Stereo Bus Compressor (maybe Chameleon Labs 7720?)

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Magnetic Services
steve albini likes it
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:21 pm

Stereo Bus Compressor (maybe Chameleon Labs 7720?)

Post by Magnetic Services » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:28 pm

Anybody got recommendations? I mix primarily out of the box, and I'm looking for something clean-sounding, mostly transparent, and versatile that I can use on my final mixes as well as the occasional "budget-mastering" job.

-Below $600 new (but I'd be willing to hunt for a fancier unit at a used price)
-Don't need any gates/expanders
-A hard limiter in addition to the compressor would be nice, but not necessary
-Permanently linked channels is fine

The Chameleon Labs 7720 is in the ballpark of what I'm looking for. If anybody has experience with that unit please tell me about it, or the quality of the company in general.

Thanks!

cale w
gettin' sounds
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Seattle

Post by cale w » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:32 pm

I have a 7720 and I'm always happy with it. I think it's best feature is the side chain HPF. I use it as a tracking compressor a lot too. Quality-wise, it seems pretty sturdy.

User avatar
joninc
deaf.
Posts: 1871
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: canada
Contact:

Post by joninc » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:16 pm

Art pro vla
the new rules : there are no rules

User avatar
losthighway
deaf.
Posts: 1896
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Post by losthighway » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:43 am

I hate to be Mr. Poopy Pants on this one, but someone has to do it. I don't see the appeal of buying a box for less than $600 and then running everything I've recorded through it all at once. I don't have any box in my collection that I want to run everything through.

I guess I like mastering engineers is what I'm saying.

User avatar
floid
buyin' a studio
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: in exile

Post by floid » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:54 pm

I think it's mention in that gear review last issue as "ssl inspired" drew some attention from those of us in the budget crowd.

The pro vla is a nice piece at the price, IMVHO. Is the Chameleon a step up?
Village Idiot.

User avatar
joninc
deaf.
Posts: 1871
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: canada
Contact:

Post by joninc » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:03 pm

i think it's likely more transparent then an SSL style comp which is more "grabby".

have you read the tape op reviews? it's loved by some very great engineers.
the new rules : there are no rules

Magnetic Services
steve albini likes it
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:21 pm

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:17 pm

I will look into the ART box. I got a cheap ART tube DI/preamp and have barely used it since getting it... I guess they just stuck in my mind as one of those companies that sticks tubes in stuff and uses vintage lust to sell gear.

But never say never!

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2580
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:40 pm

Magnetic Services wrote:I will look into the ART box. I got a cheap ART tube DI/preamp and have barely used it since getting it... I guess they just stuck in my mind as one of those companies that sticks tubes in stuff and uses vintage lust to sell gear.

But never say never!
Lol I dunno where you'd get that idea...what with that Autotune box I have with a tube pre courtesy of ART... :P

Magnetic Services
steve albini likes it
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:21 pm

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:43 pm

losthighway wrote:I guess I like mastering engineers is what I'm saying.
I love mastering engineers too :) however, not every band has mastering in their budget, no matter how much you stress the importance.

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by roscoenyc » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:57 am

I would think there are plugins out there that would wildly out perform a $600 box for running your entire mix through?

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:33 am

So, I recently had a buddy loan me an ART from his studio. I threw it on a buss mix and was not terribly happy. On a bus I was having headroom issues. It just topped out super easy, and I mix with a fair bit of headroom, usually have to bring it up in my 2 bus a bit to hit -6db.

It also sounded a bit thinner than I wanted. I get better results from a couple plug-ins I have.

The thing just lacked a bit for me. It wasn't bad, especially for the price. But I personally wouldn't use it on a two buss.
On another hand, I see these on sale fairly regularly. And they claim to have fixed the headroom issue.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/REVIVE-AUDIO-MO ... 4193b3f153

Haven't played with the chameleon labs stuff, but have always heard nice things about them.
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

User avatar
joninc
deaf.
Posts: 1871
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: canada
Contact:

Post by joninc » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:10 pm

The vlas have tubes and sounds like the unit you used needs new ones as neither of mine (have an original and the Vla 2) thin out the sound.

I know that art gear is not cool. I get it. But this is a surprisingly great
Product. Mine lives on the mix buss as a first stage of compression to bring down some peaks and help level things off a bit. Don't take my word for it though, dave fridmann, Craig Schumacher, thom monahan and many others profess their love of it too.
the new rules : there are no rules

User avatar
Sean Sullivan
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2551
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Nashville
Contact:

Post by Sean Sullivan » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:58 pm

The Chameleon doesn't look poorly made, uses through hole components, so I think it would be a great candidate to send to Jim Williams for an upgrade. It probably doesn't use the best VCA's (those a pretty expensive) but I bet it wouldn't take much $$$ to really improve it
Still waiting for a Luna reunion

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:07 pm

As I said, only played with it for an hour or so.
I always thought they were very cool units... I've known many people who have said its always nice to have a couple in the rack.
I'll play around with it a bit more. See if I can get a feel for it.

Also, isn't the FMR RNC supposed to be pretty nice?
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8680
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:08 pm

I don't use 'em on the mix-buss (I record with 'em) but I have both the VLA and the FMR RNC.

The VLA is cool, but can be a touch noisy depending on settings; the tube is for output make-up level. (I use on vocals, bass.)

The FMR RNC is very clean, very transparent and I suspect would be great for mix-buss. (I use on vocals.)

I also like the RNLA from FMR, but it is more colored and would probably give you a "sound". (I use on vocals, guitars.)

I have a Symetrix 522 that's really nice on vocals, guitars, bass and I think would be similar to a dbx, with a bit of color that's pleasing.

FWIW, if I ever get my analog act together, I have a couple of Meek compressors (MC2 and C2) that I really want to try on a two-buss; they are great on stereo keys, highly colored.

Finally, and I only mention because all of these are inexpensive (sub-US$300 used) stereo compressors, the dbx160A might be cool also, and is also good on stereo keys and guitar mic's.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests