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Alesis 3630 vs Behringer MDX2000 Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 7th February 2009
  #31
Here for the gear
 

3630 is good if you want a bad sound on purpose.. i use it on a subgroup and smash the living crap out of drums with it, sometimes parallel to the orig signal sometimes not...

this is the sound of my hammering the 3630, distorted both in and out of the unit...

www.warehouse-trax.com/Warehouse_Trax_J1.mp3

bad but I like it
Old 7th February 2009
  #32
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ElevenShadows's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapeworm View Post
The alesis is fine for learning "how" a compressor works. You will outgrow it quickly if you plan on sticking with recording.
It's interesting, but yes, the Alesis is very good for learning how a compressor works. Part of it is the really good layout and features, and part of it is the owner's manual, which is useful.

But in terms of audio, yeah, the 3630 seriously sucks. Unless you are using it as a high-pass filter. heh

Henge mentioned that plugins are better, and he's really not kidding. You can get free plugins that work better than a 3630.

I don't know anything about the other compressor, but considering that their stuff generally sucks, I can't imagine why anyone would want to use it for anything other than a doorstop.

I'll also recommend the FMR RNC. Excellent compressor. I use one of these, along with an RNLA. Really great stuff, especially for the money.
Old 7th February 2009
  #33
What hurts more a hammer to the finger or a hammer to the toe? I like the Art Pro VLA II. It feels pretty good (and sounds acceptable) Do the research, many here like the Art VLA both version 1 and 2. They can be had for 2 diff price brackets of cheap.
Old 8th February 2009
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndySebastian View Post
My recording class teacher had a couple of 3630's in his rack so i doubt theyre as horrible as people describe them on these forums.
Ah, but does he ever use them or are they just there to fill up space and look pretty?

I had an Alesis 3630 some years ago - it looked like it should be great with all those controls and flashing LEDs.
It was NOT a good compressor.
If you're expecting this thing to do anything to improve your sound, you're mistaken. Seriously. A complete waste of money.

The only good thing about it was that when I DID finally buy a quality compressor, the difference was SO huge that you really appreciate it.

Any well written plugin would be FAR superior to this unit.

I can't comment on the Behringer unit except to say that my live Technical Rider specifies "no Behringer gear". tutt

I think anything cheaper than the RNC would be unlikely to do much for you.

K.
Old 8th February 2009
  #35
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ElevenShadows's Avatar
 

The recording class teacher probably had a couple because they're cheap and really good to learn on. I'm not one for hyperbole, but they really are lousy sounding compressors.
Old 8th February 2009
  #36
Sold my 3630, it sucked!
Old 8th February 2009
  #37
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TC Custom Audio's Avatar
 

3630 = poo

I assume the Behringer = poo as well. Use plugins until you can afford a decent hardware compressor.
Old 10th February 2009
  #38
Lives for gear
FYI the 4th generation (last couple of years or so) 3630s sound much better than all of the earlier versions. they basically fixed all of the old design problems. they still have average parts (same as many dbx units) but the v4 board sounds infinitely less bass stock than the older units.

I won't say it sounds "good", but much less bad.

I modded mine (black lion audio mod instructions I bought off them a long time ago) and it's night and day - very very useful compressor, I have it set for the dirtier mode which I prefer but it can be set to clean or dirty pretty easily with various mods. it's one of my favorite compressors of the vca style. I tend to prefer opto compressors in general but I haven't found anything (even 2buss) that the modded 3630 destroys any more, whereas before I NEVER would have used it on anything critical (vocals, drums etc, was good on several synths though with stock v4 board).

totally though - rnc is great and quite transparent with a spec of mojo. rnla is also great but more useful if you want to change/thicken the tone a bit as well (which I often do). pro vla is also great, vaguely similar to rnc in tone but with a way cooler interface (and much bigger).

never tried a behringer but it's pretty accepted that their old blackface stuff was excellent but like all great behringer gear was taken off the market because the company they ripped off the circuit from sued their pants off. then they invented their own comp and it's nothing like the old one, not nearly as good.

cheers,
Don
Old 10th February 2009
  #39
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndySebastian View Post
can you tell me why they suck? My recording class teacher had a couple of 3630's in his rack so i doubt theyre as horrible as people describe them on these forums.

Im just wondering why both of these suck and which one sucks the least so i can choose that one given my limited budget.
well then i gotta wonder about your teacher. i have one and it's awful. a total tone bandit. just try some decent compressors beside it and hear for yourself. rnc, art vla, any dbx yada yada yada. i'd sell it but it's not even worth the effort. i'll probably just give it away, to someone i don't like.
Old 10th February 2009
  #40
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
FYI the 4th generation (last couple of years or so) 3630s sound much better than all of the earlier versions.
interesting.well i bought mine in 93' i think, so it's gotta be an old one.
Old 10th February 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
FYI the 4th generation (last couple of years or so) 3630s sound much better than all of the earlier versions. they basically fixed all of the old design problems. they still have average parts (same as many dbx units) but the v4 board sounds infinitely less bass stock than the older units.

I won't say it sounds "good", but much less bad.
Don, that's a really informative post, thanks!

I didn't know there were different generations of 3630s. I think I got one of the first ones since I bought it within several months of it coming out. Not one of the better purchases I've made. I ended up using it only for things like snares or kicks on really light settings because anything else, and anything more than that, and it instantly thinned out. But the manual was well-written and I still learned a lot from using the 3630.
Old 11th February 2009
  #42
Gear Addict
 

I'm certainly not going to attempt to say the 3630 is a good compressor, its not. Like many of you it was my first compressor and I did learn a lot using it. Since then I've gotten Avalon, Universal Audio, Joe Meek, Liquid Mix, Plug Ins, etc... for "good" sounding compression. However I do keep the 3630 in the rack for a few reasons. 1) Its actually a cool effect when you totally compress the hell out of electric guitars. No dynamics or nuance but a unique aural effect for the 1 or 2 bar "huge guitar" breaks. I guess this would go along with those that say it can be used as an effect or filter. 2) Once you know how to use it you can get a decent sound on high pitched snare drums, usually in the auxillary capacity. You can't go past 2:1 but if you play around you can get it sounding pretty good. I also don't mind it on backing vocals. Hardly smooth or quiet but if the track isn't in the front of a mix it can create an interesting vibe. 3) I have had luck using it as a limiter/gate on distorted bass tracks.

Again, as a general compressor it will destroy your tracks but for the $50 you might get for one on ebay it has its adavtages as a studio tool if you think outside the box!
Old 11th February 2009
  #43
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It's true, it is awesome for effects if you set it really high. It helps with NIN-style vocals too.
Old 11th February 2009
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElevenShadows View Post
It's true, it is awesome for effects if you set it really high. It helps with NIN-style vocals too.
I'd rather use a preamp with tubes that clip easily, now that's the way to go for NIN vocals!
Old 12th February 2009
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carltaylor43 View Post
3630 is good if you want a bad sound on purpose..
but why would you want a bad sound? sure you dont always want pristine and you might choose some units for a certainly character but i wouldn't want anything that just outright bad.
Old 12th February 2009
  #46
Gear Addict
 

not so much a "bad" sound as an "extreme" sound. for example there are times that i'll use the 3630 to ultra compress a bass track. on its own its sounds horrible but in the scope of a mix it sounds killer. granted i have an amazing sherman filter 2 that does it better but sometimes i'm too lazy to go through the process of screwing around with the knobs and parameters.

i still stand by the point that if you already have a 3630 its worth keeping. i do a lot of soundtrack work and i'm often looking to "mangle" traditional sounds. like i said in a previous post, there's a guitar sound you can get on the 3630 by setting the ratio at 10:1 and raisng the gate to 1.5 that i can't get on a "good" compressor but again its always for effect.
Old 21st February 2009
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie View Post
but why would you want a bad sound? sure you dont always want pristine and you might choose some units for a certainly character but i wouldn't want anything that just outright bad.
Maybe I could say lo-fi then? or like gongbass says... extreme..

Ive got RNC + RNLA and they are 'proper' compressors to me (though I appreciate there are probably even better units if I where prepared to spend even more)... + I really like Drawmer stuff as well, they always do what I want them to do.. but the 3630 nothing like those units... ill always maintain the 3630 is a piece of crap, but I know what it does and if I want that sound I use it on purpose...
Old 19th August 2012
  #48
Here for the gear
 

alesis 3620 compressor (my optimumPC - compressor Settings



How mines is set:

Threshold-20
Ratio 5:1
Attack: 50ms
Release: 2s
Output: +10

no need to use the gate

Hope this helps


Last edited by spiritwalker; 19th August 2012 at 01:17 AM.. Reason: forgot a few lines
Old 19th August 2012
  #49
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These both suck...I own the Behringer and have used the alesis. The stock DAW plugins are FAR better than running signal through these. Fine for live though.

Compressors stop sucking around $1,000 IMO...
Old 19th August 2012
  #50
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I take that back the DBX 166 is fantastic
Old 19th August 2012
  #51
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The stock 3630 stinks... dynamically lifeless and sonically dull. But.... it can be modded to to be shockingly musical, believe it or not.

The mod is not for the faint of heart, but anyone with decent soldering/desoldering skills and some patience can spend an hour (and a few bucks on parts) and have a wonderful processor.

The only downside of the mod is that it retains its unbalanced I/O, so you need to manage levels properly when using it with balanced gear.

If anyone has a 3630 lying around and want to give this a try, message me, and I'll send details.

Joel
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