Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?
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Old 31-10-2016, 03:18 AM   #1
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Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

I think a nice smooth analog compressor would be a nice piece of hardware. Most of what I've seen raved about is just beyond reasonable price wise. Anyone got one that is under $2000 and sounds good?

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Old 31-10-2016, 03:20 AM   #2
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Joe meek?

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Old 31-10-2016, 03:38 AM   #3
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

That's a good budget you have there.
The BSS 402. These things are serious and absolutely not about character/harmonic distortion/artifacts/vintage vibe-warmth BS...

They are effective and transparent. I used a whole rack of them at a friend's studio and on PA tech gigs. I'd get that.

As for compressors that sound "cool" to you earswhen "abusing" them... it's like distortion pedals. You mileage varies invariably.

For that money you could get two used units/ four channels for your four busses... and be one happy camper with money left over.

Last edited by thom; 31-10-2016 at 03:45 AM..
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Old 31-10-2016, 04:07 AM   #4
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Oh and they do sound good when abusing them.

I gather there are two schools of thinking when it comes to spending serious cash on compressors... on one hand you have gearsluttery whacks encouraging you to spend 2500 on what's essentially a glorified overdrive pedal... and then you have products that are objectively good because they are precise, predictable, problem-solving dynamic processors. The 402 is such a product. It's a good unit to get good on without quirky behavior getting in the way. They sound so clean... I'm not sure what more you'd get from SUPER EXPENSIVE stuff ike API. Another buddy once rented an API and told me that it's hard to justify spending what they sell for (he owns a drawmer and an ssl clone... and various inexpensive ones).

I'm just sayin'... I'm 100% positive the 402 will deliver whatever it is you want an excellent compressor to deliver. Just...fuckin get that.
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Old 31-10-2016, 04:10 AM   #5
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Can you link the 2 channels to use as stereo with one set of controls?

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Old 31-10-2016, 04:17 AM   #6
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Of course!
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Old 31-10-2016, 08:05 AM   #7
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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For the money, these are very good, different flavors, too.

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Old 31-10-2016, 10:17 AM   #8
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Somebody already posted this in the DIY thread,

if you can do DIY then you can get a superb 1176 emulation for about 500 [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I'm very tempted.
Ive looked through the built instructions and it looks very easy to built (no wiring preassembles connectors) the only skill you need is to be able to solder and anybody can do that after 5 minutes practice on an old PCB.

Last edited by cane creek; 31-10-2016 at 10:22 AM..

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Old 31-10-2016, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
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For the money, these are very good, different flavors, too.
Most of them aren't analog. The RNC is really nice and clean. The RNLA is supposed to have a nice "flavor." RNC is a great choice if you must have OTB compression.


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I'm not going to go on a rant here--but as far as analog flavor goes, I've been down that rabbit hole and for my money U-he Satin and Presswerk have fit the bill more-so than any hardware I've ever used. But I've never been willing to spend 2k on an analog compressor.

Last edited by relic; 31-10-2016 at 06:51 PM..

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Old 31-10-2016, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Most of them aren't analog. The RNC is really nice and clean. The RNLA is supposed to have a nice "flavor." RNC is a great choice if you must have OTB compression.

I'm not going to go on a rant here--but as far as analog flavor goes, I've been down that rabbit hole and for my money U-he Satin has fit the bill more-so than any hardware I've ever used. But I've never been willing to spend 2k on an analog compressor.

Don't take this the wrong way, but just be careful about whether you are going to get the mileage you want for your money. Obviously the only way to do that is experiment. I feel like I really got caught up in the hardware/analog dick waving contest and it was making my music worse, not better.
well.. they are analog , and they definitely sound like it (I used a couple quite a bit in a studio a few years ago) They're digitally controlled VCA's. So it's in the same way that a DCO is analog. The control signal in this case is a digital source, but it will still "sound analog". Now, it's not going to be as nuanced as a high end compressor, but they are definitely very useful and sound a world better than digital compression does in most cases (IMO). So, I guess it depends on what you're going for.

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Old 31-10-2016, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
well.. they are analog , and they definitely sound like it (I used a couple quite a bit in a studio a few years ago) They're digitally controlled VCA's. So it's in the same way that a DCO is analog. The control signal in this case is a digital source, but it will still "sound analog". Now, it's not going to be as nuanced as a high end compressor, but they are definitely very useful and sound a world better than digital compression does in most cases (IMO). So, I guess it depends on what you're going for.
Ah.OK. I heard there "weren't analog" on gearslutz so go figure eh? thanks for the correction.

Regardless, I think they sound amazing for the price! If someone "needed" a bunch of inexpensive, usable compressors for a studio. I'd recommend these all day.

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Old 31-10-2016, 10:52 PM   #12
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
Somebody already posted this in the DIY thread,

if you can do DIY then you can get a superb 1176 emulation for about 500 [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I'm very tempted.
Ive looked through the built instructions and it looks very easy to built (no wiring preassembles connectors) the only skill you need is to be able to solder and anybody can do that after 5 minutes practice on an old PCB.
Yeah, but then you need some $500 worth of tools to put the thing together. And not fuck it up.

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Old 02-11-2016, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Originally Posted by liquid_air View Post
Yeah, but then you need some $500 worth of tools to put the thing together. And not fuck it up.
So that makes $1000, which is below the thread starters "Under $2000" budget

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Old 02-11-2016, 07:17 PM   #14
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Please, attach photos
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:04 PM   #15
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Your budget calculations do not seem to sufficiently weigh the "and not fuck it up" part.

That said, would it be worth $1000?

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Old 03-11-2016, 06:08 PM   #16
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Old 04-11-2016, 03:39 PM   #17
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

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Your budget calculations do not seem to sufficiently weigh the "and not fuck it up" part.

That said, would it be worth $1000?
Have you looked at the build documents , theres nothing to fuck up.

I seen far far more complicated lego sets

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Old 06-11-2016, 09:08 PM   #18
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

The ART Pro VLA II is not so bad and reasonably priced.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:07 AM   #19
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

Too late. I won. He's getting a 402 because I am right.

Yes ART stuff is quite ok but the BSS stuff is a couple of notches above anything aimed at the prosumer market. For instance, I heard the long-time the chief engineer for the MSO (the dude who handles tv/radio broadcast performances anyway) swears by them. If they can handle the massively huge dynamic ranges of a string section in a large orchestra and sound crystal clean with no coloration throughout... yeah you can bet they are good.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:22 AM   #20
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Re: Good analog compressor that doesn't cost an arm & leg?

I just saw that Waves has an emulation... my first thought was "what's the point of emulating something so transparent?" ... and then I watched a vid with some top pro talking about the 402 and he clearly has a different opinion about them. "They really fuck things up in nice ways..."

WHut

We agree on one thing: they sound great.

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