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Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

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Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:12 am

OK, I've sold all of my cheap compressors, none of which did anything for me at all.
I'm a lover of that quite compressed 70's style creamy "hi-fi" type sound, it's difficult to describe, I get it on my music sometimes, but it's hit and miss, and I don't know how I do it most of the time, it just happens.
Creamy is the best way I can describe it, the top end is smooth, but not dull, and the bass is very tight, and compressed. The mid range has detail, but it's not overly pronounced. I had an old AR amp that used to sound exactly like this, whatever you put through it.
I'm thinking that a good valve comp/EQ may be what I need as a more reliable solution, I'd be happy to just put it across my main mix and leave it there. I have heard the Neve Buss Compressor, ad that sort of gets there, but any alternatives worth considering would be welcome.
This may sound a bit obsessive, but it's a sound that makes a lot of difference to me, and the enjoyment of music in general.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:45 pm

Are there any commercial recording you can reference, to help understand what you are hearing?
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby hobbyist » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:42 am

Arpangel wrote:OK, I've sold all of my cheap compressors, none of which did anything for me at all.
I'm a lover of that quite compressed 70's style creamy "hi-fi" type sound, it's difficult to describe, I get it on my music sometimes, but it's hit and miss, and I don't know how I do it most of the time, it just happens.
Creamy is the best way I can describe it, the top end is smooth, but not dull, and the bass is very tight, and compressed. The mid range has detail, but it's not overly pronounced. I had an old AR amp that used to sound exactly like this, whatever you put through it.
I'm thinking that a good valve comp/EQ may be what I need as a more reliable solution, I'd be happy to just put it across my main mix and leave it there. I have heard the Neve Buss Compressor, ad that sort of gets there, but any alternatives worth considering would be welcome.
This may sound a bit obsessive, but it's a sound that makes a lot of difference to me, and the enjoyment of music in general.

What do you call creamy dreamy?
Have you tried compressing frequency bands separately?

I am so happy that I am not so fussy about such things that I can still enjoy good music without obsessing about chasing 'perfection' whatever that might be and is apparently different for many people.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:03 am

Whilst I tend to aspire to a clean sound in most of my work, there are occasions when I'm looking for some warmth, some subtle binding of elements in the mix. I work in-the-box and have the good fortune to work with UAD plug-in emulations.

The compressor I use for this work is the Fairchild 670 emulation.

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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby CS70 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:01 am

Now I'm just imagining a glowing $45000 Fairchild sitting right next of Arpangel's TV to compress the output :bouncy:
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:57 am

CS70 wrote:Now I'm just imagining a glowing $45000 Fairchild sitting right next of Arpangel's TV to compress the output :bouncy:

Would save on heating bills............ :bouncy:

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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Wonks » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:01 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:
CS70 wrote:Now I'm just imagining a glowing $45000 Fairchild sitting right next of Arpangel's TV to compress the output :bouncy:

Would save on heating bills............ :bouncy:

Bob

But would double the electric bill....
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:44 pm

I'm not obsessing over anything, there's nothing wrong with trying to get the sound you like.
I'm cacapable of enjoying any music, reagardless of recording quallity.
Examples abound of the type of sound I'm trying to get at, Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon, Caravan, some recordings by Gong, Steely Dan, David Sylvian, Fairport Convention, a lot of 70's stuff has this sound. And I've heard stuff put through the Neve Buss Compressor that comes pretty close. Fairchild, yes, a good choice, but totally unjustifiable.
.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Kwackman » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:50 pm

I assume you're not interested in software plug-ins?

Slightly odd suggestion, but the SSL Six?
A whole mixer might be overkill, but using it as a 2 in 2 out, you'd get their buss compressor, and also some nice EQ etc?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/so ... -logic-six
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:41 am

Kwackman wrote:I assume you're not interested in software plug-ins?

Slightly odd suggestion, but the SSL Six?
A whole mixer might be overkill, but using it as a 2 in 2 out, you'd get their buss compressor, and also some nice EQ etc?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/so ... -logic-six

Thanks, I think I'd rather stick with hardware though.
I'm not familiar with the SSL sound, but I always associate it with early 80's digital recordings, up front, hard and glassy. "So" by Peter Gabriel springs to mind, just awful
This Neve Buss Compressor seems alright, but it's a bit expensive, TBQH, I don't really know where else to look.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby The Elf » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:34 pm

Arpangel wrote:I'm not familiar with the SSL sound, but I always associate it with early 80's digital recordings, up front, hard and glassy. "So" by Peter Gabriel springs to mind, just awful
:shock: :shock: :shock: :headbang: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Not his best material, but it sounds phenomenal!
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Zukan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:47 pm

'So' is actually very well produced.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby CS70 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:05 pm

Laughing.. this latter exchange should go directly into the "what sounds better" thread. :D
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby MOF » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:22 pm

I always associate it with early 80's digital recordings, up front, hard and glassy. "So" by Peter Gabriel springs to mind, just awful

Judging by the documentary of the making of SO I would say you’re wrong about this, all I saw were 2” analogue multitracks.
He said he takes years to finish an album SO was released in 1986 one year after the first all digital Brothers In Arms so it’s most likely not digital.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby MOF » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:39 pm

I had an old AR amp that used to sound exactly like this, whatever you put through it.

Are we really talking about compression here and not tonal balance?
You refer to an amplifier’s sound which has nothing to do with compression (unless you’re driving it very hard and that will be more down to thermal compression of the speaker drivers).
I have a similar issue with trying to replace some old Sennheiser headphones which sound neutral to me but others I’ve tried sound hyped in the bass or upper mids.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby The Elf » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:48 pm

MOF wrote:Are we really talking about compression here and not tonal balance?
I'm thinking along similar lines.

I'm a bit of an SSL devotee, I'll admit, but by any standards there's nothing lacking in the sound of SSL's venerable mixers. And SSL's compression has been *the* sound of three decades of production.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:59 pm

Yes, oddly enough I'd say that the one constant among the list of albums you've quoted is that none of them sounds very compressed!
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby Random Guitarist » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:30 pm

Interesting range of thoughts on So.

To me it's a difficult one, it is really well mixed and produced in that I can hear everything distinctly, but there is something 'off' about the sound to me when I compare it to recordings I really like. Given the comment about all analogue I googled a bit. . .

There is an interesting bit here https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ ... ly.187166/

One part that stands out to me is :

"The process of getting stuff back from slave reel number five to master reel number one involved sometimes lining up the 2-inches and flying between them manually, bit by bit. In July we got an AMS sampler with 14 seconds of sampling time, so we could actually sample four or five measures of music and fly it in that way, which helped. By September we had everything over to the 32-track machine."

To be fair my Cd is from the time the album was released so it will have the faults of early digital media, so maybe remasters sound better.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:41 am

Tape?

I believe all the records listed used tape for multi-tracking and mixing down, etc.

A good tape emulator?


I always note that I like the sound of my old tapes played on a quality machine. Has a certain sound.
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Re: Searching for that dreamy creamy compressor?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:09 am

Random Guitarist wrote:One part that stands out to me is :

"The process of getting stuff back from slave reel number five to master reel number one involved sometimes lining up the 2-inches and flying between them manually, bit by bit. In July we got an AMS sampler with 14 seconds of sampling time, so we could actually sample four or five measures of music and fly it in that way, which helped. By September we had everything over to the 32-track machine."

If you read the whole article you will see that they ended up running the two analogue machines in sync with the digital machine for the mixdown as some instruments sounded better coming directly from the analogue tapes. I'm not sure whether they mentioned what it was mixed down to.
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