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Mid Range Compressor ? Help !!
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
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mavertron's Avatar
 

Mid Range Compressor ? Help !!

Hi there,

i need a decent compressor for tracking vocals, guitar, bass etc..
i cant afford a la2a, 1176, or anything in that range,
but i can afford more than a rnc, or an art pro vla..

what is there is this area ?

mono is fine.
be good if i could rack it.

cheers for your responses ,

mavertron
Old 10th May 2006
  #2
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

LA3A, LA4A, Peavey (I know, I know) VC/L-2, DBX assorted 160 type models (160vu, 160xt, 162 etc.)

Not that they all sound the same however.
Old 10th May 2006
  #3
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DeeDrive's Avatar
 

maybe check out some used Demeter stuff, I've heard great things.
Old 10th May 2006
  #4
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Bobalou's Avatar
 

there does appear to be quite a gap between the $150.00 RNC and the $1200.00distressor. bass seems to be the toughest to find a realatively inexpensive yet fast compressor thats effective. I've had great results with the RNC in the very transparent "super nice" mode for vocals, but an inexpensive bass comp. has been a challange.

I guess many would say the disstressor is probably the most versatile low cost compressor available?
Old 10th May 2006
  #5
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

I actually like the Symetrix 501 for bass. I have one solely for that purpose. Cheap too. About $100-125 on e-bay.
Old 10th May 2006
  #6
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mavertron's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies...what about the dbx 160 x, would this be a good all round tracking comperssor, its about the right price £400 second-hand..

thanks,

mavertron
Old 11th May 2006
  #7
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Raggedy's Avatar
They're out there...

-SPL DynaMaxx
-Summit TLA 50
-dbx 160A or 1066
-Drawmer (many)
-Aphex 661
-Toft DC2

...to name a few. I think the dbx stuff can work very very well on lots of stuff, including bass. But I also think you wouldn't be disappointed with the Pro VLA for stuff like vocals and bass, despite the brand and the price.
Old 11th May 2006
  #8
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hgen's Avatar
 

Yeah the toft mic pre/di with the compressor (fet?) is supposed to be very very good.
Old 11th May 2006
  #9
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mavertron
Thanks for the replies...what about the dbx 160 x, would this be a good all round tracking comperssor, its about the right price £400 second-hand..

thanks,

mavertron
Way too much money for a 160x. I just bought a 160xt (same as the 160x except with xlr connectors) for $235US or so all in with shipping. That's a typical price on e-bay.
Old 11th May 2006
  #10
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The ART Pro VLA is nice way beyond its price. Can be subtle, can be aggressive, and it has a vibe to it.

War
Old 11th May 2006
  #11
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foxonestudios's Avatar
 

if you're handy with a soldering iron, check out this

http://tangible-technology.com/dynam...it/SL1176.html
Old 11th May 2006
  #12
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Bobalou's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
The ART Pro VLA is nice way beyond its price. Can be subtle, can be aggressive, and it has a vibe to it.

War
on bass?
Old 11th May 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
mavertron's Avatar
 

yep if ithe vla is good on bass, then i reckon ill get it,
anyone else think the vla would be good on bass / vox / guitars ?

2 buss even ?

matt.
Old 12th May 2006
  #14
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here's a review of the Art pro channel with comp, he doesn't like the Art Pro VLA comp but likes this unit alot.

http://www.prorec.com/prorec/article...25687A00752A7B
Old 12th May 2006
  #15
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Yes, it works well on lots of stuff including bass, drums and 2 buss. You guys really should try it and use your ears instead. Very versatile piece.

War
Old 12th May 2006
  #16
jhg
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I'm looking for another

Mid range comp. yes. I'm in a simlar situation. When mixing a track last night I would have really loved another comp.

I have a dc-2 and have tracked bass through it quite nicely(an insert, Di a . Vocals as well. It can make a snare punch really well in mixing. I like it for a guit. 57 close mic for tracking as well. Don't use it in stereo much as both channels used for different things.

RNC: Nice and clean, strapped to stereo bus usually. Have been using for limiting/transparent comp. for stereo outdoor sounds mic'ing of late.

RNLA: More flavour. Awesome on drum and guit bus. I love using it parallel stylee for overhead and room drum mics, threshold around -5, ratio 4:1ish, log boost on. Squish a bit and bring up the gain into the mix.

ART PRO VLA: Great piece of gear for the price. Damn(thanks actually to Warheads' advice, finally tipping the scales for me and I got one) Put some JAN Phillips NOS tubes in it(do a search for advice) and it works wonders for bringing together a vocal bus. For guitar bus duties it works quite well when going for a warmer tone(I use the rnla to get a more pointed, punchy tone)

Ultimately, for electric bass(upright is my bag, 20+ years of my 27 year life, electric for 15) - my favorite is through a wonky urei DI and (the horrors) art mono levelar comp - yugoslavian nos tube. Really warm and gutsy. Have brought to sessions to disdain of enginner until it's heard.

Sorry to hijack thread.

Regards,

jhg
Old 12th May 2006
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
If you can save your money a little I would look at the LA-610. Not only is the compressor really nice but you get a hell of a pre amp out of it. I used the RNC for awhile and stepped up to this unit. Made a big difference.

Glenn
Old 12th May 2006
  #18
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What do you guys think of the "old" dbx 163A compressors...the ones with the slider and the word "More"... Are they good for kick drums? Snares? Anything? Paperweight?
Old 14th May 2006
  #19
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 

Daking

You can get a geoff daking compressor (one channel) for a grand or so used. It will also keep its value, and serve you well when/if you upgrade your rig. It sounds so good its nice just to have in the signal path whether its compressing or not.

I'm over "good" compressors. Never again. Its a bad place to compromize. The Daking is a "great" compressor for a reasonable price.
Old 18th May 2006
  #20
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I think you can get a much better vocal compressor for your money if you don't limit yourself to those that would make good bass compressors. The Symetrix 501 really is about the best bass compressor out there, and it really does go for about $100-150 on Ebay, so I would recommend getting one. It actually isn't bad on vocals either, but even if you just use it on bass, then you've got $150 less to spend on a vocal compressor, but you also have the option of buying a compressor that's ideal on vocals but not necessarily on bass. The RNC fits that bill very well, but my favorite vocal compressors are optical compressors (which I don't especially like on bass). If you can find an old UREI BL-40 for a decent price (which is getting increasingly unlikely) that would be great. An LA-3 would be fantastic too, and I heard that recently got reissued but I don't know the price.
I helped design the ADK CLA-1 which is similar in a lot of ways - EL-based optical compressor - but with a different kind of signal path. I haven't actually gotten the chance to use the ADK box on vocals, so I can't say for sure it sounds good, but that's what we were thinking about in designing it. I have a small stake in the product, so don't take my word for it. But I do think it would be worth a listen.
Seriously, Symetrix 501 and RNC. Don't listen to the price tag.
Old 18th May 2006
  #21
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

ADT ToolMod compressor(s) are not too expensive and very flexible.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #22
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Drawmer... dl241.. dl441.. ect
Old 23rd May 2006
  #23
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funka's Avatar
 

DrDeltaM,

Have you heard those ADT modules at AES Paris?
Old 23rd May 2006
  #24
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Albert's Avatar
 

What about the Summit TLA-50 tube leveling amp? A pair of those would run about $1,000 street.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funka
DrDeltaM,

Have you heard those ADT modules at AES Paris?
Listened to the V700 series, they're packed with features. Sounds very nice but a bit outside my budget.

Didn't check the ToolMod series there as I have a demo unit at home.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #26
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

The problem with mid-line compressors is two fold in my mind:
1) you get what you pay for
2) DIY kits are amazing but require metalwork and a LOT of time, which points me back to #1!

I adore my SSL clone, and the parts from the Gyraf are in your price range. Eddie Cilletti's 1176 clone is DIRT cheap, and he has great ears- I trust him that the clone rocks. That brings the 2000+ comps into the under $1000 range.

I'm still curious as to what KIND of comp you want. Just bass? Drum buss? 2Mix?

There are plenty of good, useable options that are not Distressors, 1176s or LA2As...Drawmer and BSS are a step above dbx but you would probably be quite happy with a 160 to do bass. It usually has the right grab and release in over-easy mode.
I have 14 Drawmer comps from my old remote truck that now reside in my studio, and people love them, FWIW.

In the mid-range price have you considered the Langevin El-Op? Not sure what this goes for these days, but a great solid-state El-Op limiter in many instances.

Hope this helps,

Jim
Old 23rd May 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Listened to the V700 series, they're packed with features. Sounds very nice but a bit outside my budget.
Yeah, I know, expensive...
I stop to hi-jack this thread, sorry, it was just a little question...
Old 23rd May 2006
  #28
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octatonic's Avatar
Try going off the beaten path...

I won this the other day. It sounds wicked- nice on 2bus, great on guitars.

Or a s/h distressor without brit mode might set you back around a grand.

JR
Old 23rd May 2006
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Bobalou's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
The problem with mid-line compressors is two fold in my mind:
1) you get what you pay for
2) DIY kits are amazing but require metalwork and a LOT of time, which points me back to #1!

I adore my SSL clone, and the parts from the Gyraf are in your price range. Eddie Cilletti's 1176 clone is DIRT cheap, and he has great ears- I trust him that the clone rocks. That brings the 2000+ comps into the under $1000 range.

I'm still curious as to what KIND of comp you want. Just bass? Drum buss? 2Mix?

There are plenty of good, useable options that are not Distressors, 1176s or LA2As...Drawmer and BSS are a step above dbx but you would probably be quite happy with a 160 to do bass. It usually has the right grab and release in over-easy mode.
I have 14 Drawmer comps from my old remote truck that now reside in my studio, and people love them, FWIW.

In the mid-range price have you considered the Langevin El-Op? Not sure what this goes for these days, but a great solid-state El-Op limiter in many instances.

Hope this helps,

Jim
Hey Jim, IYO would any of the 160 series be good on bass?
Old 23rd May 2006
  #30
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobalou
Hey Jim, IYO would any of the 160 series be good on bass?
The 160 (I Know of A, X, and XT versions plus others) are staples on broadcast trucks, and I have been using them for over a decade on upright, acoustic, and DI'd electric bass as well as miked bass cabinet. I find it works well for me and is a good, better than average comp that is incredibly consistent both live and on recordings.

Give me a choice of a 160x and an 1176, ANY VERSION, and I'll take the 1176 hands down. But under 500 bucks? 160 is a solid choice, new, used, or thrown off a truck with missing rack ears.

Give it a try. If you don't like it, you can ALWAYS use it somewhere else, or sell it quickly. And there are many in the used marketplace, from rental houses, post houses, and people upgrading to boutique comps.

Cheers,

Jim
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