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Compressor on synth demo thread
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Compressor on synth demo thread
Default1
Hi everyone!

I would like to invite others out there to post demos of their hardware compressors on their synths.

There are plenty of compressor demos out there, but very few on synths. I have read the debates and forums endlessly: on one hand, people saying that there is no need for a compressor on a synth, because that is what the envelope generator is for, and those who say that compressors are great.

I live in a town that is not large enough to support a pro audio store that stocks compressors on demo. So, in order to decide, I just had to read, and look at youtube demos. None of the demos showed electronic music.

I finally tool the plunge and bought a Warm Audio WA76. I am very happy with the results. Previously, percussive peaks that chewed up all my headroom are tamed, and I am getting a fuller sound.

There are endless debates about whether compressor A is worth the money. This is the question I would like to resolve: what compressors sound good on synths, and is it worth shelling out your hard-earned cash on an expensive one, or will a cheap one do. This is, after all, electronic music. We aren't trying to preserve the subtleties of acoustic music. Anything that comes out of our boxes that sounds good is valid, so is it really worth spending big cash on a compressor?

Please post your demos. Cheap compressors, expensive compressors, anything in between. A/B is appreciated. Please normalize the uncompressed sound, so that what we here is NOT just louder.

Here is my demo. It has been normalized, so the peaks are hitting 0db, for a true A/B comparison:

jorg
Great demo! The compressor definitely makes the beat louder and boomier. Whether that's a good thing depends on the rest of your mix.
BendingBus
Default1 wrote:
I would like to invite others out there to post demos of their hardware compressors on their synths.


Got a ton of hardware, and want to get around to this eventually!

Default1 wrote:
There are plenty of compressor demos out there, but very few on synths. I have read the debates and forums endlessly: on one hand, people saying that there is no need for a compressor on a synth, because that is what the envelope generator is for, and those who say that compressors are great.


Compressors are great; I compress every synth channel, and then compress the mix as well. But it's done quite lightly. It's not really that different for synth music, than it is for any other genre. The idea that "you can do it with the envelope generator" is a very theoretical way of thinking, and not really true. A synth envelope can't do a multi-stage release opto-comp envelope, and it can't do various tube/transistor colors. Piling the two envelopes on top of each other refines the envelope shape, adds textures, and just in general adds interest.

Default1 wrote:

Here is my demo. It has been normalized, so the peaks are hitting 0db, for a true A/B comparison:


I'd recommend normalizing to the same LUFS value (a lot of programs are starting to include this function). Peak normalization results in totally different average levels. Some people are still using RMS normalization, but that falls short too. LUFS is where it's at.


Default1 wrote:

Please post your demos. Cheap compressors, expensive compressors, anything in between. A/B is appreciated.


Lots of hardware compressors here, but no A/B. Bass=LA2A, arpeggio=LA3a, organ=Dramastic Obsidian, melody=Pendulum Quartet, stereo saw echoes=API2500. Mix compressed with a Pendulum OCL-2.

Default1
BendingBus: Thank you for posting!

You have some stellar production values going on there. This is a really nice demo of clean compression done with a light touch. The sound quality is fantastic.

Very nice music too! I notice you have been using non 12-TET tuning. Good work!
Sinamsis
Interested in hearing your thoughts on the WA76. I've been looking at hardware compressors a ton lately, and gave serious thought to the Warm 1176 and LA2A clones... in the end I decided to go 500 series for now, mostly to save room. Right now I only have a chassis, so it's a little early for videos. Haha. But I hope to contribute when I have things up and running.
umma gumma
this is a good thread!

I have a WA76 but have only been using it on vocals. it's in the other room. might have to drag it over here & record some synth thru it
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