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Okay - follow up to my question re: the ELOP.

How about the Focusrite Red 3 as a mastering compressor/limiter? I found one lcoally here that I can get in mint condition for around $1800.

I'm very familiar with the sound of the Red series and I do like it, I just don't like the lack of detents.




Cucco Wed, 01/18/2006 - 18:10

Michael Fossenkemper wrote: no detents are a bit of a pain. I think it's a good compressor. May not be what you are looking for though. I had one and never found myself using it. too colored for not wanting to lay a heavy hand, and not colored enough when you want to lay a heavy hand.

Thanks. You reaffirmed my basic thoughts.

I guess I should just shut up and pony up the dough for the Massenburg or the Crane Song...Oh well, good bye tuition for my baby...

AudioGaff Tue, 01/24/2006 - 09:56

I found the 9098 compressor to be very disappointing for general audio work or as a mastering type compressor for the audio sweetening work I usually do. It is not flat out bad, but for the money and what is currently available on the market, there are better choices. Good clean and and very transparant, I'd be looking more towards the Crane Song or GML.

Cucco Tue, 01/24/2006 - 12:07

I'm surprised to hear you refer to them as colored. Again, I'm not familiar with this particular unit, but the 9098 Mic Pres are as clear and open as they get. That's weird...

Oh well, I really will just save my dough. I'd hate to turn into the guys up the road who have compromised every bit of their mastering chain (to include Behringer compressors... :evil: )


Zilla Tue, 01/24/2006 - 17:20

From my sense of the mastering market, clients either go to "plugz-r-us" or they put up the dough for a reputable mastering house. Positioning yourself between those two markets will probably not be a very profitable niche. Better to just save for equipment that you won't be disappointed with three months down the line.

dave-G Thu, 01/26/2006 - 12:46

Well, I thought I'd offer something possibly useful on this thread as a show of gratitude for the entertainment I derived from the 23 page, locked-down circus that got me lurking here again recently. :wink:

So .. just in case anyone's curious.... the Focusrite Blue 230 and the original Red 3 are identical -- even the stepped controls for threshold and ratio were originally included on the first Red 3s. Later versions of the Red 3 omitted the input transformers and those stepped controls, while still using the same PCB. The 230 originallly was just a blue version of the original Red 3, but with blue cosmetics, both in and out transformers and PPM meters. Later Blue 230s eventually went back to VU meters, but they're better quality Sifams.

So, AFAIK, the only real "impact" difference is in the transformers or lack thereof in more recent Reds, and some have argued that the difference there is minimal.

I wouldn't trade my 230 for any Red 3 simply because besides the switched settings for threshold and ratio, at least the thing at least has some lines on the faceplate, making recalls a bit more feasible than with the Red.


Cucco Fri, 08/04/2006 - 11:22

I have to admit - I actually got the price down on the Red 3 to a whopping $1100, so I figured I'd owe it to myself to try it. If I hate it, I can EASILY recoup my losses.

I'll post again here in a bit if I like it or not.


PS -
Anticipating the knobs to be a MINOR pain in the ass, but one practice I've gotten into lately is to take a digital photo of all units in the chain and place that in the folder with all of the master files. It comes in handy and is FAR more accurate than standard take sheets (but not as accurate as stepped switches. Oh well, they're not THAT expensive to add later.)

Zilla Fri, 08/04/2006 - 15:28

Cucco wrote: not as accurate as stepped switches. Oh well, they're not THAT expensive to add later.)

If you compare your unit's purchase price against what the upgrade will cost in quality parts and labor, you will find it is relatively expensive. You could spend from $500-$1,200 in parts alone, easy.

Cucco Thu, 08/10/2006 - 13:12

Well...I tried it out and I've officially sold it.

It's a great compressor - there's no doubt about that, but it won't work in my mastering studio (many of you are saying... "DUH...we told you that already." But I like to find out for myself.)

So, I've been toying around with some other devices. The next piece I'm trying is the Waves MaxxBCL. I've heard a LOT of good things about it (especially regarding the AD conversion and the limiter).

If it's as good as many say it is, I'll be quite pleased. If not, I'll try again...


Michael Fossenkemper Thu, 08/10/2006 - 15:00

well, if you like some of the sound of the Focusrite red, then you can try the blue series. Basically a really nice subtle compressor. not a workhorse but does have something to it. Not cheap.

The new waves hardware looks interesting. I think it's basically an L2 with some other junk in there. The converters are nice, the compressor I believe in the REN comp. and maxxbass isn't really usable. might be worth it for the L2 and converters though unless you go find a used L2 for a lot less.

GML compressor sounds good. a little more complex.

what other ones have you tried?

Cucco Thu, 08/10/2006 - 16:22

Yeah - I don't see myself using the Ren Comp. Maxx Bass?? Maybe everyonce in a while. I've used the software version in some spots for a minor touch up here and there. I see it as a potential big help though. Often times, when I go through either the Manley or my kung-fu'ed ART, I find that some of the faster transients don't get caught. Often times, I keep the levels a little safe coming back into the DAW so a digital peak limiter as the last piece in the chain might be very helpful in the long run.

Plus I hear the metering is actually half way decent.

As for ones I've tried - let's see...

The Manley (I'm never getting rid of that - you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands).

The Kung-fu'ed ART - an interesting tool - relatively clean overall. It doesn't really work for everything, but it's good on slower stuff like acoustic-based country and stuff.

FR Red 3 - Nice and fast, but I had to really work to get any useful limiting out of it. Compression was great though.

Millennia - I liked it a lot, but the tube side wasn't thick enough (a la Manley) and the SS side was just not fast enough. Plus I couldn't get the attack and release just how I wanted it.

Weiss - I only got to play with this for a minute, but really liked it. If the price were just a tad lower, I probably would have gotten this one instead of the Waves, but the Waves might be just what I'm looking for.

I haven't tried any of the more esoteric stuff, but I'm looking to cover the basics right now.

I'd love to try the Crane Song STC-8 and I probably will soon, I just haven't had the chance to yet.


Cucco Fri, 08/11/2006 - 17:22

Well, if first impressions are worth anything, I believe I'm going to like the Waves Maxx BCL!

Let's see - the conversion is great. No, really, I mean GREAT.

The Maxx Bass can actually be helpful on some things when used lightly and subtle.

The Compressor ain't actually that bad (especially when used to bring low levels up not high levels down - it can work either way).

The limiter portions is VERY nice. VERY, VERY, VERY nice. It's as clean and transparent as any I've ever heard. Even at relatively insane levels. I have the L2 software version and supposedly these are the same device. However, I can clearly hear a difference. Even my WIFE heard a difference as she was sitting there with this "who gives a sh*t" look on her face.

The metering, conversion and routing are excellent.

All in all, this is one serious, well-thought-out piece of hardware. At $2400 it's a steal!

I'm excited!! I have a session tomorrow that I think I'll offer the guy a discount if he lets me keep it a couple days longer and try some new things on it!

No emoticon for a little dude jumping up and down for joy??



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