get my hands on a demo at the time. How would you describe it's tone and compression, and what would you use it on?

I'm terrified of the Elysia Alpha.

One LA looks absolutely stunning. Get VK to carry these!

Would appreciate a brief explanation of why you purchased each piece of gear when recommending. Thanks.
See my post above about the Chandlers, and why I think they're more than worth the price of admission.

GYANG who was a regular poster on this forum for YEARS....and someone whom I deeply respect for the quality of his posts, uses the Elysia Alpha fed into D.W. Fearn VT7 on the 2Bus. I've never had the pleasure of the Alpha in person (I've tried the plugin, but that's not the same can of worms I'd suspect knowing GYANG.)

Anyway...he chose that combo over the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor and a Smart C2 feeding a Thermionic Culture Phoenix in a direct shoot out with multiple configurations of all of these compressors. He could have used any combo, but he chose Alpha > VT7 for final limiting to mix into.

For his home writing studio...he picked up the RND MPB and made a thread about it...claiming that he didn't feel "compromised" with that unit for being in a small creative space Vs his larger studio.

I've tried the MBP...and I've tried the VT7....both REALLY floored me. I would read both this post and the one above it for more detail on why the Chandler Germanium Compressors stand tall with this group.

I'm sure the Alpha is fantastic, but it's so expensive that I would have a hard time rationalizing it even if money weren't an object, so my intention is to eventually get the RND MBP and the D.W. Fearn VT7 and call it a day (since even after buying those two I'd still be saving a bit of money Vs the Alpha.)

As for the Dual mono version of the Dramastic Obsidian...I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on the expander as soon as I can. I'm leaving room for it at least. I love the way that thing sounds, and being able to go a bit wider on 2Bus...or having dual mono units for tracking drums and vocals sounds really useful to me.
Old 29th August 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
 

a diode comp like 33609 and something mean like a compex is what id go for.
Old 29th August 2014
  #21
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IamJohnGalt's Avatar
 

Rupert Neve Designs Master Bus Processor....done. To borrow a phrase....it's the **** that killed Elvis.
Old 1st September 2014
  #22
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nyandres's Avatar
Kenetek 1176ln
Elysia nvelope
BUZZ SOC20
API2500

In that order. I think everyone really has to try a kenetek 1176ln. Its amazing.

I never tried the Elysia, but I've seen what it can do and it looks like a must have for drum manipulation.

The Buzz is awesome and its like a nice flavor for huge sounds. The MS stuff it can do its awesome. I used it for tracking, sometimes for sub bus, and sometimes for the bus. And always for mastering.
Old 2nd September 2014
  #23
Is a Distressor no longer High End? Oh no! I'm picking up my second tomorrow...

Get an Inward Connections TSL-4 Vac Rac too
Old 2nd September 2014
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
As for the Warm Audio units...I would call Bryce if you have a concern about the sound of yours. The ones I've tried were straight up competitive with vintage, UA, Purple MC77, and the Mohog MoFET76 when I shot them out. I wound up buying four because of this.
Yup, I spoke with him right when I purchased the units and he pointed out a simple mod that I could do that would change the sound the compressor. Only for certain serialized units, however.


I ended up using a single WA76 on a sub bass yesterday, and it worked wonderfully for a little bit of color and dirt.
Old 2nd September 2014
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
See my post above about the Chandlers, and why I think they're more than worth the price of admission.

GYANG who was a regular poster on this forum for YEARS....and someone whom I deeply respect for the quality of his posts, uses the Elysia Alpha fed into D.W. Fearn VT7 on the 2Bus. I've never had the pleasure of the Alpha in person (I've tried the plugin, but that's not the same can of worms I'd suspect knowing GYANG.)
Thanks for all the great insight. I'll definitely have to get a pair of germaniums in here. Would the RND MBP replace the obsidian? The VT7 is definitely on my shortlist.

At $2500 per channel the kenetek is the same price as the VT7.

Distressor is most certainly high end. Everything they make is utility for days
Old 2nd September 2014
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
See my post above about the Chandlers, and why I think they're more than worth the price of admission.

GYANG who was a regular poster on this forum for YEARS....and someone whom I deeply respect for the quality of his posts, uses the Elysia Alpha fed into D.W. Fearn VT7 on the 2Bus. I've never had the pleasure of the Alpha in person (I've tried the plugin, but that's not the same can of worms I'd suspect knowing GYANG.)
Thanks for all the great insight. I'll definitely have to get a pair of germaniums in here. Would the RND MBP replace the obsidian? The VT7 is definitely on my shortlist.

At $2500 per channel the kenetek is the same price as the VT7.

Distressor is most certainly high end. Everything they make is utility for days
Old 2nd September 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Picking up a pair of used Aphex 651 Expressors or 320 Compellors won't dent the budget much for "transparent" duties and free up some of your great expensive versitile comps from that duty to handle other things (even with the Jim Williams mod).

You don't have a Diode type hence those suggestions above (Neve) for softening up a source. The one trick pony CBS Diodes are interesting and inexpensive.

If you are off the 1176 sound, audition the FET Compex and see how that floats your boat (as mentioned above).

It would be hard for any of us not be able to put a Manley Vari-Mu to good use (as mentioned above).
Old 3rd September 2014
  #28
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwilson View Post
Thanks for all the great insight. I'll definitely have to get a pair of germaniums in here. Would the RND MBP replace the obsidian? The VT7 is definitely on my shortlist.

At $2500 per channel the kenetek is the same price as the VT7.

Distressor is most certainly high end. Everything they make is utility for days

I'd need all four in a room to really think about the pros and cons of what should go where mix to mix, I just know that all four (Germanium Compressors, MBP, Obsidian, and VT7) are "sounds" I rather appreciate. There's control sets I understand thoroughly there, and they all offer things the other units in that short list don't individually, forcing me think hard about acquiring them all down the line.

I do think...that the VT7 would be on the 2bus in most chain combinations though.

With that group I'm not sure I'd need much else, Possibly Crane Song Titans and Distressors to round things out...just to have couple more "Swiss Army Knife" style options.

I have no experience with the Kenetek...but I've heard the Fearn. It impressed me more than the Thermionic Phoenix, Pendulum Audio units, and the Manley Vari Mu.
Old 3rd September 2014
  #29
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
a pair of Chandler Germanium Compressors (The Germs are an extremely powerful pair of compressors, SIX KNEES! Total swiss army knife and tone for days.)



I have a pair of the Germs and they are easily the best tone shaping comps in my racks.
Old 5th February 2020
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
NTP 179-170 (or maybe a couple of 179-120's if available)

G10/Hpf

API 2500

Neve 33609

Jakob E.
(who is particularly biased towards the G10, off course)

Im interested in the NTP 179-170, do you own this Compressor? How Do you use it?

Did you do some maintenance to these? Like recapping etc.?
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