MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Compressor for playing live.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Compressor for playing live.
newgreyarea
Anyone have a favorite stereo compressor for playing live?
I'm running the modular, Machinedrum, a few other synths through an Octatrack then through a Filter Factory. Thinking it would be cool to have a compressor at the end of that to smash everything together. I have an Alesis 3630 that is pretty cool on my 303 but I dunno if it would muck up the sound if I run everything through it. Something that "pumps" could be cool.
Nothing too expensive or fancy as it's gonna get dragged into warehouses with people on drugs and I don't want those fuckers messing it up! hah!

Thanks!
sneak-thief
If you want something small, affordable, reliable and somewhat coloured, how about an FMRAudio RNLA?
newgreyarea
I have an RNC but I don't think it will do the trick. My jam mate who does studio stuff for a living vetoed the RNC for anything but maybe acoustic instruments and vocals. RNLA better?
theflyingfridge
As far as I can remember the RNLA is the exact same design as the RNC with one small caveat. It sounds a little darker/warmer or "colorful" as opposed to clean/crisp or "transparent" (RNC). I use the RNC at the end of a chain of messy modular mixes on occasion and it seems to do the job. For the money you won't find a dual channel compressor that will do the job better. Unless you've got the dough for one of those hefty universal audio units, I think you should be okay.

...then again I spend more time twiddling knobs than I do playing live or recording.

thumbs up
John Noble
I'm happy with my dbx 266xs for live use:

http://www.dbxpro.com/en-US/products/266xs

The RNC and RNLA are both stereo-only, which can be an issue if you have ping-pong delays or other heavy stereo-oriented sound happening. Both have excellent reputations, of course.

One nice thing about the dbx is that it has 1/4" and XLR balanced I/O, which means you can feed house PA systems' snakes without a direct box (assuming their mixer can handle a hot line level signal).

I think anyone who plays live with a modular needs compression, it's hard enough to get music out of these beasts without having to ride levels constantly.
dogoftears
i personally think it is preferable to avoid master buss compression when playing live. unless you want to pay attention closely to yr compressor settings the whole time, constantly tweeking threshold levels and attack times as the program material changes (heavier/sustained bass in some parts, change of tempo, etc). which really is quite difficult to do in most live settings.

a similar idea for a "gluing" effect that isn't so program dependent could be a nice colorful preamp of some kind. i've been thinking of bringing my overstayer instrument driver out to gigs lately, with saturation set to a minimum it sucks up big peaks really nicely while simultaneously coloring up the mix, lots of hair and non-linearity brought to the surface. tube pre's are also good for this kind of thing.
lilakmonoke
i second dbx but if then get the dbx166xs all the features you will ever need and none of problems of the older versions and even cheaper than the rnc.

Arturo00
I use a DBX 266XL for side chaining my outputs to a kick output of an MPC1000. Seems to do the job quite nicely, and I got it for like $80 used!
Igor Berlin
lilakmonoke wrote:
i second dbx but if then get the dbx166xs all the features you will ever need and none of problems of the older versions and even cheaper than the rnc.



interesting. I was thinking of getting a RNLA, but this might indeed be the better option. How deep are those things?
lilakmonoke
not very deep like 20 cm? the 166xs really is amazing value for the money and it sounds very good to my ears good low end and very snappy. i researched all the dbx models and the older ones seem to have problems with fast transients but this one not. and it has that classic dbx sound of the 70s 160 at the push of a button.
Igor Berlin
20cm sounds good. Could just put it on top of my LC9. Will have to get one of those at some point. Thanks for the tip :-)
Do you ever take your modular to play gigs? If so, how do you accomodate the dbx?
thetwlo
for live? get a used Aphex Dominator II, should be under $200. Grabbed one for $100 at GC. it's not special, but quite useful.
infradead
getting a FMR RNC in a trade. see how i like it.
StoneLaw
as a master compressor, the rnc is probably the best choice. Best cheapest stereo comp. Anything better you wouldn't want to take out of the house. Those dbx comps are no slouch tho either although I prefer them on an instrument rather than the bus.
lilakmonoke
Igor Berlin wrote:
20cm sounds good. Could just put it on top of my LC9. Will have to get one of those at some point. Thanks for the tip :-)
Do you ever take your modular to play gigs? If so, how do you accomodate the dbx?


the dbx 166xs is not heavy or large and easy to carry around. id say its main advantage in a live situation is the big lights for all functions so you actually see whats going on in a low lighting situation. and many functions in one box. ie. gate is really useful live, limiter as well.
PM33AUD
I find compression absolutely necessary on a modular rig (we have hardware comps on all 'tweaking' instruments - which turns out is all of them. Currently, we're using the DBX 166XL, Symetrix 501, FMR RNC, and in software we're using the Supercharger GT and the Ableton compressor. We tried a bunch of others and are still trying new stuff. The RNLA is next on my list.

We used to have everything in hardware, sequenced from Ableton, but recently picked up a UFX (more IO!) so now we run everything into Ableton and do the reverb routing, buss compression, and mixing in there; so much more control this way. I've found I like the RNC best on the MS2k which is mainly used for higher freq 'claritable' stuff. The modular I have going into the 166XL now but really dont like it so much TBH. It's kinda 'spikey' and I don't know if it's me or not but the detection circuit doesn't seem that precise. I'm always readjusting it which defeats the purpose. The PRO VLAII wasn't half bad on the modular - depended on the patch whether I liked it or not. The 501 was by far the best option for the bass instruments (303 and Bass Station II). I had the 501 on the modular and liked that best there too but I only have 1 (in pursuit of another or something similar - maybe a 160 or an Ashley comp). I really wanna try the 501 on the drum bus but I'd need another for stereo.

I've also experimented with these for sidechain purposes and the 501 and RNC hardware comps did best there. The 166XL doesn't have a very fast attack time so I had to delay the trigger track ahead to accommodate the slowest comp (the 166). Using hardware sidechain comps sucked for us because you loose these comps for the as important leveling/limiting duties. Since we've moved all audio routing into the DAW, I handle all the sidechaining there and it sounds better due to the added control - each instrument reacts differently and certain songs need more or less on various instruments - doing all that in HW isn't really feasible on top of the performance component.

Same experimentation on the master bus... of all the ones I mentioned (hardware/software), I like the Supercharger GT best there. I figured the PRO VLA II would excel but I didn't like it better than the Supercharger. It was definitely softer sounding and even - I just didn't like how it sucked away some of the aggressiveness. We also tried some other SW comps like the vintage warmer, polysquasher, the rest of the NI comps, a LA-2, and a few others. For hardware, the RNC did nicer things on the master than the 166. The VLA would depend on what kinda sound you're going for.

The other thing I've been doing, in particular with the modular, is setting up pre-patched 'presets' that I select with a multi-pole rotary switch - this sets the ADSR times (both amplitude and FCV) and overall volume. Contour or EQ into the detector helps a lot too; in particular with patches that have a full spectrum.

Because taking some burden off a compressor's leveling duties usually results in the best sound, I've been working on a module that allows continuous sweeping of several parameters at once, with various offsets, polarities, and gains. Minimally, I'll tie the outputs to the FCV of a filter and the final volume so the filter sweeps are consistent in volume. You can do the same thing with a few attenuverters, VCAs, and offset generators. Now I'm riding the output volume of the modular whenever I made changes - a real PIA... I'm usually on a delay or one of the other synths or the track sequencing as well - running out of hands is an understatement.

Sorry for the winded response; hopefully something in there helps. Going through all of this really makes it blatantly clear why nearly all electronic music is performed entirely from software/laptops today. Sometimes I wonder if we are total morons trying to do it this way. Dead Banana
PM33AUD
lilakmonoke wrote:
i researched all the dbx models and the older ones seem to have problems with fast transients but this one not. and it has that classic dbx sound of the 70s 160 at the push of a button.


Yes. This ^

I may try one of the new ones out. Cheap enough to do the experiment.
eole
thanks, very helpfull thread smile
freestylemovement
I just picked up a smart c1LA 500 series bus compressor. highly recommended. especially for the option of external side chain input:)
r05c03
Any more thoughts on compression for live electronic music? I am starting a synth-pop type project. I run all the instruments into a Soundcraft 16FXii which I hope to control from the "stage". I am considering using a compressor strapped across the main outs.
youkon
for modular, I really like the wmd mscl stereo compressor!
so easy to use and I really like the sound.
In the meantime I have two of them, could use even more (sidechain)

you can hear it on all my latest jams on youtube (midirausch), especially the sidechain

since I have mscls, it really improved my sound
r05c03
Ah, what I meant to say was is that I run synths, the modular, a synthed up uke (long story, don't ask) and vox all into a mixer and I am considering getting a compressor to strap across the main mix. I pretty sure I do not want to run that back into the Euro-world.
Navs
The RNLA is kinder than the RNC; it's slower and handles bass better, less of a fuzz box. It's also portable and a solid bit of kit. Hainbach and Goldwiener swear by the Bugbrand for Powwow livestreams which is also small.

That said, synth levels are fairly predictable and if it's not for effect, are you sure you need compression, or at least that the venue isn't limiting somewhere down the line too?
r05c03
Good point about the down line limiters. Also, I am not convinced I need one really, I am mostly interested in others do. Most of the sounds are coming from my gear, so maybe just compression vox, but I think her vox box might even have that already built in.
xenosapien
Navs wrote:
The RNLA is kinder than the RNC; it's slower and handles bass better, less of a fuzz box. It's also portable and a solid bit of kit. Hainbach and Goldwiener swear by the Bugbrand for Powwow livestreams which is also small.

That said, synth levels are fairly predictable and if it's not for effect, are you sure you need compression, or at least that the venue isn't limiting somewhere down the line too?


+1 on the RNLA

small & portable, sounds really good to me, can be used subtly or heavily depending on your taste and will sound good with most material (at least most of what I have run through it so far).

Greetings to the "studio guy" who thinks his studio "rules" apply to the world of gigging live with modulars... you´ll make loooots of "friends". razz
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group