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Old 13th August 2016
Lives for gear
DougS's Avatar

You might look at getting a pair of Chandler RS124 compressors. They are great for tracking (especially vocals) but in pairs they are also used for mixing and mastering. They even have a mastering edition.

Very versatile and also easy to use /hard to screw up. Everything that goes through them sounds better. Just barley kiss them with a couple db of gain reduction and they give you a nice clean compression. (not as clean as say a Dangerous compressor - but pretty darn clean). As you hit them harder they give you a little more beautiful rich tube tone - adding depth and dimension to the signal. Hit them really hard (30 db gain reduction) and you get a lot of color and texture but still musical and very low on compression artifacts. I say a "low" amount of artifacts because they must be there but I cant hear them. This makes them very forgiving to work with.

This is a Vari-Mu compressor so the amount of gain reduction is dependent on how hot the signal hitting the compression circuit is. Yielding very natural and musical outcomes. Gain reduction then is controlled by input gain staging (how hot is the signal coming into the box) and by the Input dial on the unit. So there's a built in compression slope that determines the amount of gain reduction based on the level of signal coming in.

The unit has a semi-hidden mode called 'Super Fuse'. Flip it into Super Fuse mode and the whole box assumes a more aggressive color-rich stance - a bit of a "don't fu-k with me" mode! This speeds up all the time constant settings in the box making it more aggressive. For some things Super Fuse is great.

The original RS124s at Abbey Road Studios are each modified and have some hardwired settings and slightly different circuits and sound. The Chandler version has an Attack dial for setting attack times - but this dial also offers options to select (the customized circuits and sound) of three different original RS124 units (designated by serial numbers as options on the dial) that are still in use today at Abbey Road Studios. They each have a different character.

Great sound, a lot of options but packaged in a way to keep the box simple to use and forgiving.