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Help me choose a new compressor
Old 17th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

Help me choose a new compressor

I know, hold the excitement, yet another compressor thread. But I would like some additional opinions for my situation.

Which is: Weekend warrior, kinda classic rockish (so ACDC to Zeppelin; Ryan Adams to Warren Zevon. Stonesish but can go heavier or to more alt/ folky singer songwriter). Typical instrumentation, but drums and keys are ITB, bass DI'd. The things that get miced are guitars and vocals. Mostly me by my lonesome. Record full bands maybe once or twice a year at this point.

On to comps. I have:

FET: Daking and Trakker
VCA Overstayer (stereo), RNC, and bottom of the line dbx
Opto Avalon 737
ITB Logic, UBK and the Waves Pye one

Budget: 2 grandish. Could maybe squeeze a bit more if I saved my pennies.

Looking for: Stereo/buss comp with character and/or something that fills a hole that my current comps aren't great at. On the one hand I would like to get something different than what I already have. On the other hand, perhaps that isn't the best thing to do. Mostly concerned about mix, but something easy to set up for tracking wouldn't hurt. But not likely to be used in that application all that often.

So, I have two FET comps that are versatile, but that maybe don't quite nail the aggressive/ fast 1176 FET thing. I have an opto comp that folks here seem to either love or hate, but isn't an LA2A. I mostly find it too slow, but it has been out on loan for a while - may give it another chance upon its return. The stereo comps I have are clean machines for the most part although I have ITB options that aren't.

Most of the time while mixing the Daking goes on lead vocals and Trakker gets bass duties. Overstayer stays on 2buss. Mostly use ITB for other applications. Would like something OTB that'd work for things like drums or guitars that would give more character, weight, vibe etc.

One obvious solution would be to pick up another Daking and have a pair of those and I'd still have the budget for something like the Overstayer FET or maybe the PB6-A or whatever it's called. I'm currently leaning this way.

There's always a Distressor, although I already have two versatile comps and my limited experience with a compressor was kinda ho-hum. Any Chandler or A designs stuff, or others, that I should consider? I think any vari-mu or the Retro stuff, CL1B, Fatso, API are out of my budget?

I don't want to look at 500 series stuff. This won't be very slutty of me, but I kinda have more than enough stuff for what I do. Including compressors. I'm thinking this comp will be the last kick at the gear acquisition can for me for a loooong while. But if I get a 500 series rack I know I will not be able to resist the temptation of empty slots. So, just gonna not be tempted. (I'll also state for the record that I could probably use my funds more wisely on room treatments, or converters or eqs. I know that. But for some reason, I really just want one more compressor.)

Ok, what else should I look at. Or, to put it another way - talk me out of the Daking (or convince me that that is the way to go).

Thanks,
Geoff
Old 21st January 2013
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738 View Post
I know, hold the excitement, yet another compressor thread. But I would like some additional opinions for my situation.

...

There's always a Distressor, although I already have two versatile comps and my limited experience with a compressor was kinda ho-hum.

...

I don't want to look at 500 series stuff.

...

Ok, what else should I look at. Or, to put it another way - talk me out of the Daking (or convince me that that is the way to go).

Thanks,
Geoff
Ok - to clarify - found the Distressor kinda not to my liking. But, honestly haven't really spent enough time with it.

Forgot to mention 1176 or clones. A possibility?

And, in the three days or so since I wrote this, I may be willing to consider the 500 series stuff. The news of the relatively inexpensive Lindell rack has me reconsidering.

But, since nobody ventured an opinion to my original thread, perhaps I have finally started a compressor topic too boring (or too well worn - I know. But a lot of you have had the chance to hear and use a lot more stuff than I have.) even for gearslutz.

Cheers,
Geoff
Old 21st January 2013
  #3
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

This...

Gustav
_______
Build your own gear
Old 21st January 2013
  #4
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 

Based on the artists you listed, I'd say an 1176 or clone is in your future
Old 21st January 2013
  #5
The Purple Audio MC77 (mono FET) is a workhorse and priced right. Purple is a solid company too that's been around a long time which is important IME.

The Foote P3S is a stereo VCA comp (think halfway between an Alan Smart and DX160VU) that has a ton of features on it making it a 'swiss-army-knife'. It's only $1750 for the non mastering version
Old 22nd January 2013
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labs View Post
This...

Gustav
_______
Build your own gear
Probably out of my range. Plus, the Daking has a setting that is supposed to emulate the Compex auto release setting. I don't know how closely it does or does not - but it is a pretty useful and musical setting.

Cheers,
Geoff
Old 22nd January 2013
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik View Post
Based on the artists you listed, I'd say an 1176 or clone is in your future
Well, there's a reason it's a classic.

But, I have a Daking. I remember when I was considering buying it and I recall somebody on here saying something along the lines of the Daking is like an 1176 without the boxiness. I know it's just one person's opinion, but my recollection it was from a working pro and not a guy in a basement like myself.

To my ears the Daking is not as grabby as an 1176. And it doesn't have fast release times so it doesn't get pumpy/gritty in the same way either. And, I should also note that I haven't played with an 1176 in eons, so my memory may be a bit hazy.

So, I'm not dismissing your suggestion out of hand or anything - it definitely wouldn't suck to have an 1176 or clone hanging around. Just wondering if the Daking couldn't get me the most of the way there to some of the 1176 thing though. And if I were to buy another one, then I'd have a stereo pair, and still have the budget left over to pick up the Overstayer FET, for example. Which has kinda been described here along the lines of a poor man's 1176 - and which might venture into some of the sonic territory (pumpy and/or gritty) that the Daking doesn't?

Cheers,
Geoff
Old 22nd January 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
The Purple Audio MC77 (mono FET) is a workhorse and priced right. Purple is a solid company too that's been around a long time which is important IME.

The Foote P3S is a stereo VCA comp (think halfway between an Alan Smart and DX160VU) that has a ton of features on it making it a 'swiss-army-knife'. It's only $1600 for the non mastering version
Will have a look into the Foote.

Anybody think the BLA one that's supposed to be 33609 inspired might also be worth looking intofor my applications?

Thanks again,
Geoff
Old 1st February 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
The Foote P3S is a stereo VCA comp (think halfway between an Alan Smart and DX160VU) that has a ton of features on it making it a 'swiss-army-knife'. It's only $1750 for the non mastering version
Not much out there that I could find about the Foote. But what I did find was very positive.

From what I've read, it seems it is a very versatile unit. Would you say it hews to the clean side of things?

Thanks again,
Geoff
Old 1st February 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738 View Post
Not much out there that I could find about the Foote. But what I did find was very positive.

From what I've read, it seems it is a very versatile unit. Would you say it hews to the clean side of things?

Thanks again,
Geoff
Here are a couple of reviews below. Roger Foote has been designing gear since the mid 60's but only in the last few years has he revved up the public offerings. It's on the cleaner detailed side of things, generally I would say it's somewhat comparable to a slightly more colored Trakker (but the P3S is stereo). It has so many various settings on the compression itself that it can get quite aggressive if you want it to (or completely transparent), and that's a big portion of a compressors 'color' IMO.

Tape Op - the Creative Music Recording Magazine > Reviews > Gear > P3S Stereo Compressor

Jan Muth's Reviews
Old 1st February 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
matucha's Avatar
I haven't tried Daking compressor, but there is pair of trakkers, manley mu and adr vocal stressor (mono compex) in my rack. Compex is the most characterfull/agressive compressor of them all. So if daking is cleanish as trakkers are, compex will give you more dirt and fast action. Perhaps daking has auto release constant(s) from compex, but there is much more to compex than just that. It's great on drums.

Manley mu sometimes comes at around $2200 which is quite nice, mostly it's without HP on sidechain, which is very important for buss duties. Not that it is clean compressor, but it certainly excels in "subtle", it is hard to do radical things with it (I don't like what it does when pushed).

And how I hear trakkers (just for reference)? They sound clean to me, with very smooth gain reduction. It can do a lot without making things small. But on the other side it can sound like it makes holes into the material (there is no distortion to compensate for the attenuated energy). The vintage mode adds density to the signal, but often it makes things slightly muddy, so one has to be carefull. You don't have to be carefull with compex (too much), it is fun to slam things with it and just smile. Trakkes are fine tools that attenuate loud parts, compex is (a great patina) effect.
Old 6th July 2013
  #12
Gear Head
 

Hi,

I'm looking for a good vocal compressor that doesn't color the sound for under $600/£400.
Please assist
Old 6th July 2013
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
The Purple Audio MC77 (mono FET) is a workhorse and priced right. Purple is a solid company too that's been around a long time which is important IME.

The Foote P3S is a stereo VCA comp (think halfway between an Alan Smart and DX160VU) that has a ton of features on it making it a 'swiss-army-knife'. It's only $1750 for the non mastering version
Thanks Nathan,

I know we discussed this after your post here, so FYI for the members:
Now, the standard P3S Bus compressor is $1650.00.

Best
Roger
Old 6th July 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738 View Post
I know, hold the excitement, yet another compressor thread....

Budget: 2 grandish. Could maybe squeeze a bit more if I saved my pennies.

Looking for: Stereo/buss comp with character and/or something that fills a hole that my current comps aren't great at....

Thanks,
Geoff
One thing that bugs me about GS is when someone recommends something they have not tried. Especially if the thing they had not tried is something that doesn't quite fit the OP criteria. So here I go....



Geoff, with your name, have you considered the Aurora Audio GTC2, built by Geoff Tanner?

GTC2 | Aurora Audio

I have the GTQ2 and the GT4-2 and really would like to get a GTC2 in my studio based on the sound of the other products I already have and the feature set. So, while I have not tried it, and it is a lot more than $2000, I thought I would spread my lust for this box!!

Eric
Old 7th July 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738 View Post
Any Chandler or A designs stuff, or others, that I should consider?
I like both of these, as I'm a big fan of compressors with Mix knobs - don't know why more compressors don't have them.

Have you checked out the Nail? I just picked one up, and I'm really pleased with it. Been using it across the two buss mostly so far, but I did some tracking with it yesterday and was able to dial in exactly what I wanted pretty quickly. Being able to use the Hard Threshold to fine tune where the heavier compression kicks in is a great feature, especially combined with being able to filter out bass from the detector circuit.

dB
Old 7th July 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 

1176
Old 7th July 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Chandler LTD2? Neve Portico? Any of those would be nice bus comps IMHO, I've also heard the Dakling FET comp which I liked thoughit was too clean for my taste, to place it on a buss I mean
Old 7th July 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackvelvet View Post
Hi,

I'm looking for a good vocal compressor that doesn't color the sound for under $600/£400.
Please assist
The 'new shall we say OP..

It occurs to me sometimes it'd be handy to have some visual cue (well.. besides the date for when a thread gets resurrected.
Old 7th July 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
One thing that bugs me about GS is when someone recommends something they have not tried. Especially if the thing they had not tried is something that doesn't quite fit the OP criteria. So here I go....



Geoff, with your name, have you considered the Aurora Audio GTC2, built by Geoff Tanner?

GTC2 | Aurora Audio

I have the GTQ2 and the GT4-2 and really would like to get a GTC2 in my studio based on the sound of the other products I already have and the feature set. So, while I have not tried it, and it is a lot more than $2000, I thought I would spread my lust for this box!!

Eric
Um...I have one for sale in the GS classifieds. It's a great compressor and I am letting it go at a fairly low price.
Old 7th July 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 
DanielDiggamusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738

Have you checked out the Nail? I just picked one up, and I'm really pleased with it. Been using it across the two buss mostly so far, but I did some tracking with it yesterday and was able to dial in exactly what I wanted pretty quickly. Being able to use the Hard Threshold to fine tune where the heavier compression kicks in is a great feature, especially combined with being able to filter out bass from the detector circuit.

dB


+1 for the nail and its parallel compression
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