Stereo Bus / Mastering compressor for home studio

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alexdingley
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Stereo Bus / Mastering compressor for home studio

Post by alexdingley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:29 am

I've got a great little home studio going in my new place. Everything tied to a Toft ATB-16, then mix-down to a Tascam DVRA-1000HD... The room is starting to sound good, and I want to find a master comp for the mix-downs.

This isn't a commercial facility, so I'm not cranking out work all the time. This is mostly for pet projects and my band. I'm also into hi-res audio stuff... so I'm thinking about getting a compressor that lets me get some beef in the final mix without squashing it to hell. In an ideal world, I would mix to the Tascam in DSD format & NOT bring it back into the computer for final mastering ??just putting out DSD audio files. Pipe-dreamy? Sure! But it's my dream... and I'm thinking about how to make it real.

So, without spending $3K and Up... I'm looking to get some beef in my master chain. I've been thinking about the following choices. Any insights would be much appreciated:

Chameleon 7720 (seems like I can only get those used now, but they're super cheap)
Daking FET III
Elysia Xpressor
Drawmer 1968
Drawmer 1973


Any other suggestions? Ideally... I'd like to stay under $1500 since this is not going to make me any significant money back.

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alexdingley
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Chameleon is interesting

Post by alexdingley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:48 am

I'm definitely interested to give the Chameleon a try???can anyone speak to whether that can do a "bigger, but not squishier" sound?

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Post by joninc » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:12 am

Big fan of the portico 5043. Very classy and adds nice dimension and richness with transformers. Feedback mode !!! Compares favourably with Api 2500. Doesn't have a side chain but I find that's not a problem for me.

Check out the Greg wells thread on gslutz about it.
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alexdingley
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ooooooh

Post by alexdingley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:29 pm

oooh, that Portico unit did not occur to me???that is a potentially very attractive solution. A little more money than the ones I'd been looking at, but if it's truly worth it on a master-bus... I could be swayed.

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Post by joninc » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:11 pm

They pop up used once in a while. I run every mix through it. It's a pretty awesome tracking compressor too and you can run through both channels independently and in different modes to shape stuff. Great value.
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cale w
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Post by cale w » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:35 pm

Alex, I have a 7720. I like it, but I haven't played around with it much as a stereo bus comp. I'd be happy to run some samples through at different settings for you sometime.

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Post by joninc » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:56 pm

There's one on eBay for under $1500
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:11 pm

Under 3K.

The real SSL compressor, in a 500 series form factor.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GComp
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Post by kingtoad » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:52 am

You might be able to get a used Foote Control Systems P3S for that price.
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Post by mn412 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:13 pm

Can't recommend the tk audio compressor enough.

http://tkaudio.se/portfolio-items/tk-bc1-s/

Think it's great at any price but the price is great too

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Post by blungo2 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:24 am

If you can find one used, the Overstayer VCA compressor is very good. I think the new Overstayers are a lot pricier.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:13 pm

I've been using the Drawmer 1968 for a while now. It's nice and usually works well for me, BUT as I get better at mixing and my ears hear how compression affects a mix better, I find myself wishing it had variable attack/release controls and a variable HPF. A lot of the time, the fixed att/rel constants and the fixed freq. LPF work, but they are limiting (har har) and I often wish I could fine tune it more.

For now, it's fine, but eventually I'm looking to upgrade.
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alexdingley
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Post by alexdingley » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:17 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:... I find myself wishing it had variable attack/release controls and a variable HPF. A lot of the time, the fixed att/rel constants and the fixed freq. LPF work, but they are limiting (har har) and I often wish I could fine tune it more.

For now, it's fine, but eventually I'm looking to upgrade.
Thanks man! That's exactly the kind of stuff I need to hear. I mean, obviously?? all of these devices are good units in their own way, but those kind of controls are going to be the kinds of things that make me want to upgrade eventually too... So, while it may not be the eventual deal-breaker on a device, it helps to know.

Based on some of the input here & from what I'm hearing on my local facebook recording community page ??I think the Xpressor is the winner for me. It sounds like a ton of amazing control, so that I can squash a little more for clients that want shit louder-than-god, and then a lot ore articulate & gentle options for the stuff I'm doing.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:11 am

alexdingley wrote:
Recycled_Brains wrote:... I find myself wishing it had variable attack/release controls and a variable HPF. A lot of the time, the fixed att/rel constants and the fixed freq. LPF work, but they are limiting (har har) and I often wish I could fine tune it more.

For now, it's fine, but eventually I'm looking to upgrade.
Thanks man! That's exactly the kind of stuff I need to hear. I mean, obviously?? all of these devices are good units in their own way, but those kind of controls are going to be the kinds of things that make me want to upgrade eventually too... So, while it may not be the eventual deal-breaker on a device, it helps to know.

Based on some of the input here & from what I'm hearing on my local facebook recording community page ??I think the Xpressor is the winner for me. It sounds like a ton of amazing control, so that I can squash a little more for clients that want shit louder-than-god, and then a lot ore articulate & gentle options for the stuff I'm doing.
I've been looking into the Xpressor as well. I was pretty shocked at how affordable it is. I've also been eyeing the TK Audio comp, which seems rad too. I've heard good things about it, but the Xpressor seems to offer more control.
Ryan Slowey
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http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

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Post by joninc » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:37 pm

i am sure that the xpressor is a great dynamics shaping tool and it may serve you well BUT let me play devil's advocate here and say - some of us use compressors for the tone they impart AS MUCH AS the way they compress.

your initial post said "I'm looking to get some beef in my master chain"

BEEF is somewhat subjective.

This unit will probably be very clean and won't add a lot of tone to your chain. Something with tubes or transformers will likely color and add harmonic content more.

It's just something to keep in mind. I am always chasing TONE and most gear that i have bought which you'd describe as "transparent" i find boring and eventually sell.
Thinking of RNC, RNP etc...

I find that the portico adds a richness and depth to the signal. when I bypass it - it's just flatter and less wide sounding. Maybe one day i'll be able to afford some kind of varimu style comp that really adds more glue tooo... dreaming of a Thermionic Phoenix or the Shadow Hills Mastering comps...
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