Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by anonymous, May 20, 2005.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Which compressor is the best? And/or which should be the first one I get.
    I want the best one for under $3000.
    I want all your opinions! Of course those with compressors :wink:
  2. ianb79

    ianb79 Guest

    what are u talking about man - distressor is a compressor/limiter...depending on the ratio you use (1:1 up to NUKE which is hard limiting). I bought an EL8x several months ago coz as far as i could tell it could sound like 1176, la-2a, fairchild, dbx overeasy you can add 2nd order h.d. (tube) or 3rd (tape) - man this piece of gear has really changed my little world! it's so versatile and regarded as a modern classic...i won't be buying an la-2a any time soon...i'll buy another EL8x for sure!!!
    I really can't say more!
    there is a cool analogy in the info section on which helps explain compression vs limiting...go find it...and buy a distressor while you're at it (no i'm not fletchers mom...or his boy-friend etc).
  3. I did some searching to double check, but the Distressor is just the name of the unit. All it is is a compressor and limiter. Great marketing idea, though (calling it a distressor).
  4. overlookfran

    overlookfran Guest


    i swear by mine. you can run anything through it.....and i even use it live for my singers vox...its almost unfair for the other bands on the bill...

  5. tomtom

    tomtom Guest

    I own one too and i can only agree with ian79.
    I would very much recommand the british mode option and the stereo link if you're planning to use two linked accross a stereo source.
    Both modification can be done later, but they will cost you less if you have them factory done before delivery.

    Not only is it a compressor or a limiter, but it offers distorsion with or without dynamic processing. 2nd order and 2nd+3rd order. The Opto mode is a separate circuit (10:1) with it's own attack and release characteristics. My favorite for vocals. The british mode mod is supposed to emulate a Urei 1176 compressor with all buttons in (a trick used by famous mixers, read about it on the Universal Audio website) It is not exactly the same thing (how could it be?) but it gives you more options.
    More options is always better IMO.
    The detector section has several useful options. There's a high pass filter to keep lo end energy from triggering comression. There's also a HF boost around 6kHz (if I remember well), available to make the unit work more on harsh mids.

    What I like best about the distressor is that if set right, you can get a real clean sound. If it's some grunge you're looking for, well, you can get it too! Then, there's the in between those two department. It is pretty wide.

    The attack and release ranges can be set very fast or pretty slow, so there are no limitations really.

    Calling it a distressor might have been a good marketing idea, but the distressor is a very very versatile tool.

    Try it!
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Does the Empirical Labs Distressor really do all those things that ianb79 says?
    Is this true? I really want the one unit that is slammin :!:
    Mostly for vocals and guitar.
  7. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    May 2, 2005
    Portland, OR
    ...after i wiped up the drool from my face i realized that i have to use crappy plug-ins as my compressor. :(
  8. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    what about to put it trough a Drum mix bus??? ho w sounds like? i´m looking a good compressor for that...
  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Crane Song STC-8. I've only had mine for several months now, but I have to admit - It really is the end-all-be-all compressor.

    No, I haven't given up on my Manley Vari-Mu... It absolutely rocks, and there is no substitute for "that sound" from the Mu. But I gotta tell ya', there is just absolutely nothing that the STC-8 doesn't work well with. If I could only have one compressor (one compressor to rule them all, Lord of the Reduction) in the chain, the versatility of the STC can't be beat.

    The learning curve is rough for a compressor - It doesn't work like a standard piece with specific threshold and ratio controls... It definitely takes some time to get used to. But the utter transparency... And the limiter... That magical quasi-brickwall limiter (at 40 microseconds, it's even fast enough for digital)...

    Just thinking about it makes me want to start another project (but it's almost 2AM... F that :lol: )

    Anyway - I'm sure a gently used unit will easily run under $3k.
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    So does anyone have a problem so far with these as my first choices?
    Empirical Labs EL-8x
    Crane STC-8
    API---but which one?
    Any more I forgot?
  11. Digger

    Digger Guest

    Having just made the transition from plug in compressor land to Distressor land I can say that it is a worthwhile trip. I have only had my stereo pair distressors running for a week and they sound amamzing on many different sound sources. You do lose some of the flexibility that you get with compressor plugs but in some cases it will be worth it.

    I started with distressors first just because of their perceived flexibility (i.e. sounding like a few other classics out there while still maintaining it's own sound as well). I am currently investing in my compressor section and after researching, talking to friends in the engineering trade and listening I am considering the following;

    Manley Vari Mu (W/t-mod)
    Groove Tubes Glory Comp
    Tube Tech CL2A
    Universal Aucio 2-1176

    Cheers and good luck!

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