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  #1  
Old 04-18-2006, 06:06 PM
erthquake erthquake is offline
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Default Compressors on preamps?

Now that I'm thinking about buying a mic preamp for studio work, I'm wondering if it's worth paying for one that has onboard compression. I can see how this would be useful if recording to tape, given it's limited dynamic range. However, with 24-bit recording, doesn't it make more sense to compress after tracking? Well I guess some might like the way a given onboard compressor might color the sound. Anything else I'm missing?

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Bryan
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:11 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

I usually only compress on the way in on acoustic guitars, bass and vocals. I also keep it gentle. The color of a good compressor can be a nice addition to the overall sound. Of course, a bad compressor may make it sould like crap(which might be exactly what the song calls for!). Remember that if you squash it going in, it is permanent. If budget permits, I love the UA 6176. If budget is on the toghter side, I would opt for the best pre I could find and skip the compressor. Check out the GRACE and UA610. Both are under a grand but are different beasts. The Grace is clean and transparent while the UA is a "character" pre.
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:19 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

You're missing the sound of a real compressor if you're tracking without one. No compressor plug-in I've ever heard sounds as good as a real one of any quality at all.

I think pres with built in compressors can be tremendously helpful for vocals, and quite helpful for bass. For other things, it just depends on circumstances. The most flexible unit of sufficiently high quality for general use, IMO, is the Drawmer 1960. That gives you two channels, which is nice. The Manley VOX BOX is superb for vocals, of course, but it's more expensive per channel, and it's really optimized for vocs, and so not necessarily as well suited for general tracking-w-comp tasks as the Drawmer. You could go with separate pre and compressor, like an Averill 1272 into a TubeTech, wich sounds spectacular on almost anything. That would give you the highest quality and flexibility.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:22 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

Both ends of the spectrum! Good info from daeron80
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:06 PM
David Kalosi David Kalosi is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

Or check out the Joemeek twinQ. Dual chanel, transformer coupled (switchable), opto compressor (can be linked to stereo) and onboard 24bit/96kHz A/D. I own one and I really love it. I use it a lot on snare drums (top & bottom) and guitars.
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Old 04-21-2006, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

I like having a couple options, which is yet ANOTHER reason that the UA6176 is a great box. You can chain the 610 and the 1176, or use them seperately.
I find channel strips to be invaluble, personally.
I also have an Avalon 737sp, which is great for some mikes.
I have a Vintech pre and a Distressor too, which addds to the chaining possibilities.
I'd be lost if I only had a mike pre. Lost I tell you!
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:11 AM
SHREDDER SHREDDER is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

Don't forget the ART PRO VLA.I own 2 of these and love them...........especially for tracking vox.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

Quote:
Don't forget the ART PRO VLA.I own 2 of these and love them...........especially for tracking vox.
Used that compressor a few weeks ago on some bass and vox and all in all it sounded not too bad.

I wouldn't go as far to say it changed my life or anything, though. Same goes for the RNC.

They're both a compliment when used in moderation on the way in.
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Old 04-28-2006, 01:34 PM
erthquake erthquake is offline
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Default Re: Compressors on preamps?

Thanks for the responses everybody.

Good point about the compressor being another way to color the sound of the mic and pre-amp. I've had an RNC for a while, but it's also rather transparent.
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