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Aphex 320A. Compellor..Anything wrong with this?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by fifty8th, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. fifty8th

    fifty8th Guest

    Would like to know experiences with the Aphex Compellor 320A. I like what I read about the colorless compression.

    I am not looking for Excitors. Just a very great clean multi band compressor....

    I would like to have four units if they are good.

  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    I had a compellor for many years, but unless they've changed something, they are broadband, NOT multiband compressors. What they do they do very well - but they will not some things a "normal" compressor does, since you have no precise control over attack time, release time, threshold, or ratio. There's a continuous rotary pot that goes from "level" to "compress" that gives you some sort of imprecise control of the threshold and ratio. You kind of just have to let it do what it does, and see if you like the results! It also has a stereo enhance feature (on or off - no further control) and a "silence gate" (with threshold control). The meters are cool though.
  3. fifty8th

    fifty8th Guest

    Little dog....you are now Big dog now !
    Thanks for your comments..it has been a long struggle on the internet...search engines, forums...to get hands on data.

    The newer 320A version is now multiband...or at least... Frequency dependent...no longer fullband. This is what got me looking at them...I was searching for a few new multiband compressors.

    I use the outboard compressors on input.....but only ..maybe 50 percent of what I need. It gives me a better signal to process in Protools...

    I wanted something extremely high quality..but without coloration....I can do all that in Protools....cause I am a knocked out software buff. If I want to use an exciter....I'll get the TDM version...

    But on input I just want a frequency sensitive very high quality.....EASY TO USE...something that can take a high input and push a high output without hitting the top...you know...quality...

    Your comments were great. The DRIVE control I would guess is the same as RATIO ...but it does have its own THRESHOLD. ..just no attack or release...except for FAST or SLOW,

    Protools runs UltraMax limiting and also the C4 multiband compressor....which do just a kick butt job inside the computer for doing the rest of the leveling during the mix.

    Would sure love to hear more comments on the Aphex320A Leveler.


    58Th Street Studio
  4. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Thanks for the update - I guess things have really changed since mine rolled off the line (around 1990, I think?) I'm just glad they didn't slap a tube in there just so they could put their "tubessence" label on it - like they did with the Expressor.

    I don't really know too many people using it like you are - although that's not to say it can't work. Usually they are used in radio stations for broadcast compression, or on whole mixes for limiting (at least before the L-2 came along). My first thought for a reasonably priced multiband would have been something like the TC Triple C, but maybe you (understandably) want something analog to track through. Personally, I've never used multiband compression at the tracking stage, (I'm not even sure how I'd do it or why I'd want to!) but there's a lot of stuff I've never tried, so that doesn't mean a whole lot!

    Let us know how it works for you. (By the way, what are they going for these days? I finally sold my old one for only $400.) :w:
  5. fifty8th

    fifty8th Guest

    You got the going rate I would say...I didn't look last night when a 260 went for auction on ebay...but I paid 566 for the 260A on Sunday night...I'm happy.

    Funny you would mention the Triple-C..... I bought one 2 weeks ago !!!!!!!!!!

    I thought it worked really great. You can see all 3 bands pumping away on the display showing that it is not compressing all frequencies equally...It is very cool. The price just dropped from 750.00 to 300 !!!! NEW. If you want to know more about that let me know. *it might have bug...

    The unit comes in Mono or Stereo.....WHICH MEANS It cannnot be used to process two channels....two different ways. I have a email into TC for a better explaination of recording two different voices at the same time and whether or not useing just the one group of setting would work OK.....it think they will say YES....but my dealer said it is no...but he may not have interpeted TC's explaination of it correctly.

    I need 8 channels of compression to be happy...If I stuck with the TC I would need 7 or 8 of the them...........I don't think so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Aphex is Dual Mono for sure...

    OH here is another thing.....Just last night I started setting up for a voice recording using the Triple C......The Look Ahead switch ( 3 ml.)
    Cannot be used during a live recording.....!!!!!! At least using a normal way of hooking up gear....The singer will hear a 3 ml delay in the headphones.....and boy is 3 ml a lot right against the real voice...very bad...I will use it tommorow night...but with the Look Ahead switch OFF. I don't feel like jumping two input channels together just so I can get a headphone feed off the first with the tripleC pluged into the second.

    I am very much hoping the Aphex doesn't have some built in LOOK AHAEAD built into all those analog computers inside...cause it would be up for sale imediately...

    If you write back I'll chat some more tomorrow.

  6. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Don't worry. On analog gear "look-ahead" or any other latency producing functions don't exist, except for those pesky light-speed delays. :D I had to do the same thing (turn off look-ahead) when I tried to use a Finalizer as a tracking compressor on a vocal once. (Can you say: "phasing?!!")
  7. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Fifty8th, you might also look in to an Aphex Dominator. It is 3 band, but does not give you much in the way of controls to screw things up. It is pretty transparent but will give you a bit more RMS to peak ratio without sounding too squashed. IMO if you are using ProTools at 24 bit resolution, it's not super important or even desirable to peak limit everything going in and record at the top. Try just compressing for what sounds good and go in at healthy levels and you should be fine. There are other things to worry about with ProTools, but that is another thread.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Yep .... totally agree.

    Another thought ... by using different Comps and EQs the tracks can be seperated in the mix much easier.
  9. fifty8th

    fifty8th Guest

    Thanks....All good advice !!

    Yes ....I will use it carefully...It will take a while to see waht feels the best. The C4 and L1 ultramax do wonderful inside the "box". Just want something totaly clean and totaly easy for the input. Dealing with 8 tracks from a rythm section is a lot to keep and eye on. I would like the bulk of the work to be left to Protools.

    Also hoping to get more room in the input and outputs....my last units were very narrow...the output could start running in red without knowing it..

    Thanks again for you comments
  10. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    I don't think you could ever use a "look ahead" for tracking with any device. It wouldn't make sense to me. Just my opinion.

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