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Expensive Mic/Pre + Cheap Compressor
Old 18th October 2013
  #1
Gear Addict
Expensive Mic/Pre + Cheap Compressor

Hiya,

Looking to finally add a compressor to an expensive vocal chain. Mostly Pop or Rap vocals. Would like to slam it sometimes for effect, but most of the time would be using it around -3 on the way in for a nice color. I only have a budget of $500 so I am looking at the PBC-6a

Would adding a good budget compressor like the Pbc-6a hurt my chain more than help? IMHO, all the ITB plugins I have been using have not been cutting it. I know this question may sound foolish to some (good recording can be made with even cheap gear) but I already have a very nice sounding chain. I just want to know if the compressor would be an upgrade or degrade my chains quality.

Current chain for vocals

Manley Ref Cardioid -> Great River -> Apogee Rosetta 800
Old 18th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeeyb View Post
Hiya,

Looking to finally add a compressor to an expensive vocal chain. Mostly Pop or Rap vocals. Would like to slam it sometimes for effect, but most of the time would be using it around -3 on the way in for a nice color. I only have a budget of $500 so I am looking at the PBC-6a

Would adding a good budget compressor like the Pbc-6a hurt my chain more than help? IMHO, all the ITB plugins I have been using have not been cutting it. I know this question may sound foolish to some (good recording can be made with even cheap gear) but I already have a very nice sounding chain. I just want to know if the compressor would be an upgrade or degrade my chains quality.

Current chain for vocals

Manley Ref Cardioid -> Great River -> Apogee Rosetta 800
That's a really nice chain.. I bet a CL1B would be the perfect fit for that chain... I'd prob look into something like a DBX 160a with your budget or just save a few months for a CL1b!
Old 18th October 2013
  #3
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickGobe View Post
That's a really nice chain.. I bet a CL1B would be the perfect fit for that chain... I'd prob look into something like a DBX 160a with your budget or just save a few months for a CL1b!
Thanks! I know it may be worth saving up, but I just dropped $1200 on a pair of Neumann KM 140's so $500 is all i really got left lol.

Do you have any input on how it would sound if I was to add in a cheaper compressor though? I will check out the DBX for sure it looks pretty cool

Mike
Old 18th October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

one dbx 160a is mono.

Also look at the GAP Comp 54.

I have one and cant believe the sound I get using a drum machine/module into a WA12 preamp and then into the comp.

You may even have a 100 dollars left over to spend on something else.

Also check out the Chameleon Labs 7720 stereo comp. 549 usd

It gets rave reviews and much love here on gearslutz.

That is one of my next purchases. Very transparent SSL sound for master buss duties.

Cheers
Old 18th October 2013
  #5
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
I recommend the GAP comp54 as well. Plasticky feel but fantastic sound on vocals, preferred it over several much more expensive comps on vox when I had it here for testing.
Old 18th October 2013
  #6
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickGobe View Post
That's a really nice chain.. I bet a CL1B would be the perfect fit for that chain... I'd prob look into something like a DBX 160a with your budget or just save a few months for a CL1b!
+1!!
Save some more... Dave Hill Titan or Crane Song Falcon (if 500 series is an option) would be my choices with a rather "limited" budget.
Or a used 1176 will be a great tracking comp for vocals IME, if you're handy with soldering another option could be building an 1176 yourself.. check out the hairball kits.

Eventually a BAE 10DC, which is a fantastic compressor IMHO, but has a strong charachter (in a good way).. but only you could decide if it will be good for your purposes (especially on the way in).. test the comps in your place and decide with your ears.

I don't want to sound as an a.. but getting a cheap compressor for tracking with that chain is like getting a very nice car (insert here your fav car) and getting the cheapest tires you could find.. sure you'll be able to drive and will do better than the average cars..but you'll not get everything out of it.. you see my point?

I hope this helps..



Cheu
Old 18th October 2013
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickGobe View Post
That's a really nice chain.. I bet a CL1B would be the perfect fit for that chain... I'd prob look into something like a DBX 160a with your budget or just save a few months for a CL1b!
The dbx is great for transparent dynamics-taming, but I wouldn't call it colored. But the CL1b sure is. Might be nice to have both -- put the dbx first to protect the CL1b from nasty surprises.
Old 18th October 2013
  #8
I would leave the compressor out of the vocal recording chain. In 24 bit recording, there is no need to record hot. This gives you more than enough room to have transients not clip your signal. You have 256 times the resolution than you had in 16bit recording. no need to record Hot.

Reasons:
1.) You can record anywhere between -24dB and -8dB and your signal will be great!

2.) you will not be able to go back and change any of the compressor settings. Your stuck with what you have.

3.) Why add a cheap compressor to a great signal chain?

4.) Always keep your recording signal chain as simple as possible with the least amount of gain stages.

CJ
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