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Old 12-10-2021, 07:45 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Choosing your compressor plugin

For tracks, I like Empirical Labs Arouser plugin a lot and envy everyone who has that real hardware at hand. Another real hardware I'd like for buss compressor would be API 2500 and no plugin can match that even close.

I "only" have and use Drawmer DL 241 (with XLR connectors) as mix buss compressor hardware, but some day would love to have the API.
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:49 AM
Bookerv12 Bookerv12 is offline
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Default Re: Choosing your compressor plugin

Originally Posted by EGS View Post
I go by sound.

Waves RennComp always sounds good & is low latency - i.e. track-thru-plug works fine. I used to like Avid black 1176 until I discovered IK Multimedia black 1176 simply sounds better. Avid Smack, IK Multimedia red opto-comp and IK white LA-2A all good. Anything can do the job, really, in my opinion. Different ones for each need, no one size fits all. Adjust attack/release times, ratio and knee if available. Sometimes I like a good multi-band too, especially for mastering.

Super secret tip: sometimes NO compression is the answer.
So true.

My bit of advice:
Think of compression almost like reverb.
You don't want it on everything or you end up with....nothing.
Start compressing just the vocals so you can hear what it's doing.
Over-do it!
See what the singer sounds like in the mix compressed and not compressed.

I wish there were a tried and true way to pick a compressor, but there isn't.
There are exceptions of course, once you get familiar with the sound.

Personally, when tracking, I get compression to tape and rarely add comp plugs in the mix.
This is hard, as you have to make decisions early on.

Most of my client PT sessions come in with compression on every channel and too much muddy verb on everything.
I never tell them anymore, but I always deactivate every compressor and the mix always comes to life. Always.

I guess the answer to your question is.....Listen to the mix with no compression and decide which elements could benefit from it.

Most of my beginner clients also make the giant mistake of mixing into a "go to" buss compressor (because they read to do it somewhere) and it goes down hill from there.
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Old 01-28-2022, 01:56 PM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Default Re: Choosing your compressor plugin

Originally Posted by DonaldM View Post
Something I've wondered about for a while, so I thought I'd just ask you Pros out there. How do you decide which of your (probably)dozens of compressor plugins you're going to use on a particular trac
I'm not asking which make/model compressor you think is the "best"...but rather what you look for in selecting one you want to use for a particular track.


I choose compressor based on the end I am trying to achieve which is to say that I will use an 1176 on something that I want to have the sound of the amplifier on as most if not all of the emulations have that saturation modeled into the plugin. So bass and kick, snare use this type a lot.

I like to use the Fairchild/Puigchild type to push stuff to the front or rear, just cause I can do it very quickly with that type. I also like this type on buses for transient rounding and a bit of glue.

I like to use the Ren comp for quick and dirty level control and sometimes electric guitar taming.

I like LA-2A types on vocals and some acoustic instruments especially percussive stuff good warmth is the way I think of it.

More clinical stuff I use Pro Comp or , Waves BSS DPR or the API 2500 are my go tos, depending on what instrument(s) .

DBX 160 style on drums and bass for the most part.

Neve style for acoustic guitars and various midrange type instruments.

SSL type on buses, sometimes API on buses, PIE for electric guitars for tone shaping usually on a bus

Obviously, I switch stuff around but that's kinda my personal usage and/or starting point
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Old 01-28-2022, 05:33 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Choosing your compressor plugin

It occurred to me that while I talked about WHAT I use, I never really answered the WHY
1-SMACK!-This was the first non-free comp I got from a sale and I fell in love with it right away(before I knew it was Avid's nod to the LA-2A).
2-BF76-When I first got started with PT(LE6.1), it was this or the stock Digirack and that one just never made me happy(and even less after doing a critical listen). I was also very familiar with 1176's from my early analog recording days.
3-Slate's Distressor-I've always liked what I heard from the hardware and got the big Slate Bundle(for many plugins) and really liked this one on the drum bus. Previously, I used the Waves SSL bus compressor(nice but lacks a HPF and the distortion option) and Cytomic's The Glue(nicer than the SSL, but the authorization was a recurring nightmare).
4-Waves Puigchild(Fairchild)-I had tried the Avid version and was not impressed. Tried the Puigchild on a friend's recommendation and was sold(especially after hearing the real thing during an Alan Parsons session).

There's some "why" to go with the "what"
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