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Looking for a pair of 500 stereo compressors
Old 12th September 2020
  #1
Gear Nut
 
occam's Avatar
 

Looking for a pair of 500 stereo compressors

I think the next step in my studio set up is the mix-buss. When I mix in the box I tend to like a combination of a fast, punch compressor and a slower, color compressor. I'm not too worried about price. When I go plugins I often use UAD's SSL or API 2500 for my punchy and fast comp for transients and the UAD Shadow Hills or Fairchild for slower color and evening.
Does the SSL 500 compare well to the console and 19" units? What about the API 500 version of the 2500? The Shadow Hills 500 looks good. The Crane Song 500 compressor is tube and well regarded (but I'd have to get 2). Elysia is another UAD plugin I've liked a lot and very transparent but versatile.

Fast and punchy for transient...what do you recommend?

Smooth, colored and evening out...what do you recommend?
Old 12th September 2020
  #2
hard to say. There are many good options, but obviously playing with them would help you find the right unit for your specific needs.

I’ve got an api 527 which I find very flexible. Would love to try the 529 at some point.

I’ve also got a splice, api 525, a pair of jlm la500a’s and a dbx 560a in the 500 format.
Sorry I don’t experience with the units you mentioned. For buss work, which I don’t do much of, I tend to favor my rs124s in parallel, mostly because it’s the only other pair I’ve got, and they work well there... but not 500 series obviously
Old 12th September 2020
  #3
Gear Nut
Maybe a pair of Chandler TG Opto's for the vibe unit?
Old 12th September 2020
  #4
I love the elysia xpressor 500, it's a really musical sounding compressor and can be transparent or warm, great that it has a limiter as well and sidechain as well as mix knob, you can get extremely low ratios with it which is something I love as well as crazy compression that reminds me of some of the beatles psychadelic era in parallel, it is very versatile and always sounds good, much better than the plug-in alliance/elysia plugins which I own as well, I'd imagine the 19" rack verison would be even better with more headroom, even today you can't really beat a 19" rack unit in my opinion if you want no compromise but 500 series hits the spot for me with price/performance ratio.
Old 13th September 2020 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
occam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
hard to say. There are many good options, but obviously playing with them would help you find the right unit for your specific needs.
Yeah, I don't know anyone with any of these and I don't see going to Vintage King within the next year or so and even then so many things would be different about trying them out in their room, I'd get a little info but certainly not everything. I'm okay with taking a shot and if it doesn't work out then using them for something else or selling them and trying something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ade2 View Post
Maybe a pair of Chandler TG Opto's for the vibe unit?
I've thought of those...even just getting a pair of their channel strips instead of going 500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
I love the elysia xpressor 500, it's a really musical sounding compressor and can be transparent or warm, great that it has a limiter as well and sidechain as well as mix knob, you can get extremely low ratios with it which is something I love as well as crazy compression that reminds me of some of the beatles psychadelic era in parallel, it is very versatile and always sounds good, much better than the plugins which I own as well, I'd imagine the 19" rack verison would be even better with more headroom, even today you can't really beat a 19" rack unit in my opinion if you want no compromise but 500 series hits the spot for me with price/performance ratio.
I'm in the tax bracket of any priced 500 series is fine but nowhere near the tax bracket of any priced rack unit is fine. Their Alpha compressor is over $10,000. I've got the 19" RND MBP which I like and use for my mastering rig along with a BAX EQ and an Overstayer MAS I use for a little harmonic color. I figure it's worth a shot to see if the 500 gives me something useful over the plugins and if not, it's easy enough to move on and either hold out for the high end full size units or just commit to ITB.
Old 13th September 2020 | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by occam View Post
I've thought of those...even just getting a pair of their channel strips instead of going 500..
That TG Microphone cassette is pretty nice.
Pretty pretty nice
Old 13th September 2020 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
That TG Microphone cassette is pretty nice.
Pretty pretty nice
Agreed.
Retro Instruments Revolver is also gorgeous sounding, just another suggestion.
Old 13th September 2020
  #8
Gear Nut
 

I've had one of the API's for a while and found it fussy. I just never bonded with it. A few months ago I bought a pair of the 500 series Q2 audio F765's (compex) on a whim. I have been very pleased. I have never been a big fan of mixbus compression but I actually love what they do on the 2 buss. Even used subtly, when you dial them in, they just have this "sound"....I don't know how to describe. Read up on the compex if you like...people tend to bring up the Zeppelin drum thing right away, but they were also popular buss compressors as well. Anyway, I recommend
Old 20th September 2020 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
occam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagogo View Post
I've had one of the API's for a while and found it fussy. I just never bonded with it. A few months ago I bought a pair of the 500 series Q2 audio F765's (compex) on a whim. I have been very pleased. I have never been a big fan of mixbus compression but I actually love what they do on the 2 buss. Even used subtly, when you dial them in, they just have this "sound"....I don't know how to describe. Read up on the compex if you like...people tend to bring up the Zeppelin drum thing right away, but they were also popular buss compressors as well. Anyway, I recommend
I typically use mix bus compression very gently, 2-3db total each time. For drums I tend to individually compress them and then light, slow smoothing compression on the drum buss. Guitars I rarely compression because they're usually distorted heavily or with a lot of compression if they're clean and that already compresses the hell out of them. Bass and vocals I like a transient compressor for peaks and a slow one for balance. I just figured to analog-ify my rig it might make sense to start at the mix-buss and then fill in the track/instrument ones piece by piece.
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