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Focusrite Red 3
Old 5th February 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Focusrite Red 3

Is anyone familiar with the Focusrite Red 3 compressor?


Focusrite Audio Engineering | UK Site | Products | Red | RED 3


How would you describe it? Characteristics?

Focusrite told me. "The closest thing to the Blue 230 is the Red 3 - the custom VCA that the unit is built around is the same."

The Blue 230 is most often used by Henry Hirsch for Lenny Kravitz recordings.


Thanks!
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Ron,
It's a relatively clean VCA compressor which generally gives a small bite to things around 4-8 kHz. It can grab quite fast if that's needed.
People here talk about the relative thickness that the earlier model's, input transformer gives to the unit. All I can say is that I've come across many examples of this compressor over the years and haven't noticed a remarkable difference between them. They all share a similar sound.
Never had the 2 models side by side, though.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Bigbang's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have two and one is for sale. I really like them on the mixbuss. But I use them also on vocals or bass.
Old 5th February 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
It's a very clear compressor, compared to the vari-mu, and it lifts the high mids a bit. Very nice on the mix bus, with just 1-3dB reduction. I haven't used it for tracking.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
my 2 cents:

This is by far my favorite compressor on the mix bus of my trident series 80!

And I have tried a smart c2 and the api 2500 as well. Both of these boxes seemed to muddy my mixes up no matter how I set them (and I followed many great instructional threads here on GS about the best ways to set them for mix bus compression).

The red 3, on the other hand, sounds absolutely fantastic with just 1-2 db of GR; and all of the punch and sparkle of the mix is fully retained and magnified further, as well as glued together in just the right way.

The other boxes I expected at first to outperform the red 3 on the mix bus, but they just made things louder -- yet thinner and emaciated sounding by comparison.

The red 3 is one of the 5 pieces of gear that I own that I would never even think of selling!!!!!!
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
eclectic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I could be wrong, but I believe CLA uses a Red 3 on his two-buss.
Old 6th February 2009
  #7
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wheeler ➑️
Is anyone familiar with the Focusrite Red 3 compressor?
No not really.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Harmless Wacko
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➑️
No not really.
Thrill.

Dude.

You got like 11,500 posts.

And sh*t like this is why.

LMFBO.

XOXOX

Best regards buddy,

Hope all is going swimmingly.

SM.

PS. Red 3 is an old classic on the 2-buss. And elsewhere. I feel as ancient as the hills saying that... as I clearly remember when it was hot "new kit". Crash. Getting old. Check that. Just plain OLD(already). Anyhoo. Have used this box almost every mix for eons. It has a sweet spot at about 3-4 dB GR where things kinda "level out" in a way the meters don't reflect(especially at low ratios) and the attack of certain instruments seemingly "come closer". Like acoustic gtrs and clean gtrs... which is where I use it like a madman. I stopped being able to use it on the 2 when I got my current LFAC about a decade ago. It doesn't have the headroom to take the task on without attenuating the 2 buss on input. Big no-no as far as I'm concerned. In any case... Great box.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
Thrill.

Dude.

You got like 11,500 posts.

And sh*t like this is why.

LMFBO.

XOXOX

Best regards buddy,

Hope all is going swimmingly.

SM.

PS. Red 3 is an old classic. I feel older than the hills saying that as I clearly remember when it was hot new kit. Crash. Getting older than the hills.
Thanks Slipp and yeah things are going ok.

I think i've gotten one email or PM a month for the last 6-7 years when ever some one mentions the Red 3 & or the Blue 230. Its like my GS handle is tied to it.

Same here on realizing the older part. I think its been 11-12 years now of using a Blue 230 or a Red 3 on the mixbuss!!!
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I blame Thrill for making me move the G384 to the drum buss and the Red 3 to the 2 buss.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
six_wax's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It complements the flavor of a driven E or G console quite nicely color-wise, even if it ain't really compressing. The trannies just put back something the SSL swallows... Tickle the meters maybe, slowest Attack, Release @ ~9:00 iirc... "Hey Look! It's mastered!"

t minus three posts until someone puns on "trannies" and "swallows"...
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for your great reply!





Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
roscoenyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
that fabulous Red 3

you guys keep talkin' 'em up!
I've got one for sale too!
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Glenn Bucci's Avatar
 
41 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What compressor has a similar sound to the Red 3? I have an idea but would like an insight on someone who has one or who has worked with one on a regular basis.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Cut me into thin strips and throw me into a searing wok, but there is a similarity between Focusrite RED and SSL FXG834. The grab can be similar and it's possible to get a reddish high mid punch if you twiddle the input / threshold on the SSL.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Tube World's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Since the Red 3 had transformers and is VCA like the Portico compressor, I wonder if they are similar with the feedback mode on the 5043?
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bucci ➑️
What compressor has a similar sound to the Red 3? I have an idea but would like an insight on someone who has one or who has worked with one on a regular basis.
I haven't used a Red 3, but when I pressed Geoff Tanner to compare his compressor to a known entity, he said (reluctantly) that it was probably closest to a Red 3. The descriptions above about the Red 3's qualities would definitely correspond to my experience with my GTQC. Great box.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I too love my Red 3 for all the reasons already stated.

It's also really good after a distressor, it seems to take away some of that unit's 'honk' factor!

I only wish it had a low pass built in as I often have to use the key input for this. A mild quibble tho.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The Old Red 3 is my favorite 2 bus comp ever and probably will never sell it. The Blue 230 I had was very similiar. Don't know if the caps were getting old or what. But it sounded different from my Red 3 slightly. Never tried the new non input transformer version. Don't ever plan to I don't think so after seeing those on Ebay every month.

SSL bus compressor would be my second pick, but it doesn't have the versatility of the Red 3 and the same sound that I like very much. The Red also makes a great vocal compressor. API 2500, great built comp but wasn't my favorite on the 2bus.

The Geoff Tanner Compressor is not the same as the Red 3. It's different. It can be a good compressor for the 2bus depending what you like personally. I didn't keep mine after thorough testing. Because I have a 2bus compressor already that I am happy with.

The RND comp? Definitely doesn't sit on the same table of all the 2bus kings. (for me) Many here see "SMOKE" coming out of it. I didn't. And it has nothing in common with the Red 3 on the most part.

Your monitors and room may tell you differently.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
TheMarqueeYears's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"kissing the red"

I've heard that expression many times in reference to the Red3.

I had a Red7 I hated it on vocals - it made a vocal sound like glass to me, but I always thought the compressor was one channel of a good 2 bus comp, Focusrite told me the Red7 had virtually the same VCA element as the Red3.

At one time Red3's where going for about Β£1500 wish I'd grabbed one then. Now I use a Rolls RMS755.

TMY
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Glenn Bucci's Avatar
 
41 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I never heard a Red 3, but I used the compressor in the ISA 430. I was told by one person that the compressor in the ISA series is the same as the Red, though I am not sure if that is accurate. The ISA compressor had a gentle character though more character than many opto compressors. It was very plesant on vocals, and guitars. The Portico with it's 2 transformers seems to add a fuller sound to the signal. With the Red 3 being discontinued or soon to be, it seems a shame that a great compressor will no longer be in production. Perhaps Focusrite will come out with a stereo ISA compressor...with hopefully the same quality.
Old 9th January 2010 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
edvdr76's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Red 3 is my new Favorite 2 buss compressor......... Awesome on Vox, drum buss and bass
Old 9th January 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
tmarra's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➑️
Thanks Slipp and yeah things are going ok.

I think i've gotten one email or PM a month for the last 6-7 years when ever some one mentions the Red 3 & or the Blue 230. Its like my GS handle is tied to it.

Same here on realizing the older part. I think its been 11-12 years now of using a Blue 230 or a Red 3 on the mixbuss!!!

oooooooh... I'm with thrillfactor, another Red 3 thread. Everytime one of these threads appears I get 20 PM's, 10 emails and 5 phone calls. I'll be at NAMM next week so please don't call or send me any emails about installing transformers in your new Red 3's... they are NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

On the other hand if you want talk about repairing yours or one you just bought, I'm all ears.

-Tony
Old 9th January 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Not too similar. IMHO, the Portico is more mellow, the Red 3 has a little bite and is more open sounding, at least compared to the Portico in feedback mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World ➑️
Since the Red 3 had transformers and is VCA like the Portico compressor, I wonder if they are similar with the feedback mode on the 5043?
Old 9th January 2010 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
All the Red range is been discontinued as Focusrite continue on their journey to becoming a Chinese made, mass produced, none high-end, "music shop product" type company.

What ever is left in Focusrite's warehouse is the last of the Reds.

I can see why the accounts want to see the company go this way but from a high-end gear point of view it's a shame really.
Old 9th January 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Tube World's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I want a Red 3 compressor! Wish I could afford to buy one, let alone justify buying one when I really don't need it. I need more a type of compressor like the ES8 or OCL2 for mastering.
Old 10th January 2010 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Anybody have a link to here the red in action? maybe an a/b?
Old 10th January 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
jamwerks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarra ➑️
I'll be at NAMM next week so please don't call or send me any emails about installing transformers in your new Red 3's... they are NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
So the Red 3's on sale (new) now doen't have transformers?
Old 12th January 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarra ➑️
oooooooh... I'm with thrillfactor, another Red 3 thread. Everytime one of these threads appears I get 20 PM's, 10 emails and 5 phone calls. I'll be at NAMM next week so please don't call or send me any emails about installing transformers in your new Red 3's... they are NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

On the other hand if you want talk about repairing yours or one you just bought, I'm all ears.

-Tony
Hey Tony, are the input (silver box) and (orange donut) output tranformers on old red 3 the same ones in the Focusrite 110 pre/eq? They sure do look the same. Thanks
Old 12th January 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Marineville's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My Red3 is permanently straped across my mix bus and has been since I bought it new about 15 years ago. I call it my 'Audio Glue' as things just don't sound right without it, in fact just before Christmas I spent a good hour wondering why a mix I had been working on sounded flat and lifeless before I realised that the Red3 was swithced to bypass. Hit the button and bam! there was my mix again!

Love it to bits and would never part with it.
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