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Snare / Kick / 1176 / LA2A - What would you do?
Old 9th November 2019
  #1
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konkon's Avatar
Snare / Kick / 1176 / LA2A - What would you do?

If you had an 1176 style comp and an LA2A style com and wanted to run a snare through one and a kick through the other, which would you choose for which and why?
Old 9th November 2019
  #2
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It would depend somewhat on how the tracks were sounding to begin with. I don't have an LA-2A, but I do have a Peavey VC/L-2, which is two channels of optical tube compression that's similar to a 2A, and I usually love running snare through it because it imparts a little extra fatness in addition to handling compression duties. Occasionally, if the snare already sounds particularly fat, it can be a little too much.

As for kick, I generally prefer something a little faster, although with a slow enough attack time to let the beater attack happen. So my default answer to your question would probably be snare through 2A and kick through 76, but I might at least give it a try the other way around.
Old 9th November 2019
  #3
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I actually use a Warm Audio Wa-2A as my kick preamp for my vintage D12E after someone on here years ago said to try it. Sounds killer.

1176 on snare is pretty classic too. You can really dial in all kinds of tone/sustain/snap/smack by just playing with attack/release and ratios.
Old 9th November 2019
  #4
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
The studio I work out of has a vintage LA2A abd two Urei 1176’s. I never use the LA2A on kick or snare and very seldom does an 1176 get used on snare. Most of the time it sounds better bypassed and I’d rather use it on room mics. 90% of the time I don’t compress the kick or snare on the way down and in the mixdown I prefer using saturation (Decapitator) and limiting (L1) over compressors. Although Novatron is really excellent for kick and snare duty.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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konkon's Avatar
Interesting. Thanks for the input so far.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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MarAtaSe9's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by konkon View Post
If you had an 1176 style comp and an LA2A style com and wanted to run a snare through one and a kick through the other, which would you choose for which and why?
Ahh... 2 parallel aux channel's: both receiving the kick and snare "sends", automating the sends to each compressor throughout the song, send levels varying as the instrumentation varies across the song (*slower patterns/passages vs faster; softer patterns/passages vs more intense; etc)

yes?


Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
1176 occasionally on snare - the LA-2A is too slow for either - bass or acoustic for that, vocals too.

Although honestly I’d rarely compress direct mics on recording - it genuinely works better after SSL-style expansion, unless you want your snare mic to be the hat mic too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Poopypants's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
it genuinely works better after SSL-style expansion
Ooh... please explain this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopypants View Post
Ooh... please explain this.
Just that compression after gating/expansion is usually more effective than gating/expansion after compression.

You’re going to find it easier to set an expander if the peaks haven’t already been squashed down!

So tracking with an 1176 on a snare you may end up gating or expanding probably isn’t going to help you.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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too fast and you'll kill transients... - kick, snare, bass and vocals, maybe horns go to tape with comp; i'm talking real tape though.

but yeah, 1176/1178 are more versatile (and four button offers an interesting lag before comp/lim kicks in) so it's mostly these on drums and la2a on vocals.



and then there's the stc-8 which lets you do pretty much anything on any source...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Are we talking tracking here or mixing?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Are we talking tracking here or mixing?
Tracking, hence the limitation of either or. Since if people have limited gear, they have to choose more carefully. Mixing you can add whatever you like whenever you like.

However, interested in answers for both regardless.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarAtaSe9 View Post
Ahh... 2 parallel aux channel's: both receiving the kick and snare "sends", automating the sends to each compressor throughout the song, send levels varying as the instrumentation varies across the song (*slower patterns/passages vs faster; softer patterns/passages vs more intense; etc)

yes?


How do you practically, physically set this up?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konkon View Post
Tracking, hence the limitation of either or. Since if people have limited gear, they have to choose more carefully. Mixing you can add whatever you like whenever you like.

However, interested in answers for both regardless.
Ah ok. Yeah I don't track with compression on drums at all.

With the D12E and WA-2A, there is zero compression happening, just some tubey warmth that I really like on the front of the outside head on the kick.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Ah ok. Yeah I don't track with compression on drums at all.
Right. Don't track drums with compression, especially if you are asking what to use on which. Learn what works by applying in the mix, not by printing your compression experiments.

I often find that a compression on a drum that sounds good in solo or basic tracks doesn't work in the more finished mix. If I'm compressing a drum, it's the last thing I do. And certainly, as psycho suggests, after exp/gating for some isolation. Especially snare, as the hat can get loud and nasty, throwing the whole drum balance.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Best answer:

1) do your own tests with your own mics using your drumkit and your room: don’t make assumptions that other people’s experience because NONE of your exact variables are involved!

2) WHY do you want to use them? Depending on the song, it might make sense to not use any compression, allowing you to use full dynamics plus some parallel compression during the mixing?

3) sell those things and buy the UAD plugs: there are slight differences, yes... but you can swap them out, use both on both, and/or track monitoring them in the chain but not printing the recording

Simplify. Play. Test. Listen.

Trust your gut, and be present in your situation.

Only use other people’s advice as a canvas. Feel free to completely throw out or cover up that canvas depending on what YOU feel is working.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Right. Don't track drums with compression, especially if you are asking what to use on which. Learn what works by applying in the mix, not by printing your compression experiments.

I often find that a compression on a drum that sounds good in solo or basic tracks doesn't work in the more finished mix. If I'm compressing a drum, it's the last thing I do. And certainly, as psycho suggests, after exp/gating for some isolation. Especially snare, as the hat can get loud and nasty, throwing the whole drum balance.
That's fair enough and I certainly will do all that, but I was just interested in people's views incase I want to experiment with using it while tracking. Keeping in mind, it's not the end of the world if I mess up tracking. I only have a studio for recording my own band and it's purpose is purely for that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRLK View Post
Best answer:

1) do your own tests with your own mics using your drumkit and your room: don’t make assumptions that other people’s experience because NONE of your exact variables are involved!

2) WHY do you want to use them? Depending on the song, it might make sense to not use any compression, allowing you to use full dynamics plus some parallel compression during the mixing?

3) sell those things and buy the UAD plugs: there are slight differences, yes... but you can swap them out, use both on both, and/or track monitoring them in the chain but not printing the recording

Simplify. Play. Test. Listen.

Trust your gut, and be present in your situation.

Only use other people’s advice as a canvas. Feel free to completely throw out or cover up that canvas depending on what YOU feel is working.
1) I will, but I don't have all my stuff setup yet. New studio. I was just interested in people's views though. Not really asking for advice.

2) I may not. The question was hypothetical. I am not literally asking for advice.

3) I suppose that's a whole other discussion.

Yes. Not looking for advice exactly. Just looking for different opinions out of interest. I don't want to be closed-minded that's all. I have my own ways of figuring out what I need. Thanks.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by konkon View Post
That's fair enough and I certainly will do all that, but I was just interested in people's views incase I want to experiment with using it while tracking. Keeping in mind, it's not the end of the world if I mess up tracking. I only have a studio for recording my own band and it's purpose is purely for that.
I can see that, yeah. One reason to track with it would be if you only have a single unit, and you want to use that unit on other stuff in the mix. So, if you've experimented and found your path, cool. I always compress bass, clean guitar, vocals and some other things on the way in; just never drums because it's too volatile, and dependent upon the specific song arrangement and where the final mix ends up.

There was a suggestion above to get the plugs. I agree. There is a slight difference (I have LA2A's and 1176 rack units, and I've used the plugs quite a bit also), but the control you get by applying these in mix far, far outweighs the downsides of plug vs rack. Plug does not add the slight thickening effect, but you can track through the unit at 1:1 ratio for this benefit. Then use the plug to do the compression/limiting duties in the mix, dialing it in just right.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I can see that, yeah. One reason to track with it would be if you only have a single unit, and you want to use that unit on other stuff in the mix. So, if you've experimented and found your path, cool. I always compress bass, clean guitar, vocals and some other things on the way in; just never drums because it's too volatile, and dependent upon the specific song arrangement and where the final mix ends up.

There was a suggestion above to get the plugs. I agree. There is a slight difference (I have LA2A's and 1176 rack units, and I've used the plugs quite a bit also), but the control you get by applying these in mix far, far outweighs the downsides of plug vs rack. Plug does not add the slight thickening effect, but you can track through the unit at 1:1 ratio for this benefit. Then use the plug to do the compression/limiting duties in the mix, dialing it in just right.
Yeah, also time saving. If I have to send a bunch of tracks out to various gear so many times, it would be a huge hassle in comparison to at least doing a bit of it in tracking then less of it in the mix.

That "hybrid" sort of approach also makes sense too, yes. I will be using a combo of hardware and software anyway. I mean things like surgical EQ, some gating or automation and limiting, etc., I was going to do with plugins. I have hardware for compression, eq, reverb and some post processing (SSL Fusion), but I need to also balance costs and space so I do have kinda a hybrid setup figured out already.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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tymish's Avatar
 

I agree with the idea of not compressing drums while tracking. Particularly kick or snare. Maybe on a room mic. Haven't tried an LA-2 type on drums, always seemed like it would be too slow.
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