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Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

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Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:29 pm

Ever wanting to improve the setup at the studio, I'm looking add a hardware L/R buss compressor.

ImageMl5k lamps mid by VTypeV4, on Flickr

I currently have 4x DBX 166XL on the 8 audio subgroups which do their job very well.

So far - in no particular order - I've considered the following:

DBX 166XL
DBX 1066XL
Drawmer DL251
Studiomaster VTX2 (Behringer - not so sure about this?)
TL Audio C5021
Art VLA pro2
Art Levelar
TL Audio Fatman
Focusrite Platinum Penta
TC Electronic Triple C

Any thoughts / feedback for these or any other suggestions welcome.. :thumbup:
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby Humble Bee » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:57 pm

Add to list:

FMR Audio RNC 1773

FMR Audio RNLA 7239

Surprisingly good at the price.
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby CS70 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:37 pm

Yeah if I wanted a good stereo compressor on the cheap I’d definitely pick up a RNC
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby James Perrett » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:27 pm

I'd echo the recommendation for the RNC if you want clean compression. You don't really realise what it is doing until you bypass it.

Another favourite of mine is the Drawmer LX20 - possibly because it was my first proper compressor and I know how to get the sound I want from it.
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:59 am

Thanks for the replies :thumbup:

The FMR products look pretty nice although I have no experience of them. Other online reviews seem to favour them also - as suggested here..
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:08 am

I've missed out on a few ART VLA units this week but I'm looking closely now at the FMR models..

Not sure which is the better option for buss compression - The RNC or RNLA - opinions are divided on the web. Does anyone have any real world experience of the two in this role?
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby nathanscribe » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:22 pm

I've been using the ART VLA 2 for a few years and like it. It's not perfect – the buttons feel cheap and there are too many lights, there's no sidechain, the detented controls don't always feel detented enough, the lowest ratio is 2:1 – but it works, I think it sounds good, and it's on budget. Mine's just lost a channel (and not owing to a tube failure, so there's that to fix) but it's done about 8 years or more which I reckon is fair for the price.
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks for the reply.. :thumbup:
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby Arpangel » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:49 am

Bit of a left field suggestion, but I'm using a BSS DPR402 on my main buss, at the moment, it's got a lot of cool features, plus, it's within budget, and probably won't loose value!
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:53 am

I hadn't considered one of those - I've good experience with BSS gear.. Thanks for that. :thumbup:

I've currently got my DBX 266XL on the duty but being honest, it's not really up to it. :cry:
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:59 am

VTypeV4 wrote:I hadn't considered one of those - I've good experience with BSS gear.. Thanks for that. :thumbup:

I've currently got my DBX 266XL on the duty but being honest, it's not really up to it. :cry:

Yes, and it's got more lights than you can shake a stick at! :)
I got mine from Funky Junk, I paid about £200 for it I think, it's got a nice sound, quite clean actually, but if I had to describe it it would be weighty, makes the sound bigger somehow, that's all I can say.
I also have a Behringer Composer, which is actually really useful as an inaudible buss compressor, I can't tell when it's switched in, or out, it's just invisible, amazing actually, for the money.
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:35 pm

I have a few of the Behringer compressors in the rack (Composer MDX2200?) that are pretty useful - I tend to use them as channel inserts rather than group / buss / master compressors.

On the subject of Behringer, I also have one of the valve parametric EQ (T1953?) that's in the L/R insert (in series with the 266XL) which is very good. I don't often use it's actual EQ but the valve stage adds a little 'harmonic excitement' which i rather like..
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:38 pm

VTypeV4 wrote:I have a few of the Behringer compressors in the rack (Composer MDX2200?) that are pretty useful - I tend to use them as channel inserts rather than group / buss / master compressors.

On the subject of Behringer, I also have one of the valve parametric EQ (T1953?) that's in the L/R insert (in series with the 266XL) which is very good. I don't often use it's actual EQ but the valve stage adds a little 'harmonic excitement' which i rather like..

I always have the "Tube" buttons pressed on my Composer, god knows what they do, but it sounds better with them in!
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby VTypeV4 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:54 pm

I think those 'T' series Behringer units are very good - probably much better than their online reputation might suggest..
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Re: Buss Compressor on a budget ~ £300..

Postby Arpangel » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:59 pm

VTypeV4 wrote:I think those 'T' series Behringer units are very good - probably much better than their online reputation might suggest..

Yes, I wish I'd got some at the time, but I fell for the bad reputation, and didn't bother.
Back then I did buy a couple of Behringer things, and was disappointed, but now it's a different scene altogether.
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