Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

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burn
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Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by burn » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:01 am

I have a bunch of mid-quality pieces of gear: FMR RNC, Symetrix 501, DBX 166.

I haven’t used them since I switched to digital recording (years ago). I wonder if I should keep them and finally use them as outboard or if Logic’s compressors are as good/equivalent?

I wonder if I should sell or keep them. Obviously, if Logic is as good, I will sell them as it’s way more practical for my usage.

Thanks!

Magnetic Services
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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by Magnetic Services » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:50 am

I don't have experience with any of those, but as a general rule I think any stock software compressor can do the job just fine. Hardware is nice to have on the front end for tracking though!

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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by standup » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:58 pm

I still have a Symetrix 501, mostly using it on bass when tracking. Once I’m in the box Logic compressors seem fine for additional compression.

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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by drumsound » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:44 pm

Yeah, I use outboard in tracking, but the only outboard compressor I use once I'm mixing is a mix bus compressor. I do have 3rd part plugins that I rely on.

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losthighway
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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by losthighway » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:50 pm

My Symetrix 501 has a character that none of my plugins have.

The way you can toy with the limiter, at the end of the chain. That thing can be subtle if you want, but I think of it as a character piece. There's some kind of grainy, mid grind in there that makes snares and room mics sound awesome. It's like a little bit of what I hear people talk about when they gush over a distressor (I've never owned a distressor). I'll never sell it.

DBX is a little more subtle, but still has a certain hardness to it that I don't get from a plugin.

I think everything has "a sound", but if you're not getting all psyched about sending certain tracks out to your 501 to print back in the mix, maybe it's not your flavor and it's wasting space. We know people make great records without much hardware after their mics and pres so it's kind of artistic preference. I'd say if you're having a hard time making a decision, send something you're mixing out to the box and mess with it. Get your favorite setting going for what it can do. Print it. Throw a plugin on the raw track. Dial. Mute and compare in the mix and solo'd. Is there magic dust on the hardware compressed track?

That might be what it takes to start using that gear, or to feel good about getting money for it.

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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by vvv » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:09 pm

I prefer hardware on the way in, me.
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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:43 pm

Unless you use them for recording, ditch them.
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:32 pm

I also like some hardware compression on the way in, though I use less and on fewer sources than I used to. That said, don't keep gear you don't use.
Every few years I clean out the closets of gear that's been sitting for ages. Before I let anything go I'll often put it back into rotation for a month or so. That lets me figure out if it's surplus or something cool and useful that I've forgotten about. If its surplus it's gone.

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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:19 pm

I have a dbx 1066, and the one recent use I've found for it is recording my own vocals. I have a pair of custom-molded IEM earbuds, and it's tricky to get the levels right since my hearing is rather sensitive. But I found if I compressed my vocal mic I could make it work.

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Re: Mid-quality compressors vs Logic's ?

Post by burn » Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:16 pm

Thanks for all of your wise advices !

I know the only way to be sure about this is to plug in the outboard comps and fool around with them a bit. It's just that it's been a few years I haven't done any recording, I'm just lazy I guess. :lol:

Also, since I only record my own band, and it doesnt happen that often these days, I prefer to record without any effects, that way I'm sure everything is clean on the source files and can always go back if I feel it's needed.

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