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If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue May 14, 2019 11:32 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:However the three compressor emulations I use allow me to get the results I need with minimal knob twiddling. Yes, I’d probably get similar results using Logic’s built in compressor, but it would take more time and I’d need to engage my brain....... something which I try to avoid at all costs.....

(Italics added by me).

That hits the nail on the head for me and it's why I like the LA-2A and -3A so much. The UAD package comes with four (count them) different emulations of the LA-2A. At least, they say they're different and certainly they each come with a different set of emulated nicotine stains but I have to confess I've never been able to hear a difference between them. Still love them as compressors because they make the job so easy.

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Ramirez » Wed May 15, 2019 1:42 pm

For me, currently, its the stock Softube Console 1 compressor on individual channels, because that's what's always in front of me, and usually IK's T-Racks Dyna-Mu on the master bus.

I'm usually in the same room as a couple of real 1176, two LA3As and an Avalon optical stereo compressor... but I don't bother patching them in all that often, such is the convenience of the plugins! Its the recall/portability that does it, as I rarely use the same room for the duration of a project.
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed May 15, 2019 4:48 pm

That hits the nail on the head for me and it's why I like the LA-2A and -3A so much.

Exactly my reason for gravitating towards the DBX160. And I'll be revisiting the Klanghelm one to after this thread reminded me I have it somewhere.
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Darren Lynch » Wed May 15, 2019 5:01 pm

I greatly enjoy questions like this. I made my first records in a studio where the only compressors available where two of the cheapest Drawmers. That's 4xmono or 2xmono and the mixbus. You must choose wisely. Nowadays, as Bob B. observes, it's all rather moot considering the choice available. In the spirit of the OP, I'd still plump for the stock Compressor in Logic 8. Money saved on other compressor plugins could go on the incontinence pads I have buy for my aged system.

The potential for the stock Logic comp to match any paid-for compressor up to a level that will not affect sales is demonstrated by some SSL bus comp presents knocked up by the very able Lagerfeldt over on Gearsltuz. Dunno if they sound like the genuine article, but they do sound bloody good.
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby desmond » Wed May 15, 2019 10:39 pm

With all this talk about using any old available compressors, I just dug out my old Behringer Composer from the roof, which I haven't used for many years, stuck it on an insert on a drum track in Logic, and tried some tasteful drum smashing, rock 1176-style - and I was pleasantly surprised.

It's not an 1176, and the behaviour is not as complex, but it wasn't a bad sound at all.

I rigged up a Logic Compressor Studio VCA plugin with similar settings to the Berry, and they actually sounded *very* similar.

Makes me want to hang on to it now. I do need to fix one of the input meters, though, it's dead...
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu May 16, 2019 8:52 am

I look forward to the launch of your series of Logic presets for 'vintage' Behringer compressors, then. Naturally, you'd model the dodgy input on the GUI, for extra realism.
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu May 16, 2019 9:34 am

desmond wrote:I just dug out my old Behringer Composer from the roof, which I haven't used for many years

Ha, the first hardware compressor I ever bought was a Behringer Autocom in 1994. I was a little late to the 'have a working home studio' thing, as previous to that all my recording work was done using workstation sequencers.

Subsequently to that I bought a Behringer Composer, and Behringer Multicom (I think that was the name - it had 4 compressors in 1U which I used as group inserts). I have no idea what happened to the Composer and the Multicom... I think I gave them away when I bought my first DAW but I really can't remember.

For those of us on a really tight budget at the time, Behringer were pretty handy actually.

Edit: Ha, found an old picture of them I took while setting up my home studio in my old house a few years later in 2002 :-)

Image

It was quite a nice space for synth work actually (due to the panoramic camera, the space between the monitors was less than it appears to be):

Image

Nowadays, that house is a holiday cottage of all things. They kept a bunch of the renovations I'd done on the place as features though (including the rainbow lights, which I rather miss to this day). My old studio is now just a bedroom!

Image

And to tail off the diversion down memory lane :lol: this is what it was like before I started (I'd only just bought the house):

Image
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby desmond » Thu May 16, 2019 9:51 am

It's a copy of the Drawmer DL241 internally, apparently - that one retails at about £600...

The controls are a bit fiddly to use, but it came off sounding much better than I was expecting (or maybe the Logic Compressor is just not very good... ;) ).

Edit: Eddy, the Composer there with the coloured buttons is a later generation, where the manufacturing and build were much cheaper, with surface mount components. Mine, the MDX2100 version with black buttons, was the last of the through-hole construction phase and is pretty solidly built...

What were you recording to in that studio pic? Straight to DAT?
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu May 16, 2019 9:56 am

desmond wrote: Eddy, the Composer there with the coloured buttons is a later generation, where the manufacturing and build were much cheaper, with surface mount components. Mine, the MDX2100 version with black buttons, was the last of the through-hole construction phase and is pretty solidly built...

Phew, I feel less bad about having lost it/given it away now ;)
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu May 16, 2019 10:18 am

desmond wrote:What were you recording to in that studio pic? Straight to DAT?

Sometimes, but more usually to the Fostex D2424 which is hidden behind the desk in the pic above. Here's a better view:

Image

It was a really nice little setup actually. I really wish I had the space to re-create it. Even though my current house is much bigger, all the decent sized rooms are spoken for (wife and children!) thus I'm somewhat crammed into a (nicely) converted single garage which serves as both office and studio, though at some point I'd quite like to bite the bullet and convert the loft, in which case I'll have an 8m x 6m open-plan space with a nice view, but I suspect that I'll end up putting the money into my next house move.

I have plans to buy (and retire to) a smallholding in the middle of nowhere in Wales in 2 - 5 years depending how things go, but at that point I'll be buying with a view to having a dedicated, and hopefully fairly large, studio space again ;)
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby desmond » Thu May 16, 2019 10:26 am

Ah nice!

I still have my DA-20 in it's box too... :thumbup:
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu May 16, 2019 10:54 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:but more usually to the Fostex D2424 which is hidden behind the desk in the pic above.

Ah, I started (after playing around with a cassette multi tracker) with Fostex D Series machines, D90 then a D160. I really liked them, very straightforward, well thought out machines. Still quite miss them.

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu May 16, 2019 11:15 am

Akai DR8 and 16 for me, brilliant machines and I still have one or two of the silver Berry Composers. They got the job done. My DA20 is in the studio rack next to the Mackie SDR24 (both rarely switched on these days).
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu May 16, 2019 11:23 am

Luxury! When I were a lad I used a National portable cassette deck, and prior to that we used to scrape wax off old cardboard boxes found in t’ middle of the road and used sparrow beaks to carve out wax cylinders....... tut, the youth of today........

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu May 16, 2019 11:25 am

As to compression........ we just held the sparrow tightly........

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu May 16, 2019 11:29 am

Cheep-skate!

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu May 16, 2019 11:31 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:As to compression........ we just held the sparrow tightly........

Unconventional, but I suppose anything that allows a raise in the average signal level counts :lol:
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu May 16, 2019 11:39 am

Aye.... you could also use sparrows to apply expansion...... but forum rules wouldn’t allow me to explain how that’s done....... :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby nathanscribe » Fri May 17, 2019 12:53 pm

I've been using an ART Pro VLAii for a while, for mono and stereo sources, and it's always produced pleasing results without much fuss. But one channel has keeled over and I've yet to fix it, so in the meantime I'm using (Harrison) MIxbus' stock channel and bus compressors. Control is pretty limited (no pun intended) but they are handy and you can side-chain the buses, which is more than my ART can.

I notice Gramotech have just launched their new Pompeii multiband compressor (a touch under 30 quid at the time of writing). I've yet to put that through its paces, but if it's anything like their Babylon EQ it should be pretty decent.
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Re: If you could only have one compressor plugin to use for everything, what would it be?

Postby ITHertz » Sat May 18, 2019 6:50 am

Hard to pick a single compressor as I try to pick and use things that fulfil a specific role in my workflow i.e. a fast compressor for transient control, a slow compressor for levelling, a transparent compressor for sneakily compressing things, etc. Also, features like external sidechain or a gain reduction trace are important yet it's surprising how few plug-ins support these things.

DC8C3 - Best all-around
bx_console N – Good general purpose
Summit Grand Channel - Slow, also saturation
TB BusCompressor 3 - Clean
TDR Kotelnikov GE - Clean RMS but not Peak

Cheers,

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