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Can anyone suggest a decent compressor

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Sean Kendall
Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Feb 27, 2009 at 2:10:43 pm

I work at a small production company and we sometimes (maybe once every couple months) need to record voiceovers in our studio. We don't have very good equipment for this and are usually fighting to keep the signal from over modulating when the talent gets too loud.

I'm looking for a simple, but decent, compressor for our needs. If it was a compressor/gate that would be even better. I don't think my boss wants to spend more than about $250 at the most and probably would like to keep the price under $200 if possible.

Any decent solutions out there that would get the job done for us?

Thanks.



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Ty Ford
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Feb 27, 2009 at 4:52:22 pm

Hello Shaun and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The RNC should do the trick. Just don't push it too hard.
http://www.fmraudio.com/RNC1773.HTM

Here's one on ebay: http://tinyurl.com/cr5hcj

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Jordan Wolf
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Feb 27, 2009 at 6:00:43 pm

+1 for the RNC. I have 2 in my travel rack. Great little pieces of gear.

Wolf
<><


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Sean Kendall
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Feb 27, 2009 at 7:05:37 pm

Thanks guys!



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Rodney Morris
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 1, 2009 at 11:54:40 am

Well Shaun I wouldn't have recommended this unit until a few months ago when a friend of mine turned me on to it, but the Alesis 3630 is a dual channel compressor (and a darn fine one) for only $100. It's similar in design to the dbx units. Being the gear snob I am, I would never have given any Alesis compressors a second glance. Now after using it on vocals in a live situation, I must say I'm impressed for the price. I've not used it in a studio situation (though my friend does) but I don't think you will go wrong with it.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/3630/

Rodney

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:51:05 pm

Rodney,

Interesting. Back in the day when the 3060 came out, it was pretty much poo-pooed as a noisy, pumping box by the studio guys; most of whom knew whet they were talking about. I had a Compellor at the time, so I didn't need to check it out.

I reviewed the RNC and was pretty happy with what it did for basic compression. I think I liked it better in "super" mode.

Back to the original prob, peaking voice talent. I want to rethink my previous answer. If it's occasional peaks, you'd want a limiter, not a compressor. Why don't you just record at a lower level?

Ty

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Rodney Morris
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 1, 2009 at 7:32:08 pm

Ty, as I said earlier I've not used the 3630 in a studio, so I can't really comment on it's performance there, but in a live situation it's not been terrible, certainly not worse than the other budget compressors I'm accustomed to using (dbx, presonus). I know there are better sounding units for a lot more money (to which the studio guys all agree), but for only $100 I expected this unit to sound like crap and I don't think it does. I normally set it to compress at a ratio of 3:1, fastest response and release times possible, attenuating 5-8 dBs. With those settings it doesn't sound that bad to me.

That being said, the RNC may very well be a better unit - I've not used it.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 1, 2009 at 5:09:56 pm

I've heard a LOT of negative reviews about that box, but I can't say I've heard one myself, so I'll leave the opinion-forming until a later date.

I still say the RNC's are the best way to go if you're looking for a compressor. Browse Ebay for a Symetrix 501. They shouldn't be that much, and they have both an RMS limiter AND a peak limiter. Or, if you want to add to your collection of recording gear, a used Symetrix 528E would do you well. That would take care of a lot of the signal chain if you don't have an in-the-box solution.

Wolf
<><


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Ty Ford
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 1, 2009 at 5:51:30 pm

Hey Jordan,

Yer givin' me ideas! The best little preamp/processor I've seen for the money (and I was the proud owner of a Symetirx 528 for many years, was a dbx 286a. You can get one for about $200 USD.

http://www.dbxpro.com/286A/286A.php

I reviewed it when it came out and was very impressed by its sound and ease of use.

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Jordan Wolf
Re: Can anyone suggest a decent compressor
on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:52:03 am

I've seen 'em, but never heard 'em (that I know of). I'll have to check one out sometime. I have never used the Symetrix 528 either, but I really like how its features can be used independently or together on different and the same source(s). THAT flexibility almost tempts me to buy one...

But first, finding a job for after college and then paying off my loans. :-)

Wolf
<><


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