Workhorse Compressor

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by heyman, Aug 3, 2004.

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  1. heyman

    heyman Guest

    I would like your opinion on 2 things. Anyone else please chime in as well....

    1- Name which compressor you could'nt live without for All applications(Voice, instruments) with a good Price/performance point... aka "Workhorse compressor"

    2- Same as above but if you had unlimited funds... aka the "Ultimate Compressor"
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    OK, ..... It's difficult to name just one because different compressors, work in different ways.

    EL OP style comps are gentle and probably the best all around type, they seem to work well under most conditions ... In this catagory, the Teletronix LA2a rules. Manleys EL OP is a stereo version of the LA2a but with a modified Pultec type output amp ... they call it a "LA2a on stereoids". I think if I had to have just one comp in my rack it would be a Manley EL OP..

    If I were allowed to keep two comps in my rack my next choice would be the 1178, a stereo version of the 1176. This is an FET type and it can really clamp down on a signal without a lot of overshoot. It has more parameters to adjust and the gain setting can be a bit tricky as it is a fixed threshold type of comp ... but once you learn to run the 1176, it is a very useful compressor / limiter..

    The last comp I would mention will be one of contention I suspect ... This would be a vca type compressor ... in my case my favorite of these types is a very inexpesive one that you have to find used because they don't make them any longer and that is a Valley Dynamite ... This is not only a vca compressor but also a de esser, and a noise gate expander. I use it more as an expander than anything else but when I really need theat "squish" sound that vca comps do, I turn to the Dynamite ...

    Now I am not just " supposing" here, this is actually what I ended up pairing my rig down to when I moved from my commercial room into my home studio ....
  3. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    I have two comps I find indispensible at this point, although I am longing for the day I can afford a stereo Distressor to add to my humble home studio.

    Fatso - Tracking kick, snare, bass, elec. guitars, vocals, keyboards. Mixing as a parallel comp on the drums.

    Avalon VT-747(opto comp/EQ) - Tracking bass, vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars. Mixing on the 2-bus.

    I tried tracking my bass last night through a nice chain (Groove Tubes Ditto to Twin Servo to JoeMeek C2 opto comp) and when I put the 747 (comp only) in place of the Meek there was a HUGE difference in the sound quality.

    This tells me that getting a great sound is not only dependant upon the style of the compressor (opto vs. VCA vs. FET, etc.) but all the other stuff as well - input transformers, output transformers, type of amp for makeup gain, etc., etc.

    For me, it's well worth the money to get amazing sound.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    It's hard to wrong with a piar of EL-8 Distressor's for tone and flexability. My workhorse for any appllication is my dbx 160SL. It was such a great overall workhorse that I bought a second one just a few months after the first one.
  5. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Another thumbs up for the 160SL. Very versatile.

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