$150 budget rack compressors

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
A home recordist will need to level/limit their tracks before they can mix them. That is going to require a variety of parameter changes. I was trying to find a capable machine for the beginner.
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
if you're mixing anything bigger than a duo, you'll probably want more than four channels of compression, so it starts making sense to trade doing everything for some variety.
Explain? You are compressing it 4x...really?

I was thinking like 2-5:1 ratio subtle , then spankin it to infinity with a second.
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
When you do compression. I like to start at the extremes and dial it back. You need to hear what it's potentially able to do.

A fixed release compressor...would be the EXACT SAME as a distortion pedal with one setting of distortion...Thats release.

Put the compellor as first compressor. Generally the faster/slower, gentle one is first, and then a hard compressor is second. Fast and infinity to limit.
 
Last edited:

RFR

Well-known member
When you do compression. I like to start at the extremes and dial it back. You need to hear what it's potentially able to do.

A fixed release compressor...would be the EXACT SAME as a distortion pedal with one setting of distortion...Thats release.

Put the compellor as first compressor. Generally the slow, gentle one is first, and then a fast compressor is second. Fast and infinity to limit.
To be honest I haven’t figured it out yet.
I got it from a tv station doing a equipment upgrade.
I’ve got that, along with a shitload of other gear.
Much to learn
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
To be honest I haven’t figured it out yet.
Me neither.

Have you heard of the A, B, C method for vocals? Compress it 3x

1 first 4:1 at -6db VCA to tame
Aa.jpg
2 gentle opto to stretch it.
Bb.jpg
3 Limited witha FET to SLAM
Cc.jpg

There is a method called 4-2-00(infinity symbol) or Four2Infinity..Basically same.
 
Last edited:

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
Explain? You are compressing it 4x...really?

I was thinking like 2-5:1 ratio subtle , then spankin it to infinity with a second.
No, I mean a channel of compression for each track. So for a duo with two vocals and two instruments, that's four channels of compression. That's assuming you're mixing in analog. On my old 16-channel live mixing rig, I had 16 channels of compression.

If you're using the compressor on the input of a DAW, the last thing you want to do is over-process audio before you have a well developed mix for context. Using a fast attack can take the life out of a track if it's not a good match for the material.
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
No, I mean a channel of compression for each track. So for a duo with two vocals and two instruments, that's four channels of compression.
Oh.. Well, I used some examples showing how some professionals are using these products in modern music.
If you're using the compressor on the input of a DAW, the last thing you want to do is over-process audio before you have a well developed mix for context. Using a fast attack can take the life out of a track if it's not a good match for the material.
So, its easy to see why you would want independent attack and release knobs..Placing a compressor in front of a compressor multiplies the ratios, not additive. Stretchy effects become possible with attack / release combinations... It is like placing a magnifying glass over a magnifying glass.
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
So, its easy to see why you would want independent attack and release knobs..Placing a compressor in front of a compressor multiplies the ratios, not additive. Stretchy effects become possible with attack / release combinations... It is like placing a magnifying glass over a magnifying glass.
Before it was "Having only one compressor means it's best to have wide attack adjustment," and now it's "Having multiple compressors means it's best to have wide attack adjustment." So I'm not sure what your reasoning is for not wanting a compressor that can't go to 1 ms attack, especially when you have someone here who can tell you that the original Pro VLA is a very useful and good sounding compressor.
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
Because the many different ways it can be used, having knobs with a full range is important. There is no one size fits all, release or attack.

If the 2 were the same price I would opt for the features and control of the knobs. Its that important. Im always tweaking that shit.
 
Last edited:

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
I've found that I almost never use the fastest attack on fully adjustable compressors, so having some without that setting is acceptable. And the Pro VLA has other traits that are well worth having which other units that have that fast attack don't have. The "fast" setting on the Pro VLA is 2 ms, so even that covers almost all situations where you need a fast attack. It's just not logical to rule it out based only on it not going to 1 ms.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Most of my compressor habits come from years of doing live recording and sound work. Even after going to a digital console, I kept a couple Triple C's in the rack for inserts. For stuff like you describe, I've used multiband compression often and particularly like it for bass and even some dynamic vocals where I can compress the proximity based low end or the bass bottom and leave the top and mids more dynamic. These days my use of hardware compressors is strictly for tracking as I'm looking for minimalist processing. The rest can be handled in post.
 

LazerBeakShiek

200M Subscribers
These days my use of hardware compressors is strictly for tracking as I'm looking for minimalist processing. The rest can be handled in post.
Right. Yeah tracking I put nothing...A limiter perhaps so I dont need to look at it.

Once I got it recorded, Im going to mess with. Thats the fun of finding the best bits in the wave, and pushing it up loud.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Right. Yeah tracking I put nothing...A limiter perhaps so I dont need to look at it.

Once I got it recorded, Im going to mess with. Thats the fun of finding the best bits in the wave, and pushing it up loud.
In the 70's I was recording on a 4 track. You learn to make commitments. Same with running sound for open mic. You need to have an idea in your head where your mix is headed because they are just going to plug in and go. I'm dialing in while the performer is bantering with the audience and tuning their instrument. A 7-8 piece ensemble will certainly keep you on your toes. Had the proverbial kitchen sink tossed at me and it was a great teacher.

Thing is, we likely have a different use case as my user name might suggest. A little light compression as a pre-buffer for the limiter has never left me stuck with a track I couldn't work with. Digital clipping, a whole other story.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
For $150 for a beginner podcaster/performer vocal...
(I still say a Channel Strip like a Symetrix 528, 528E...or a JoeMeek VC1 or <enter others> would be aka "one expensive channel strip"..... for podcasting etc, would be really useful in gain, eq, noisegate, compression. (secret 628 retailed for $1199, offers the beauty of Save-Settings which is one of the biggest weak points of analog outboard gear...Save As function)

But your original point was a $150 hardware comps,
:eatpopcorn:
RNC wins my vote from your list as its 1. new 2. great re-sale if needed 3. it will get the job done and can be invisible and clear if set right or it can get "puffy squashed" if you want some fx ...... 4. dual channel can run out 1 into ch 2....for that dual comp job.

Ive had the RNC a few times, and the small box thing is why I sold it; I tend to prefer a heavy rack piece of metal for some reason....even on my desktop.
 
Top