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STC-8 question
Old 20th July 2009
  #1
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STC-8 question

I want a nice comp on the bus after my 8200. I'd like something controlling but cool - like a strict teacher but she's hot. Seriously, I'm thinking I would probably like the STC-8. Does it have nice gain? I need some gain, and I'm hoping I don't have to lose any width either. I can only afford to buy one comp, I don't have the luxury of having several models like a lot of you cats.

Mychal
Old 20th July 2009
  #2
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 
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Have you considered the Vertigo?
Old 20th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
I'd like something controlling but cool - like a strict teacher but she's hot.
Is that a STC-8 on her desk?

Think about getting the /H version, so you have detented pots on the gains. I have the /M version (all pots are detented) but I could easily live with the normal or /H version too.
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STC-8 question-hot-teacher-stc8.jpg  
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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gregor z's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Is that a STC-8 on her desk?

Think about getting the /H version, so you have detented pots on the gains. I have the /M version (all pots are detented) but I could easily live with the normal or /H version too.
hehe......Lagerfeldt........do you have this photo in higher resolution?

I agree on STC 8.....H version is the way to go........gets used on every mastering and mixing sessiopn.....I recently worked with full mastering version and I did not like the full detents on Shape and A/R controls....doesn't suit my way of working.......but detents on outputs are a must in a mastering or 2-bus situation.....
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregor z View Post
hehe......Lagerfeldt........do you have this photo in higher resolution?
Sure, I'll ask my mom.
Old 20th July 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
I would probably like the STC-8. Does it have nice gain?
It has great sounding gain. Probably my favorite gain-stage in my chain.

I also recommend the H version.

-dave
Old 20th July 2009
  #7
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
I want a nice comp on the bus after my 8200. I'd like something controlling but cool - like a strict teacher but she's hot. Seriously, I'm thinking I would probably like the STC-8. Does it have nice gain? I need some gain, and I'm hoping I don't have to lose any width either. I can only afford to buy one comp, I don't have the luxury of having several models like a lot of you cats.
It has beautiful, totally clean, neutral gain. I'll use it second only to that on our custom console. In terms of compression – very flexible, from slow levelling to fast 'grabs'. A real workhorse here. That or the Vertigo.
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Sure, I'll ask my mom.
*snort* heh
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Still not sure which one I'd bring out on a date
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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surflounge's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Is that a STC-8 on her desk?
absolutely brilliant! the original mother gearslut.
Old 20th July 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Is that a STC-8 on her desk?
Ha ha! Classic. She's a perfect example - controlling but lots of sexy vibe. And thanks for the tip about the detented pots.


Quote:
It has beautiful, totally clean, neutral gain.
Thanks Adam. That sounds good. I appreciate your help.


Quote:
Have you considered the Vertigo?
No, I hadn't. But you got me curious, and I just spent the last 2 hours reading up on it. Cool thread by Ivo last year with some comparisons with the API. People seem to either really like the Vertigo, or they don't like it and think it's overpriced.

Mychal
Old 21st July 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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This might sound dumb, but is it really green? From some pictures you see of it online in stores, it even looks like there's green light coming out of the top and bottom of it. Are they just lighting it up for the picture in bright green lights, or does it glow like that?

I'm thinking about getting it and the OCL-2 and seeing which one I like better. From what I've read, people like the Pendulum, but if I get it I should put better tubes in it. The side chain options look good. I'm guessing this compressor has nice gain too?

Mychal
Old 21st July 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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STC-8/M, bottom of the rack



The knobs are green, and the on indicator light is green. The meter LEDs show green too, above a certain level, but that's it. Nothing looking like a UFO with glowing rays of light coming out of the top, like on the packshots.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
The knobs are green, and the on indicator light is green. The meter LEDs show green too, above a certain level, but that's it. Nothing looking like a UFO with glowing rays of light coming out of the top, like on the packshots.
Thanks! It looks way better in your picture than the ones the online stores advertise. In their photos, it looks almost spooky.

Man, that Gyratec looks cool. Look at the handles on that puppy! Thanks again for the picture.

Mychal
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Thanks. The picture is a bit blurry because it was taken in a hurry.
Old 25th July 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Hard bypass

Sorry more questions - it looks like both the STC-8 and the OCL-2 have hard bypass. So signal will pass through just fine even if they're off?

Mychal
Old 25th July 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
Sorry more questions - it looks like both the STC-8 and the OCL-2 have hard bypass. So signal will pass through just fine even if they're off?

Mychal
Yes for the STC-8
Old 26th July 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Thanks Robin!

Mychal
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
It has beautiful, totally clean, neutral gain. I'll use it second only to that on our custom console.
It does sound good - I've got one here.

Lagerfeldt, I hope you don't mind I checked out your settings in the picture, then I went from there. I know I would never use ki - I don't like the way it sounds and I can't see any use for a compressor adding all of that whatever. But some people probably like it.

I hate spending money for things I don't need. Are there other compressors that act and sound similar to this one in hara mode? It sounds good like that. I was finding that I could boost a little in the highs on my 8200 going into it. Sometimes the 8200 sounds a touch harsh if you boost up high, but going through the STC-8 in hara mode with reasonable settings the high boost sounded smooth.

Would the OCL-2 be similar at all to what I like about the STC-8? It's less money, and to be honest, I like the ergonomics of the Pendulum better judging from the pictures. It will mostly be on the 2 bus, but probably some tracking too.

Mychal
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
I know I would never use ki - I don't like the way it sounds and I can't see any use for a compressor adding all of that whatever. But some people probably like it.
If you haven't done so, change the internal jumper to the 'milder' version of KI. The factory setting isn't really that usable for mastering.

In its milder setting, I find KI very useful on the right material, especially when using the STC for punch / groove / bounce. Whereas the mid bump / density in KI can sometimes be a bit annoying, the HARA mode can sound a bit brutal / cold with long attack times, imo. Actually, it would be nice if there was a medium between the two.
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
If you haven't done so, change the internal jumper to the 'milder' version of KI.
Hey, that's cool. Thanks for the idea, I'll give it a try.

I'm just a pianist trying to record a little music, but I do have a few first impressions of the stc-8. They're not all positive, but I suppose that's normal. I like the sound of it in hara mode - it probably just suits what we're doing better than ki. We're playing instruments, so to me it doesn't sound good to add extra harmonics when there are plenty of them already.

I don't get the green knobs. There are probably people that like that contemporary fresh color, but to me it's annoying. They look and feel cheap to me. One of them fell off already on the new one I've got here. All the knobs have tiny set screws, and several were loose. One was so loose it came off in my hand. Putting it back on was weird - the set screw will tighten in a lot of places around the shaft, and it was one of the preset knobs. That knob goes all the way around - it doesn't have a stop. If both of the preset knobs came off, how would you know which preset it is pointing at, and where to point the knob? As it was, I took off the one that was still tight, checked to see where the shaft was, rotated the other shaft to match it, then put the knobs back on (sorry if I don't know the correct names for things - I was lucky to find a little screwdriver around this place that would fit in there).

It's odd that the front of the compressor says left and right, and the back says 1 and 2. Isn't that a mistake, and why don't they fix it? I would be embarrassed to have an obvious mistake like that printed on my piece of gear.

It sounds good to me, and I can hear why people like to use it. But I'm pretty sure I don't want to spend what they're asking. I know I keep blabbing the same thing over and over, but if anyone reads this who has had experience with this comp and the OCL-2, do they sound similar?

Mychal
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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William Bowden's Avatar
 
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I've tried both the OCL and the STC. I don't think they sound similar and I think that both their compression flavour is pretty different. The OCL is fairly clean and I confess I didn't find it that exciting or useful (though MANY would disagree). I found it had to be pretty subtle otherwise it became very obvious very quickly - which surprised me quite a bit as I really thought it would be smoother.

The STC is another beast entirely. I don't think of it as being super transparent (unlike many posters here - it has it's own sound) and obviously it has the tonal options as well. The limiter part is useless, the compression interesting and I think it perhaps would be a better choice of the two.

The Vertigo is pretty coloured in a way, there's something really pleasing about it's sound though and also I think it's action is very usable. I probably wouldn't use it so much on acoustic stuff, but for dance it's great - fat and solid.

Piano is a very tricky instrument though - all those harmonics and dynamics, even expensive items like the Elysia Alpha have great difficulty with it (if the youtube video is anything to go by that is). You sometimes have to be so subtle it almost doesn't seem worth it.

Is it piano you're compressing specifically, or are there other ingredients in the mix? Can you play more evenly perhaps...

I just hate compressing piano really and will more often draw volume curves if I can, though in the past I've had some ok results with a manley vari-mu (shock horror), tubetech (Cl1a's), and even a renaissance compressor tickling just the peaks!

Also a major factor to consider is the sound of the piano, and specifically what you're after (just dynamic control or tonal change) from a compressor. Could a better AD for eg sort out some issues, or better mics?

Hope this helps

The King
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
I've tried both the OCL and the STC. I don't think they sound similar and I think that both their compression flavour is pretty different. The OCL is fairly clean and I confess I didn't find it that exciting or useful (though MANY would disagree). I found it had to be pretty subtle otherwise it became very obvious very quickly - which surprised me quite a bit as I really thought it would be smoother.
Thanks for the help! I haven't been able to get an OCL-2 here to try, and I've been curious about them for awhile.



Quote:
The STC is another beast entirely. I don't think of it as being super transparent (unlike many posters here - it has it's own sound) and obviously it has the tonal options as well. The limiter part is useless, the compression interesting and I think it perhaps would be a better choice of the two.
That's interesting. I didn't think it was transparent either, whatever that is. It does have a sound, but it's a sound that seems like it would work in a variety of applications. But I think $4500 is a lot to spend for that sound, and I just don't like the look and feel of it.



Quote:
Piano is a very tricky instrument though - all those harmonics and dynamics...Is it piano you're compressing specifically, or are there other ingredients in the mix? Can you play more evenly perhaps...
Yeah, all the harmonics and dynamics are what make it so cool! I don't need something while I'm tracking. I'm pretty comfortable as far as being able to play evenly, etc. I'm mostly looking for something on the mix buss. Along with the piano are real drums and an MTD 5 string bass guitar, plus vocals. So it's a whole band, but not a big one, and no guitar. Since all the instruments and voices are real, I don't feel like we need much help adding more harmonics, sounds, etc from a mix bus comp. It's why I liked the GML 8200 as my mix bus eq - it's dry and clean. With the comp I'm just looking for something to help a little with dynamics, the glue thing, not shrink the size down, maybe a little mojo if it's done in the right way...



Quote:
I just hate compressing piano really and will more often draw volume curves if I can, though in the past I've had some ok results with a manley vari-mu (shock horror)
That's funny - the Manley has probably been my favorite one I've tried so far. I just thought there might be something better...maybe I need to try one with the high pass options so I don't have to fuss with what it's doing to the low end.



Quote:
Could a better AD for eg sort out some issues, or better mics?
I've got Lavry blacks going in and out, so I think I'm ok. The mics could be better, but I think they're ok for now.

I really appreciate you jumping in with your ideas. I seriously appreciate the help!

Mychal
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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engmix's Avatar
i'm with ya on the vari-mu. that one's a leveling beast. i actually found it to have quite a bit of versatility to it. i think it's a must have compressor. along with my 2 trakkers, and ssl-g, i'm covering a lot of ground.

I really need to a/b the trakkers against an stc-8.
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Yeah the vari-mu seems to cop a lot of **** on the forums, but I passed on both the OCL-2 and the STC8 so I guess that says something!

The manley is capable I think of quite a few different tonalities depending on how you push it or not, but I do like the action of it a lot. I also think the tubetech - perhaps a CL2A in your case would be well worth checking out - amazing boxes and very underrated seemingly. Both have mojo...

They are both probably my most used compressors, though I do have some digital options (Weiss, TC-6000) which I'd hate to live without frankly.

Lavry stuff is good, I use it too - good choice.

The King
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
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AlΓ©cio Costa's Avatar
 
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I have seen a few MEs passing the Manley/Avalon trends in favor of Crane/Pendulum/elysia/Vertigo ...

If you do not like the STC8 and the OCL2, have you tried an API 2500?

BTW.. I am eager to pick the STC8 to marry my OCL2.
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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Haven't tried the 2500 yet, probably will one day, once all the excitement has settled down. Would it work for piano do you think?

The King
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlΓ©cio Costa View Post
have you tried an API 2500?
No. I might need to.

Has anyone seen or heard the new Daking FET 3?

Mychal
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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You might also consider the Pendulum ES8. Like the STC8, it's a variable ratio design.

I've owned both the ES8 and 6386 Pendulum compressors and got interested in them when they were described as 'boring' by a colleague. I've used them on piano and other similarly 'difficult to compress' sources with good results.

Having said that, I also use the Weiss DS1 and Flux Solera plug-in for projects that stay in the digital domain. They also handle piano, percussion, etc. very well.

Graemme
Old 1st August 2009 | Show parent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Haven't tried the 2500 yet, probably will one day, once all the excitement has settled down. Would it work for piano do you think?

The King
I don't quite understand what all the API excitement was about. Another clean/coloured VCA compressor that unfortunately didn't really do it for me, the tone was a little too obvious. Still, not that different from the Vertigo at half the price. Just boost 12KHz before the 2500 in new mode and you have the Vertigo sound. No 'magic' for me but that is just personal taste. Would be great for mixing but not as versatile as a pair of distressors.
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