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Transparent But Musical Compressors - GML 8900 Vs Charter Oak SLC1 Vs Cranesong Vs..?
Old 29th February 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Transparent But Musical Compressors - GML 8900 Vs Charter Oak SLC1 Vs Cranesong Vs..?

What are people thinking out there about this? "Transparent" but musical compressors.

Compressors that retain the integrity of the mics on the source, but bring everything out more musically.

Not looking for "harshness" reduction by heavy component saturation or anything like that (maybe if it's a switchable option). Compressors that just bring out more of what's in the source rather than mucking it.
Old 29th February 2020
  #2
Here for the gear
 
Well, Charter Oak is off the list..........
Old 29th February 2020 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
gml too - at least i doubt you can find one very easily these days...

anyway, imo the stc-8 is a timeless piece of über-gear, capable of bringing out every nuance and 'colour' in any signal you want to process with it: highly recommended!
Old 29th February 2020
  #4
Here for the gear
 
GML I'd be willing to buy used.

Charter Oak, no.
Old 29th February 2020
  #5
Registered User
Avalon 747

Defenitely does not screw up your sound, choice between tube or transistor signal path.
I feel the tube signal path enhances the stereo imaging.
The passive 6 band EQ is briljant.
The sidechain filters offer great control over how the compressor affects the music.

The style of compression might not be your thing, it's kinda slow, definitely not a 'grabby' compressor.

Is it still in production ?
Old 29th February 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
satissounds's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Elysia Xpressor will definitely not mess with the source material.
Old 29th February 2020
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
33609
Old 29th February 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Kristofer Harris's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmjay ➡️
33609
for real?
Old 29th February 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
satissounds's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I've just brought a Vintagedesign VDC based on the 33609/2254 and I can tell you it ain't transparent. That's why I brought it. Got my Xpressor for clean stuff.
Old 1st March 2020
  #10
Deleted fe72b38
Guest
Millennia STT-1.

You can use the opto compressor in shunt mode with no additional drive electronics in the signal path.

Very clean, clear and smooth.

Last edited by Deleted fe72b38; 1st March 2020 at 10:17 AM..
Old 1st March 2020
  #11
AB3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Crane Song titan! (Trakker too!)
Old 1st March 2020
  #12
Old 1st March 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 
FlyingMusician's Avatar
 
This (Maselec MLA-2) is transparent in the way it brings out detail without artifacts. I like it subtle on a mix but you can still smash things with it but it does it in a polite and polished sort of way.
Old 1st March 2020
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Pyeguy's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Portico 5043 is hard to make act up, has good low end response. Has Feed Forward mode(cleaner top end) plus feedback mode for more smoothing/neve thingy. The VCA seems like a goody two shoes. Seems resistant to pumping/smashing.

Transparent VCA + versatile, musical performance.
Old 2nd March 2020
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Ajavalon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Well,I guess my handle gives it away but…Avalon 2044.Pure class A clean,transparent as anything available.Not in production any longer but can be had used & are built like a tank.
Old 2nd March 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 
millennia tcl2 in SS mode is nice for this. Not super versatile but when it works it really works. It's very musical.
Old 2nd March 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Transparent and musical usually means OPTO, yet the pwms are also a good fit. The charter oak is more of a vca that is more or less impossible to make sound bad, very smooth.
Old 2nd March 2020 | Show parent
  #18
Moderator
 
Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmjay ➡️
33609
No. Not only no. But hell no.
Old 3rd March 2020 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 ➡️
Crane Song titan! (Trakker too!)
Are you personally using the titan? are you using two units for stereo?
Old 3rd March 2020 | Show parent
  #20
AB3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have used a pair if titans and they were very clean and smooth. Dave Hill demonstrated it to me on grand piano, and it was amazing how clean and musical it was. I did sell them during an economic down turn sadly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearrhea ➡️
Are you personally using the titan? are you using two units for stereo?
Old 4th March 2020
  #21
Lives for gear
 
loji's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I used both the GML 8900 and Cranesong STC-8 in my mastering

the STC doesn't get patched in anymore, and I upgraded to GML 2030


GML is more flexible.

STC_8 is faster (it's limiter sucks), but the PWM can go insanely fast if you need it to. ... the 'shape' control is where's it's at.

The STC-8 sounds muscle. It has a class-A weight to the sound. the GML is more 'transparent' but glassy. Both are very clean compressors .. GML probably the more transparent of the two
Old 5th March 2020
  #22
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ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Depending on your budget, you'll want to check out the Vertigo VSC-3.
Old 5th March 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian ➡️
Depending on your budget, you'll want to check out the Vertigo VSC-3.
More on the coloured side no?
Old 5th March 2020 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearrhea ➡️
More on the coloured side no?
I don't know - people say it is but it's not colored enough to bother me at all - it sounds so open and wide that I don't really associate that with color. It's still pretty clean. It's not like it's a neve 33609 or something.

The color is supposedly tied into the makeup gain so if you add a lot of makeup gain it's supposed to be colored but not really if you just use a little makeup.

You can try demoing the plug in to get an idea.
Old 5th March 2020 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian ➡️
I don't know - people say it is but it's not colored enough to bother me at all - it sounds so open and wide that I don't really associate that with color. It's still pretty clean. It's not like it's a neve 33609 or something.

The color is supposedly tied into the makeup gain so if you add a lot of makeup gain it's supposed to be colored but not really if you just use a little makeup.

You can try demoing the plug in to get an idea.
Sort of looking for the "always" transparent but musical compressor.
Old 5th March 2020 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
loji's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearrhea ➡️
Sort of looking for the "always" transparent but musical compressor.
All these options are good.

Vertigo, STC-8, GML .. you might want to add the Dangerous compressor to the list. (the only one I haven't heard)


Vertigo is clean, but strong. cleaner than STC-8

STC-8 has the best 'box-tone', fastest timing .. highly flexible for tracking,mixing, etc..

GML has the most flex, least tone. the path is literally a balancing stage and uber clean VCA (either a DBX, Valley People, or GML's own depending on age of unit) unbalanced output

GML has Hard/Soft modes unlike anything else. .. it takes the longest time to understand, and is the most 'it's not doing anything' till you bypass it box I've ever used

GML is hard to use, but will make you a better engineer once you understand it

Vertigo is clean and modern and is great on 2-bus / mastering.

STC-8 is ultra flexible for tracking, mixing, great (but subtle) box-tone, shape gives you edgy or smooth character. knobs were a bit fiddly for stereo matching in high-end mastering (but so was the 8900, which is why I ponied up the $$$$ for 2030)

They all hold their value great .... buy them used, and resell them if it doesn't match what you need
Old 28th November 2020
  #27
I am more than happy with my Tube-Tech CL2A. It's pretty much the only compressor that I use that is acceptable for classical music. I also have a 1176Ln, 5043 and 2264ALB. They are all great but put the bass player in another room when I use them for chamber music.

I am also in the market for another compressor that is transparent yet adds a presence or sense of place. It's hard to describe. A problem I would like to address is needing to balance the low end dynamics so that they remain a natural sounding part of the ensemble. Also softening the peaks of a flute without sculpting EQ.

maybe find a used pendulum comp ? Tube-Tech LCA 2B or SMC2B ?
Old 10th December 2020
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The STC-8 sounds a bit strange to me without a high pass in the side chain. It has a sort of hip hop heft that I don't like. With side chain it is great. The limiter is indeed pretty unusable.

The CL2A is indeed one of the few compressors I would use for classical music. Funny that you mention that.
The LCA2B is strange.

The Charter Oak is very open and transparent and musical sounding.

The Pendulum has magic.

The Xpressor is very good and inexpensive.

I would add the ADT TM132 for extremely versatile and transparent compression. A very underrated company. RIP Gerd Jüngling.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
I found a used Pendulum ES-8 and tried it out last night. So far it has something special about it. It gently opens the track and reveals the instruments in a subtle way. Really really nice machine. It felt like it put the different instruments into focus while bringing me into the room. It is similar to the CL2A in a way. It is more than transparent. It seems to add clarity. There is some astonishing stuff going on with this sort of compressor.

Last edited by Bobhoffnar; 10th December 2020 at 05:29 AM.. Reason: grammer
Old 10th December 2020
  #30
Aphex 651 Expressor. .002% THD, best I've measured in a VCA design. Cleaned up a tad they are direct coupled, (no caps) and have a zero to 200k hz bandwidth, zero degrees of phase shift and very low noise. The high frequency side chain expander masks the compression effect so you don't think it's working. You can sqweeze 25 db of compression and not know it. It has the widest attack/release range of any comp and does 1/1 to 50/1 ratios.

Pick one up used for a couple hundred bucks.
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