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I'm looking for a compressor/limiter for tracking to a daw (Pro Tools LE via mBox). I'm not really looking for it to impart a character, but more to just reign in the transients and keep stuff from clipping.

My budget is in the around $500 range. From searching past posts on a few boards, it seems the FMR RNC is a good choice, but I've read conflicting thoughts on the "speed" of the unit being able to catch transients.

I have a pro-sumer type rig with my only preamps being an Aphex 207 and an old Berlant tape unit front end (like an Ampex 601) and my only compressors are an ART PRO VLA and an older Behringer Composer (flaky and from our old PA rig).

Anyone have any thoughts?


tony-moore Sun, 04/17/2005 - 20:10


I love the sound of my VLA, especially the sound of it with the output cranked. But I've never been able to get it to catch fast transients (snare, agressive guitar/bass) without it sounding odd.

Do you have any suggestions on settings that might help with this?

Thanks so much for suggesting to explore gear I already have. Really! This is great advice and I'd love to learn different ways of using it...


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Davedog Mon, 04/18/2005 - 09:43

Okay...I gotta agree with that assessment.Even on the 'fast' attack setting there are some small anomilies that I cant explain.It sounds like you're maybe wanting it to limit more than compress...yes/no? In this case perhaps a different compressor would be in order.I use mine specifically across the drum bus and use it at a 6:1 to 10: 1 ratio with fast attack and fast release.And while in some books this would be considered 'limiting' for me its more of a way of gaining some space around the drums in the mix.So I've very rarely used it on individual pieces.I do use a Symetrix 525 for that as well as a DBX 903 which is one of the overeasy series much like the 160 something or other.(theres a BUNCH of em)These two units will do more of what you're looking for if I read you right.Both can be found very cheaply on the net and are readily available.A Valley People Dynamiter will also work well and they are very cheap these days.

tony-moore Tue, 04/19/2005 - 05:54

Yep, I am looking for it to mainly limit in this scenario. I LOVE the way the VLA compresses and like to use it for this when tracking because I'm only set up to mix in the box and have no way of using it while mixing. I wonder if I could/should use a limiter AFTER the VLA when tracking. Hmmmm...

Thanks for reminding me of Valley People! I've used their Gain Brain (I think that's what it was called) and liked it from what I remember.

Thanks again for the advice!