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Which compressor to chain to my Alan Smart C2 for 2 buss mastering/limiting duties?
Old 9th June 2007
  #1
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🎧 15 years
Which compressor to chain to my Alan Smart C2 for 2 buss mastering/limiting duties?

Im looking for a compressor that would be good to combo up with my Alan Smart C2 for the 2 buss, for mastering/ limiting, and adding a nice amount of colour.


Im finding that im loosing some low end with the C2 on the 2 buss, but i like what it does to everything else besides that. Getting a real phat low end is a must for me. Also, i want more colour and need to get my stuff louder without distortion.


I was thinking about adding the API 2500 to the chain as i read it has nice colour and is great for a phat bottom end. Would this be a good combo for the 2 buss?


Would i also need an eq for the 2 buss for more colour and low end?



The other gear i have right now is:

2 x REDDI
2 x API 512c
2 x Avedis E27
Aurora Audio GTQ2
Tube Tech CL1B
SSL Alpha Link Convertors
SSL Duende


Any help would be great.


Thanks.
Old 9th June 2007
  #2
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toolskid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You could explore the using the side chain on the C2 rather than dropping for a new comp! Send the S/C inputs the mix filtered up to about 100hz (adjust according to program material). You will find the lows of your track will not be spanking the compressor so hard and subsequently you will experience more bottom-end with the same compression settings you are currently using.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #3
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RoundBadge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Exactly what Emre said..before you spend,give the S/C a shot.

.. if you eventually wanna try something else..look into the Shadow Hills comp.
It has pretty much replaced all my other contenders on the mix buss[including the C-2]
Old 9th June 2007
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Im finding that im loosing some low end with the C2 on the 2 buss, but i like what it does to everything else besides that. Getting a real phat low end is a must for me. Also, i want more colour and need to get my stuff louder without distortion.
You could sidechain (as suggested above) or simply EQ the lowend back in.

For "color" maybe something like a Cranesong HEDD?

Sounds like you may also need something like an L2/L2007 at the end of your chain (or S/W) for "loudness".
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #5
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proxy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid View Post
Send the S/C inputs the mix filtered up to about 100hz (adjust according to program material)
Not to pile on here -- but I would frequently use that specific technique with my G384, and it's like opening up a whole new "voice" of the compressor.

Especially for stuff with big low-end, hi-passing up to 100, maybe a little less, there'd be a nice sweetspot you'd hear in the kick.

- Proxy
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #6
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a C2 that I put on my master buss. i follow it up witha FATSO. Make sure you side chain the a high pass signal into the C2 and then take off less than 1 db on the follow up compresser with a low ratio..
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
Hey guys, thanks a lot for the help.


I'll give the side chain a shot, but im not very good with the tech stuff, do you guys know how i would set that up so i can use it? I had a tech come in and help me set everything up.


Also, i wouldnt mind getting the API or another comp to pair up with the C2 on the buss, if its going to give me more colour, and a better sound with more low end. A dealer i know will give me a really good monthly payment plan that i can afford. Or would an EQ be better, or both? I heard the fatso and i dont really like the sound.


As for the limiting and loudness, i would like to get an analog compressor/limiter with nice colour. Thats why the API 2500 came to mind cause i read it has nice colour, but im not sure if anything else would be better in combo with the C2.



Thanks again for all the help.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #8
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
Not to pile on here -- but I would frequently use that specific technique with my G384, and it's like opening up a whole new "voice" of the compressor.

Especially for stuff with big low-end, hi-passing up to 100, maybe a little less, there'd be a nice sweetspot you'd hear in the kick.

- Proxy
Hi Passing the side chain on the SSL Buss compressor makes it pump less and makes it sound less like its supposed to.

Personally i've never liked that sound. I like the grab but i also work the automation so there are no hot spots in the mix.

But as always YMMV.
Old 9th June 2007
  #9
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Im looking for a compressor that would be good to combo up with my Alan Smart C2 for the 2 buss, for mastering/ limiting, and adding a nice amount of colour.


Im finding that im loosing some low end with the C2 on the 2 buss, but i like what it does to everything else besides that. Getting a real phat low end is a must for me. Also, i want more colour and need to get my stuff louder without distortion.


I was thinking about adding the API 2500 to the chain as i read it has nice colour and is great for a phat bottom end. Would this be a good combo for the 2 buss?


Would i also need an eq for the 2 buss for more colour and low end?



The other gear i have right now is:

2 x REDDI
2 x API 512c
2 x Avedis E27
Aurora Audio GTQ2
Tube Tech CL1B
SSL Alpha Link Convertors
SSL Duende


Any help would be great.


Thanks.
You don't need more compressors. You need to work the tracks you have and make them full sounding. But that's what production/mixing is all about.

Slapping something on at the end to try to make up for something that is missing will just make it worse and be futile.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Hey Thrill, good to hear from you.


So your saying that side chaining the C2 will make it sound less like the SSL is supposed to sound? I do like what the C2 does to the whole mix, it definetly adds that SSL sound, but im loosing some low end.


Do you know how i can avoid this without losing some of the SSL sound?


What what you add for more colour to the whole mix? I cant afford pultecs lol. What about limiting? I was thinking that the API 2500 would be good for limiting and colouring the whole mix at the same time.


Thanks.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Hey Thrill, good to hear from you.


So your saying that side chaining the C2 will make it sound less like the SSL is supposed to sound? I do like what the C2 does to the whole mix, it definetly adds that SSL sound, but im loosing some low end.
I was talking about FXG384 or the buss compressor inside an SSL console not the C2.

The C2 to me doesn't sound like the SSL mixbuss compressor to me so you have to treat it differently and side chaining is probably the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Do you know how i can avoid this without losing some of the SSL sound?
Read above.

The C2 sounds different. Not better or worse but different. If you want the true "SSL sound" mix on an SSL console.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
What what you add for more colour to the whole mix? I cant afford pultecs lol. What about limiting? I was thinking that the API 2500 would be good for limiting and colouring the whole mix at the same time.


Thanks.

I don't wait till the end to add color.

I do it in the mix.

If i have to wait till the end than i just wasted someone's mix time.

But that's me.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 15 years
Thanks Thrill, well if i had the option to mix on a SSL i definetly would, but i dont at the moment.


Okay got it about the C2, side chaining is probabbly the way.



Okay, so what about the API 2500 for a coloured limiter?
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #13
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have to agree with thrill on this one. i dont even mix with those on the buss. I have those for a mastering set up. I master alot of records just for the extra money. I think it is a bit counter productive to mix with something on the buss, but that is a whole other discussion. you dont need another back up compresser at all unless you plan on mastering. infact it would be best to mix without it completely and then tack it on at the end and adjust the mix for a bounce.

If you plan on having your tracks mastered by a proffessional I would stay away from limiters EQs and even compressers on the master buss. I am sure many will disagree, but that is my opinion. I have had to master alot of tracks that people slapped something on the buss and it really killed what I was able to do, tied my hands a bit.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #14
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I plan to master it myself right now, or at least beef it up.


I like the sound that the C2 imparts on my 2 mix forsure.


So would a good mastering limiter with nice colour be the API 2500 or something else? I read that you can bring the volume up a nice bit without distortion.


Also, a good EQ for adding colour and stuff to the 2 buss and/or individual tracks? I like using the Avedis E27, but i need something else for more colour.


Also, is there anything that will allow me to add nice saturation to tracks without the clipping and totally distorting and ruining the sound? The GTQ and all are good, but i find i cant saturate stuff that much without getting lots of distortion and ruining the sound.


For example, a chain of GTQ2 - Avedis E27 - Smart C2 still doesnt give me as much saturation and color as the stuff i hear in 50 cent/aftermath tracks,ect.


Is it their SSL console that is giving them all that saturation and colour without clipping and distoring the sound in a bad way?
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #15
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Also, is there anything that will allow me to add nice saturation to tracks without the clipping and totally distorting and ruining the sound? The GTQ and all are good, but i find i cant saturate stuff that much without getting lots of distortion and ruining the sound.


For example, a chain of GTQ2 - Avedis E27 - Smart C2 still doesnt give me as much saturation and color as the stuff i hear in 50 cent/aftermath tracks,ect.


Is it their SSL console that is giving them all that saturation and colour without clipping and distoring the sound in a bad way?
SSL consoles are not known for saturation. I don't really hear anything in any Aftermath recordings that I can't get with the gear you currently are using. The GTQ probably has the most pleasing saturation characteristics of any preamp on the market when pushed. And, the E27's also add a nice character. The C2 doesn't saturate, nor do SSL consoles.

Another compressor like the Aurora GTC2 or Distressors might help get you more of that harmonic distorted vibe.

If you need more saturation than that, you should consider buying a guitar amp or tape machine. heh
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 15 years
Whaddup Tony!


Okay, so for adding lots of saturation with the GTQ2, all i do is turn the inputs up, and the outputs down? When i get less than halfway up it starts getting really distorted and not usable.


Im going to give it another shot right now.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #17
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Whaddup Tony!


Okay, so for adding lots of saturation with the GTQ2, all i do is turn the inputs up, and the outputs down? When i get less than halfway up it starts getting really distorted and not usable.


Im going to give it another shot right now.
If the GTQ doesn't give you what you're looking for, then you probably aren't looking for saturation. At some point, you're no longer looking for preamp saturation and are actually looking for sound altering. Sound altering can be done with many different methods. I would experiment with compression a little more, and probably pick up a pair of Distressors.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 15 years
im just curious, and no one i dont think anyone asked...what exactly are your settings on the C2?

You have to learn your gear or you are just wasting money.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #19
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VelvetGoatmine's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Give 'em enough rope

Please, just buy more gear. It is truly the only way.

Affectionately,

Everyone that sells gear to others.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Tony, okay my bad i was playing around with the GTQ on the 2 buss before, and now i went directly from the MPC to the GTQ's instrument ins. Very good ****! Its a definite improvement.

But i find that i get more of what im looking for when i mess with the eq, again good ****! Im guessing that alot of the saturation and most drastic changes in sound are due to EQ.


I was able to phatten up kicks and snares pretty fast. The API's rock too! Really damn punchy.

If i wanted to put my whole 2 mix through the GTQ directly like i did the MPC and synths, how would i do that?


Also, yeah i am looking for sound altering aswell. Other than the distressors, which would be a good choice?


Methlab, the setting i used were:


threshold 9
ratio 4
attack 1
release 6
gain 8


I was putting an old track through the C2 that was quiet in the first place, so i had to bring it up a lot.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #21
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heathen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
To start with try using a slower attack on the c2 and you won't lose much bottom end. The C2 is fast enough to totally destroy a mix if setup incorrectly for a particular mix. Or if setup right can help a mix sound great. The SC becomes more important with LF content the more you want to slam it.

Also this is gearslutz, if ya hell bent on getting the api 2500, just get it. Get a pendulum es8 too while your at it, I would.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #22
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heathen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You beat me, I new your attack was about 1 if your losing bottom end. Also threshold is an irrelevant setting unless we know the level of the track your sending through it, A little C2 goes a long way and I find myself usually only hitting it a max of about 1-2 db GR for stereo buss duties.
Old 9th June 2007 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
I tried to slam that track because i was trying to make an old track sound better. I got more of a sound out of it with a faster attack i think, but as a result i also lost some low end.


I want the best of both worlds i guess.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #24
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heathen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Better or louder? The 2 are often confused. If you want louder loads of compression can actually give you the opposite. Use your compressor to gently hold back the peaks, then turn it up in your daw and run it through an L2 or similar, though not too hard, each track or bunch of tracks will have a loudness potential, going past this LP is futile, you will get worse results. Be gentle most of the time at all stages, you will get much better results.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
Hey heathen, thanks a lot for the help.


Better i guess, i want to impart the most ssl sound from the C2 without losing bottom end.


The reason i was mentioning the API 2500 was to make my tracks commercial loudness, without distortion, for demo purposes, and also i read it adds nice colour which i want. Basically using it as a limiter instead of the L2.


Just wanted to get more opinions on that too if possible.


Thanks.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #26
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Better i guess, i want to impart the most ssl sound from the C2 without losing bottom end.
The mythical SSL sound does not exist. People get too hung up on those three letters. Use the box to get the sound that you want out of it. Try backing off on the attack time a little and you should see an improvement in your low end.

Quote:
The reason i was mentioning the API 2500 was to make my tracks commercial loudness, without distortion, for demo purposes, and also i read it adds nice colour which i want. Basically using it as a limiter instead of the L2.
You already have all the tools needed to get commercial loudness. The API 2500 is not a loudness maximizer/ limiter like L2 and isn't meant for that application.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #27
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heathen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Neither of these comps will do what the L2 does, never. Brickwall limiting is usually best done digitally. Even running a mix through the C2 with no GR at all will still give you that C2/SSL'ish sound, running it through another comp in chain may or may not give you your desired sound. I'd buy a couple more comps for sure, if I was you. Though you will never (most likely) achieve brick wall results with either of these units or others like them.

Analog brick wall limiting is done with things like the Pendulum PL 1 or a modded aphex dominator or others. Still either of these units are not as brick wall as an L2 or the like.

Conclusion is, use you analog comps for colour and nice compression as they will crap on any plug-in comps, don't come back into your converters too loud, avoid clipping unless your positive you want it ( guaranteed to sound like **** loud). Then get your final loudness in your daw by turning up the volume into the brickwall limiter, no more than 1 - 4 db GR on BW limiter, none would be best but not usually practical so use a little. When you push your track into the BW limiter you will notice a point where it starts to sound worse and worse, this is your loudness potential, do not go past the point of diminishing return.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Thanks a lot guys.


So mastering guys use the L2?


Are you talking about the Waves L2 plug-in?



As for other comps, what would you suggest? I have the Tube Tech CL1B, which is nice. I tried the Distressors before, i dont know i guess im looking for more mojo, and they didnt really have it to my ears, at the time anyways. Would it sound better to add the Api 2500 in the chain after the C2 for more colour and vibe?


What about more eq's? I have Duende, but honestly i can hear the kind ofplug-in sound it imparts, but it is pretty good sounding. I was looking up on the Neve 8803 EQ, but i havent heard much about it from anybody on here.



Thanks!
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #29
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIZ Records View Post
Would it sound better to add the Api 2500 in the chain after the C2 for more colour and vibe?

Maybe look at something like a Vari-Mu type of comp which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

Again if you really want more "beef" you are gonna have to "beef" up the tracks in the mix. We are talking your bass and low mids. But if you are having problems in this area right now its probably not a gear issue i think but more a lack of the necessary skills sets needed.
Old 10th June 2007 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 15 years
Hey Thrill, thanks for the help.


So you dont think the API 2500 would be a good combo with the C2 on the buss for more colour and better overall sound?


What do you think about the new SSL X-Rack Eq's? ( if you tried them ). Also, the Neve 8803 dual eq?


Im making a track right now, and i got the drums goin through the GTQ2, using a bit of the eq on it, and the C2, and honestly its sounding pretty damn good, kick is banging without losing bass or distorting,ect,
but comparing it with mastered tracks, there's something over them that im missing. Im guessing it has something to do with mastering. They are richer or something, and sounds like the instruments have more of their own space too. There's more sonic goodness over them that doesnt have anything to do with the way im mixing. Thats why i was wondering about adding the 2500 to the chain for more colour/richness, and mabye a rich EQ for the buss would help a lot aswell? I definetly getting closer, but im not quite there yet.


Thanks.
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