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500 Series Compressor recommendation for Violin
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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500 Series Compressor recommendation for Violin

Hi all.
I am very new to recording. I use an AEA r84 with an AEA rpq500 to record my violin/electric guitar for remote session work as well as my own little projects.

I've done a lot of sessions as a violinist/fiddler where they used some light comp to even out volume drops in my bow changes as well as to add some pop and color to the sound. I am looking to buy a 500 series unit that will impart the same mojo onto my tracks without being overly noticeable or squishy. For starters, do I want an Opto or a FET?

All recommendations are appreciated, thank you!

Last edited by Pjrvmg; 3 weeks ago at 02:20 PM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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soundmodel's Avatar
 

How about trying out different plug-ins (e.g. demos, if you don't want to purchase) and figure out a style that you like.

I would probably go into 1176-ballpark, since it has a "harshness taming" and "mid tightening" effect.

So perhaps:
-Lindell 7x-500
-API 525
-Hairball FET
-Or some other which is "1176-style"

Don't forget that plug-ins can also give you "mojo". It depends on the source and the particular plug-in.

E.g. Arturia's Comp FET-76 is very nice.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmodel View Post
How about trying out different plug-ins (e.g. demos, if you don't want to purchase) and figure out a style that you like.

I would probably go into 1176-ballpark, since it has a "harshness taming" and "mid tightening" effect.

So perhaps:
-Lindell 7x-500
-API 525
-Hairball FET
-Or some other which is "1176-style"

Don't forget that plug-ins can also give you "mojo". It depends on the source and the particular plug-in.

E.g. Arturia's Comp FET-76 is very nice.
Thank you! I know, I do have some plug-ins and they sound great--but--the paradox of choice is paralyzing. And maybe it is just the instrumentalist in me, but having my fingers on the actual knobs of outboard gear to make minute adjustments is far more comfortable to me than trying to manipulate a cursor in the box. I know this is a mental block I must get over!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjrvmg View Post
For starters, do I want an Opto or a FET?
For "not noticeable," you may want to try a VCA. As in the dbx 560a. Super-smooth gain management. And if you're doing self-inflicted engineering (as do most of us here, at least sometimes), it has the bonus of very informative metering. You can eyeball the GR action pretty effectively.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
 

For violin, unless your playing is very aggressive, you might want to go for something smoother with longer time constants than FET will provide. That would be opto, vca or vari-mu. I like the Grace 502 (opto), but it is, unfortunately, no longer made. If you have the cash and 2 available 500 slots, you might look at the Retro Doublewide. The Retro would also give you some subtle, warm tube color.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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soundmodel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventil View Post
For violin, unless your playing is very aggressive, you might want to go for something smoother with longer time constants than FET will provide. That would be opto, vca or vari-mu. I like the Grace 502 (opto), but it is, unfortunately, no longer made. If you have the cash and 2 available 500 slots, you might look at the Retro Doublewide. The Retro would also give you some subtle, warm tube color.
Yeah well. Similarly if it was a "string quartet" or something, mainly more "layered" strings. Then I would try a tube opto. The "tube" part may be crucial.

Tube opto can work fantastically for "string orchestra".

If the recording is good, then you might also try just a "tube pre", rather than a comp.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

So far, it's all theorizing and spitballing... anyone got clips?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventil View Post
For violin, unless your playing is very aggressive, you might want to go for something smoother with longer time constants than FET will provide. That would be opto, vca or vari-mu. I like the Grace 502 (opto), but it is, unfortunately, no longer made. If you have the cash and 2 available 500 slots, you might look at the Retro Doublewide. The Retro would also give you some subtle, warm tube color.
Yes, everything you said is what I’m going after. In that regard I was looking at the Chandler TG opto, but I have read a lot about this retro Doublewide as well. Do you know how those two units compare? Regardless I’m gonna do a lot of homework on that unit so thank you so much
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Also it’s worth noting that I’m going after the illusion of a classical violin within a more pop oriented context. So this is not pure classical recording but more of a competitive aesthetic that I am going after.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjrvmg View Post
Yes, everything you said is what I’m going after. In that regard I was looking at the Chandler TG opto, but I have read a lot about this retro Doublewide as well. Do you know how those two units compare? Regardless I’m gonna do a lot of homework on that unit so thank you so much
I have not used the Chandler.

In referring to the Doublewide, I was thinking more in general terms of the variable mu technique, maybe being better suited to your needs than FET. The tube coloration is more of a bonus - or not, as the case may be.

Since you're shopping for a compressor, think first in terms of the dynamic control you need. At this point, coloration is important, but secondary. If the unit does not give you the dynamic control you want, you may not use it, so its coloration won't matter.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Quote:
So far, it's all theorizing and spitballing... anyone got clips?
Its why i hate these threads. what compressor sound s better for this or that. Any compressor can sound good or bad, depending on 'personnel taste' and the 'original sound' you are starting with.

As far as compressing a Violin, I do not and would not. I would just use automation to level things out, if needed. Violins are meant to be very very dynamic. There suppose to take you up the mountain and down into hell and in and back into the clouds in one nice swoop of momentum
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
As far as compressing a Violin, I do not and would not. I would just use automation to level things out, if needed. Violins are meant to be very very dynamic. There suppose to take you up the mountain and down into hell and in and back into the clouds in one nice swoop of momentum
Interesting take from someone who is usually so anti-rules.

I, on the other hand, will slap a compressor on anything if I think it might be cool. Including things that aren't "supposed to be" compressed, like violins. And I've got clips.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Interesting take from someone who is usually so anti-rules.
Hey! What can i say?

Since 2006, I never compress on the way in. I guess thats a rule too. I'm so conflicted!! HELP!!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Would really recommend not buying hardware, and not doing it on the way in. For light, transparent compression, your stock DAW compressor is totally fine. If you have too many options, then just stick with that. There's no earthly reason to track violin or guitar through a compressor, and it's a real workflow killer to do bounces through hardware. Forget completely, the idea of "imparting mojo" - that comes through the playing, the instrument, the recording, and the taste/skill of the engineer.

A piece of hardware is NOT going to do anything for you.

Also, I'm not being funny, but dialling in compression settings takes 30 seconds, even with a mouse. It's not like a hardware synth, where live, real-time knob twiddling can be a big part of the performance. You set the threshold, the ratio, the attack and the release. Done. Magic Knobs does not make that faster or easier! Because it simply is NOT something that requires endless futzing with. Save a preset, if you dial in some channel settings you really like - especially if you're going to be recording the same instrument in the same room. Maybe you know you get a 2k build-up in some registers, and settle on some light dynamic EQ to address that. Great - save the settings!

But forget the box. It's not the answer. (If you're 100% serious about nailing your sound, the start by really learning a good FET and a good opto plug-in, until you can immediately tell which is which, and which one you prefer. But for a couple dB on a violin: learn the stock compressor, inside out.)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

He's not asking what kind of chocolate he should feed the dog. Lighten up. :-)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Demo the cl1b mk2 fiddle with that if you have a Neve pre plugin drive that into it while tracking create your sound
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Its why i hate these threads. what compressor sound s better for this or that. Any compressor can sound good or bad, depending on 'personnel taste' and the 'original sound' you are starting with.

As far as compressing a Violin, I do not and would not. I would just use automation to level things out, if needed. Violins are meant to be very very dynamic. There suppose to take you up the mountain and down into hell and in and back into the clouds in one nice swoop of momentum
In a lot of applications I would agree with you about not compressing a violin. But I’ve been featured on a few tracks that gained a modest amount of commercial traction where my sound was shaped by the producer by using compression, And I’m sure you would agree that a single lined instrument that is replacing the vocal in certain parts of a track needs to carry a comparable amount of water.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
Would really recommend not buying hardware, and not doing it on the way in. For light, transparent compression, your stock DAW compressor is totally fine. If you have too many options, then just stick with that. There's no earthly reason to track violin or guitar through a compressor, and it's a real workflow killer to do bounces through hardware. Forget completely, the idea of "imparting mojo" - that comes through the playing, the instrument, the recording, and the taste/skill of the engineer.

A piece of hardware is NOT going to do anything for you.

Also, I'm not being funny, but dialling in compression settings takes 30 seconds, even with a mouse. It's not like a hardware synth, where live, real-time knob twiddling can be a big part of the performance. You set the threshold, the ratio, the attack and the release. Done. Magic Knobs does not make that faster or easier! Because it simply is NOT something that requires endless futzing with. Save a preset, if you dial in some channel settings you really like - especially if you're going to be recording the same instrument in the same room. Maybe you know you get a 2k build-up in some registers, and settle on some light dynamic EQ to address that. Great - save the settings!

But forget the box. It's not the answer. (If you're 100% serious about nailing your sound, the start by really learning a good FET and a good opto plug-in, until you can immediately tell which is which, and which one you prefer. But for a couple dB on a violin: learn the stock compressor, inside out.)
This is totally a dose of truth, thank you so much man
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
In a lot of applications I would agree with you about not compressing a violin. But I’ve been featured on a few tracks that gained a modest amount of commercial traction where my sound was shaped by the producer by using compression, And I’m sure you would agree that a single lined instrument that is replacing the vocal in certain parts of a track needs to carry a comparable amount of water.
Of course. It why, for me, i would choose to use volume automation for a violin, instead of compression, But its an artistic choice and both outcomes can yield great results when done correctly..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Of course. It why, for me, i would choose to use volume automation for a violin, instead of compression, But its an artistic choice and both outcomes can yield great results when done correctly..
Totally, I appreciate it man. I think I’m shying away from automation because I’m not that good at it. If I really had my choice I would defer to you pros all the time, but the industry is changing so much that about half of the offers i used to get for coming in to do session work are now producers looking for me to send in tracks. I know that a 99.9% of those situations that they are going to want to control things like compression— most of this is just my desire to create and duplicate tones i have achieved before while working for those guys. Anyway, thanks again
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