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Alesis 3630 vs Behringer MDX2000 Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 6th August 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

Alesis 3630 vs Behringer MDX2000

Hi, I'm trying to find an inexpensive rack-mountable stereo compressor. So far it's between the Alesis 3630 and the Behringer MDX2000.

Which would you recommend?

any other gear that would fit this budget?

Thanks
Old 6th August 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 

neither, they both suck
Old 6th August 2008
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie View Post
neither, they both suck
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.
Old 6th August 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 

well we could go on about why and how they suck all day but without being technical it comes down to one simple thing imo, they suck out the emotion of the music.

if you tell us what you want a comp for you will get other options.
Old 6th August 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
hgen's Avatar
 

For a few extra dollars you could get a RNC Compressor or DBX 266 and you'd have something that was worth keeping even if you had loads of money. The alesis is utter crap, the Behringer is ok for Live Sound gigs. Do a search on the RNC, as a first compressor it has a bit wow factor too.
Old 6th August 2008
  #6
Plug in comps are better than these 2 units!
Old 6th August 2008
  #7
Gear Nut
 

I cannot speak for the Behringer, but the 3630 is horrible. The only thing I ever liked about it were the LEDs.heh I promise you the RNC is a wise investment.
Old 6th August 2008
  #8
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Tapeworm's Avatar
 

Never used the behringer but have used the Alesis. I bought 2 when they first came out based on magazine reviews . I tried to make them work for me for some time before eventually giving up on these units.

The alesis is fine for learning "how" a compressor works. You will outgrow it quickly if you plan on sticking with recording. While yes, they did control they dynamic range, they did so in a way that did not "flatter" the sound source. Things sounded "murky" and dull. I wound up trying to compensate, not enhance, by using EQ. This lead to an unnatural sound.

Like others have said...the FMR RNC is light years ahead of the 3630 (more for smooth sounds). Used correctly (and its pretty hard to mess up) it not only just controls dynamics but does so in a non-destructive way in that it helps make the signal sound fantastic. I think they are still under $200 new. I recently "rediscovered" the ART pro VLA after letting it sit unused for over a year. It's dual mono / stereo and actually a very nice little unit for the price.

You may eventually outgrow both of these units as well but it will take you a much longer time and you may still keep them in your rack long after getting more expensive gear. The same can't be said for the 3630.
Old 6th August 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
IMHO the Behringer is better then the Alesis - which I owned and loved back when it came out.

The Alesis was one of the first affordable comps out there and most of us had them with TSR-8 or ADAT setups. It just doesn't sound very good but it filled a niche.

They must have sold a trillion of them becasue they still make them so some people must like them!

The Behringer was a big improvement over the Alesis. I had a Behringer that was fairly expensive back in the day and sounded great - I think it was black - but it is on permanent loan to a friend.

The new Behringer I got thinking it would be like the old one. It wasn't, but it was slightly less abrasive then the Alesis.

I think plug-ins would be your best bet. If you need a hardward comp I would also suggest the RNC.
Old 6th August 2008
  #10
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Jussi Kulomaa's Avatar
 

I did a mix once where I used the 3630 as a parallel comp crushing the drum sub and adding a little bit into the mix. Worked out OK, that time. I want to try and mod it at some point, since it's not even mine. I don't know where it came from and nobody seems to want it back! heh
Old 6th August 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 

The 3630 can be made useable by a very simple mod. There's a jumper wire that connects the compressor circuitry to the gate circuitry. Cut that wire, it opens up the sound considerably, allows more mids and highs through. There's also a more involved mod by replacing the Op Amps with Burr Browns, but they're essentailly impossible to find anymore. You can find 3630's dirt cheap on ebay. I have an RNC (love it), but it's only two channel for stereo bus applications, you can't use it for two discrete channels with seperate sources. You'd need two to achieve that, costing you $350. You might find four 3630's for that, giving you 8 discrete channels or four stereo channels.
Old 6th August 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 

O.K..I had both of these units and..I would go for the alesis. It has better controll and it sounds more natural!! Thats the way I would go if I had no doe. you can get the alesis for $60.00 on ebay..the rnc will cost you $200.00 and up..But If you have the extra doe..get the rnc!!
Old 6th August 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
d1rtynyc's Avatar
Gotta agree with the RNC.
Unless you are looking for that "dirty" compressor style I'd avoid the 3630.
The Behringer stuff is pretty noisy so I would avoid that stuff all together if possible.
Old 6th August 2008
  #14
kit
Gear Maniac
 
kit's Avatar
 

I have an alesis 3630, but tend to use plug-ins more. Try this one it's free.

digitalfishphones.com - free audio effects plugins

Kit
Old 6th August 2008
  #15
Gear Addict
 

I recently did a test with these 2 comps.

The Behringer Composer MDX2200 won the test just about.

The Alesis rolled a little more HF off than the Behringer.

My tests involved simple voice over, ratio 3:1, attack around 10ms release 200ms approx so fairly mild and with the Behringer it was transparent at up to 6dB gain reduction, Iwas actually surpised it sounded very useable. It starts to start sounding a little more stiffled after 6dB GR I took it to 9dB and could hear compression occurring.

I am happy to use the Behringer for some simple tasks, does the job, It IS NOT noisy
at all (you must have set it up wrong for sure though I dont know how, you simply send a signal in and unless it is a quiet signal at the input and you push the make up gain all the way I fail to see how anyone can make it noisy.)

Still plety of crap written round here. You won't get a great deal of character or warmth (though it does slightly increase warmth by losing a tad of HF when it's triggered by the low end in a signal)

Perfectly useable but does not add a character as such.

Budget dbx is too agressive for me, the Behringer has balanced i/o and 2 sets of outs so it's handy for using it as an active signal splitter too, RNC is stereo only no option to process a bass on Ch1 and vox on Ch2 for example.
Old 6th August 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
RNC is stereo only
It can be used as a mono comp, but not a discrete 2 channel.
Old 6th August 2008
  #17
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stevetgn's Avatar
Both the units you are looking at sound pretty terrible and I would avoid them if possible. I'm lucky enough to mainly use fairly high end compressors, eqs and pre's etc but every now and then it's worth while seeing what's about that will suit a more modest budget.

Try this little gem:

Applied Research & Technology: Tube Compression

I'm not going to tell you it's the worlds greatest comp or that it will keep up with the big boys, but, unlike other brands for the price, it actually does the job rather nicely.
Old 6th August 2008
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Phrygian's Avatar
 

The Behringer's better than the Alesis imo but even at that I only found the Behringer moderately useful on bass and clean guitar. On the cheap, the ART Pro VLA will kill the both of them.
Old 6th August 2008
  #19
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DamnYankee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndySebastian View Post
Hi, I'm trying to find an inexpensive rack-mountable stereo compressor. So far it's between the Alesis 3630 and the Behringer MDX2000.

Which would you recommend?

any other gear that would fit this budget?

Thanks
I would recommend neither. Pick up a used dbx 166 - and they can be had anywhere from $80 to $125 depending on condition. It's one of the compressors Tom Scholz/Boston uses in his studio to record Boston albums.
Old 6th August 2008
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
willerichey's Avatar
 

this is what happens when crap meets poop
Old 8th August 2008
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Big Ale's Avatar
The Behringer is def the better one out of the 2 also like said above i have got the first one (Black one) and its sounds better than all the new crap they make
Old 8th August 2008
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
LAVLAB's Avatar
I had a 3630 for a while. It worked better for distortion than compression!
Old 8th August 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
I agree that the older Behringer gear was usable ( still usable...?...heh..) SOT...If you need some of this older Behringer gear for cheap, I got some for sale!..
Old 8th August 2008
  #24
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GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamnYankee View Post
I would recommend neither. Pick up a used dbx 166 - and they can be had anywhere from $80 to $125 depending on condition. It's one of the compressors Tom Scholz/Boston uses in his studio to record Boston albums.
+1 for the dbx 166 xl

As DamnYankee noted, it can be had used for cheap.. and is WAAAAY better than either the 3060 or Berh****r.

I would stay away from the dbx 266 xl though... apparantly it has probs with adding wierd artifacts sometimes.
Old 9th August 2008
  #25
Gear Head
 

As much as I dislike Alesis anything, I cant agree that it is worse than the Behringer.

However, I agree with everything else written above. I can put my two cents in this way:

Cent 1: Dont buy an Alesis off ebay. You never know how old it is, and the old 3630's are unreliable. They do not have a super long shelf life, and it is impossible to get parts for anything Alesis that is out of warranty. Alesis will not sell you the parts, even if they still make the darn things. If you must buy a 3630, spend the extra $39 bucks and get a new one with a full warranty.

Cent 2: Save up the other extra $75-100 bucks and get the RNC. Nothing against dbx, but I would take the RNC over the dbx any any day!
Old 9th August 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
jude's Avatar
 

id got the 3630 over the deringer anyday.

my behringer comp dosent even live in the studio as a door stop anymore, it holds a case of wine off the concrete in the shed heh
Old 9th August 2008
  #27
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Heartfelt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by willerichey View Post
this is what happens when crap meets poop
ROFL... Love it.
Old 9th August 2008
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
davew's Avatar
 

the alesis sux compared to the behringer, imo. the RNC IS a good comp but you need two of them. best bang for the buck? imo, the TC Electronics C300. it even has multi-band compression. $129.99.

and for all you behringer haters (lol) i freaking love my $99.00 Behringer ULTRAGAIN PRO MIC2200, and i bought the damn thing when it was perhaps $179? $249? anyway...it serves a wonderful purpose in my rack - it is used ALL the time, never had a problem with it in over 4-6 years...i don't remember exactly when i got it. it's quite, and has gain out the arse!
that cheap behringer reverb that came out a while back rocks as well.
Old 9th August 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davew View Post
the alesis sux compared to the behringer, imo. the RNC IS a good comp but you need two of them. best bang for the buck? imo, the TC Electronics C300. it even has multi-band compression. $129.99.

and for all you behringer haters (lol) i freaking love my $99.00 Behringer ULTRAGAIN PRO MIC2200, and i bought the damn thing when it was perhaps $179? $249? anyway...it serves a wonderful purpose in my rack - it is used ALL the time, never had a problem with it in over 4-6 years...i don't remember exactly when i got it. it's quite, and has gain out the arse!
that cheap behringer reverb that came out a while back rocks as well.
+1..I have an old behringer mixer, I dont need it for anything now day's but it still works and is quiet after 7 years!!

Oh ya..I also have a behringer B2 mic, and it gets more use that my Akg 414...OK tell me ears are bad...But Ill bet there not!
Old 9th August 2008
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearaddict View Post
I also have a behringer B2 mic, and it gets more use that my Akg 414...
The 414 is not an easy mic to get to know......tutt

about the only thing I dont like it for is vocs. The uses where the 414 is really good, nothing Behringer will ever come close. Take acoustic guitar for example.......
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