best mastering compressor?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by rasputin7095, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. rasputin7095

    rasputin7095 Guest

    I'm mastering an electronica/rock demo, and my choices are:

    Drawmer DL241
    DBX 166A
    Digitech VCS-1

    I've used the DBX and Digitech for vocal compression before, but never for mastering. I heard the Drawmer is the best, is that true?

    I will also be running the audio through an SSL to get more warmth.

  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I personally wouldn't use any of these. IMO they are too colored and to damaging.
  3. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Yes, you will need to do some serious soldering iron swinging to get that going!...
  4. iq

    iq Guest

    Get "more" transparent comp. ie manley or avalon.
    Drawmer is "dark" / mushy for mastering IMO
  5. rasputin7095

    rasputin7095 Guest

    I'd rather use something else too, but these are the choices in the studio; the mixes sound really harsh in the highs, will the SSL and compressors smooth it out?

    it's a demo, so it doesn't have to sound perfect, but I'd like to make it as well as possible. The studio I have available has only these compressors.
  6. huub

    huub Guest

    That ssl wont nessecarily make your mix warmer (whatever warmer may be) but doesnt that ssl have bus compression? that'll sound supersweet..
  7. rasputin7095

    rasputin7095 Guest

    I'm not a big fan of compressing the whole thing with the SSL, it pumps too much IMO
  8. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Not as much as a DBX will.
  9. rasputin7095

    rasputin7095 Guest

    what about the other two though? Drawmer? Digitech? which one is best?

    I know most people would say "it depends on the sound you're going for," but I don't have much time to experiment, I'll only have a few hours in there, and I need to make the best of it. Once again, it doesn't have to be perfect, but I'd like to move away from using the L1 maximizer on everything, and actually use some hardware for a better tone.
  10. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    if it pumps you're compressing too much!

    try setting the release all the way up.....

    by the way.... does it HAVE to be compressed?? have you considered not compressing??

    and..... never ever ever EVER use the L1 on a mix.... use the L2 or nothing

    but if you really really need compression i would start out with the drawmer with medium attack long release and a ratio of 1.5-2..

    then adjust the threshold for 2-4 dB's of comp

    that is a starting point for the dbx too....

    but as the others said.... this is not mastering!!
  11. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Oh PLEASE don't get anything that says "Digitech" on it anywhere near your mixes... :shock:

    I'd rent something decent... If you're looking for "smooth creamy goodness" maybe try a Manley Vari-Mu. For sheer transparency, perhaps a Crane Song STC-8. A drawmer 1968 might not be out of the question... Middle of the road in a nice way. Not really transparent, but not a big "sonic footprint" either.
  12. JerryTubb

    JerryTubb Guest

    i've got two manley vari mu's, an old one and a new one, they're both great, sometimes i'll use one to compress, the other to limit! sometimes i'll use three of 'em for surround. you have to learn to use a manley, it's not your typical dbx style compressor. once you get in the zone with the manley it'll blow your mind how phat and musical it is!!! even if you don't compress much, use it as a gain stage, add 6dB to some music and you'll hear it!...WOW...the gain is magificent and powerful... so majestic !!! the first manley i scored in 97' changed my life! Mastering got real easy for me when i got it... it has real meters...real knobs & switches, it's heavy, built like a tank, it gets hot, really hot you could fry eggs on it, if idolatry ever comes back in... you could put it on a pedastal and pay homage to it, EveAnna Manley must be some sort of far out vacuum tube angel, commanded by the muses to give the great gift of fiery tube gear to mere mortal earthlings... that they might rise up from the trenches of droll human existence and make music, huge giant fantastic music... beyond the boundaries of space & time... Why?...Why?...Whyyyyee?
  13. JerryTubb

    JerryTubb Guest

    the first Manley i bought in May 97, i bought it from Aaron White at pro audio sales in south austin, it actually belonged to andy taub of brooklyn bridge, who bought if from al preist, til i demo'ed it, and it never left my hands after that.

    on the first day, i used the manley to master a record for armen marmalejo... a jazz trombonist with a very dark mysterious tone, who played with the great ray charles for twenty years! compressor wept for brother ray!

    All that Manley gear is Big, really Big, so Big I can't wait to get one of her Mastering Consoles... WOW... I could live on that thing for a decade... it has even Bigger Knobs... Yes!!!

    when you're using a Manley you might well be riding an orange county custom chopper, one that Mikey built!

    if you got abducted by aliens, whizzing thru the horsehead nebula, rise up from the examination table, toss back those little grey coneheads and look around...WOW the whole damn saucer is run not by element 198 !?!.... but by Manleys... they're everwhere, big ones giant ones small manleys, nanoscopic manleys, the saucer itself is a huge Manley, it compresses not only music, but space and time, it has the ability to fold space ...your mind is blazing with exstacy... when you notice an alien goddess at the helm, infront of huge Manley Mastering Console with knobs as big bulk heads, and switches as big as baseball bats! and then you see the alien goddess at the helm is EveAnna Manley, she is radient with glowing purple eyes, and an aura of golden myst... floating along the console, in complete vacuum tube bliss.

    and that my friends is why i like manley vari mu's.
  14. huub

    huub Guest

    So you like manleys ey?
  15. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I got a chubby just reading your post.
  16. iznogood

    iznogood Guest


    every studio should have at least two!
  17. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    New religion ?? :shock:
  18. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Geez, I love my Vari-Mu, but you guys make me feel like I'm missing something :lol:
  19. iq

    iq Guest

    My v-mu sometimes act as room heater, as well as compressor of course.
    What a warm thing.. :)

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