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Compressor vs Console Modular Synthesizers
Old 17th January 2009
  #1
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Compressor vs Console

Which adds more warmth/fatness to sound? I know they have two different purposes but i've heard the term warmth and fatness used when talking about both. Which one contributes most?
Old 17th January 2009
  #2
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pootkao's Avatar
You're asking a vague, wide open question.

Which compressor? Which console? 'Fatness and warmth' to what sound? Each piece of gear has, more or less, its own imprint on the sound which runs through it. 100 consoles and 100 compressors and 100 microphones, etc etc etc will each sound different.

But most importantly: who is operating the gear?

Michael Brauer will mix a better sounding record on all-Behringer crap than you or I or most of the blokes around here will.
Old 17th January 2009
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Which adds more warmth/fatness to sound? I know they have two different purposes but i've heard the term warmth and fatness used when talking about both. Which one contributes most?
Neither one does.

"Warmth" is a culmination process built up along the way as you make choices for a whole. Its also has to have some intrinsic stake in your internal sound.

Basically if you desire "warmth" in your tracks, you have to hear warmth already in your head. Guys who make the best "warm" productions, start out already with warm tones. They don't wait till the end to add this so called "warmth". Why? Because they know that each tone added will affect the one after which in the end will affect the sound of the whole.
Old 17th January 2009
  #4
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Ok those are reasonable problems to my question.


And I dont know what compressor vs mixing console I should put against eachother. And I agree a warm source will result in a better chance at a warm sound at the end. But I still think my question can be speculated on.

I thought'd be an interesting question to ask for discussion nevertheless, even if it is vague.
Old 17th January 2009
  #5
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Which adds more warmth/fatness to sound? I know they have two different purposes but i've heard the term warmth and fatness used when talking about both. Which one contributes most?

............theres diffrent shades of tone..... colored or transpanrent Transformers or Tubes or Tape....What is Right? What is Wrong or What is the Best and What is the Worst.......thats speculative and every peice of hardware gear has a tone to it...some are more desireable than others but they all vary and it is not an Absolute answer like 1 and 0 there are intervals in between that make it impossible to suit everyones need..compressors and console sound? why you forgot to add eq's and just about any other device.....on the list... your question is vague with a little more information im sure we an help you...what are you looking for....
Old 17th January 2009
  #6
Fire and donuts. ;}
Old 17th January 2009
  #7
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Chaellus's Avatar
The Term Warmth is over used and beaten to death ...im really started to get annoyed by the word.
Old 17th January 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Ok those are reasonable problems to my question.


And I dont know what compressor vs mixing console I should put against eachother. And I agree a warm source will result in a better chance at a warm sound at the end. But I still think my question can be speculated on.

I thought'd be an interesting question to ask for discussion nevertheless, even if it is vague.
Warmth and Fatness (Phatness?) starts with the source. Record Warm Fat sounds through the worst mic & A/D and you'll have some badly recorded Warm Fat sounds. I'm sure you can extrapolate the rest.
Old 17th January 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
I thought'd be an interesting question to ask for discussion nevertheless, even if it is vague.
Well i get this question alot from producers who work alot with softsynths and samples(Hiphop/R&B, Dance/pop). My answer is always the same...if the sounds in fruityloops & Reason sound thin, that's because they are. You can only do so much processing to something to make it better and after a while you'll throw up your hands and say that's it. Guys like Timbaland, Dr. Dre & B.T. spend lots of cash to get the best sounds they can period, because they know if its not hot from the get go, it will never get booked. So its better to spend your hard earned money getting the best sounds you can & hiring a pro engineer to mix it for you, than to spend thousands and thousands on gear that may not even help you to begin with. Some guys take this to heart(the smart ones) and others are steadfast and have the "gear lust" stuck in their eyes.
Old 17th January 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Well i get this question alot from producers who work alot with softsynths and samples(Hiphop/R&B, Dance/pop). My answer is always the same...if the sounds in fruityloops & Reason sound thin, that's because they are. You can only do so much processing to something to make it better and after a while you'll throw up your hands and say that's it. Guys like Timbaland, Dr. Dre & B.T. spend lots of cash to get the best sounds they can period, because they know if its not hot from the get go, it will never get booked. So its better to spend your hard earned money getting the best sounds you can & hiring a pro engineer to mix it for you, than to spend thousands and thousands on gear that may not even help you to begin with. Some guys take this to heart(the smart ones) and others are steadfast and have the "gear lust" stuck in their eyes.
This is reasonable advice. Good origin to a sound is king. That said even if you have a good sound what is doing the most work towards sweetening the sound the most as that good sound passes through....say a top compressor like a Manley VA-MU or a Neve Console.
Old 17th January 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
The Term Warmth is over used and beaten to death ...im really started to get annoyed by the word.
haha...us newbies basque in the word until we find it.
Old 17th January 2009
  #12
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Maybe to make things more interesting than a fight between compressor and console for the warmth addition crown...

Breakdown the Warmth Added in % to the average track where all these components are used within that track.

Compressor
EQ
Reverb
Pre-Amp
Console
AD/DA/Tape

Where would you spread out 100% of what we hear objectively as warmth/fatness. Where would you subjectively place your points? Have fun. heh
Old 17th January 2009
  #13
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
haha...us newbies basque in the word until we find it.
once you work at it alot the quest for it is not so elusive anymore....to me the magic starts at tracking, if it aint happening then, it aint happening come mix time and mastering time...yea they can help but if you get your sounds right off the bat everything down the line has a bigger potential... hardware gear color and tone will help add the sonic vibe to things but it isnt a bandaid or anything voodoo like... if you want some instant warmth , my guess is to try some gear with lots of transformers...
Old 17th January 2009
  #14
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Maybe to make things more interesting than a fight between compressor and console for the warmth addition crown...

Breakdown the Warmth Added in % to the average track where all these components are used within that track.

Compressor
EQ
Reverb
Pre-Amp
Console
AD/DA/Tape

Where would you spread out 100% of what we hear objectively as warmth/fatness. Where would you subjectively place your points? Have fun. heh

tape- the highest percentage..preferbly a deck with transformers or tubes....IC ridden decks still give warmth due to the tape but not as much as the first two preferably 15ips

Compressor - you have choices of diffrent kinds of compresson, VCA,FET,Vari-Mu, Optical also tubes and transformer topology, the gain reduction adds to the color of the unit

Eq- is it active or passive, tube type eq's sound smoother...but not all...some are very clear and dont really sound warm....transformer filled eq's are really colorful

Preamps- similar to the above, Tubes or Transformer or IC... smooth clear,warm and or transparent


in my opinion..if you go for gear with transformers....your likely to find your colored gear sound...could be warm or dark. Tubes to me sound smoother like silk and sometimes clean..not so warm...it varies
Old 17th January 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
once you work at it alot the quest for it is not so elusive anymore....to me the magic starts at tracking, if it aint happening then, it aint happening come mix time and mastering time...yea they can help but if you get your sounds right off the bat everything down the line has a bigger potential... hardware gear color and tone will help add the sonic vibe to things but it isnt a bandaid or anything voodoo like... if you want some instant warmth , my guess is to try some gear with lots of transformers...

Im thinking the answer to all my questions is investing on a really good compressor or two and a really good eq or two to supplement good source sounds like a Voyager and the best sounds I can create through plugins. Everything else can be done elsehwere once i've got the tracking as good as they can be. Im fairly good at mixing (according to an engineer) so I can handle that ITB as well. But I was wondering how important would it be to go through a console for mixing and then onto mastering. Or would mixing ITB be great enough if my tracking is done well, followed by proper mastering at a studio.
Old 17th January 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
tape- the highest percentage..preferbly a deck with transformers or tubes....IC ridden decks still give warmth due to the tape but not as much as the first two preferably 15ips

Compressor - you have choices of diffrent kinds of compresson, VCA,FET,Vari-Mu, Optical also tubes and transformer topology, the gain reduction adds to the color of the unit

Eq- is it active or passive, tube type eq's sound smoother...but not all...some are very clear and dont really sound warm....transformer filled eq's are really colorful

Preamps- similar to the above, Tubes or Transformer or IC... smooth clear,warm and or transparent


in my opinion..if you go for gear with transformers....your likely to find your colored gear sound...could be warm or dark. Tubes to me sound smoother like silk and sometimes clean..not so warm...it varies
Nice post...very informative. Production and mixing are done ITB, what is a good tape machine to connect to my MOTU 828mKII interface based DAW?
Old 17th January 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Nice post...very informative. Production and mixing are done ITB, what is a good tape machine to connect to my MOTU 828mKII interface based DAW?
Best question EVER!

Old 17th January 2009
  #18
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Im thinking the answer to all my questions is investing on a really good compressor or two and a really good eq or two to supplement good source sounds like a Voyager and the best sounds I can create through plugins. Everything else can be done elsehwere once i've got the tracking as good as they can be. Im fairly good at mixing (according to an engineer) so I can handle that ITB as well. But I was wondering how important would it be to go through a console for mixing and then onto mastering. Or would mixing ITB be great enough if my tracking is done well, followed by proper mastering at a studio.

ah...what is your budget....do you have an idea of what peices youd lie to get?
Old 17th January 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Best question EVER!

probably a dumb question huh?

That said, asking questions can only help me on way to become a top producer or mixer some day.
Old 17th January 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
ah...what is your budget....do you have an idea of what peices youd lie to get?
I dont know what the pieces involved are. A new radar blip for tape machines popped up for me so now im my way towards it slowly but surely. I know producers like DJ Quik swear by it but I always thought of it as something I might never need because I do everything ITB. All i know is that its costly? How do the costs work to make a 10 track album on tape. Since i do work ITB I could run tests using a AD/DA converter to digital and then for a final test press and final press go to tape to save on cost?
Old 17th January 2009
  #21
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
I dont know what the pieces involved are. A new radar blip for tape machines popped up for me so now im my way towards it slowly but surely. I know producers like DJ Quik swear by it but I always thought of it as something I might never need because I do everything ITB. All i know is that its costly? How do the costs work to make a 10 track album on tape. Since i do work ITB I could run tests using a AD/DA converter to digital and then for a final test press and final press go to tape to save on cost?
well it seems like you'd be better off Mixing ITB then dumping your tracks to Tape probably an "1/2in ATR - 102 2Track deck should do it, but as to your question about mixing ITB it shoudlnt matter , if it was tracked great then mxing OTB or ITB is going to be great...as long as your good at mixing. and you can always reuse the tapes here are the 2 manufactures for tape today...really the ony 2 left around. RMGI - RMGI Studio Tape and ATR Magnetics, LLC i will talk more when i get back from a coffe break at starbucks..
Old 17th January 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
probably a dumb question huh?

That said, asking questions can only help me on way to become a top producer or mixer some day.
Not really a dumb question. Possibly a little pre-emptive though.
Sorry for being facetious.
This site gives you access to so much knowledge it is easy to lose sight of what you came here for in the first place.

You can't beat figuring something out for yourself.
Old 17th January 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Not really a dumb question. Possibly a little pre-emptive though.
Sorry for being facetious.
This site gives you access to so much knowledge it is easy to lose sight of what you came here for in the first place.

You can't beat figuring something out for yourself.
Music people seem to be very giving and patient (when well fed and well slept). I try to figure as much stuff out myself but I know someone here might help me if im unsure because it makes people feel good to help someone else, so I dont see it as too terrible, otherwise we wouldn't be here talking to eachother. Someones I get amazed at some really long replies to a simple question, and that solidifies to me that people here genuinely enjoy helping eachother out, whether because it makes themselves feel better that they've helped someone or because they are selfless and thats just how they are.
Old 17th January 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
well it seems like you'd be better off Mixing ITB then dumping your tracks to Tape probably an "1/2in ATR - 102 2Track deck should do it, but as to your question about mixing ITB it shoudlnt matter , if it was tracked great then mxing OTB or ITB is going to be great...as long as your good at mixing. and you can always reuse the tapes here are the 2 manufactures for tape today...really the ony 2 left around. RMGI - RMGI Studio Tape and ATR Magnetics, LLC i will talk more when i get back from a coffe break at starbucks..
Enjoy your break. Im going to listen to some music and study mixes.

By the way what does the 102 mean? 102 minutes? How much would something like that cost + a decent Tape Machine?
Old 20th January 2009
  #25
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Chaellus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted View Post
Enjoy your break. Im going to listen to some music and study mixes.

By the way what does the 102 mean? 102 minutes? How much would something like that cost + a decent Tape Machine?
No 102 is the model number as in Ampex ATR-102 a website has it priced at roughly around $5400 it is a mastering grade tape deck...capable of 15 and 30ips. obviously the higher the ips the faster the tape goes so if a reel is capable of say 40 mins max at the slowest speed then at 30ips lets say the choices are 15ips being the slowest and 30ips being the highest then it would cut 40 mins record time to about 20 minutes record time. there are a few tape speeds and most are set into catagories like the following

1 1/7 ips speed of cassete tape poor quality
3 3/4 ips fastest speed of cassete tape
7 1/2 ips Semi professional speed, Broadcasting speed (very Satured and colored, very cool for productions demanding an older feel)

15 Ips slowest professional speed (Darker sounding with great Freq detail)

30 Ips Fastest professional speed (Most Detail in all Freq Ranges, Hiss not an issue, sometimes doesnt sound like tape but still better than digital)


then you have tape widths 1/4 in 1/2in 1in and 2in

the bigger the width the bigger the tape and better the sound also track counts take into affect such as 8trks 16trks and 24trk tape decks where each track takes a space on the tape and divides among however many tracks are there so the more space between each track and the tape results in beter sound usually. dont forget about Smpte time code which is usually placed on track 24 of a 24trk tape deck...23 is left empty because what usually happens is that the SMPTE will sometimes bleed thru the next trk hence why its left free of program material.....you also need to do a Proper NAB alignment before you noodle with the tape deck for any session.
Old 20th January 2009
  #26
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Chaellus's Avatar
Continued


hopefully you had enough time to grasp that heh i guess if your still wondering about tape and tape decks it may be too soon to think of purchasing one but none the less you should read more up on how to use them...if you give me a PM i can give you some useful documents sheading light on them which will make it easier for you..also checkout Analog Rules!!! Pro-Audio Parts and Servicethey have alot of great information for you to soak up on...after that when purchasing a deck you should have it checked out by a tech to make sure its not a dud or in bad shape..........since you are Mainly ITB there is a plugin you should checkout that i havent stopped loving which is Tritone Digital's Colortone pro TriTone Digital - For The Love of Tone! ...its really good at giving ITB material a character...for a matter of fact all their plugs are great..you can even demo them and keep the colortone free..great stuff and some of the best plugs out there. lastly here is a site with the tape deck i was talking about. ATR-102 Recorder/Reproducer
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