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First Outboard gear: EQ or Compressor? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 20th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

First Outboard gear: EQ or Compressor?

Hi there,

I've recently decided to make the jump to a much more professional recording environment and started things off with the Neve 1073 DPD Pre-amp.

Now I want to add the next bit of gear to take my mixes to the next level.

But should that be a compressor or an EQ, and if so which model. Budget is $1500-2000

Another way of phrasing this question is, what can my plug-in collection replace best? Iv go all the UADs, Softube.


Look forward to hearing,

Muz
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
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Sigma's Avatar
buy a compressor
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
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the fxs's Avatar
 

how about a nice channel-strip with a decent pre, comp and eq?
Old 20th December 2010
  #4
I'd buy a compressor
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
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evangelista's Avatar
 

What kind of music do you record?

Do you use more eq or compression, generally? Naff question, I know, but it could be a simple way to decide.

Do you need stereo or is mono ok for now?

What kind of gear do you like? Clean? Character?

Which do you think lacks more in your workflow? ITB comp or ITB eq?
Old 20th December 2010
  #6
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
If I had to choose between EQ and a compressor, I`m getting a compressor first. EQ can be handled by moving the mic around.
Old 20th December 2010
  #7
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

+1 for getting a compressor
Old 20th December 2010
  #8
Compressor 1st. EQ 2nd.
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
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cosmos's Avatar
 

First Outboard gear: EQ or Compressor?

You want to take your mixes to the next level, what setup do you use? Hows the acoustics/monitoring in the room? did you considered using analog board (if you're not using one..) ? For me the console was the big step in my mixes, it made such a big impact on the sound and feel of my mixes.


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Old 20th December 2010
  #10
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Johnny Paez's Avatar
 

get a compressorthumbsup
Old 20th December 2010
  #11
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+5 on getting a compessor
Old 20th December 2010
  #12
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muzazar View Post
I've recently decided to make the jump to a much more professional recording environment and started things off with the Neve 1073 DPD Pre-amp.
Sell that thing and buy an Aurora GTQ2 - it's the same pres basically but also w/ the 1073-based EQ. Now you have great pres and great EQ!

Then buy a compressor. Since you have the UAD card, why not download the various plugs, try them out, and then buy the hardware version of the one you like the most? LA-2A for example.
Old 20th December 2010
  #13
Dot
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Dot's Avatar
Muz, did you already buy the 1073? What kind of music are you recording?

Actually, what other gear do you have? Got anything we could hear to get an idea of what "level" you've been getting in your recording?

Yeah, questions, questions. If you're serious about advancing, let's get a little more info about where you actually are and where you want to go.

My 2 cent.
Old 20th December 2010
  #14
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The Fold Studios's Avatar
 

+1 for compressor. I think that most good EQ plugins do a very good job on EQ. They're getting closer with dynamics processors but there's a kind of "mojo" that the plugin developers haven't quite seemed to crack yet.
Old 20th December 2010
  #15
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fold Studios View Post
+1 for compressor. I think that most good EQ plugins do a very good job on EQ. They're getting closer with dynamics processors but there's a kind of "mojo" that the plugin developers haven't quite seemed to crack yet.
I`m pretty happy with my plug in compressors (Renaissance, C4 my latest fav... the Waves H-Comp). If you want mojo, check out the CLA comps. Probably the most attitude in a comp plug yet.
Old 20th December 2010
  #16
Here for the gear
 

I've been working out of a studio where we have a bunch of outboard dynamics options, and all the EQ'ing happens in the box and the result is killer.

1+ for compression.

What do you have for your AD, DA?
Old 20th December 2010
  #17
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Another +n for compressor. In that price range I'm gassing for one of the Daking FET models. Depends on whether you want what people call "character" or not.
Old 20th December 2010
  #18
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get 2 distressors
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
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The Fold Studios's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley View Post
I`m pretty happy with my plug in compressors (Renaissance, C4 my latest fav... the Waves H-Comp). If you want mojo, check out the CLA comps. Probably the most attitude in a comp plug yet.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not putting down plugs really. I've got all those you mentioned and they're all good comps (well I can't seem to get on with the H-Comp, but it's horses for courses) and I do almost all my mixing in the box myself. It's just that whenever I have had the chance to work with a decent outboard comp, it's made more of an impression on me than outboard EQs when compared to the software equivalents.
Old 28th December 2010
  #20
Deleted #157546
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+Whatever for a compressor. EQ is easier to simulate with a plug. Hard compression gets weird sometimes.

Out board compression is easier to get the results I want.
Old 28th December 2010
  #21
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Red 7's Avatar
I would buy LA-2A. It's easy to use, has great color and it handles a lot of gain reduction very well.
Old 28th December 2010
  #22
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fold Studios View Post
Don't get me wrong. I'm not putting down plugs really. I've got all those you mentioned and they're all good comps (well I can't seem to get on with the H-Comp, but it's horses for courses) and I do almost all my mixing in the box myself. It's just that whenever I have had the chance to work with a decent outboard comp, it's made more of an impression on me than outboard EQs when compared to the software equivalents.
I hear ya.

On occasion, I have the opportunity to mix with plugs and hardware of all shapes & sizes at a friends studio, we always reach for the hardware first. If we cannot get the result with the hardware, we`ll dabble around with the plugs.

Since I`m usually working in my own place which is mostly plugs, I`ve gotten to the point where I can get the sounds I want ITB. Up until recently distortion was something solely reserved for a pedal/amp. Now I can get it with a plug or two. The CLA compressors do this quite well and I was laughing the first time I heard it. They actually dirty up the signal!

As for EQ plugs, the only one I really enjoy using is the MOTU Masterworks and the WAVES Renaissance EQ. Most of the time I am EQ`ing on the way in through my AVALON 737 EQs which define "sweet" to me.

Just to get back OT, I am most likely picking up a Distressor in January. For years I have used one for tracking vocals at my friends place but its time to get myself one.
Old 28th December 2010
  #23
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red 7 View Post
I would buy LA-2A. It's easy to use, has great color and it handles a lot of gain reduction very well.
Or he could get the ADL1000 which goes for $1450! Anyone ever put the ADL and LA2A up and did a comparison? I know they did so on the Sound Pure site but they`re trying to sell ADLs so... I don`t really take their "reviews" as such.
Old 28th December 2010
  #24
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fold Studios View Post
+1 for compressor. I think that most good EQ plugins do a very good job on EQ. They're getting closer with dynamics processors but there's a kind of "mojo" that the plugin developers haven't quite seemed to crack yet.

^^^^^This totally. There is plugin equivalent for just about every outboard EQ you can think of but many of the magical outboard comps still don't have a plugin "alter-ego" yet. And it's much more than just compression that many of these outboard processors can add to one's music.
Old 28th December 2010
  #25
D K
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To be honest..now that I have had my EQs for a while ... I would say both..

.... but if I were picking first I would and did get a compressor (and get dual mono/stereo if possible).. You will get more mileage out of it once you find the action,vibe and/or color you are looking for..

Stereo pair will allow you to use them at tracking and mixdown..after you spend some time with that getting to know it's sweet spots for all your different needs,,then you will find that a nice pair of EQs will "open the mix up" in a much different manner then a plug will...Obviously I am talking about over a bus ..mix bus in my case for both.. Don't get me wrong.. I like and use plugs all over the place..UAD, Waves, Stillwell , Voxengo, URS etc.. but at least to my ears the hardware "feels" and sounds noticeably different.. I am consciously trying to avoid using terms like "better" since it is always subjective..

Good luck .. I think good hardware will always be a sound investment for any studio/production environment

Peace
Old 28th December 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

OKAY if you had this gear

tascam DM-4800

fivefishaudio 500 series pre mod
X-72mk500 with UK/Carnhill Trafos a pair cost $1,000
MX5-mk500 Mic Preamp a pair cost $1,000 listed the price because it's a great deal


New Modified MK-319 Floating Dome w Premium Electronics mic

$750 great deal


New Modified MK-012 MSP2 with Premium Electronics (black) matched pair
$750 great deal


Lynx Aurora 16 16-channel 24-bit/192kHz A/D D/A Converter

Dangerous D-Box

JBL LSR4328P Pak Monitor System

komplete 7

UAD Omni quad package(adding SSL 4000 Series Console Bundle

and
Studer® A800
Multichannel Tape Recorder and no more plug-ins for a long,long time as mix engineers we need to get a package and learn to use those tools thinking about the 50's and 60's they work with what they had and made some great records)

Casio WK-1800 76keys general MIDI board(tons of keys and links up well in my Cubase and FL Studio)

BFD drum vst module

V-Drums still thinking about what package I want

GIK acoustics
Room Kit Package #4
Includes: 6 GIK 242s; 4 GIK Tri-Traps; 1 GIK Monster Bass Trap
and I'm adding another GIK Monster Bass Trap

a PC thats going to cost me $1,600 just in parts(it's going to be blazing fast and stable can't wait)

I have a good amount of savings waiting to buy a home before picking up most of this stuff

do you think a distresor is needed for my setup I'm looking a have a setup where I can stay with for a long long time

only thing I'll probably add to this list is 2 great 500 series compressors maybe one distressor and one colored compressor

doing christian hiphop,RnB rythm and bible

doing all the recording and mixing in house.. sending out for mastering.....
probably doing a two car garage studio build or basement probably garage adding a small bathroom (yeah I have a contractor friend and good credit for supplies and I'll do some diy along with his guidance and gearslutz acoustic pic diaries section)
Old 28th December 2010
  #27
RiF
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Get a Distressor. Then safe up for another one.
You'll buy one anyway some day. Buy it now and you'll be happy. I sold my UAD-2 /w all the plugs to fund it and it has been a good move. No plugin compressor comes remotely close to this one (and I've tried them all, Softube, UAD, Waves, McDSP, ...) for transient control, level control and making stuff sit in the mix.

Dunno about EQs. I am pretty happy with the stock Digirack EQ3 and my analog console's EQ.
Old 29th December 2010
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiF View Post
Get a Distressor. Then safe up for another one.
You'll buy one anyway some day. Buy it now and you'll be happy. I sold my UAD-2 /w all the plugs to fund it and it has been a good move. No plugin compressor comes remotely close to this one (and I've tried them all, Softube, UAD, Waves, McDSP, ...) for transient control, level control and making stuff sit in the mix.

Dunno about EQs. I am pretty happy with the stock Digirack EQ3 and my analog console's EQ.

what distressor would you guys suggest

suggest a pair and single models

I'll probably saved and get a stereo version of a distressor...

I keep hearing great things about distressors.......
Old 29th December 2010
  #29
Gear Head
 

My question is, even if hardware compressors still sound somewhat "different/better" than plug-ins, how much longer will they?
How much time will it take to program plugs, that make even hardcore analog fans admit, that there's no sonical difference anymore?

I ask that 'cause I have the same question as the OP and I'm just worried about spending 1500 on a piece of gear, that may have an advantage over plugs today, but wont, lets say in two or three years?!

I remember spending **** loads of money on a finalizer (I know its digital) that nowbody wants to buy today, because it all can be handled ITB.
Analog technique doesn't progress a lot anymore - digital does it daily.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of analog and I love any box more than a computer program, but tons of great mixes are done mostly ITB nowadays.
Old 29th December 2010
  #30
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hai-fish View Post

I remember spending **** loads of money on a finalizer (I know its digital) that nowbody wants to buy today,

you can't just put "(I know its digital)" in parentheses and expect everyone to ignore the fact that you just destroyed your own argument.

It IS digital.

Find an example of a quality ANALOG hardware unit that nobody wants to buy today because it has been surpassed by plug-ins.
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