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Super clean compressor with high ratio choice and sidechain insert? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 26th August 2013
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666666's Avatar

Thread Starter
Super clean compressor with high ratio choice and sidechain insert?

Looking for a compressor / limiter of VERY clean, "accurate" sonics, pristine fidelity with very little distortion. Think "GML"... or as close as possible.

But also, the compressor should have a ratio that will reach nearly infinity for theoretical "brickwall" limiting.

And also, must have a sidechain insert so it can be triggered from an external signal.

Looking to use the unit as a hard limiter but I'm not as concerned about attack time since the goal would be to use an advanced sidechain signal to trigger.

Rackmount or 500 series.

The GML itself isn't quite doing what I'd like it to do, it's not so much a "limiter" really in it's overall functionality.

The "clean" STC-8 has a versatile compressor section and also a limiter section, but while the compressor section does have a sidechain insert, the limiter section does not. As well, as clean as the STC-8 is, it still doesn't seem to have the raw "presence" / "harsh reality" of the GML... and that's what I want.

A "clean" dedicated limiter such as the Pendulum PL-2 might be cool, but no sidechain insert.

There are other good all-purpose units out there like say the API 2500, RND MBP, SSL bus comp etc, but they're all too colored for what I'm looking for.

I know there's a lot of new units out on the market now, anything come to mind that might be worth looking at? Super clean, high ratio, side-chain insert?
Old 26th August 2013
Gear Maniac

I almost always prefer clean.....I find this thread very interesting.
Old 26th August 2013
Lives for gear

Aphex compellor / expressor / dominator?

Sounds like you want software.
Old 26th August 2013
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666666's Avatar

Thread Starter

Yes, had a few Dominators a while back, they're certainly cool for what they are, but fall a bit short in the face of extreme high-fidelity / accuracy as in say a GML.

Before I get scolded, yes, I am aware that pretty much nothing can touch the pristine fidelity / accuracy of GML, but would like to see what else is out there that might get kinda / sorta close... if anything.

Software... yes, it would seem that I'm looking for the performance of software... but with hardware!

Software limiters, while incredibly powerful, do have a sound / color. Not so much lack of cleanliness, but their operation has a certain character to it... that I very much do not like. Of course you can't get something for nothing, not complaining, but I'm hoping to find a hardware analog compressor / limiter that, when set up well, potentially with a "look-ahead" sidechain insert, will offer considerably effective limiting, but without the digital brick wall character. I don't expect "perfect" brickwall behavior and the obnoxious style of "loudness" it yields, but hope to maybe strike a compromise. Sacrifice a bit of level in exchange for a way more nature, musical treatment of the audio.

Maybe I need to spend more time with the 8900, but so far it just doesn't seem to be so happy doing any fairly hard limiting, seems more at home doing "compression"... and does it darned well of course. I'm thinking 8900 for dedicated compression and then another pristine unit for dedicated limiting... if such can be obtained. Im thinking there may be some units out there that I'm just not even aware of that might be worth checking out.

In all fairness to software-land, I have not tried out every single software limiter that's ever existed. I suppose this is another option. But I've owned / used some of the highest rated ones and all I can say is that they do what they do... and have an inherent character... and I'm looking for a different type of character. Look forward to experimenting.

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