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Knif Pure Mu vs Airfield Liminator 2
Old 26th July 2015
  #1
Knif Pure Mu vs Airfield Liminator 2

Hi all,

I'm thinking of adding another compressor to my mastering chain. I think I've narrowed it down to either the Knif Pure Mu or the Airfiled Liminator 2, although I might also consider the Maselec MLA-2, which I might be demo-ing soon. I know there are one or two posters on this board who have tried both so I thought I'd canvass for opinions.

My current compression options are the Foote P3S ME and the HCL VARIS. What I'm essentially looking for is something that can provide a slightly softer knee than the Foote, while remaining firm, solid and not too "spongy". The Varis is cool but doesn't really suit all material; it's a very specific sound.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Old 26th July 2015
  #2
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Hi all,

I'm thinking of adding another compressor to my mastering chain. I think I've narrowed it down to either the Knif Pure Mu or the Airfiled Liminator 2, although I might also consider the Maselec MLA-2, which I might be demo-ing soon. I know there are one or two posters on this board who have tried both so I thought I'd canvass for opinions.

My current compression options are the Foote P3S ME and the HCL VARIS. What I'm essentially looking for is something that can provide a slightly softer knee than the Foote, while remaining firm, solid and not too "spongy". The Varis is cool but doesn't really suit all material; it's a very specific sound.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

it's not "vs", it's a "and" - liminator into a pure mu give a killer-combo!

i use both in combination with the foote and the varis - foote and varis are additions, pure mu and liminator doing the lion's share.
liminator is a groove machine, a shaper - with the best release i ever heard
pure mu is one of the most transparent and versatile vari-mu's around, give you a wonderfull final touch, bring the details closer ( a typical vari mu thing) and act like a charming polishing cloth.

the mla-2 is IMO a good surrogate for the foote, but not so much a counterpart to your gear.

if i would have the situation to buy one unit after a other, i would buy first the pure mu - the liminator and the foote are a bit more similar and so you have a bigger spectrum... but i'm really really happy that i have both - they are very essential parts of my chain.
Old 27th July 2015
  #3
Thanks for the info Teebum; very helpful. Yes, of course in an ideal world I would buy both, but budget is obviously a factor.
Old 27th July 2015
  #4
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X-Pand Sound Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
it's not "vs", it's a "and" - liminator into a pure mu give a killer-combo!
You just won 100 points as a pure "gearsluter" answer dear Teebaum
Old 27th July 2015
  #5
Does anyone know of any clips of these units in (normal mastering context) action online? I saw the YouTube video of the Liminator but everything the guy was doing was a little heavy handed, and totally not level matched, for me.
Old 27th July 2015
  #6
Gear Nut
 

You should also consider the Fearn VT7, as a clean and very musical compressor vt-7_compressorVT-7 Compressor

Best,
Old 27th July 2015
  #7
The Fearn looks cool, but it's all pots, right? I'd prefer all switched/detented operation.

Last edited by Hippocratic Mastering; 27th July 2015 at 03:54 PM..
Old 27th July 2015
  #8
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Seeing what you're looking for (smooth, vari mu & opto like), I've just demoed the new SPL Iron Mastering Comp. While beeing on the "long learning curve" side (due to all the different options on it) it is truly an amazing unit. Now as its not out yet, I'm afraid you won't have many reviews on it at the moment.

Last edited by X-Pand Sound Mastering; 27th July 2015 at 09:02 PM..
Old 14th September 2015
  #9
I received the Knif Pure Mu last week. It's excellent; I'm very, very happy with it so far.

At first I was a little disappointed with the flat box tone, running the chain at my usual levels. However, hit around 2db harder than I usually go it sounded glorious - so open and firm. Indeed, if I could choose just one word to describe the sound of the Pure Mu it would be "firm". Crucially, and this is something I haven't really experienced in any other compressor, the level of firmness does not fluctuate too much from a tiny amount of compression to a more moderate (approaching 1db) amount. This lets me use compression in ways that previously, for me, required fiddly automation of pitch and capture levels to work right.

Anyway, I'm not aiming to do a full review but so far everything everyone always says about Jonte Knif's products has rung true - outstanding side matching for a tube unit and superb build quality. I couldn't be happier at this point.
Old 14th September 2015
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
I received the Knif Pure Mu last week. It's excellent; I'm very, very happy with it so far.

At first I was a little disappointed with the flat box tone, running the chain at my usual levels. However, hit around 2db harder than I usually go it sounded glorious - so open and firm. Indeed, if I could choose just one word to describe the sound of the Pure Mu it would be "firm". Crucially, and this is something I haven't really experienced in any other compressor, the level of firmness does not fluctuate too much from a tiny amount of compression to a more moderate (approaching 1db) amount. This lets me use compression in ways that previously, for me, required fiddly automation of pitch and capture levels to work right.

Anyway, I'm not aiming to do a full review but so far everything everyone always says about Jonte Knif's products has rung true - outstanding side matching for a tube unit and superb build quality. I couldn't be happier at this point.
So it took something like 4 or 5 weeks for you to receive it ?

Did you ask for any mod ??
(I'm kinda into this unit too)
Old 14th September 2015
  #11
Yes, around 5 weeks, I think. I didn't order any mods. I guess the only thing that might be nice is a couple more sidechain HPF frequencies, but honestly 150hz has worked well on everything so far.
Old 14th September 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Yes, around 5 weeks, I think. I didn't order any mods. I guess the only thing that might be nice is a couple more sidechain HPF frequencies, but honestly 150hz has worked well on everything so far.
Did you take the dual needle meter or the special core something from Lundhal ?

And Do you feel like you miss an output attenuator ?
Old 14th September 2015
  #13
I have the amorphous core transformers but just the regular meter. If money was no object I would have gone for the dual meter but for the way I use compression in mastering the regular meter is fine.

I guess an output attenuator would be nice, but again it has not caused any real problems.
Old 14th September 2015
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
I have the amorphous core transformers but just the regular meter. If money was no object I would have gone for the dual meter but for the way I use compression in mastering the regular meter is fine.

I guess an output attenuator would be nice, but again it has not caused any real problems.
I'm being curious but at what kind of level do you drive your chain ?
Old 18th September 2015
  #15
I'm really thinking about getting a Pure Mu.

I spent some time looking for the mods you guys got and I was wondering what kind of mod is great to you ? Like you couldn't live without it or at least make things easier ?

So far, the mod I would be interest to is an output attenuator but I've seen different post online about it (including here) saying that's really not an issue.
Old 19th September 2015
  #16
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
I have the amorphous core transformers but just the regular meter. If money was no object I would have gone for the dual meter but for the way I use compression in mastering the regular meter is fine.

I guess an output attenuator would be nice, but again it has not caused any real problems.
i have also a version with the amorphous core transformers but just the regular meter.
the amorphous core transformers are IMO a must!
the output attenuator i use very rare.
Old 19th September 2015
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
i have also a version with the amorphous core transformers but just the regular meter.
the amorphous core transformers are IMO a must!
the output attenuator i use very rare.
Thanks Teebaum
I guess I should stop messing around and just buy this damn unit !!
I'll take the amorphous core Xformer.
It's gonna be my first real analog comp.
It seems to me that this unit can be used on its own on pretty much everything.
I hope I'm doing the good choice (it's a lot of money)
But when I see all your posts, I feel like I won't regret it
Old 19th September 2015
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxnscratch View Post
Thanks Teebaum
I guess I should stop messing around and just buy this damn unit !!
I'll take the amorphous core Xformer.
It's gonna be my first real analog comp.
It seems to me that this unit can be used on its own on pretty much everything.
I hope I'm doing the good choice (it's a lot of money)
But when I see all your posts, I feel like I won't regret it
the unit is wonderfull, but

a analog chain is like a color palette, you need many colors and have to blend them to fullfill all your wishes.
sure, you can combine with plugins - but a "plugin-color" is like a coloring in photoshop, a analog tool more like oil-based paint - it's not about " better" or "worse", just different and not convertible
Old 19th September 2015
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
the unit is wonderfull, but

a analog chain is like a color palette, you need many colors and have to blend them to fullfill all your wishes.
sure, you can combine with plugins - but a "plugin-color" is like a coloring in photoshop, a analog tool more like oil-based paint - it's not about " better" or "worse", just different and not convertible
Yes I start to realize that.
I already have a Creamliner II and it didn't make me stop using plugins, it actually made plugins work better to my ears.

I have a lot of wishes concerning analog comp from Foote P3S to Vertigo VSC2/Airfield Liminator..... But for now I need a starting point and I hope the Pure Mu is a going one.
Old 25th November 2015
  #20
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Doesn't look like Airfield Liminator has high pass filter. So how's the low end? Or is it a comp to smash and use in parallel? How are you guys using it?
Old 25th November 2015
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Doesn't look like Airfield Liminator has high pass filter. So how's the low end? Or is it a comp to smash and use in parallel? How are you guys using it?
I believe it is designed with a 40hz HPF internally. Some may confirm this ?
Old 25th November 2015
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Doesn't look like Airfield Liminator has high pass filter. So how's the low end? Or is it a comp to smash and use in parallel? How are you guys using it?
someone told me the liminator has a highpass filter in the sidechain. i'm using it in the serial chain. hard to believe, but it sounds good (or at least reasonable) in any setting - offering a lot of sweet spots. it extends more the groove, so its hard to make it sound smashed.
Old 25th November 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Doesn't look like Airfield Liminator has high pass filter. So how's the low end? Or is it a comp to smash and use in parallel? How are you guys using it?
the liminator is one of the most used units in my chain. i use him serial.
i had never problems with bass-heavy music, the liminator handle all kind of material, also edm and hiphop, absolutely great - best "release" i know - the compressor sounds never stressed or swamped.
Old 26th November 2015
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
best "release" i know - the compressor sounds never stressed or swamped.
Do you think the liminator would be a good choice when you need relatively heavy compression (+6-7db) with (not very) fast attack on bassy or dense materials?
how is the box tone?
Old 26th November 2015
  #25
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Originally Posted by babmusician View Post
Do you think the liminator would be a good choice when you need relatively heavy compression (+6-7db) with (not very) fast attack on bassy or dense materials?
how is the box tone?
for wich kind of music?

the liminator also sounds great with a lot gain reduction, but i see him more as a "groove-shaper" than as a leveler.
if you need a leveler - i have a analog (!) jünger in my cellar...

the liminator have 2 boxtone, depending on the output transformer - sowter (fat and broed) or jensen (slighty clean out the low-mids)

Last edited by teebaum; 28th November 2015 at 11:26 PM..
Old 28th November 2015
  #26
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Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
the liminator also sounds great with a lot gain reduction, but i see him more as a "groiove-shaper" than as a leveler.
Old 29th November 2015
  #27
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Is there any way someone could upload a quick few clips or video of the pure-mu in action? theres so much talk of knif products throughout this board but basic examples are thin on the ground.

Last edited by whippoorwill; 1st December 2015 at 09:40 AM..
Old 30th November 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
Is there any way someone could upload a quick few clips or video of the pure-mu in action? theres so much talk of knife products throughout this board but basic examples are thin on the ground.
Not quite a Pure Mu, but there are some Knif Vari Mu II samples in the Mastering Compressor Comparison thread (post #67 ).
Old 1st December 2015
  #29
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I missed the first examples from last week. All the links are dead now. Could somebody who has saved the files perhaps re-upload them? Would be nice to hear all of the examples.

If anybody has enough dropbox space then perhaps a semi-permanent place for them would be nice for the future? Or does Gearslutz have a place like this for interesting threads like this one and the Mastering EQ one?
Old 8th December 2015
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
I missed the first examples from last week. All the links are dead now. Could somebody who has saved the files perhaps re-upload them? Would be nice to hear all of the examples.

If anybody has enough dropbox space then perhaps a semi-permanent place for them would be nice for the future? Or does Gearslutz have a place like this for interesting threads like this one and the Mastering EQ one?
All the samples are now available at the top of the thread.

Be sure to share your impressions...

Dom
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