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Best cheap compressors (hardware) in 2019?
Old 1st May 2019
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
I have and really like the 1978. Very flexible, sounds great, prive/performance is unbelievable. What you wanna do with it? 2bus compression?
Yeah I'm looking at something for the 2bus. The 1978 seems to have, as you said, some flexibility/ shaping capabilities. The price is pretty good and it seems to be well regarded.
Old 1st May 2019
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Yeah I'm looking at something for the 2bus. The 1978 seems to have, as you said, some flexibility/ shaping capabilities. The price is pretty good and it seems to be well regarded.
That said, I have never used it on the 2bus, it lives on my substereo for drums and bass. But I'm sure it will work great on a full mix. Sure, VCA comps like SSL or API are a classic there for a reason, but with the Drawmer you have complete freedom with your ratios and timing. The character switches can be useful, the saturation, if not overused, is cool, the sidechain EQ very unique and powerful and you have a mixknob right on the unit for parallel compression. Given the quality and price, really what's not to like?
Old 1st May 2019
  #63
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
I’m gonna go a little geek on ya’ll. I have an Aphex Compellor on my 2 buss and while it’s transparent and really levels things out it’s slow and pumps with more aggressive material. I’ve been looking at the Audioscape Gcomp based on the SSL Gbuss, but the original SSL used the DBX 202 VCA which is no longer available. Audioscape is using a THAT VCA which would mean 2180a more than likely. So any Comp with the 2180a and 553x opamps should come close to the Audioscape, unless I’m missing something that the side chain does that’s unique to an SSL. I looked at the schematics and it’s a super simple input and output stage with a VCA stuck in the middle. I don’t see why people say the SSL’s have so much “spank” blah blah blah unless it’s an older 202c model.
Old 1st May 2019
  #64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
I’m gonna go a little geek on ya’ll. I have an Aphex Compellor on my 2 buss and while it’s transparent and really levels things out it’s slow and pumps with more aggressive material. I’ve been looking at the Audioscape Gcomp based on the SSL Gbuss, but the original SSL used the DBX 202 VCA which is no longer available. Audioscape is using a THAT VCA which would mean 2180a more than likely. So any Comp with the 2180a and 553x opamps should come close to the Audioscape, unless I’m missing something that the side chain does that’s unique to an SSL. I looked at the schematics and it’s a super simple input and output stage with a VCA stuck in the middle. I don’t see why people say the SSL’s have so much “spank” blah blah blah unless it’s an older 202c model.
I think Thats have more spank than the dbx goldcans. An SSL isn't a supercomplicated circuit, but the sidechain (gain reduction, not frequency which SSLs don't have) is important. Basic GSSLs used the “turbo“ card, Chris directly implemented on his board in the Audioscape.
Old 1st May 2019
  #65
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
I think Thats have more spank than the dbx goldcans. An SSL isn't a supercomplicated circuit, but the sidechain (gain reduction, not frequency which SSLs don't have) is important. Basic GSSLs used the “turbo“ card, Chris directly implemented on his board in the Audioscape.
Great comments. I have replaced all my DBX 2150 VCA’s with 2180’s. I have several comps with the Valley VCA and still prefer the 2180’s. I’ve never heard a DBX 202. I was so close to buying the Audioscape about a week ago. I just look at the schematics and think it’s very close to a lot of DBX based designs. I also tend to swap out 553x’s with OPA134 series or LME479x0’s. Depends what I’m trying to achieve. So to shorten the story, I wonder if a KT DN500+!hot rodded would meet my needs for a 2 buss compressor at a 1/4th of the price? It won’t have the HPF though and that’s a nice feature on the Audioscape.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #66
Gear Head
Bought a DBX 128 for a full $100.. Let's just say it beats all of my plugins if you wanna SMASH things. LOVE the expander function on drums, it thickens up anything... And it's even stereo. This was before DBX turned into crap (mostly), and it's similar to the arguably best one the DBX 160 VU except those go for like $800 now.

DBX made some others like the DBX 118 and since they are not named "compressors" (technically they are for tape noise reduction) the hype is not really there, but the sound of these old units are fantastic.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
Great comments. I have replaced all my DBX 2150 VCA’s with 2180’s. I have several comps with the Valley VCA and still prefer the 2180’s. I’ve never heard a DBX 202. I was so close to buying the Audioscape about a week ago. I just look at the schematics and think it’s very close to a lot of DBX based designs. I also tend to swap out 553x’s with OPA134 series or LME479x0’s. Depends what I’m trying to achieve. So to shorten the story, I wonder if a KT DN500+!hot rodded would meet my needs for a 2 buss compressor at a 1/4th of the price? It won’t have the HPF though and that’s a nice feature on the Audioscape.
Nothing but love for the Audioscape around here. I don't have one myself, but some fellows I trust and they like it. Hpf is a great addition!
Old 2nd May 2019
  #68
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
Nothing but love for the Audioscape around here. I don't have one myself, but some fellows I trust and they like it. Hpf is a great addition!
When you read the literature on Audioscape, he seemed a bit reluctant to want to add the HPF. To me, that’s what sets it apart. I’ve had some email conversations with him and he answers all my questions. I have nothing but positive regard for him and all the others that are building affordable gear for us to use. I’m finally at a place financially that I can look at gear in his price range seriously, but it’s still a nice chunk of change.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
When you read the literature on Audioscape, he seemed a bit reluctant to want to add the HPF. To me, that’s what sets it apart. I’ve had some email conversations with him and he answers all my questions. I have nothing but positive regard for him and all the others that are building affordable gear for us to use. I’m finally at a place financially that I can look at gear in his price range seriously, but it’s still a nice chunk of change.
Well, but then it's a price range substantially lower than the big names. Be sure to check out my SSL bus comp shootout if you haven't. No Audioscape, but an original and a Stam vs. four plugins.

SSL Bus Comp Shootout (SSL X-Rack, Stam SA-4000+, Duende, Slate, Waves, bx_townhouse)
Old 2nd May 2019
  #70
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
Well, but then it's a price range substantially lower than the big names. Be sure to check out my SSL bus comp shootout if you haven't. No Audioscape, but an original and a Stam vs. four plugins.

SSL Bus Comp Shootout (SSL X-Rack, Stam SA-4000+, Duende, Slate, Waves, bx_townhouse)
Totally agree with the price. I can entertain gear priced from $500 to $1200 now. That was unheard of for me 5 years ago. I’ve always bought used and modded. It’s kinda weird looking to buy something an put it in the rack and be done with it.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
Totally agree with the price. I can entertain gear priced from $500 to $1200 now. That was unheard of for me 5 years ago. I’ve always bought used and modded. It’s kinda weird looking to buy something an put it in the rack and be done with it.
I say “Enjoy“ then... ;-)

But I also stress the fact conversion is important if you use hardware with an ITB environment because you won't get much benefit from hardware without good converters. From your profile it seems you're on a board, though.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #72
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
I say “Enjoy“ then... ;-)

But I also stress the fact conversion is important if you use hardware with an ITB environment because you won't get much benefit from hardware without good converters. From your profile it seems you're on a board, though.
Motu 828es and 16a for 24 I/o. Both have the ESS sabre 32 ultra DAC’s. Both have been very stable with zero issues. I run Reaper with them. My front end are all Symetrix SX202’s. Two of which were modded by Jim Williams. I’ve have 16 channels total and all will eventually be modded by Jim. Everything in my studio has been or will be modded in some form or fashion. I also have an MCI JH16 and an MCI JH110B. They will get recapped but probably left alone as far as op amps. If I’m using those I want that sound. I’ve got everything I need to track and mix 24 channels of audio. If I combine tracks ITB it’s endless. I’m gonna set up a 16 channel mobile recording studio for live recording in my area and try to create my own nitch market. I can setup separate from the house with a 6 rack space case and a laptop and capture 16 sources. Then mix it down in my studio at the house. Live albums at an affordable price. I’m hoping it’s attractive to bands because they can play through a set in one sitting and come away with an entire album. I’ll let the market dictate the price. I don’t even know what to charge.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
Motu 828es and 16a for 24 I/o. Both have the ESS sabre 32 ultra DAC’s. Both have been very stable with zero issues. I run Reaper with them. My front end are all Symetrix SX202’s. Two of which were modded by Jim Williams. I’ve have 16 channels total and all will eventually be modded by Jim. Everything in my studio has been or will be modded in some form or fashion. I also have an MCI JH16 and an MCI JH110B. They will get recapped but probably left alone as far as op amps. If I’m using those I want that sound. I’ve got everything I need to track and mix 24 channels of audio. If I combine tracks ITB it’s endless. I’m gonna set up a 16 channel mobile recording studio for live recording in my area and try to create my own nitch market. I can setup separate from the house with a 6 rack space case and a laptop and capture 16 sources. Then mix it down in my studio at the house. Live albums at an affordable price. I’m hoping it’s attractive to bands because they can play through a set in one sitting and come away with an entire album. I’ll let the market dictate the price. I don’t even know what to charge.
Sounds awesome. I'm a big fan of live recordings, too. Doing it on location is also cool because many bands without years of recording experience get nervous in the studio. Recording them in their familiar space not only saves them money, but eventually lets them sound better. Sure, a great sounding room for drums is hard too beat, but if it fits the music, a live recording of a well reharsed band in their rehearsal space or on stage can easily beat a technically better sounding studio production.
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