What's up with the 8900? It costs way more than most stereo compressors especially if you add in the cost of the power supply. Is five grand worth it? I could buy a buttload (well a 1176 and a Manley box) for that much moolah.
All I've heard is that it is transparent. Can it do anything else? Can I use it to apply envelopes ala synthesizer evelopes to sounds without uglifying the tone? Can it pump or distort in a pleasant way?
What's the point? I know that GM is like a tech-wiz but for 2k less I could buy most any comp I want!
Yeah, at $5K its more than about $1500 more than the next most costly compressor, and there are many fine compressors that cost half the price.
No, it doesn't pump or distort at all. In fact, that's the whole deal with the 8900. You don't hear anything but compression, and its hard to hear that since its so transparent. About the only evidence you have that its doing its job is that when you look at the meters or the wave files, the signal is squished.
The 8900 is also super flexible. You can put it in autopilot (LA2A style, GM call it "soft knee mode"). Or in "hard knee" mode, you can tweak to your hearts content the way the three rms dectors (program, fast, peak) interact to squish down the signal. It can be a complicated beast. I've had mine for nearly a month now and really haven't mastered it yet.
But in spite of all that, its still just a compressor, not a general purpose wave shaper. But it is very fast, transparent, and very flexible. So is it worth $5K? I got mine used for $3K, and I still think that its more compressor than I need over the next year. And the RNCs that I do have would have been just fine. I'd have one eventually, but this one just sorta fell in my lap.
BTW, GML is shipping an "infomercial" DVD with the 830x and the 8200. George does a good job explaining the benefits of his 8900. I have two now, and will be happy to send one of them to you if you send me (email) a mailing address.