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if you would have to choose 1 outboard compressor
Old 4th January 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

if you would have to choose 1 outboard compressor

hi,


so my question is: if you would have to choose 1 analog compressor to work with which one would it be? I mainly produce electronic dance music; techno, house etc.. I only have budget for 1 very good outboard compressor. i'd like to be able to run my drum bus through it, compress bass, drums to vocals with it, but also will be using it as master bus compressor.

so far the models i've been looking into are:
- rupert neve design portico 2 master bus
- api 2500
- phoenix
- ssl
- TUBE-TECH SMC 2B
- Manley vari mu

eventually i'd like to own them all someday
the thing that is interesting to me about the portico 2 master bus is it's stereo field editing options, SC feat and parallel compression.

what would be your suggestion? they are all very good compressors obviously, with totally different sounds... but i can only choose 1 for now. so which one should it be?
Old 4th January 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Miles Flint's Avatar
 

can comment on the API, Manley and TT... none of them will excel for all your tasks, also these are 3 different types of compressors, vca, vari mu and opto. The API is cool on the drumbuss, also master, lots of flexibility with the "tone" section. but for vocals I'd prefer the TT, for bass probably the Manley. IMO the most tonal flexibility you will get out the 2500. good luck
Old 4th January 2015
  #3
Fore me

SMC2B, more flexible & wide stereo image, open up & glue your mix ..
Old 4th January 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by phone View Post
I only have budget for 1 very good outboard compressor.
Tough to choose one compressor to cover all those applications!

However since your budget allows only one at this stage, I would suggest the RND as the most flexible, capable and versatile of the options you are considering.
Old 4th January 2015
  #5
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swafford's Avatar
 

My favorite everything compressor is a Pendulum OCL/2. My second favorite is the RND 5043.
Old 4th January 2015
  #6
SEED78
Guest
Out of your list I would go for the Neve.

I've just gone through same process and I'm getting a Foote compressor, price to quality and versatility ratio is high. I too just want 1 stereo comp, not 3 for different tasks. I may eventually get something additional for extreme punishment of drums and synths like a culture vulture, but not another compressor.

Here is the thread I started, loads of shouts for the Neve in it. SSL, api, Manley, are not as versitle as Neve or Foote if we are talking tracking and 2 bus, Phoenix is too expensive.
2bus compressor, that also excels at tracking?
Old 4th January 2015
  #7
Here for the gear
 

the thing is i will eventually build up my mastering chain as i go along and run my sound through several compressors. but for now this would be my first outboard compressor for my home studio set up. i like a colored sound, so i don't mind the compressor doing some magic glittery on it. i like character and warmth in a compressor and most of all a wide fat bottom.
RND seems very versatile but what about the sound?
Old 4th January 2015
  #8
SEED78
Guest
All covered on my thread.
Old 4th January 2015
  #9
I have them all, and have many more choices ir depends always On program material and other things What you intend to do, but for a general use in drums i whould go for the api ir if You got more money vertigo sound vsc2 This will never Let You down in any circunstancies, Also It's really good for mastering...
Old 4th January 2015
  #10
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Immersion's Avatar
How about Cransong Titan or dangerous audio Compressor ?
The thing with Titan is colour control to achieve different colour.
The thing with Dangerous audio Compressor is its transparency and the respect for source audio,
transperent compression which leaves you to the opportunity to do the colour before or after the compressor.

Personally from a pure philosphpic stand point the Dangerous audio compressor attracts me more. I like Color
but there is so many things in the chain that could add color So I do not see any specific reason why it should be coloured in the compressor.
Its most important job for me is probably transparency in most cases. But there is scenarious I would like to add compressor colour too.. then Titan would be nice.. I would want to have both to complete each other. But if I only had to decide one I would choose the dangerous audio compressor.

Or does any other people have any recommendations ? are the dangerous audio compressor in the lead when it comes to transparency ?
From what I have heard it sound not as an compressor in many ways I like that.
Old 4th January 2015
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by phone View Post
the thing is i will eventually build up my mastering chain as i go along and run my sound through several compressors. but for now this would be my first outboard compressor for my home studio set up. i like a colored sound, so i don't mind the compressor doing some magic glittery on it. i like character and warmth in a compressor and most of all a wide fat bottom.
RND seems very versatile but what about the sound?
If I could only have (one pair) from all the ones I own, it would be AML 54f50
Old 4th January 2015
  #12
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_lameiro View Post
I have them all, and have many more choices ir depends always On program material and other things What you intend to do, but for a general use in drums i whould go for the api ir if You got more money vertigo sound vsc2 This will never Let You down in any circunstancies, Also It's really good for mastering...
Was going to mention the Vertigo, sounds like a great unit. Nail is another cheaper option.
Old 4th January 2015
  #13
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
Personally from a pure philosphpic stand point the Dangerous audio compressor attracts me more. I like Color
but there is so many things in the chain that could add color So I do not see any specific reason why it should be coloured in the compressor.
Its most important job for me is probably transparency in most cases. But there is scenarious I would like to add compressor colour too.. then Titan would be nice.. I would want to have both to complete each other. But if I only had to decide one I would choose the dangerous audio compressor.

Or does any other people have any recommendations ? are the dangerous audio compressor in the lead when it comes to transparency ?
This is it, colour can come from preamps etc, high quality compression is where its at.

Transparent compressors wise Foote P3S is worth checking, and the Charteroak too. I'm going for Foote as its good value and versitle.
Old 4th January 2015
  #14
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by phone View Post
the thing is i will eventually build up my mastering chain as i go along and run my sound through several compressors. but for now this would be my first outboard compressor for my home studio set up. i like a colored sound, so i don't mind the compressor doing some magic glittery on it. i like character and warmth in a compressor and most of all a wide fat bottom.
RND seems very versatile but what about the sound?
Lots of threads on here about the Neve Master Bus Comp, has a slight smooth colour from its transformers.you got mix function which is always cool.

Isn't going to have the colour of the api, or the phoenix or Manley, but you'll get more use out of it for tracking and is prob better on the mix bus than the api or Manley.
Old 4th January 2015
  #15
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEED78 View Post
I've just gone through same process and I'm getting a Foote compressor, price to quality and versatility ratio is high. I too just want 1 stereo comp, not 3 for different tasks.

Nice choice. There is a reason why you don't see these for sale by previous owners very often.
Old 4th January 2015
  #16
SEED78
Guest
Really well priced too. So much so a more 'extreme' tracking compressor like dragon or distressor could be bought as a extra if needed then the Foote on mix bus.
Old 4th January 2015
  #17
Another Excelent choice and not expensive for drum bus is The ADR F670 Compex i have the vintage unit but now came Out an reissue with sidechain option, i Think this comp can do amazing things On drums snares and in creative ways It's fantastic.
Old 4th January 2015
  #18
Gear Nut
 

if you can have only one. this is your best bet.

pro audio store - MS Compressor
Old 4th January 2015
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Curious, why wouldn't the Distressor be on this "do all" list? Incredibly versatile... You can use a pair with the stereo link. Huge range of curves, from super fast fet, to slow opto style, to hard knee, to soft knee, to HPF on detector, high mid sidechain, varying levels of THD, huge range of ratios. 1/10th degree markings on the knobs will make perfect recalls easy when using in multiple applications on the same track. And unlike some other comps, the character differences between the different settings are very easy to hear, and train the ear. A great first high end comp, IMO
Old 4th January 2015
  #20
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SighBorg's Avatar
 

Out of the units you listed for the genre you are doing (electronic/dance): API 2500.

Quote:
Curious, why wouldn't the Distressor be on this "do all" list?
Most people are not fans of them for mix bus work. If hes looking for a comp for electronic music then a unit that can do mix bus is good to have on hand. Also personally think they sound better on acoustic drums instead of synth drums. Not to say they arnt great comps (I have 3).
Old 4th January 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SighBorg View Post
Out of the units you listed for the genre you are doing (electronic/dance): API 2500.
+1.

Quite versatile..
Old 4th January 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If I could only have (one pair) from all the ones I own, it would be AML 54f50
I haven´t heard the 54f50 upto now, but my desert island comp of choice would be a Vintage Design CL1 which is more or less an 2254 clone, as the AML is.
Old 4th January 2015
  #23
SEED78
Guest
I've read 50/50 stuff about 2500 on mix bus, people seem to move it to the drum bus when they have other options, from demos I've heard I'm not sure I'd want its colour over every mix, and there is likely more '3d' compressors out there. Purely my opinion though. Drum bus though would be dope though, and bet its great for tracking drums.

If original poster has cash for a phoenix, then a Dramastic on the mix bus + a distressor for tracking is affordable.
Old 4th January 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Well i've used the api on his specified genre hence the suggestion.

Used both the Phoenix and the obsidian (which has it's own Jensen sound over everything). The API packs the most punch in my world.

I think he's going to get every stereo compressor invented suggested before the threads finished though..

Maybe he can demo a couple from his local audio shop ?
Old 4th January 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 

For the price of the Neve, you could get an API 2500, or Obsidian, or Smart, or SSL buss comp for mix buss. Plus get a Distressor, used Summit TLA 100a, or a Mohog 1176 for bass, guitar, and vocal tracking.
Old 5th January 2015
  #26
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I would very strongly consider getting the Thermionic Culture Phoenix SB "Standby" model if that is in fact the Phoenix you mention in your list. It's probably the most versatile compressor concerning tone first of all, and secondly it has a glorious and predictable dynamics control that just never disappoints. Holy crap can you push that thing into oblivion and distort it, yet it always delivers good and useful distortion. You can also run it wide open and amazingly clean.

The A-Designs Nail is another to consider, very smooth tone and that HARD threshold is very unique...exhibiting terrific control on all sources. I am amazed at how hard you can hit it with a vocal, yet it remains so open and airy.

You may want to add the Daking FET 3 to your list for tracking and mixing purposes, it starts off with very low ratios and is one of the few FET compressors I would suggest for mix buss (most are too aggressive or grabby). The variable linking is a very cool feature and can result in a wider stereo mix, and gives you some cool keying / tracking features when recording mono sources.

All of these will do dual mono or stereo link within one box.

War
Old 5th January 2015
  #27
Lives for gear
Manley VariMu. Been using it for years on a variety of sources including 2 Buss.
Old 5th January 2015
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Tommyswami's Avatar
Hello my favorite latley is the nail by a designs it will do all the things your looking for and more

I've noticed that running tracks that are analog or digital it gives this great depth to the tracks it also adds the glue neccasary to mix with great ease

This has been my go to for tracking and bussing
Old 5th January 2015
  #29
Old 5th January 2015
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Does a 2x mono to make a stereo pair count? If so 2x BA660 super versatile.
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