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Versatile Stereo Tracking Compressor
Old 15th September 2012
  #1
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Versatile Stereo Tracking Compressor

Hello all,

I'm looking to get into a stereo tracking compressor that can also play double duty on mixdown. It would mostly get used on vocals, electric guitar and bass, possibly room mics or overheads, but I need it do be useful enough for acoustic guitar, which is why I need a stereo unit. I need to keep it under $2k for both channels.

For me, the contenders are:

Drawmer 1968 - Fet, so it can be quick, but I understand it's very musical and can thicken sources up...also has a tube output stage, which is probably part of the musicality and sweetness people talk about with it. Only heard it once, on 2buss, but I liked it.

Daking Fet III - I understand it keeps things in control and it's pretty versatile. I understand it's very smooth and open, but I have a Daking IV pre and while I like it, I pretty much only use it on drums for their punch. Don't know if I want more of that flavor in my rack, I'd like to thicken things before going in, don't know if this guy with do it, especially on bass and vocals.

Portico 5043 - It's got that cool feed-back AND feed-forward thing. I know a lot of guys like it for tracking and mixing and even works well on 2buss, but I don't know if it'll be the mojo I want to use everywhere. Seems Neve has gotten away from the color that made him famous. Better specs, yes, but the computer already has that. Now more than ever, especially with how clean the Aurora converters are, I feel I need a vibe before going in. Idk, maybe someone can change my mind on this one. I also don't care for the fact that it's half rack and looks goofy as hell sitting in the rack with the other half empty. That's stupid, I know, but it'll be a while before I've got the funds for the other side, unless I go with something cheap.

PBC-6a - (pair) This would be my cheapest option and if it's the right sonic choice, so be it. They seem to have a lot to offer, don't know if it's the right tone for everything I'd want to do, but willing to entertain, should someone give me good food for thought.

I tend to buy a piece of outboard, then I move on to something else, like an upgrade in acoustic treatment, or a new snare for the drumset or guitar....something different that would be useful for the studio. If I run into a good deal somewhere else, even if I had the money for a $2k piece, I'll pick that up knowing I'll probably never run into that deal again and then save back up for what I was originally planning to buy. However, this time around, I'd really like to pick up a good, useful and versatile, stereo compressor that'll cover as many duties as possible.

Help me out guys and thanks for your time!!
Old 15th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
I normally don't use a 2 buss compressor, but I've been thinking about getting a stereo compressor for the studio for piano and drums.

I'll probably pick up a used Chameleon Labs 7720 for a few hundred, send it off to Jim Williams, so I can have the familiar compressor characteristics of a SSL but with a more transparent sound. I love the fact that it has a built in side chain, and used cost less than building a GSSL or similar DIY project.

For tracking bass, I think a touch of ADL-1000/LA-2A is wonderful. You used to be able to find the ADL at a good price used but not so much anymore. A DBX 160XT is great for kick and bass. Maybe look for an Aphex 661, which has a DBX style over-easy circuit but is also an extremely flexible and versatile compressor.

Not really "hip" suggestion but will save you some money!
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan ➑️
I normally don't use a 2 buss compressor, but I've been thinking about getting a stereo compressor for the studio for piano and drums.

I'll probably pick up a used Chameleon Labs 7720 for a few hundred, send it off to Jim Williams, so I can have the familiar compressor characteristics of a SSL but with a more transparent sound. I love the fact that it has a built in side chain, and used cost less than building a GSSL or similar DIY project.

For tracking bass, I think a touch of ADL-1000/LA-2A is wonderful. You used to be able to find the ADL at a good price used but not so much anymore. A DBX 160XT is great for kick and bass. Maybe look for an Aphex 661, which has a DBX style over-easy circuit but is also an extremely flexible and versatile compressor.

Not really "hip" suggestion but will save you some money!
All great suggestions, it's just that I have an SSL clone already with my RJR compressor. It has been working fine, I just think I'm looking for a bit of a different action in a compressor, which is why I listed 2 Fet style comps in my list. I also have a DBX 1066, which can be in that 160 camp for sure. I use it on kick, bass and snare with great results all the time. I agree with the ADL1000, fantastic on vocals, but I don't really care for that vibe on electric guitar and I need something, first and foremost that will work well on vocals, guitar and bass.

You're awesome for the taking the time to make suggestions...thank you!!
Old 15th September 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A couple of thoughts....

A 160xt sounds MUCH more right than a 1066. To me, anyway. The 1066 sounds cheap (especially when pushed), the 160xt always stays sweet and appealing in tone, even when twatted.

Urei LA-4's are cheap as anything and way underrated. Slow, but way cool for giving things a wee 'hug' on the way in. Mine is a blackface in original, but some like them modded with new opamps for a more seethrough tonality, which might make it better for some jobs, but I personally love the hair in mine to bits. Might get another and mod that one for the cleaner version. In any case, one of these will become very useful for little. Convincing, proper tone, no toylike ****e.

In stereo for less than big money the Radioman ADR F600 clone is sweet as for lots of stuff. And Orban comps are very sweet sounding. Also, although I haven't tried it, relevant people here are raving about the Serpent Audio SB4001 for your mentioned purposes......
Old 15th September 2012
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Man, I just saw he's building them again, this time in a much nicer enclosure than mine too, much to my dismay....lol:

RADIOMAN FET COMPRESSOR/LIMITER ADR F600 AUDIO&DESIGN Clone,wie Urei,Manley,API | eBay

Do yourself a favour and grab it. Thank me later. Will hardly touch your budget anyway and you will be grinning like a baby when you realize what this thing does.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Man, I just saw he's building them again, this time in a much nicer enclosure than mine too, much to my dismay....lol:

RADIOMAN FET COMPRESSOR/LIMITER ADR F600 AUDIO&DESIGN Clone,wie Urei,Manley,API | eBay

Do yourself a favour and grab it. Thank me later. Will hardly touch your budget anyway and you will be grinning like a baby when you realize what this thing does.
I can't tell what to do to buy it because it's all in German!!!!
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik ➑️
I can't tell what to do to buy it because it's all in German!!!!
Type him a line to ask (in english) whether he's cool with sending it to the states and then bid in the last minute if he says yes. Go no higher than 500 euro, as if he's building again there will likely be more coming (ask him to make sure). I payed about 400 for mine. Sometimes they top out at 300. I will NEVER sell mine! Unless maybe I'll buy this new 1U version instead of my 2U one.....lol
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Type him a line to ask (in english) whether he's cool with sending it to the states and then bid in the last minute if he says yes. Go no higher than 500 euro, as if he's building again there will likely be more coming (ask him to make sure). I payed about 400 for mine. Sometimes they top out at 300. I will NEVER sell mine! Unless maybe I'll buy this new 1U version instead of my 2U one.....lol
Please remind me where it is, through ebay, that you write the seller? Is it just under the picture? Does he have a website? Any way to pay/buy with a credit card or with paypal and NOT through ebay? I had an account under my slikjmuzik.at.gmail, but some crook put in a claim that I never paid him...all over some $40 Audio Technica mics. I wrote ebay back expressing he never would have shipped them in the first place had he not rcvd pmnt multiple. That matter never got settled and I now have no acct. I was so turned off, I never bought on ebay again. I still can't login with that email that I've had for years to purchase on ebay. I might be able to create a new email just to have a new ebay acct, but that seems like a bit too much work for 1 item. I'm thinking it might just be easier to Paypal a fellow GS member the money to just close on it for me and I'd pay him/her a little extra for their effort.

Anyone willing to do this for me?
Old 15th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Consider the xPressor, incredibly versatile comp
absolutely great for tracking (especially complex
material like vocals and acoustic) and at mixing
stage as well, it can be pretty much invisible
or do some real damage on room mics and such
Negative ratio and wet/dry control are fun
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Type him a line to ask (in english) whether he's cool with sending it to the states and then bid in the last minute if he says yes. Go no higher than 500 euro, as if he's building again there will likely be more coming (ask him to make sure). I payed about 400 for mine. Sometimes they top out at 300. I will NEVER sell mine! Unless maybe I'll buy this new 1U version instead of my 2U one.....lol
I've tried everything, can't write him without logging in. Seems this compressor is just not an option for me. Wish it was, but without knowing German or having someone lend a helping hand, doesn't seem I'll be able to get myself into it.
Old 15th September 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've got the Daking FET III and love it.

It's our go-to kick drum tracking compressor (sounds great on snare too) and is also our go-to parallel mix buss compressor and parallel drum compressor. We choose it for those things over our Vari-Mu, Crane Song STC-8, TK BC-1, and more 9 times out of 10.

It sounds super fast, muscular and bold. It definitely beefs up sources coming in, and has an attention grabbing presence. It's super great for punchy sources with sensitive transient information. It's also really great on acoustic guitar and bass. However, it's got a pretty hard knee, and it's so bold that it has trouble with sources that need extreme subtlety, so I'm not sure I'd use it as a tracking comp on something like vocals. That said, I think we'd use it for that a lot more if we didn't have a Vari-Mu, which is the tits for vocal tracking.

If you're saying you might not want another Daking box because you use the pre's for drums, it sounds like these pieces do similar things, so it might not be the right fit. BUT it's totally rad and can be very transparent (variable HPF, variable channel linking can make for great transparency.)

Just one man's take. Hope this helps!
Old 15th September 2012
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Come to think of it though, the TK Audio BC-1 is a great tracking compressor - it's an SSL style stereo buss compressor with a built-in blend knob. I've found it super useful to track with parallel compression with certain sources. Again, I haven't tried that on vocals, but on overheads, guitars (acoustic and electric), bass, room mics, strings, mandolins, it's really rad, and a really good value.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Spaceman ➑️
Come to think of it though, the TK Audio BC-1 is a great tracking compressor - it's an SSL style stereo buss compressor with a built-in blend knob. I've found it super useful to track with parallel compression with certain sources. Again, I haven't tried that on vocals, but on overheads, guitars (acoustic and electric), bass, room mics, strings, mandolins, it's really rad, and a really good value.
Thank you for your time, it seems that Daking gets a lot of love for the things you've mentioned. Definitely not the first time I've heard the things you speak highly of. Right now, of the compressors I'm easily able to acquire, the Daking and Drawmer sit right up there next to each other. Wish I could figure out a way to grab that Radioman Karloff was talking about. If I liked it, I could afford 2!!
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik ➑️
Right now, of the compressors I'm easily able to acquire, the Daking and Drawmer sit right up there next to each other. Wish I could figure out a way to grab that Radioman Karloff was talking about. If I liked it, I could afford 2!!
Not sure you'd need two, but hey...it's pretty specific but an amazing trickbox as it pulls a trick or two the others do not. And they are good'ens....

I don't understand how you can't email him through ebay? At the bottom left of the auction front page there is a click tag saying "Frage stellen" (as on the english one, ask question). Click that and go for the option "Sonstige" and you'll get the box to write your message into......
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Not sure you'd need two, but hey...it's pretty specific but an amazing trickbox as it pulls a trick or two the others do not. And they are good'ens....

I don't understand how you can't email him through ebay? At the bottom left of the auction front page there is a click tag saying "Frage stellen" (as on the english one, ask question). Click that and go for the option "Sonstige" and you'll get the box to write your message into......
I've been using Google translator all morning!! I opened up another product whose page was in English and figured out how to send a message, except it requires someone to login before it allows you to write the seller. Luckily, when you ask a question it does provide some answers, so I typed them into Google translator and it does look like he only ships within Europe. I wrote him anyway as my GF has an ebay acct so she was able able to login and I asked him the questions through her page. I hope he's willing to make an exception this time. If not, I'll be longing for this compressor forever...thanks to you!!! LOL

So this guy would be good for vocals, electric guitar and bass?
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik ➑️
I've been using Google translator all morning!! I opened up another product whose page was in English and figured out how to send a message, except it requires someone to login before it allows you to write the seller. Luckily, when you ask a question it does provide some answers, so I typed them into Google translator and it does look like he only ships within Europe. I wrote him anyway as my GF has an ebay acct so she was able able to login and I asked him the questions through her page. I hope he's willing to make an exception this time. If not, I'll be longing for this compressor forever...thanks to you!!! LOL

So this guy would be good for vocals, electric guitar and bass?
He does very nice things to all of those, but not necessarily the 'standard' fare....lol. I would describe him as 'from pillowy punch to full grab-hug' dynamically. Fast, and great for acoustic guitars too. And when you put the release to minimum and lay into him, he breaks up into a high end distortion without taking the bottom away in the process. Very cool in the right place, like singing a bluesy vocal 'into the crack' or such. Meaty with dynamically sensitive sizzly burn added. You can positively cane him without the topend folding away or the bottom slipping out. NOT standard fare however, and if you want him to be a 'do it all', maybe get an Xpressor instead or something. Only, considering what he costs I would get him anyway.....as in, as well.....lol....you will NOT regret it! Oh, and for drum room you will not find anything to beat him.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
He does very nice things to all of those, but not necessarily the 'standard' fare....lol. I would describe him as 'from pillowy punch to full grab-hug' dynamically. Fast, and great for acoustic guitars too. And when you put the release to minimum and lay into him, he breaks up into a high end distortion without taking the bottom away in the process. Very cool in the right place, like singing a bluesy vocal 'into the crack' or such. Meaty with dynamically sensitive sizzly burn added. You can positively cane him without the topend folding away or the bottom slipping out. NOT standard fare however, and if you want him to be a 'do it all', maybe get an Xpressor instead or something. Only, considering what he costs I would get him anyway.....as in, as well.....lol....you will NOT regret it! Oh, and for drum room you will not find anything to beat him.
You're not helping my crave/addiction being that as of right now it doesn't even seem I can get him across the ocean.
Old 15th September 2012
  #18
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
He wrote me back!! Best thing is that he WILL ship to the states. It'll be about $709 for it to get to me!! Not bad at all if everything you've described...thank you for putting me onto this Karloff!!
Old 15th September 2012
  #19
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone else have any other insight on the others? Comparisons at all? Pros and cons?
Old 16th September 2012
  #20
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🎧 15 years
I would for that budget get many comps instead of just one. I know there are two schools of thought on this issue here but I never have really seen the "one box does it all" thing really pan out that way. Given you have an SSL, VCA type clone alreeady for the 2 buss I'll skip that ground. For clear / transparent tracking duties pick up a pair of used Aphex 651 and have Jim Williams mod them ($600 total, look up clean tracking comp threads as that ground has been covered). The 651 is going to compete with the $2k comps for that specific function. If planing on more than two channels for clean tracking look into the Aphex 9000 series as the #9651 Expresoor module is the same thing as the 651 and you can have 11 of them in the Aphex rack. This is the most economical way to have many channels. For the DBX signature sound a used DBX 160X off ebay for $150 will get you there leaving you with $1250 left out of your $2k budget for a nice FET color comp. Add a couple hundred to that and you have the money for the Daking FET, other 1176 type clone, or an ADR Compex (look up FET threads). Having the additional comps will allow more choice, chaining, and parallel setups.
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr ➑️
I would for that budget get many comps instead of just one. I know there are two schools of thought on this issue here but I never have really seen the "one box does it all" thing really pan out that way. Given you have an SSL, VCA type clone alreeady for the 2 buss I'll skip that ground. For clear / transparent tracking duties pick up a pair of used Aphex 651 and have Jim Williams mod them ($600 total, look up clean tracking comp threads as that ground has been covered). The 651 is going to compete with the $2k comps for that specific function. If planing on more than two channels for clean tracking look into the Aphex 9000 series as the #9651 Expresoor module is the same thing as the 651 and you can have 11 of them in the Aphex rack. This is the most economical way to have many channels. For the DBX signature sound a used DBX 160X off ebay for $150 will get you there leaving you with $1250 left out of your $2k budget for a nice FET color comp. Add a couple hundred to that and you have the money for the Daking FET, other 1176 type clone, or an ADR Compex (look up FET threads). Having the additional comps will allow more choice, chaining, and parallel setups.
Hmm, awesome, thanks for that!!
Old 16th September 2012
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
And a super cool FET colour comp is exactly what the F600 is. FET's and transformers in and out.

Are you saying 709 dollars just for the postage??? That sounds outrageous.....should be more like 100-120 dollars me thinks....
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
And a super cool FET colour comp is exactly what the F600 is. FET's and transformers in and out.

Are you saying 709 dollars just for the postage??? That sounds outrageous.....should be more like 100-120 dollars me thinks....
No, $709 shipped to my door!! He didn't mention what shipping method however...
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik ➑️
No, $709 shipped to my door!! He didn't mention what shipping method however...
All in, to your door? I vote grab it with both hands.

Borderline pricey on shipping though.
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