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opto vs vca/fet comp's

Discussion in 'Recording' started by tonio, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Due to some deal's going on on the ARt pro VLA brought up some questions.

    Right now I only have a RNC which I believe is a digital/vca type compressor. I do trackinto a DAw, however I mix in a hybrid fashion of using stems to outboard mixer, and bring it back in for final tweaking/limiting etc.

    My question is about opto comps. e.g. LA2A & VLA. Opto comps are slow from what understand vs. vca types. So when would the opto comps prefered to be used? VOX, guitar? vs. transient material -drums. I realized that LA2A and VLA has its own character
    in which people seem to utilize. sure it wil ltake years of experience & knowledge to find(or know) the equipment needed for a task. But in general is there a go to comp for said instrument?
    Would an opto comp be good for drums? My understanding is that
    the opto would let the transients through, and the tone-or body of the drums would be compressed in a non linear fashion(is said to be more musical?), vs vca's would be used to compress the transients.

    Of course I could just go out and just get a VLA for the price, but my funds are allocated elsewhere, so making a hasty move is not in the cards. But then again GC does take returns with out much questions -except for mikes.. Just want to see/or hear any opinions if I should bother with getting a VLA for what I do in my homestudio. Its a converted garage with acoustic treament,but no full drum kit utilized, mostly acousti/lect gtr, bass, some horns, vox. Being a percussionist I am mosty concerned with my instrument(s). conags bongos, timbales and close 100 different hand percussion. Genre's are latin, light rock, R&B, jazz- so mostly on the acoustic side of things.


    T
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I generally prefer opto types .. also known as EL OPs, like the LA2a, La3 and the Manley EL OP.. I use the 1176 / 1178 (FETs) if I want something a little more edgey and faster..

    I only use vca comps on stuff where I really want to hear that "squish" thing they do ... mostly on guitars.

    I almost never use compressors on drums so don't ake my word for it in that regard ... some others will have an opinion on that one ...

    A incedentally, the RNC is an analog vca type ... Hope that helps some ...
     
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    As a guy who owns and uses more than a dozen compressors, they all have their uses. In general, the optical types get used on slower transiet applications while the VCA can be used for both. The FET stuff being more VCA like than optical and much harder/faster sounding than optical but slower than VCA. I tend to use compressors on just about everything as they are also a form of tone and eq as much as they are for dynamic control.

    I don't know about the ART VLA other than it is made from ART and I don't think very highly of their products. And I'm pretty sure the RNC like the Distressor, are both digital controlled analog processors. The digital control allows a more consistant and linear response to the controls that also helps in getiing repeatable settings/results.
     
  4. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Thanks Kurt & Audiogaff.

    allthough getting the VLA is tempting, just to learn opto's I did pass. I need to stop making purchases that later needs upgrading.

    >>

    I don't know about the ART VLA other than it is made from ART and I don't think very highly of their products. And I'm pretty sure the RNC like the Distressor, are both digital controlled analog processors.

    That's what I meant about the RNC being digitally controlled.
     

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