Overdriving analogue compressor

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The Carpet Cleaner
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 2:21 pm
Location: Paris

Overdriving analogue compressor

Post by The Carpet Cleaner » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:24 am

I've got an analogue compressor.

got 2 questions today :

- If I set the threshold as low as possible, it will continually compress and will not come back under 0db of gain reduction. By doing this, will the signal gain more "colour" from the compressor? or does it just mathematically and simply reduce the volume and do nothing else (that would be pointless then)?

- If I crank up the "output/make up gain" knob, the Output display goes in the yellow zone, then OMG, the red zone (0,+2,+4,+6). Why do I feel like if it actually goes up to +2/+4, it get the sound "warmer", but the if it reaches +6 I feel like I hear some cracking sounds and artefacts. It is because it's analogue? Where is the limit for an analogue gear to overdrive the output before hearing artefacts ?


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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:06 pm

Re: Overdriving analogue compressor

Post by keefbaker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:25 am

With my not-entirely-massive experience of analogue equipment, it doesn't work in absolutes and every piece of kit (we're talking down to individual units here) will vary on its limits. If it crackles at 6db then that's its comfortable limit, but that said it might be frequency dependent and it might be low end at that level that causes it.

But threshold, yeah, setting it lower will gain more colour because, while you'll get colour just from the circuits themselves, you will get more when they're actually doing the job they're designed to do.

At the end of the day the only thing that will REALLY tell you what's happening is your ears.

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