The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
One compressor. Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 12th September 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

One compressor.

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, so excuse meif this this question has been asked 2000 times before. I tried using the search function but did not have much luck.

I'm looking to purchase one compressor to cover as much ground as possible (vocals, bass, guitar, etc.). Musical styles primarily are rock and blues.

From what I was able to gather from the search function, it seems that the 1176, Distressor, and DBX160 are pretty common for covering lots of ground. I'd like to hear your input, as I don't have easy access to auditioning these units. Feel free to recommend others if you wish, but my budget is $2K.

Thanks for any help you can give.
Old 12th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Distressor would be the most flexible.

Then the DBX160

1176 last.
Old 12th September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
lowfreq33's Avatar
 

I'll takr the Distressor for $1000, Alex.
Old 12th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

The Distressor is indeed the ultimate "swiss army knife" of compressors. You could do a whole record with only Distressors if you had to.
Old 12th September 2007
  #5
I kind of figured there would be allot of "Distressor" answers so I figured I would cloud the water a bit....

If it were me I would go with a Trakker...

and I did......


and never looked back....


but YMMV.....

Old 12th September 2007
  #6
KAB
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
I kind of figured there would be allot of "Distressor" answers so I figured I would cloud the water a bit....

If it were me I would go with a Trakker...

and I did......


and never looked back....


but YMMV.....
I'll second the Trakker. Great comp IMO, too.
Old 12th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
lowfreq33's Avatar
 

One compressor to rule them all, one compressor to find them...

Oh, my bad, wrong kind of geeks.
(we can smell our own kind)
Old 12th September 2007
  #8
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Man I wish this thing were ready for release (late October, early November?), but the new Safe Sound Audio "Dynamics Toolbox" is designed to carry you from tracking to drum buss parallel compression to final mixdown and mastering applications. Street will be $2k-ish and it has many useful features that are simple to implement.

dual mono / stereo linkable
two modes of compression (one tuned for tracking, one for 2 buss / mixes)
AUTO release (or manual)
parallel compression on a single BLEND knob (incredible drum sounds)
dual variable internal sidechain EQ's (remove 20hZ to 15kHz from sidechain)
hardware sidechain insert
variable limiter
hard bypass
Lundahl output transformer option (can be user installed, swappable design)
new off-white finish (instead of old "P1" ham radio look)
VU metering and limiter LED
hand assembled in the UK
designed by Robert Campbell (former Neve and Calrec designer)

I have been spending lots and lots of time with this box, we should be done finalizing by this weekend and once the box makes us say "aaaahhhhhhh" 100% I'll post some clips I swear!!! We're already at 99.9% satisfaction but are just double checking a few things before they are written in stone.

Sorry, I could not resist. I have so much energy wrapped up in this thing it makes me way excited.

War

Old 12th September 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
I'll second the Distressor as the "Swiss army knife" of comps. It does a few things extremely well, a whole lot of things very well and has a few unique tricks of it's own. If you had a rack of high end stuff it wouldn't be your first choice for everything, but there's nothing it can't do a nice job on.
Old 12th September 2007
  #10
Just a generalization, but...

Distressor for most types of rock, modern music, etc.

Trakker for acoustic music, voiceover, mastering [with a pair], etc

Although I personally prefer the Trakker on vocals and bass guitar for even rock and metal.

One Buzz Audio Essence and one Buzz Audio Potion will do essentially the same thing as a Trakker [similar vibe to 'opto vintage' and 'hard knee vintage' modes respectively], but you'll have two mono channels for about the same price.
Old 12th September 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

while I enjoy the distressor on many things, I don't think I would always want to rely on it.

I can't think of anything that I wouldn't put through a LA3A. Haven't tried the reissues yet, but it sounds like they are pretty spot on.
Old 12th September 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Old, and tube, if I were to only have one.
Old 12th September 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Tony Shepperd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by roknjohn View Post
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, so excuse meif this this question has been asked 2000 times before. I tried using the search function but did not have much luck.

I'm looking to purchase one compressor to cover as much ground as possible (vocals, bass, guitar, etc.). Musical styles primarily are rock and blues.

From what I was able to gather from the search function, it seems that the 1176, Distressor, and DBX160 are pretty common for covering lots of ground. I'd like to hear your input, as I don't have easy access to auditioning these units. Feel free to recommend others if you wish, but my budget is $2K.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Primarily, what style of music do you do?
Pick your compressor by the style of music you might do.
Match the style with the sound.
I like a more neutral sound like the Tube Tech CL1B.
IMO, it's got a warmer fatter personality than the other compressors mentioned.
Old 12th September 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
Primarily, what style of music do you do?
OP, in first post:

Quote:
I'm looking to purchase one compressor to cover as much ground as possible (vocals, bass, guitar, etc.). Musical styles primarily are rock and blues.
Old 12th September 2007
  #15
Jsx
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Old, and tube, if I were to only have one.
Great suggestion. If only more people on this forum were capable of such precise elaboration as yourself.
Old 12th September 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

General purpose probably the Distressor, funny I have a pair that I hardly use. Use the 1176, LA3A more.


nIC
Old 12th September 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 
philosi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Distressor would be the most flexible.

Then the DBX160

1176 last.
Too bad you don't have a old (blue stripe or early black face) 1176 in your setup. It's really worth the investment.
Old 12th September 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
Maybe a GT Glory Comp. Spendy but lots of "tweakability" for the money. Just another one to put out there for your consideration.

Glory Comp @ Groove Tubes
Old 12th September 2007
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Warren,

That looks like a very interesting piece. Please don't hesitate to send me details on it.

GM
Old 12th September 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosi View Post
Too bad you don't have a old (blue stripe or early black face) 1176 in your setup. It's really worth the investment.
How do you know which 1176 version I have? The 'Last' reference was the order of versatile compressors, not the version of 1176 to get.

In any case, my 1176 is an early reissue, so it has the t-bridge attenuator (the best of the UA reissues). Maybe not 'aged', but the closest to an early blackface than any other 1176 reissue.
Old 12th September 2007
  #21
Mur
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Great suggestion. If only more people on this forum were capable of such precise elaboration as yourself.
Well, there's only one old tube compressor I know of, UA ..but some of the broadcast limiters can be modded with attack and release controls, if you need those functions.
Old 12th September 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

A compressor that does not get a lot of 'play' on these forums is the Klark Teknik DN500+ (Klark Teknik DN500 Plus 2-Channel Compressor / Limiter / Expander | Full Compass).

I came by a used one once and did a little research. I'm REALLY glad I did. I really love it as a bus compressor mostly. But, it works for anything I put it on. It is extremely clean, quiet and can be extremely 'transparent'. It has a nice, rich character when pushed, but when used lightly, it is the most invisible compressor I've ever worked with. It sounds as close to fader riding as anything I've ever heard...actually it just sounds like an extremely precise robot is riding the fader

If you're after character, then for rock and blues, you could do way worse than the older DBX 160X. I have a pair of them. They can be stereo linked. They have that classic, DBX, syrupy sound that adds hair and thickness to everything.

To be honest, these days I'm starting to like my Gainbrain IIs a little more than my DBXs! To my ears, they sound a lot like the 1176LN (which I also have...but only 1). They have great character (very 1176, as I mentioned) for rock and blues, among other things.

If there is anything you should derive from my opinion, its that I believe in multiple compressors, both hardware and software. I'm not sure I could every get by with just one, now that I've been working with many.

I've demoed a Distressor in a shop, but I do not own one. They gets lots of love around here! I'm sure I'll break down and buy one some day. If it is truly as versatile as every one says, maybe it *could* be a one-stop-shop...you'd still need to for stereo or dual mic setups though! I don't know about you, but aside from vocals, there is practically nothing else that I use just one mic or line for while tracking!
Old 12th September 2007
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Thanks everyone for your input. Sounds like the Distressor will be a good starting point.

Warhead, what the hell is that thing, a woman machine (Image of machine - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting)?

I was looking for something with 2 switches (On/Off and Bypass) and one knob (Compress). Oh and what does the Ratio knob do?

I'll look into the other recommendations as well for future purchases.
Old 12th September 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
NOCCA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roknjohn View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. Sounds like the Distressor will be a good starting point.

Warhead, what the hell is that thing, a woman machine (Image of machine - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting)?

I was looking for something with 2 switches (On/Off and Bypass) and one knob (Compress). Oh and what does the Ratio knob do?

I'll look into the other recommendations as well for future purchases.
Uh... The distressor definitely has a lot more options than power, bypass, and compress.

It looks like it'll take you a little while to learn it...

Just don't get discouraged when you don't immediately get the sound you want with it right out of the box.

>>AG
Old 13th September 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

While the distressor is very flexible and has a lot of options/configurations, I actually think it's a very easy compressor to use. While a 1176 looks simple, it takes a bit more experience to use than a distressor IMO (although its' source dependent....vox is easy to use through the 1176).

As an example, the vu meter on the 1176 is practically useless, all your set up/adjustments need to be done by ear (good thing to be forced intoheh), yet the LED meters on the distressor give a very accurate indication of what it's doing to your signal, which can lead to faster set-ups.

If anything, the distressor will be a good education on how compressors work and the effect they have on the envelope of your signal.

This assuming the OP wasn't being sarcastic about the too-many-knobs comment.
Old 13th September 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
the distressor will be a good education on how compressors work and the effect they have on the envelope of your signal.
I agree
Old 13th September 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 
GYMusic's Avatar
Distressor or Cranesong STC-8.

Oops, you said 2k
Old 13th September 2007
  #28
Here for the gear
 

"This assuming the OP wasn't being sarcastic about the too-many-knobs comment. "

Actually, it was meant to be tongue in cheek, as well as the reference to the woman machine. I was a bit shocked (and impressed actually) by Warhead's picture. I'm kinda new to some of this, but I don't recall ever seeing a compressor with so much control. Dynamic Toolkit is certainly an appropriate name for it.
Old 13th September 2007
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
layez's Avatar
 

Perhaps you should consider getting a FMR RNC compressor which is 175$ and pretty much unbeatable in its price range. With the left over money, you could get another microphone, a preamp, and some nice plug compressors such as the UAD card, or the Sonalksis, PSP, or Waves compressors. If you really dont know how to use a compressor, you could potentially mangle the crap out of your recordings. If you had a RNC, you could use soft and transparent compression during tracking, and then learn how to compress using plugs during the mixing process which is much less risky. Personally, id spend more time treating the room you'll be recording in, learning microphone techniques, getting better monitors, mic pres, etc. Compressors have a steep learning curve. But hey, if you have all of the above and you are just trying to drop some cash, by all means go for it!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
yoyoyoyo1 / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
1
Chris Modular / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump