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Recommend me a compressor for my drum bus
Old 4th October 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
Recommend me a compressor for my drum bus

Hi folks!
I'm after a new hardware compressor.

To give you some context, I'm currently running my drum bus through a TK Audio BC1THD. It's pretty good at what it does, pretty smooth and transparent to my ears. I do hear an ever so slight loss of low end when it's running, but nothing I cannot work around. You can get it to pump if you want, but overall I run it so it doesn't sweat too much.

I'm thinking of strapping the TK Audio on my master bus as last point in the chain to bring it all together a bit more before the AD, and I'm quite interested in adding other hardware compressor with a bit more attitude or flavour than the TK.

Just so you know what I have here, running my Guitar & Keys bus through a Tegeler Audio VariTube, and Bass and Vocal bus through a pair or 3A clones.

So, what would you recommend in this case?

Cheers
Old 4th October 2020
  #2
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Hi folks!
I'm after a new hardware compressor.

To give you some context, I'm currently running my drum bus through a TK Audio BC1THD. It's pretty good at what it does, pretty smooth and transparent to my ears. I do hear an ever so slight loss of low end when it's running, but nothing I cannot work around. You can get it to pump if you want, but overall I run it so it doesn't sweat too much.

I'm thinking of strapping the TK Audio on my master bus as last point in the chain to bring it all together a bit more before the AD, and I'm quite interested in adding other hardware compressor with a bit more attitude or flavour than the TK.

Just so you know what I have here, running my Guitar & Keys bus through a Tegeler Audio VariTube, and Bass and Vocal bus through a pair or 3A clones.

So, what would you recommend in this case?

Cheers
Get a pair of BAE 10DC and thank me later!
Gluey, fat, rich, deep.. really good on drumbus imho.

Another nice option on the drumbus, although need care to be setup to not be over the top, is the API 2500.



Cheu
Old 7th October 2020 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
Thanks for that! Very useful info. The diode bridge actually sounds like a good idea, but I'd be keen to keep it to 1U (just because how easy it'd be to swap things without recabling in other places). Have you by any chance tried the HA successor?
Old 7th October 2020 | Show parent
  #4
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Thanks for that! Very useful info. The diode bridge actually sounds like a good idea, but I'd be keen to keep it to 1U (just because how easy it'd be to swap things without recabling in other places). Have you by any chance tried the HA successor?
No, I haven’t.

But I do think that not every diode bridge is designed/made the same..
Buzzaudio has one, but it’s nothing like the 10DC. I’m not saying it’s bad, just that doesn’t sound the same, it doesn’t have the vibe of the 10DC.
So I’d be very careful with thinking that every diode bridge comp sound “similar/the same”.
SSL and the api2500 are both vca stereo comps, but very different..

Anyway I’d not choose my gear based on the size of RU, but get the best fit for you sonically.

The 10DC was designed and engineered by Avedis (when he was also working for BAE at the time).. he researched and tested that unit for a long time before he was happy with it afaik.
It’s not a clone, it sound better than a lot of other stuff I tried against it.. it has a certain (good) grab that works incredibly well on drums.

The api 2500 is also nice on drums, but it’s not the same as the 10DC, it could also be quite fat and gluey, but need care with the settings and threshold (as said above)..
runs very hot and needs 2RU anyway for ventilation imho.

I strongly suggest you to test a 10DC, they don’t get as hot, so you can keep them together.

The 10DC also have very high headroom and accomodate a wide range of input levels with the threshold.. you have the limiter as a bonus (with separate threshold),but the make up gain is what sets this piece apart..It’s “finishing” machine.

Imho Avedis is second to none, and this is simply another one of his masterpieces.



Cheu
Old 7th October 2020
  #5
The Buzz is more transparent than a lot of ‘vintage’ based diodes. But it does have a certain vibe and depth to it that makes it really great. Color can be easier to obtain than quality, so the Buzz should be on thr list just for that reason. Plus Tim and Buzz are ine of thr best companies out there in so many levels.
Old 7th October 2020 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 

i'd recommend to focus on gear performance/behaviour and not on alleged suitability for specfic instruments: get either a comp with very fast or a rather slow attack capability, use tube or digital comp, get a sophisticated piece of gear ir a very simplistic tool: they all have something unique to offer.

if costs aren't much if an issue, get a crane song stc-8: except for tube behaviour, there isn't anything you cannot get from it...

...but rather cheapish (when used) aphex, bss, dbx, drawmer or klark dn series dynamic processors can do very well too.
Old 7th October 2020
  #7
Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor.

The best and most expensive drumbuss compressor.
Old 7th October 2020
  #8
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Sigma's Avatar
i'd compress internally on the individual tracks not the whole ball of wax
Old 7th October 2020
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Has anyone compared the 10DC to the Shelford on drum bus?
Old 7th October 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
the hairball 1176s sound great to me. more lively than the new UA unit and much cheaper. you can have someone build it for you on reverb and there is a stereo linking ability. i heard a story in a video that peterson (DIYre) made when he visited strange weather. once upon a time nigel godrich was working there and he said the rev a was practically indistinguishable from his vintage blue stripe back home. i think the d sounds really good, too, personally.

you don't have any 1176 hardware, but maybe you're not that into the sound. a lot of the 1176 plugins are meh, but i've been really getting into FETISH by Analog Obsession and that's been inspiring me. super lively and pumpy, great in parallel. i also like his OSS plugin (retro 176 emu). bit smoother and more luxe.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post

The 10DC also have very high headroom and accomodate a wide range of input levels with the threshold.. you have the limiter as a bonus (with separate threshold),but the make up gain is what sets this piece apart..It’s “finishing” machine.

Based on your praise almost makes me want to put it in the 2Bus instead of the drums! If it's THAT good and a finishing machine... the limiter is certainly a plus.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
The Buzz is more transparent than a lot of ‘vintage’ based diodes. But it does have a certain vibe and depth to it that makes it really great. Color can be easier to obtain than quality, so the Buzz should be on thr list just for that reason. Plus Tim and Buzz are ine of thr best companies out there in so many levels.
Thanks for the tip. I'll certainly add the Buzz to the list. I think the folks at KMR audio have it and would be keen to try it
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i'd compress internally on the individual tracks not the whole ball of wax
Thanks for the suggestion. I do compress each track on a need basis ITB. The hardware compressors I have I use to run stems through before summing. The compression I do OTB is definitely gentle but assertive. It's flavour and colour as much as control.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
I'm definitely a fan of the 1176 behaviour. Other than UA plugins I don't have the real thing so I cannot really talk about the sound of hardware, but I do have a pair of Louder Than Liftoff 76 Comps in 500 format that I use for parallel smack on bass or lead vocal when I need further support. That usually works great for me
Old 8th October 2020
  #15
I dig my api 2500 on drums bus but also check out the loop trotter stuff.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor.

The best and most expensive drumbuss compressor.
Absolutely gorgeous and absolutely out of my league!
Old 8th October 2020
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Rtroost's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Hi folks!

I'm thinking of strapping the TK Audio on my master bus as last point in the chain to bring it all together a bit more before the AD, and I'm quite interested in adding other hardware compressor with a bit more attitude or flavour than the TK.
The fatso el7x (not the jr) does this for me. Give it a listen. Goes from glue to crush.
Old 8th October 2020
  #18
Check out the Sebatron Smac compressor.

Two channel opto compressor with two types of stereo linking.
Has a pump switch that makes it perfect for drum loops.
Can go from subtle and transparent to smash heavy squashing.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #19
Here for the gear
Interesting! I didn't know about Sebatron. Are they Australian? Might be tricky to find their gear here in Germany.
PS I lived in Sydney for a while. Man I miss the beach!
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #20
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Based on your praise almost makes me want to put it in the 2Bus instead of the drums! If it's THAT good and a finishing machine... the limiter is certainly a plus.
You can and can work well there too (depending on the program material and taste, but need to be used with care, like a RED3, which I really like on the 2bus)..
Some material benefit from a more transparent action or no compression at all, but that’s a matter of taste and vision as well.

The make up gain (and output stage) of the 10DC is very good, and that is part of its charm imho.
Everything sounds better through it, even without compression. As I said quite unique (like some other vintage boxes that whatever signals are you passing through them, simply get “better”).

I didn’t use the limiter a lot.. I didn’t find it so necessary in MY tasks to be fair, but it might come handy for others (or to other ppl).

Remember that the limiter is placed after the make up gain, like a real limiter used in broadcast to prevent peaks on the pgm going out.. so you could push the make up gain against it..but that is double sworded.. if you push too much you’ll end up smashing (not in a good way, or let’s say in a very audible way) your signal.

You are covered quite well with your comps..
You have the vca (and a rather clean one), opto’s, vari mu’s.. so I’d get a pair of 10DC’s.

I believe digitalaudioservice distributes BAE in germany.. I’d ask them the possibility to demo a pair, and decide with your ears and taste, and not with my words (or somebody you don’t know on this thread).. test them yourself and form YOUR OWN opinion.




Cheu
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #21
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I do compress each track on a need basis ITB. The hardware compressors I have I use to run stems through before summing. The compression I do OTB is definitely gentle but assertive. It's flavour and colour as much as control.
just be careful i never do that because what happens if you need more snare? the compressor is a wall if you add more snare in the sub mix it just hits the compressor harder..you'd have to lower threshold on the buss compressor and raise snare changing the overall compression over time it's a PIA
Old 9th October 2020
  #22
Heritage Audio Successor is pretty sweet on the drum bus and in roughly in the same price range at the TK Audio gear. It may be considered a step down (or three) from BAE stuff, but I think it sounds really good. It has some great features in the price range (good sidechain options, Ratios go from 1:1 to 20:1, mix knob etc..). Its not dual mono, so that may limit its applications. It has a bit of character to it so if you are looking for really transparent you might look elsewhere.
Old 9th October 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
You are covered quite well with your comps..
You have the vca (and a rather clean one), opto’s, vari mu’s.. so I’d get a pair of 10DC’s.

I believe digitalaudioservice distributes BAE in germany.. I’d ask them the possibility to demo a pair, and decide with your ears and taste, and not with my words (or somebody you don’t know on this thread).. test them yourself and form YOUR OWN opinion.




Cheu
You got that right. I'm covered for now on Opto, Vari Mu & VCA, that's why I'm looking elsewhere for character.

Thanks for the pointer to Digital Audio Service, I'll definitely see what they can do... and for my own opinion as you say :-)
Old 9th October 2020 | Show parent
  #24
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
just be careful i never do that because what happens if you need more snare? the compressor is a wall if you add more snare in the sub mix it just hits the compressor harder..you'd have to lower threshold on the buss compressor and raise snare changing the overall compression over time it's a PIA
I know what you mean. Indeed careful gain-staging is key here. As I said earlier the way I'm using outboard compressor is mostly for character and colour, rather than strict dynamics mangling.

If anything, the "more snare part" has only ever happened pre-mastering, and it's for me usually a telltale that I've borked something on the way down to the stereo buss, more often than not having to do with frequency masking.
Old 21st October 2020
  #25
Here for the gear
Well guess what!? How timely is RND 5254 new compressor
Old 21st October 2020 | Show parent
  #26
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmarquez View Post
Well guess what!? How timely is RND 5254 new compressor
Without att/rel times?
No, thank you.

Plus I don’t like RND at all, overrated imho, but that’s a different topic.



Cheu
Old 21st October 2020
  #27
The OP didn't mention a budget but going on the existing TK BC1 level the Elysia Xpressor fits the bill for 1U. Very clean but added harmonic distortion available in 'warm mode' which is good on some things including drums, built in mix control for parallel, negative ratios that can make a nice sort of pumping effect on drums, GRL limiter, etc... are all features unseen on many compressors especially for the price. Purchased mine for master bus but played around with different sources and on drums it works brilliantly. Maybe the TK on master bus and the Elysia on drums could be a nice combo.
For a different flavour to a nice clean VCA an 1176 type is a good option and don't own one but for a stereo drum bus something like the IGS wolfram would be my choice I think.
Old 21st October 2020
  #28
Gear Head
 

Surprised it hasn't been mentioned in this thread so far because it is truly a no-brainer if you are in the know. AML 54F50 or AML ez2254. Done.
Old 22nd October 2020
  #29
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Looneytune's Avatar
I use an API 2500 sometimes and also Elysia Mpressor which is a freak of a compressor I find.
The API tends to sound more natural I think.
Old 22nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #30
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Without att/rel times?
No, thank you.

Cheu
No attack / release is very cheeky. Didn't look into the details, just saw the headline of the compressor.

Yeah that wouldn't work.
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