Best/Favorite Compressor and worst by type

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by ZUK, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. ZUK

    ZUK Platinum Record

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    Hi everyone,
    In the forum there is some related post, but I would like it to be more specific.
    What is your favorite compressor emulation according to type. (maximum 3)
    We could also say the worst.That you don't like (only 1).
    thanks!

    OPTO
    FET
    VCA
    VARI-MU
    DIGITAL
     
  2. decksound

    decksound Ultrasonic

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    Why?

    Edit: I mean like seriously, why?
     
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  3. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Rock Star

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    These days the word "emulation" is basically "slapping the faceplate of a vintage thingy onto a plugin". The only way to compare emulations is how well it matches the characteristics of the original, comparing "emulations" to each other is a fool's errand.

    So I don't personally care if it's a good emulation, I care if it's a good compressor.
     
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  4. Lenny Belardo II

    Lenny Belardo II Rock Star

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    Succinct. Perfect reply.

    Now I have to edit: Plus ZUK has been here 10 years and asks a question like this!
     
  5. Dvus I

    Dvus I Kapellmeister

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    For me my favorite compresor is:
    LA2A ; LA3A ;1176 Blue & 1176 Black & 1176 Silver, Fairchild 660 & 670 , DBX 160A , Shadows Hills Compresor , Neve 256 .
     
  6. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Platinum Record

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    hard to choose favourite, it changes every week, but lately for vocals, I like the STA-Level by Arturia (it's a GATES emulation but Arturia modeled it after Retro Instrument one that modeled the GATES). Instant radio ready! but have to flat it (the vocals) out a bit with 1176 or any fast compressor (been using the Waves BSS DPR because it has de-essing as well) before sending it to the STA-LEVEL. That's Vari-Mu.. this and MJUC (it emulates 176 or something)

    Opto - Slate FG2A or the IK
    VCA - Vertigo VSC2 and Waves 2500 (for feed forward duty)
    Digital - kinda liking the Weiss now
    1176 - I like all emulation of this one, rarely using it for compressing, only smashing, it's like have a lot of colors to play with
    oh I dislike the Waves RS124, but haven't try it after they added the highpass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  7. livemouse

    livemouse Ultrasonic

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    _to me_ the differences between any two compressors are so subtle i would be in trouble if i had to do a blind test between a stock compressor or shadow hills. GUI does make a difference in usage and I've enjoyed playing around with molotok lately. i'm sure i could get similar results with stock though. all these things do is raise and lower the volume to a time constant based on program levels. if they do too much more than that they would be something more than a compressor.
     
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  8. thomas78

    thomas78 Member

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    come on guys, where are the really bad and nasty compressors? thats the whole reason im looking at this thread! :bleh:
     
  9. livemouse

    livemouse Ultrasonic

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    This and not only. Even comparing the various types of the real machines there cannot a single winner. Different tools are meant to be used in different situations and it's up to the engineer's ingenuity and experience to choose the right tool in order to get the job done the best way possible. For instance: A somewhat weaker take on a vocal track may benefit from tube compression but a strong vocal performance by a vocalist with distinctively rich colour may sound unwantingly distorted and exaggerated when you insert a tube comp even with mild settings.
    My best suggestion for the OP is to try for himself all the various types of compressors and most importantly the types of compression itself like expansion, gating, ducking, sidechaining and so forth. These types of polls are kinda boring lol.
    What's bad for a person may be an indispensable tool for another. The Dirty Harry moto and so on. Too many times i hear kids (and some grown ups too) here saying "meh Waves sucks and blah blah this and that". Well... Since '94-'95 i 've made or mixed more than 25 albums and numerous singles/EPs using Waves plugins. To me, it is a trusted suite in my arsenal and one that i know i can rely on even without anything else in my plugin rack.
    Therefore, horses for courses mate :)
     
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  11. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Rock Star

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    And nasty compressors? Look into guitar pedals.
     
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  12. Joe_sleaze

    Joe_sleaze Producer

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    That's an EQ though.
     
  13. Illadelph

    Illadelph Producer

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    analog obsession must have the nastiest ones
    piles o' shit, i think he spends 95% of time and money on GUI

    he had to stop selling them because they were all buggy and broken, useless filler fluff plugs in a world already full of plugs.
    now he gives them away.
    but no one wants to use them
     
  14. bravesounds

    bravesounds Noisemaker

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    Honestly, all emulation compressor plugins are garbage.
    It’s more professional to use limiter and distortion.
     
  15. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Here's an informative article about it that I found: https://producerhive.com/ask-the-hive/types-of-audio-compressors-when-to-use-them/

    Personally, I'm not really fond of anything else but FETs and VCAs, because I like how these bring out the harmonics in sounds, and I have no money for good optos and vari-mus, obviously. :) So give me a 1176 [I prefer PSP FETpressor] and G-Comp [I prefer Cytomic The Glue], and I can do my job. I like dirtier sounding productions [think Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Portishead], thus I like VCAs, and also because they are the most versatile ones, too. I have three cheapish VCA hardware ones that get used regularly, and each channel gets a bit of true analogue solid state colour.

    I use ITB - digital ones primarily for refining the sound further, however I could make a satisfying sound ITB using the same principles. It just sounds more static and less dirty. Too clean for my taste.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  16. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    And therefore an extremely bad compressor. [​IMG]
     
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  17. Hazen

    Hazen Producer

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    His recent revisions seem to have improved quite a lot judging by the recent user feedback. Haven't tried them though due to their bad reputation from the earlier days.
     
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  18. dondada

    dondada Platinum Record

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  19. livemouse

    livemouse Ultrasonic

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    no wonder it was such a sucky compressor

    and about the Analog Obsession stuff... I can not use them in any project because the names say nothing about what the plugins do. The GUI's look nice, although there are often strange detents in the dials. The names are all affectionate nicknames that aren't memorable enough to recall. I can remember "britpressor" after seeing that name a lot. There's other plugins that I never use because they're named something super obscure and therefore impossible to remember. But AO has found a niche in the business that's impervious to piracy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  20. tomschmidt

    tomschmidt Member

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    I agree with the sentiment of most comments above: this is a misguided question. But, having said that, I'm not going to ridicule the OP, as I think it's a pretty common and sensible question in some ways.

    As people have already indicated, these are tools. It's like asking "what's the best screwdriver- please indicate your top 3 in the following categories: Phillips, flathead, hex..." One can ask the question, sure. It just doesn't make much sense. I can tell you that I like to use a Stanley multi-bit with a #2 magnetic tip and cushioned grip (model# 68-012), but in the end, it's just a screwdriver. It drives screws.

    A very workable stock compressor comes with literally every DAW out there. You can get them in any color you like, but there's still just compressors. We FETishize (pun intended) hardware, and that's fine. I love me some nice gear porn as much as the next bloke. But, in the end, it's almost never about the tool itself- it's what you do with the tool that counts. When's the last time you listened to a song and thought, "oh man, that's an amazing opto compressor on that vocal..."?
     
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