Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

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PeterChapman
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Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by PeterChapman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:46 am

Famous Compressors: Selection and application - Your preferences and suggestions?

I’ve been studying up and researching on famous/well-known compressors, and will be working with software emulation plug-ins (plus Live's Glue Compressor). I’ve chosen the 5 famous ones that grab me and inspire me the most. These are (in no specific order):

Fairchild 670
Neve 2254
SSL G Bus
LA-2A
API 2500

Given that these are all different, I figure that each one must have its own place in the world and have certain types of application (eg. vocals, drums, master bus) where it really shines. So can you comment on one or more of the above 5, saying which kind of applications/situations you find that one in particular is good for? :wink:

Any help, comments, experience, personal preferences etc. would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping to get a deeper appreciation of each one of these 5 (and where to use it) from the responses to this post. Thank you.

Stromkraft
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:20 am

PeterChapman wrote:
Fairchild 670
The only one third party I have of that list (I got 27 compressors and limiters). I view compressors as mode modifiers, adding character to make it sound how I like it to feel, and this one is great for taming and focusing some unwieldy sounds. I've especially used it for mid-range sounds in a busy mix, quite often with vertical mode to give a very convincing stereophonic experience with presence. As I see it it's about subtle settings that sounds so natural that you sometimes don¨t really understand what it's doing until you remove it.

I haven't used it much on a buss yet. The typically limited settings and the dynamic response make it harder to predict how it will sound exactly, but in 90% of cases I've tried it in, it sounds strikingly better with it. Not always what I want, but a highly interesting concept. I have the Waves Puigchild implementation.

Glue

I use this one for busses naturally, parallel work, and sidechaining. Quite seldom for bass though as I feel it clicks too much compared to other third party alternatives. I might also use it just for instrument track compression with slower attacks typically.

I recommend putting your favs, or better all you have, compressors in an audio effects track and use Macros for moving between them (turning them off and on as well as the outputs. Put all in high sensitivity mode and attack and release as for function and then try one at a time very quickly. Select the one that feels most interesting and ungroup so you have only that one left.

This is especially useful for parallel compression. I have 2 variations of my compressor (and Limiter) rack, one with fast attacks for parallel and one with slower attacks for buss work. It can be a good idea to adjust settings to the material an then move on to the next.

With this method I quickly find the compressor I feel most suited for the job, sometimes finding a new idea for how to use compression in the current scenario.
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PeterChapman
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by PeterChapman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Thanks Stromkraft for your great and interesting info and thoughts. Very helpful! Yeah, the Waves Puigchild is the version of the Fairchild I have too, but as yet haven't had time to do much with it.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Shift Gorden » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:56 pm

I got more compressors than I care to imagine. Silly really.

Emulation-wise, I LOVE the Vertigo VSC-2 by Plugin Alliance. I use it on drum busses and vocals - it's got a great sound and is amazingly flexible. Plus, it has a nice sidechain feature so you can avoid compressing the bass out of your drums. I like to set my levels and then unlink the channels - that way left and right are treated separately and you tend to get a more lively sound.

I got Waves SSL compressor, which I do like, but I tend to use Glue compressor in its place these days. I like the punch of the SSL, but it's a little too bass-sucky for me - so I tend to grab the glue compressor and dial in the frequency response I'd like. I use the glue/SSL in a very subtle way - mostly on the drum bus but also on the overall mix just to glue things together. Actually, on a drum buss I'll typically use the Vertigo to sculpt the feel I want, and then the glue compressor just to help stick it all together.

login
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by login » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:39 pm

Check out a video tutorial on Ask.audio named "10 mistakes when usssing compression" it covers this topic quite well.

But AFAIK: L2A2 - Vocals, smooth compression; dbx 160 - drums (bus); Urei 1176 - individual drum sounds and other sounds where you want to enhance the attack; The GLue (SSL Bus) - Bus, works better in highly dynamic material catching peaks fast.

NI has a bundle which includes the first three.

You could also get a compressors that is capable of doing all kinds of compression (U-he presswerk, fabfilter ProC2, DMG Compassion).


And there is some modern stuff like NI Supercharger GT.

Tarekith
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Tarekith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:49 pm

The Fairchild used to be a mastering bus style compressor, but I always found it worked great on basslines too. Nice little vibe to it, and seems to tame the sub just a little bit more than other compressors which help it fit in the mix.

102455
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by 102455 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:44 pm

OK so the Waves PuigChild is on sale for $49 at the moment. Bargain? Should I grab it?

Tarekith
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Tarekith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:08 pm

Ever tried TDRs Kotelnikov?

https://youtu.be/Cpokm0j1DXQ

ecuk
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by ecuk » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:53 pm

PeterChapman wrote:Given that these are all different, I figure that each one must have its own place in the world and have certain types of application (eg. vocals, drums, master bus) where it really shines. So can you comment on one or more of the above 5, saying which kind of applications/situations you find that one in particular is good for?
I recently came across a short and inexpensive ebook, Thomas Juth’s The Art of Compression. He discusses his own thoughts and experiences of several of these classic compressors (in both hardware and software). See http://thomasjuth.com/mixing-mastering-tips/ for more details. The ebook is also available from Amazon.

His other two books (on EQ and delay/reverb) are equally insightful.
MacBook Pro, macOS Mojave 10.14.6, 2.7GHz i7, 16GB – Live Suite 10.1, Max 8.0.8, Push 2, ATH-M50x

kb420
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by kb420 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:09 pm

NI Supercharger GT
Fabfilter Pro C2
PSP Vintage Warmer 2

Those are my favorites. Supercharger and Vintage Warmer because of their saturation. Fabfilter because it's soo incredibly surgical. I also like Ableton's stock compressors, (Compressor, and Glue) for certain tasks. I also like Cubase's stock compressor.

I also own Waves SSL G-Master Bus Compressor, V-Comp, and H-Comp Hybrid, but honestly I haven't had the chance to experiment with them much.

I also really like Ozone 7's Vintage Compressor for it's saturation too!
H20nly wrote:fuck Bitwig.

Stromkraft
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:56 pm

kb420 wrote:V-Comp
Another one of those that are subtle, yet very powerful and have great character. I've been experimenting using a filtered internal signal side-chain on my Main buss lately, so the bass doesn't trigger it, then carefully set the input level and output level to get the right response. Amazing. Something I also use the Glue for, but they react differently.

This is also my first stop for side-chained bass.

As there is no treshold or attack settings this is not for every type of job requiring control over these, but it's great for controlling some instruments and works very nicely on a buss or master.

Watch out with levels as this a fully modelled analogue compressor. Ideal input levels to the V-Comp range from -22 to -17 dBFS according to the manual. Output level is what you choose.
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frabo
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by frabo » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:39 am

check out klanghelm.com

--> MJUC or DC8C

unbeatable

Stromkraft
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:47 pm

frabo wrote:check out klanghelm.com

--> MJUC or DC8C

unbeatable
Not unbeatable — this really depends on material and application — but totally wonderful compressors. For a free taste: MJUC jr. and DC1A. Great stuff in their own right.
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jlgrimes
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by jlgrimes » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:26 pm

La-2a

Great for vocals. Easy to operate and smooth sounding on vocals. Probably one of my most used plugins. This is probably one of the most popular compressors and most emulated. I have a few emulations (UAD, NI, Cakewalk) and all of them do a good job.

Stromkraft
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Re: Compressors - Your preferences and suggestions?

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:38 pm

jlgrimes wrote:La-2a

Great for vocals. Easy to operate and smooth sounding on vocals. Probably one of my most used plugins. This is probably one of the most popular compressors and most emulated. I have a few emulations (UAD, NI, Cakewalk) and all of them do a good job.
The NI would be the VC 2A and the Cakewalk would be the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier? The latter I have myself, though haven't used it much yet. UAD is the TELETRONIX® LA-2A Classic Leveling Amplifier? Or they have several?
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