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good 2 chnl compressor for $1200US?
Old 22nd July 2005
  #1
Gear Head
 

good 2 chnl compressor for $1200US?

i have a UA 2108 preamp that i want to pair up with a good 2 chnl compressor (i already have a ART PRo vla). i was looking at distressors but they are a bit pricey for 2 chnls. any other good 2 channel comps for under $1500 US? used mostly on kick/snare/vox/ohvds/rooms.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiandishinger
i have a UA 2108 preamp that i want to pair up with a good 2 chnl compressor (i already have a ART PRo vla). i was looking at distressors but they are a bit pricey for 2 chnls. any other good 2 channel comps for under $1500 US? used mostly on kick/snare/vox/ohvds/rooms.
yep, the fmr rnc.
joshua
Old 22nd July 2005
  #3
If you can stretch 25% more than your stated budget, the Buzz SOC 1.1 is pretty much the best bang for the buck stereo or dual mono compressor around IMHO.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiandishinger
any other good 2 channel comps for under $1500 US?
There's a Drawmer 1968 on classifieds close to that price. I'm not selling mine.

Steve
Old 22nd July 2005
  #5
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
If you can sang a used 1968 for $1,500... I could only suggest you jump on that like white on rice!!! Hell of deal on a hell of a unit!!!
Old 22nd July 2005
  #6
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Gerax's Avatar
 

That's a good new for us Europeans (don't take this the wrong way US guys), because it can be had for the same amount of money but brand new in several stores like THIS in Germany (I guess that's where Drawmer gear is manufactured).
Fletcher, what's so good about this unit that makes you rave about that (I'm asking because I very rarely have seen you rave about anything )?
I'm considering getting one as a multipurpose buss compressor (drums or 2mix).

L.G.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #7
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerax
That's a good new for us Europeans (don't take this the wrong way US guys), because it can be had for the same amount of money but brand new in several stores like THIS in Germany (I guess that's where Drawmer gear is manufactured).
Fletcher, what's so good about this unit that makes you rave about that (I'm asking because I very rarely have seen you rave about anything )?
I'm considering getting one as a multipurpose buss compressor (drums or 2mix).
You don't have to be European to buy from Musician's Gear... according to their website they have an office here in the US from which they can ship as well.

Drawmer equipment is manufactured in England, just outside of Yorkshire.

As for what's so good about this unit that I rave about it... well, it was kinda made to suit my taste for a compressor [hence the "Mercenary Edition" rockers on the right side of the face panel].

The gain reduction element is a J-FET which runs into a tube output stage. You can run the unit in a very calm, very subtle manner... or you can slam the living **** out of it and get some really cool aggressive stuff from it.

One of the things that makes a "Mercenary Edition" a "Mercenary Edition" is that the unit has to have kinda maximum flexibility in a minimum number of rack spaces... so, this one compressor can cover a myriad of requirements for the work I do. It's not so much that it does a bunch of crazy tricks, it's more that I find it very versatile, able to cover a very wide variety of applications from vocals to bass to 2 buss work.

In a typical vocal application I'll run into channel 1 of the unit with the attack set around 3 or 4 [medium fast/medium slow] with the release on like setting 5 [medium speed, program dependent release] doing like 1-3 db of gain reduction from there into channel 2 with a pretty fast attack and a pretty fast release [like attack 2 and release 1] doing 4-5 db of gain reduction. The net result is a rather smooth overall vocal that has considerably less dynamic range than it did before without hearing a whole lot of "compressor" in the sound.

For things like Bass, I can use the attack and release controls to alter the envelop of the signal and do some fairly heavy compression while the thing stays solid... on things like drums... well, I don't compress drums much if at all. I'll do a parallel compression thing on drums from time to time and I have used the 1968 for that purpose. Usually what I'll do is a very slow attack, like 5 or 6 with a very fast release usually 1 or 4 [release 4 is "program dependent fast release"] and smack the **** out of the unit [like meters pegged damn near all the way to the left kinda gain reduction] then wail on the output level [driving the output put tube like a bitch] and knock the output level of the device down somewhere else.

On 2 Mix, first off, it goes into "true stereo" [in other words one set of controls works for both channels (with the exception of the output level knob)] so I don't have to get into "matching" **** between left and right.

Now, almost all of the time when I use 2 Buss compression I use a side chain to filter out the low end from the signal going to the compressor's detector circuit. If you've ever noticed that quite often a bass player will have a 300w amp head and won't be nearly as loud as a guitar player with a 50w amp head... the same holds true for audio. It takes a whole lot more electricity to form a bass wave than it takes to form a midrange or treble wave. By filtering the low end from the compressor's detector circuit the 2 Mix compression doesn't pump off the bass/kik drum, it modulates with the vocals... the net result is an overall smoother 2 Buss compression that is far less noticeable but gets the end product nice and loud [just like the kidz want it!!].

So... in an effort to cut down on my having to patch in a bunch of **** [remember, one of my main goals is "minimum rack space"... if I have to patch in other stuff like filters that means the filters will need rack real estate]... so, I got these neat switches on the front panel called "BIG" switches which engage this 100Hz filter to the compressors side chain.

It works very nicely!!

Last... being an old guy I grew up with things like LA-4's and 1176's... which means that I always meter my compressor in "gain reduction" mode because with LA-4's and 1176's when you metered your output level your audio actually traveled through the meter... so I always meter in "GR" mode. However... from time to time it's nice to have an idea of what's going on with the output of the unit... so... when a signal crosses +4 [0VU] on the meter some red LED's start to light up behind the meter. The farther the level goes above 0VU the more red the meter glows. It's a good way to get a quick visual indication of an idea sort of approximating where your output level kinda is... plus it looks really cool to the clients when the meters go red.

If you got this far without lapsing into a coma... one other thing you should understand about all Mercenary Edition hardware... we DO NOT see a nickel of royalty money for our design consultation. The reason I, and the whole Mercenary Audio staff gets involved in these projects is because we're looking for equipment with maximum flexibility in a minimum number of rack spaces. Since adding Mercenary Edition hardware to my racks, I'm able to travel with 2x 16 space cases of gear instead of the 3x 21 RU racks I carried before.

BTW, I don't even get a free unit, and Mercenary Audio doesn't get a lick of discount that isn't available to every other dealer on the planet. I've paid for all of my Mercenary Edition hardware from the Great River mic-pre and EQ's to the Pendulum Audio "Quartet II" to the Drawmer 1968 and '69... paid for them all.

The only way that Mercenary Audio profits from the sale of Mercenary Edition equipment is if it's purchased through Mercenary Audio... the only way I profit is because I'm a shareholder in Mercenary Audio... and maybe one day those shares will actually be a share of something besides debt.

Now I'm not sure how Musician's Gear... based in Dubai, and Germany with an alleged shipping office in the US can sell the damn thing for the short change they're selling it... but somehow they can, and do. Again, I don't make a dime if you purchase the unit from Musician's Gear... but I'll be damned if it's not one of the most screaming deals I've ever seen.

Best of luck with your search... I hope this clarifies both the reasons I dig the 1968 as well as my motivations behind it's recommendation [which are genuinely artistic and not in the slightest financially driven]

Peace
Old 22nd July 2005
  #8
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Gerax's Avatar
 

Fletcher

Thanx for your extensive reply, I appreciate it really much.

I guess I'm after a compressor that could be used in a number of situations, be it vocal tracking, bass, gtrs or 2 buss compressor; I'm DAW based, and as horrible as this may sound to you I'm looking for some hardware pieces of outboard to add color and "weight" to the sound of my recordings (I use outboard reverbs and that kind of stuff). I guess that according to your reply that could be the unit I'm searching for, in that it's versatile, it's musical and it's tubed, the other option I was suggested for this being the Pendulum, but considering the money I can get the Drawmer for...it would be nice to have the chance to test it anyway...or maybe get some other feedback (not taht I don't trust yours).
One more thing: I see it doesn't have a ratio control, so I guess its concept is based around an LA2A design isn't it? That's why you were referring to the gain reduction meter?

Thanx

L.G.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 
wilcofan's Avatar
 

Once you have $1200 US why not save some money and go bigger? It's not like $1200 is chump change, you already must feel gear is worth spending on.

Not trying to be a slut, just that everytime I tried to buy something "good...for the money", I ended up flipping it.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I think the point here was the 1968 sells for around $2100-2200, if he could get a used one at $1500-1600 then.... why keep saving? It's a destination compressor IMO. You might want additional comps, but this one stands alone very well.

And Fletcher's fine overview doesn't need my me-tooing... but I agree with the wide range of applications this 1968 is good at.

Steve
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