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CRANESONG STC 8 vs PORTICO II MASTER BUSS COMP
Old 31st March 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
CRANESONG STC 8 vs PORTICO II MASTER BUSS COMP

CRANESONG STC 8 vs PORTICO II MASTER BUSS COMP

Any one has experience using these 2 units?

Which one would you go for for use mostly on a 2 buss?

Film music use, pretty much all genres.

Thank you in advance.
Old 31st March 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
This is a good match up. I'm curious to hear from people who've had experience with both as well. I do have an STC-8M, but I've never tried the Portico. The STC-8 is a quality unit with great control and adjustability. It took me a while to wrap my head around some of the different settings, but once you do, there are a variety of ways to tackle any given source. I would say it excels at transparent gain reduction, and while I have no experience in film, I would imagine it would do a great job. Hopefully someone who's had experience with both will chime in. Best of luck - Paul
Old 1st April 2012
  #3
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jamwerks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd be interested is reading any experiences !
Old 1st April 2012 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffmachine ➑️
This is a good match up. I'm curious to hear from people who've had experience with both as well. I do have an STC-8M, but I've never tried the Portico. The STC-8 is a quality unit with great control and adjustability. It took me a while to wrap my head around some of the different settings, but once you do, there are a variety of ways to tackle any given source. I would say it excels at transparent gain reduction, and while I have no experience in film, I would imagine it would do a great job. Hopefully someone who's had experience with both will chime in. Best of luck - Paul

Paul, thanks for posting.

I have had a chance to see the STC8 in action, amazing unit. At the same time, have heard great things about the MBC from people that I trust. in the middle of the road here before I make the purchase
Old 4th April 2012
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Never used the cransesong, but I'm liking all of the options on the Portico 2 MBP. FF is clear and stays out of the way tonally. FF lays things back and can take the edge off of stuff, also gushier and more audible compression. The limiter reacts the same as the compressor in FF, FB modes (IE its clearer and less audible in FF mode). Silk is great too, especially in Blue Mode. The width and depth eqs really come in handy too.

Some complaints: they should have made the gain makeup such that you could reduce output level as well, as when you engage silk and SFE things get louder real quick. Also I wish the metering could be much more detailed in the lower gain reduction area. Even though its a master bus processor, it seems like they set it up for tracking more than they did mix bus/mastering. As if they were expecting everyone to pump tons of level through it and do 4db minimum reduction. I also wish they had made it relay bypass, you can order that as an option but its very expensive. Once you learn the quirks though it sounds great and is very flexible.
Old 5th July 2012
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Old 29th December 2012
  #7
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666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
This would indeed seem to be a good match up.

I know a lot has been written about the MBP and STC-8 in general, but it would be interesting to read some more direct comparisons between these two units.

Even a description of how the sonic signatures compare / differ, etc.

What say you?
Old 29th December 2012
  #8
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jamwerks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
+1

I'd be interested in reading some comparison info !
Old 30th December 2012
  #9
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🎧 5 years
Transformers vs transformerless in a solid state design?

What are the pros and cons on the 2buss?
Old 31st December 2012
  #10
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
STC 8 has a lot of respect, but can you really go wrong with Neve? Nada....
Old 31st December 2012
  #11
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🎧 10 years
The STC-8 is something you just don't hear until you pass into a new level of hearing. It took me a while and there were many times I felt like selling it. Then one day I thought, okay, I need to take time out and listen to this thing. Now I get it.

I also found that it belongs in an order in my chain. And a BAX eq after it has been the most delightful order yet. But I also use two DAW's and sum OTB so what works for me may not make sense for someone else.

Sorry, nothing to add on the Portico.

Happy New Year!
Old 31st December 2012
  #12
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jemu999's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have the Neve MBP and absolutely love it, and not only on the mixbus. But the cranesong is definitely on my short list.
Old 31st December 2012
  #13
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audiokid's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well I just watched a few video's on the Portico II and I want really bad now. This thing looks amazing.
Old 31st December 2012
  #14
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tyrobins's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hilarious. I'm down to the same decision!

I have used the MBP but not the stc8.

The MBP is incredible. So flexible and so many usable features. You can push it really far without hearing distortion/pumping/artifacts (like 12dB in some cases). I'm leaning that direction because I know it's great and the main reason I'm considering the stc8 is cause it's so widely used and adored.

I'd love to hear someone with experience with both!
Old 31st December 2012
  #15
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🎧 10 years
I had no idea Hutch left Manley. Just learned that today.
The STC-8 is incredible for being unnoticeable. If that feature is the highest check point on your list, its there for sure.

I'm seeing the Portico II as being more versatile with some colour. I'm just guessing here but I don't think there are too many comps that are as silky transparent as the STC-8 but that Portico sure looks nice. I'm definitely going to put that on my list.

Looking forward to hearing more on this thread now.
Old 31st December 2012
  #16
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🎧 10 years
One thing I will mention, the limiter on the STC-8 is okay but not the greatest. But, this is another reason why I use a second DAW at the end of my Chain. I use a digital limiter so I don't know if this will ever be a feature that matters for me OTB. Nothing is as fast as a digital limiter.

Where do you all see the limiters on either of these comps being really useful?
Old 31st December 2012
  #17
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🎧 5 years
What is your complaint on the stc limiter?
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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Upfront2K's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=audiokid;8588583]The STC-8 is something you just don't hear until you pass into a new level of hearing.

Wow don't know quite how to interpret that LoL

I couldn't have said it any better Audiokid is dead on the money.

Bottom line with STC8 no matter how you set it "and there's a thousand settings" you won't hear any thing. And yes I've heard it, pun intended.

I can't speak for anyone else because clearly this unit has it's fans but that's not what I would buy a compressor for.

Just my 2 cents
Old 31st December 2012
  #19
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🎧 5 years
Are u saying u can't hear 20db of gain reduction?
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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Upfront2K's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=Timesaver800W;8589700]Are u saying u can't hear 20db of gain reduction?[/QUOTE

I guess the 64K question that begs to be answered.

Who in God's name would need 20 db of gain reduction?

I can't speak for anyone else but I don't but that's just me.

YMMV
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfront2K ➑️
Bottom line with STC8 no matter how you set it "and there's a thousand settings" you won't hear any thing.
I've had an STC8 for about three years. I use it for tracking and on the mix bus. And it's not really accurate to say you can't hear it. It has a sound, and it changes the audio passing through it, besides whatever compression it's doing.

It takes a little edge off the top end. It's subtle, but to my ears it's definitely happening. I like it for that, because all the high end "accuracy" of digital recording can get tiring after a while. The STC8 also adds a touch of lower mid emphasis, which can also be a nice thing. It reminds me a little of what tape would do. I only use the Hara mode. I haven't found a use for the Ki mode yet.

When I first bought it, I tried it for a few days, then I sent it back. Then after trying several other compressors, I missed the subtle, smooth, full sound of the STC8, and ended up buying it after all. I've never regretted it.

Mychal
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 5 years
[QUOTE=Upfront2K;8589750]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timesaver800W ➑️
Are u saying u can't hear 20db of gain reduction?[/QUOTE

I guess the 64K question that begs to be answered.

Who in God's name would need 20 db of gain reduction?

I can't speak for anyone else but I don't but that's just me.

YMMV
Yeah maybe just u. But u didn't answer the question, the loudest part of a signal 20db closer to the softest part - u can't hear that?
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly ➑️
I've had an STC8 for about three years.
What kind of music do you use it for?
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly ➑️
I've had an STC8 for about three years. I use it for tracking and on the mix bus. And it's not really accurate to say you can't hear it. It has a sound, and it changes the audio passing through it, besides whatever compression it's doing.

It takes a little edge off the top end. It's subtle, but to my ears it's definitely happening. I like it for that, because all the high end "accuracy" of digital recording can get tiring after a while. The STC8 also adds a touch of lower mid emphasis, which can also be a nice thing. It reminds me a little of what tape would do. I only use the Hara mode. I haven't found a use for the Ki mode yet.
That's my experience as well. I was surprised to find that what I liked best about it was vocal tracking. Definitely adds a touch of sumpthin, although really it seems that if you cleanly bring up the level of low level signals you're going to bring out the warmth you already have in your track, so it's hard to say if it's the "sound" of the compressor or just the result of what a good compressor does.

-R
Old 31st December 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=Timesaver800W;8589990]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfront2K ➑️

Yeah maybe just u. But u didn't answer the question, the loudest part of a signal 20db closer to the softest part - u can't hear that?
I can hear a rat pissing on cotton hope that answers your question.

Again who in God's name needs 20db of compression on anything and let alone a mix.

Like I said before I can't speak for your needs I can only speak for mine.

If 20db of compression works for you enjoy it.

Best of Luck with your Music
Old 31st December 2012
  #26
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666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hey guys, come on, play nice. Obviously a -20db reduction is going to be audible, even if the compressor was built by God himself. And indeed there's no reason to be squashing anything by -20db.

Bottom line, the STC-8 IS a very clean unit and generally "transparent". It indeed has a "sound" as others have noted, but overall can tame dynamics in a very unobtrusive, polite, generally "transparent" manner. Is it the cleanest, most transparent, most accurate compressor on the planet? No. It ain't a GML. But it ain't an SSL either. Though it would be closer to the GML, generally speaking.

So.... let's get back on topic. Any shoot-outs between an STC-8 and Portico Master bus Processor? Anyone compare side by side? I mean, I'm sure it's safe to say that both of these units are totally excellent, it's not like one is "better", but I'm just curious as to how they compare in terms of general sound, character, vibe, "feel", etc. The STC-8 does have a certain slight and pleasing "softness" to it, I'm wondering if the RND is the same or if it might actually be a bit cleaner / sharper (at least with the silk knob turned off)... or if it also has an inherent "softness" as well. Which unit is closer to say the GML in terms of it's raw clarity and sharpness?
Old 1st January 2013 | Show parent
  #27
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamwerks ➑️
What kind of music do you use it for?
Pop, R&B, acoustic, solo piano... It's really versatile.


Quote:
The STC-8 does have a certain slight and pleasing "softness" to it
That's a good way of putting it. It's definitely not harsh, and doesn't add any kind of high end "sheen" or anything, which is one of the reasons I like it.

Mychal
Old 1st January 2013
  #28
H89
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
The Portico II MBP is a joy to work with. Plenty of versatility with warm colors. Not super aggressive - definitely smooth.
Old 1st January 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
What? did i just enter the twilight zone there for a bit? 20db of gain reduction isn't really a big deal - u can have 10db on the vu meter and effectively have twice that on some peaks. i expect a good comp to being able to deliver twice that of what i actually need. not that i wouldn't need 20db of gain reduct from time to time.
Old 1st January 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiokid ➑️
One thing I will mention, the limiter on the STC-8 is okay but not the greatest. But, this is another reason why I use a second DAW at the end of my Chain. I use a digital limiter so I don't know if this will ever be a feature that matters for me OTB. Nothing is as fast as a digital limiter.

Where do you all see the limiters on either of these comps being really useful?
Sorry to go slightly off topic.. I haven't used the Portico compressor which I'm sure is a great unit, but I've heard more people complain about STC's limiter, so here's a little thought on that.

The 'Limiter' on STC is actually not really a limiter, although I know that it was intended as such. It is actually an extra sidechain with its own threshold and fast attack as far as I understand it, which, when signals trigger it, takes temporarily control over the gainreduction of the compressor.
When you look at it like this... it is a fantastic feature because it allows you to use the compressor with quite relaxed settings while at the same time allowing you to put some more peaky signals back in place in the mix.
Can work wonders if you want something like a kick to be very clear in the mix but not too loud.. push it up in the mix and use the limiter to keep it under control. Will sit in there but have more impact than without this trick.

But you need to get used to this and actually use it as part of the mixbus compressor, so mix into it (including some setting of the limiter cirquit)

For really fast and bright transients, which you can easily get these days with digital recordings and the fast cirquits, the 'limiter' can be too slow. So for that.. indeed you should look into some other ways of controlling the peaks. STC's limiter function is not really good at flattening mixes, and knowing Dave it was never designed for that purpose.

On the other hand, for really slow sounds this limiter is too fast. For instance I heard of someone who wanted to use it to limit a synth pad with lots of low end, the limiter being very fast with its attack/release then tried to follow the low end part of the wave form and created some unpleasant side effects.

But, as said, used as an extension to the compressor, it is a great option.

STC 8 does impart a certain subtle colour like others said, but at the same time it will remain open and keep all the 3D info intact. This is partly why to some people it seems like it doesn't do much.. but for any music with lots of acoustic instruments, room sounds, ambience etc this is character is exactly what makes the unit so special.

michiel
Joystick Audio
SMOKED SOUNDS - Recording and mixing of intimate, acoustic music
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