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Wes Audio ngBusComp

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Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby jodaki » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:24 pm

Has SOS got any plans to review this compressor?
I've got a demo for a few weeks and after some initial very positive results followed by a period of battling against very poor documentation and support options I think it's a very flexible, nice sounding unit but Im deterred by my limited, previously rather poor, experiences of DAW integrated hardware (specifically a Tegeler Scherkraftmaschine).
I have it as a temporary replacement for a Dangerous Compressor but have the option to exchange the WES for the DC if I want. The DC is totally reliable and very useful but doesnt have DAW recall, which I do like a lot, or the 'colour' option. Im concerned about long-term reliability which I suppose no one can really comment on as DAW-integrated hardware is so new.
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby resistorman » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:36 pm

I suppose drivers are the concern for long term reliability?
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby jodaki » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:15 am

resistorman wrote:I suppose drivers are the concern for long term reliability?
If you mean software drivers , then they seem to work fine over USB, I havent tried ethernet. If you mean hardware 'drivers' ie. the bits that move the dials and control the hardware then those are the bits that concern me over the long term.
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby Matt Houghton » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:22 am

jodaki wrote:Has SOS got any plans to review this compressor?
I've got a demo for a few weeks and after some initial very positive results followed by a period of battling against very poor documentation and support options I think it's a very flexible, nice sounding unit but Im deterred by my limited, previously rather poor, experiences of DAW integrated hardware (specifically a Tegeler Scherkraftmaschine).
I have it as a temporary replacement for a Dangerous Compressor but have the option to exchange the WES for the DC if I want. The DC is totally reliable and very useful but doesnt have DAW recall, which I do like a lot, or the 'colour' option. Im concerned about long-term reliability which I suppose no one can really comment on as DAW-integrated hardware is so new.

We do plan to at some stage but we've not had one yet. That said, all the Wes stuff I've tried has been nice and I assume the plug-in control is the same as on other units. I've also had good experiences with Tegeler gear but haven't had my hands/ears on a Schwerkraftmaschine yet. I'd be interested to know more of your experiences with that. The Dangerous compressor is lovely and you clearly like it.... just how important is the digital control to you?
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby jodaki » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:55 pm

Matt Houghton wrote:We do plan to at some stage but we've not had one yet. That said, all the Wes stuff I've tried has been nice and I assume the plug-in control is the same as on other units.

The lack of documentation about the Wes comp is disappointing. The GConMangager is a case in point. Overlappoing appplet names (Settings, Config, Manage, Control - really!?) and zilch documents makes it a steep learning curve - more trial and error than anything else. It also looks rather home-made - perhaps not what you expect these days when good software designers are easy to find.

The hardware itself is the opposite. Substantial, solid and well-designed as far as I can tell. It's got some very nice features: adding THD, running transformerless or via an Iron transformer, sidechain eq and tilts, and presets. Also, it can operate dual, stereo or M/S. For features it's really impressive. And it also sounds lovely too imo. Not many compressors that Ive tried can add a little something over a final mix without intruding artifacts, but this one can especially using the parallell 'mix' control.

Ive had some problems with the plugin sometimes just not working or the system failing to find the unit. I removed then reinstalled the gconmanager and it fixed the problems.

If the software was on a par with the hardware I might keep this unit over the dangerous compressor - I think it's that good. However, the poor software and documentation is quite a bummer and Im going to have to think hard about this.


Matt Houghton wrote:I've also had good experiences with Tegeler gear but haven't had my hands/ears on a Schwerkraftmaschine yet. I'd be interested to know more of your experiences with that.

It's a good compressor. It had quirks that made it less useful for me than it might be for others. It's not very sensitive and the threshold and trim dont seem to work so well together. By the time I had it tickling the meters the trim was often really hot and the threshold quite a way up. Also the output is low and the gain usually needed to be quite high. The result is that I never managed to get a unity signal that was actually compressing - if the gain was at unity (by which I mean no level difference when bypassed) then the threshold would not touch the input. Upshot is that I found the unit hard to A/B. Most of the time I also found that by the time I got a signal sounding good either the input or the output warning lights would be flashing orange or red. This didnt often seem to actually cause overloading but it's disconcerting.

Obviously this could all be due to something irregular in my setup but I use other hardware without these problems.

The various compressor modes are fun but I found some of them a bit unconvincing: I never managed to get what I would call transparent compression from the VCA compressor for example even at the lowest ratios. I liked the diode comp and the vari-mus as well as the optical on vocals.

As a way to illustrate the difference between this and the Wes: I never used the Tegeler over a final mix, but it's great for tracks and stems. And in that context I never struggled too hard to get a good result with it.

The plugin works well though Im not a fan of ethernet connections in my setup.

Hardware-wise I found it slightly disapointing in person. A bit light for its size and the case isnt as robust as I like. I dont like the front panel very much and the meter sometimes triggered after the audio signal which annoyed me.

My unit eventually had to go back because it was chewing up fuses for fun. Eventually it simply blew its fuse as soon as it turned on..


Matt Houghton wrote:The Dangerous compressor is lovely and you clearly like it.... just how important is the digital control to you?

DAW integration is really very cool. It saves time and avoids mistakes. I think the Wes approach to hardware control gives me more confidence than the Tegeler approach - the wes indicates hardware changes by simply illuminating LEDs around each dial. The Tegeler actually rotates the dial! It's visually quite cool to see dials rotating by themselves but something in me is wary of the implications of potential failure under-the-hood and the complexity of fixing something like that probably means an RMA to Germany. The wes by contrast has fewer software-controlled moving parts (none as far as I can see). I probably shouldnt worry, Im sure the Tegeler mechanisms have been tested for reliability over more hours than I would have used it.

So yes if the Wes software instilled more confidence Id definitely give it a go, it's a great 'colour' compressor, and has a very light touch too when required.

But not much has as light a touch as the Dangerous Compressor, and while it doesnt have much in the way of colour (which is precisely why I wanted this compressor in the first place) it still does great things with minimal fiddling, which is usually all I want.

Best to have both of them Id say :)
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:52 am

Thanks Jodaki. Some good points in there, and I'll have to weigh some of that opinion next time I fire up a Tegeler or Wes unit. I have a Tegeler unit here in the review queue, but I have an issue to finish before I get to play with that! :crazy:
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Re: Wes Audio ngBusComp

Postby jodaki » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:25 am

Cheers Matt, sorry it was a long one ;)
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