Recommend Hardware Compressor

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orangehexagon
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Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 11:17 am

I realize that my productions could really benefit from a hardware compressor. I've held out for so long getting by with software, but I'm realizing I would really enjoy working with a simple hardware compressor instead.

Here's a quick list of my current set-up:

Vermona DRM-1 MKIII
Elektron Analog Rytm
Elektron Digitone
Eurorack skiff / 0-coast
Sequential Pro 3
OB6

Which all runs through my Ashley Mixer, into the Elektron Analog Heat, into my UA Arrow interface, into Ableton.

Can you recommend a good hardware compressor with a bit of color to beaf up my drummachines / synths (especially my DRM-1)?

I would ideally like really snappy punch and air from a compressor. I'm not so interested in the "wooly" variety.

I should note that I'm looking to spend below $1k and ideally below $600. I might go the used/pre-owned route as well.

Thanks!

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by dreamrobe » Thu May 14, 2020 12:19 pm

i thought the heat can act as a compressor and its very colorful.
I went the pedal route: suonobuono nabc. its more of a rhythmic shaping tool and very clean.

maybe this is for you
FMR Audio RNLA 7239

check out the gearslutz thread about pedal compressors. some interessting recomendations there.

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lud
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by lud » Thu May 14, 2020 12:21 pm

Bugbrand stereo compressor sounds great and is very hands on

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th0mas
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by th0mas » Thu May 14, 2020 12:33 pm

Before you buy anything, try running the DRM 1 into the Rytm. It's external input goes through the master compressor and (I think) the master distortion

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orangehexagon
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 12:45 pm

lud wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:21 pm
Bugbrand stereo compressor sounds great and is very hands on
Definitely got my eye on this, but they are out of stock everywhere and can't find any used units

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orangehexagon
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 12:47 pm

dreamrobe wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:19 pm
i thought the heat can act as a compressor and its very colorful.
I went the pedal route: suonobuono nabc. its more of a rhythmic shaping tool and very clean.

maybe this is for you
FMR Audio RNLA 7239

check out the gearslutz thread about pedal compressors. some interessting recomendations there.
Heat can do pseudo-compression, but it's not very direct or as tweakable as I'd like. The unit sounds great tho!

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orangehexagon
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 12:48 pm

th0mas wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:33 pm
Before you buy anything, try running the DRM 1 into the Rytm. It's external input goes through the master compressor and (I think) the master distortion
This is a great tip. Although TBH I kind of hate the compressor on the Rytm, but that's only because I haven't really grasped how to get the most out of it... I find the UI too abstract. I'll work on that more though, thanks for the tip!

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 12:49 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the Black Lion Audio AGB compressor?

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by ??? » Thu May 14, 2020 1:06 pm

I bought an overstayer MAS a couple of months ago. I'm in love with it. It's not a compressor, but it does compress the signal a little. It's more of a "colouring" device. I record all my synths through it. It just sound good and you can go from gentle and subtle warmth to full on distortion. I wouldn't use it as a distortion unit, but for adding depth and presence with a big of compression, it's just perfect.

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by Voltcontrol » Thu May 14, 2020 1:25 pm

orangehexagon wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 11:17 am
I realize that my productions could really benefit from a hardware compressor. I've held out for so long getting by with software, but I'm realizing I would really enjoy working with a simple hardware compressor instead.

Here's a quick list of my current set-up:

Vermona DRM-1 MKIII
Elektron Analog Rytm
Elektron Digitone
Eurorack skiff / 0-coast
Sequential Pro 3
OB6

Which all runs through my Ashley Mixer, into the Elektron Analog Heat, into my UA Arrow interface, into Ableton.

Can you recommend a good hardware compressor with a bit of color to beaf up my drummachines / synths (especially my DRM-1)?

I would ideally like really snappy punch and air from a compressor. I'm not so interested in the "wooly" variety.

I should note that I'm looking to spend below $1k and ideally below $600. I might go the used/pre-owned route as well.

Thanks!
A lot of people like the Oto Boum for good reason, depending on your use it could also replace your Analog Heat.
A budget friendly and pretty decent sounding option is the EHX Platform.

Overstayer is ace but out of budget as far as I'm aware (if it is sub 1K somewhere PLZ share :)) )

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by oscilloscope » Thu May 14, 2020 1:27 pm

Image

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by 3hands » Thu May 14, 2020 1:30 pm

orangehexagon wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:49 pm
Does anyone have any experience with the Black Lion Audio AGB compressor?

Is that the API clone? I’m very interested in it as well, if we’re talking about the same bit of kit
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by leeski » Thu May 14, 2020 1:59 pm

Mindprint compressor T-Comp is tasty
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lud
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by lud » Thu May 14, 2020 2:04 pm

orangehexagon wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:45 pm
lud wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:21 pm
Bugbrand stereo compressor sounds great and is very hands on
Definitely got my eye on this, but they are out of stock everywhere and can't find any used units
Keep your eyes out if interested, seen a few for sale recently. Think they're still occasionally produced

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by slumberjack » Thu May 14, 2020 2:40 pm

I bought two pieces, both are great:

Summit Audio TLA-50 - awesome mono tube compressor for 700$

Drawmer DL 251 Spectral Compressor - stereo compressor with additional limiter and spectral enhancement for 900$

I have an eye on the the Bugbrand for the live setup.
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by bwhittington » Thu May 14, 2020 2:53 pm

This would be a bit of a dark horse choice, but I'm obsessed with the Cwejman VC-SC since picking it up recently. Currently available at Big City. Eurorack but with a 1/4" stereo input and outputs. It gives a nice crisp cohesion in regular settings and just a touch more radical with modulation. My use is mostly a mix of drum samples from a bitbox and a few modular blips, but I've also used it with line level signals from my DAW. It doesn't have an input gain control, so it is possible some source *might* need a boost, but nothing your mixer couldn't supply, I'd think. The main advantage to this route is Eurorack format. For the money or less, there are a lot of great choices. But cv modulation is a unique option on a compressor and can be pretty cool for drums effects with tempo-synced lfo's and such. And since you are in Euro already, I thought other uses would present themselves. It is also a great-sounding compressor, but if that aspect doesn't interest you, don't give it another thought. ;)

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by mritenburg » Thu May 14, 2020 3:00 pm

Doesn’t your UAD Interface come with the industry’s best modeled compressors like the LA-2A and 1176? I get that hardware is sexy, but you should already have access to some of the best compressors available that you can record/mix through to give color to your instruments.
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by BugBrand » Thu May 14, 2020 3:18 pm

lud wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 2:04 pm
orangehexagon wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:45 pm
lud wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:21 pm
Bugbrand stereo compressor sounds great and is very hands on
Definitely got my eye on this, but they are out of stock everywhere and can't find any used units
Keep your eyes out if interested, seen a few for sale recently. Think they're still occasionally produced
Thanks!
Last current batch being built now - I'd aim to do another board run in a month or two.
It seems to have had some particular interest recently after being a slow burner for a couple of years.
Currently trying one out with twin-mono parametric EQ in front - lots of fun!

PS - it is SSL style at core

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orangehexagon
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 3:55 pm

BugBrand wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:18 pm

Currently trying one out with twin-mono parametric EQ in front - lots of fun!
Woah, nice!

Can you share some photos of the prototype?

Also, just got your email. Thanks!

-Brett

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orangehexagon
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by orangehexagon » Thu May 14, 2020 3:59 pm

Image

Just saw this on your Twitter. This looks amazing.


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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by Ears » Fri May 15, 2020 5:59 pm

Two decades later RNC is still really nice (and really cheap): https://fmraudio.com/rnc.html

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by freakynorth » Fri May 15, 2020 9:06 pm

lud wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:21 pm
Bugbrand stereo compressor sounds great and is very hands on
This!
I’ve used it on everything since I bought one.
It really beefs up the old drum machine I play!
I wouldn’t like it half as much without it.

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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by winn3r » Fri May 15, 2020 9:15 pm

mritenburg wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:00 pm
Doesn’t your UAD Interface come with the industry’s best modeled compressors like the LA-2A and 1176? I get that hardware is sexy, but you should already have access to some of the best compressors available that you can record/mix through to give color to your instruments.
Agreed - probably not what you want to hear, but perhaps just save up for now? At your price range, I doubt you'll find something that will blow your mind when compared to the UAD stuff or some of the better software offerings (eg Cytomic The Glue). UAD's Shadow Hills is killer, as are both UAD & Waves' 2500, Softube/UAD CL-1B, etc...

Or the Alesis 3630 if you happen to be into French house music ;)
Last edited by winn3r on Sat May 16, 2020 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommend Hardware Compressor

Post by Dave Peck » Fri May 15, 2020 9:50 pm

It's pushing the top of your budget but have you considered the Drawmer 1978 for right around $1k? It sounds excellent and has some unique features.

Or for about $700, Warm Audio has a new SSL-style bus compressor. I haven't heard it, but I've been pretty impressed with their other stuff so far. Very good bang for the buck.

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