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Old 05-31-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
slops
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Default Can someone breakdown when to use la2a, 1176, fairchild, dbx160 (vst links inside)

I usually rely on reacomp for most of my basic compression needs, but lately I have become interested in experimenting more with vsts that are modeled after famous compressors. I've found some basic info about what these compressors are known for, but can anyone explain what they personally find each one to work best at? I've been experimenting on my own but I am interested to get an idea of what these are generally being used for and when probably not to use them (i.e. using a la2a on the masterbus is probalbly not gonna sound good, but on vocals it can work great, etc....).

The overall basic info I have found is that la2a are great on vocals and bass, dbx160 is good for kick/snare/guitar, and fairchild works well on the master bus? 1176 and dbx160 good for taming fast peaks and parallel compression duties? Any info, tips or knowledge in general you people could share would be great.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Here is a short list of the better vst emulations of these compressors I have found that are all free.
(* except for majortom and the rocket which are unrestricted evaluation copies *)
----------------------------------

LA-2A
TLs-2095-LA - http://hem.bredband.net/tbtaudio/arc...vstplugins.htm
optron 3a - http://phoenixinflightaudio.blogspot.com/
dream vortex leveling amp - http://www.dreamvortex.co.uk/effects/

dbx160
*majortom - http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=13

1176
audiocation AC1 - https://www.audiocation.de/en/plugin
*rocket - http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=68

fairchild
density mkII - http://varietyofsound.wordpress.com/vst-effects/
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:44 PM   #2
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LA2A - vocals and decent on just about everything else, hence it's in almost all major studios. Easy to use and easy to get to sound good. I think it kind of softens the sound a touch.

1176 - It's good on everything. This is the best compressor ever IMO. It makes things just sound better hence some using it with no compression just for the sound. Vocals, bass, guitar, drums can all be done with these. I just got a real one the other day and still messing around with it. It keeps the highend intact and probably adds a touch of highend also which is super cool because most compressors rob the highend a little too much. The thing about the 1176 is it adds just a touch of attitude which is so cool almost always. The thing I would say I don't use 1176 type compressor on is acoustic, I have a Taylor and adding highend isn't necessary.

DBX 160 - When I think of any DBX unit I think bass and drums. This is going to have the effect of accenting the transient on anything and add punch...it's the only reason to use a DBX...add punch. They can clamp down a little too much but just watch it.

Fairchild - I'm not a huge fan of the Fairchild models I've used. It makes things almost too soft. If I use it its on acoustic guitar and then maybe drum buss and vocals but not often does it beat out something else.

Distressor - This is the swiss army knife compressor. Now that I have a 1176, the distressor sounds like it robs high end. If you want a compressor that can soften a touch, add punch, add grind...this is the one to get. I don't think you can use it on everything on a mix because it definitely imparts it's sound on anything you use it on but if you use it correctly...it is amazing. Works really well on my Taylor acoustic guitar...good stuff. This is also an awesome bass compressor but it's great on just about everything though.

SSL G-Comp - This is the ultimate buss compressor, the term Glue is permanently attached to the SSL Buss Comp. I use it on 2:1 and just get a couple db's of reduction and it does it's job making your music sound like a record. I also use this occasionally on drum busses on 4:1 to get a little bit of punch and glue.

LA3A - I honestly consider this the mix of a LA2A and an 1176. It keeps the high end like the 1176 but is an opto. It works on bass for me more often than an LA2A. It's not as soft as an LA2A but is pretty versatile. This is more of an invisible compressor than the other Universal Audio stuff IMO.

cam
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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We just released the new LA2A and 1176 comps in the new T-Racks 3.5 update.... something your going to want to check out plus tons of cool info on those two comps too!

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/black76.php

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/white2a.php
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiK View Post
We just released the new LA2A and 1176 comps in the new T-Racks 3.5 update.... something your going to want to check out plus tons of cool info on those two comps too!

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/black76.php

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/white2a.php
ooh... i underestimated you guys for a second* and thought i'd have to pay for these, but no... (I got t-racks and the reverbs bundled when i got ARC.)

*EDIT* : I take that back, you do have to buy them seperately.. how foolish of me, and everyone else it seems.
the 3.5 update makes the two processors 'available' i.e TO BUY. not available to use.

VERY dubious wording and descriptions not just here/above but on the IK website too. damn cheeky i'd say.
loads of users have updated on the basis on getting 2 new comps to plays with, when in fact it is "WITH THIS FREE UPDATE YOU CAN NOW 'INTEGRATE' OUR 2 NEW PRODUCTS.... when you buy them.".

theres not even a discount.

negative 'jam points' for you lot.

edit: interesting info too btw Cam'

Last edited by BenK-msx; 06-02-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
...
1176 - It's good on everything. This is the best compressor ever IMO. It makes things just sound better hence some using it with no compression just for the sound. Vocals, bass, guitar, drums can all be done with these. I just got a real one the other day and still messing around with it.
...
Jealousy...

Cam, which unit did you get? Channel strip? Stereo? LN? Details, man! Pics if ya got 'em.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
LA2A - vocals and decent on just about everything else, hence it's in almost all major studios. Easy to use and easy to get to sound good. I think it kind of softens the sound a touch.

1176 - It's good on everything. This is the best compressor ever IMO. It makes things just sound better hence some using it with no compression just for the sound. Vocals, bass, guitar, drums can all be done with these. I just got a real one the other day and still messing around with it. It keeps the highend intact and probably adds a touch of highend also which is super cool because most compressors rob the highend a little too much. The thing about the 1176 is it adds just a touch of attitude which is so cool almost always. The thing I would say I don't use 1176 type compressor on is acoustic, I have a Taylor and adding highend isn't necessary.

DBX 160 - When I think of any DBX unit I think bass and drums. This is going to have the effect of accenting the transient on anything and add punch...it's the only reason to use a DBX...add punch. They can clamp down a little too much but just watch it.

Fairchild - I'm not a huge fan of the Fairchild models I've used. It makes things almost too soft. If I use it its on acoustic guitar and then maybe drum buss and vocals but not often does it beat out something else.

Distressor - This is the swiss army knife compressor. Now that I have a 1176, the distressor sounds like it robs high end. If you want a compressor that can soften a touch, add punch, add grind...this is the one to get. I don't think you can use it on everything on a mix because it definitely imparts it's sound on anything you use it on but if you use it correctly...it is amazing. Works really well on my Taylor acoustic guitar...good stuff. This is also an awesome bass compressor but it's great on just about everything though.

SSL G-Comp - This is the ultimate buss compressor, the term Glue is permanently attached to the SSL Buss Comp. I use it on 2:1 and just get a couple db's of reduction and it does it's job making your music sound like a record. I also use this occasionally on drum busses on 4:1 to get a little bit of punch and glue.

LA3A - I honestly consider this the mix of a LA2A and an 1176. It keeps the high end like the 1176 but is an opto. It works on bass for me more often than an LA2A. It's not as soft as an LA2A but is pretty versatile. This is more of an invisible compressor than the other Universal Audio stuff IMO.

cam
wow, thank you for taking the time to give clear explanations for each of these.
this is exactly the type of response i was hoping for.

thanks again.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
LA2A - vocals and decent on just about everything else, hence it's in almost all major studios. Easy to use and easy to get to sound good. I think it kind of softens the sound a touch.

1176 - It's good on everything. This is the best compressor ever IMO. It makes things just sound better hence some using it with no compression just for the sound. Vocals, bass, guitar, drums can all be done with these. I just got a real one the other day and still messing around with it. It keeps the highend intact and probably adds a touch of highend also which is super cool because most compressors rob the highend a little too much. The thing about the 1176 is it adds just a touch of attitude which is so cool almost always. The thing I would say I don't use 1176 type compressor on is acoustic, I have a Taylor and adding highend isn't necessary.

DBX 160 - When I think of any DBX unit I think bass and drums. This is going to have the effect of accenting the transient on anything and add punch...it's the only reason to use a DBX...add punch. They can clamp down a little too much but just watch it.

Fairchild - I'm not a huge fan of the Fairchild models I've used. It makes things almost too soft. If I use it its on acoustic guitar and then maybe drum buss and vocals but not often does it beat out something else.

Distressor - This is the swiss army knife compressor. Now that I have a 1176, the distressor sounds like it robs high end. If you want a compressor that can soften a touch, add punch, add grind...this is the one to get. I don't think you can use it on everything on a mix because it definitely imparts it's sound on anything you use it on but if you use it correctly...it is amazing. Works really well on my Taylor acoustic guitar...good stuff. This is also an awesome bass compressor but it's great on just about everything though.

SSL G-Comp - This is the ultimate buss compressor, the term Glue is permanently attached to the SSL Buss Comp. I use it on 2:1 and just get a couple db's of reduction and it does it's job making your music sound like a record. I also use this occasionally on drum busses on 4:1 to get a little bit of punch and glue.

LA3A - I honestly consider this the mix of a LA2A and an 1176. It keeps the high end like the 1176 but is an opto. It works on bass for me more often than an LA2A. It's not as soft as an LA2A but is pretty versatile. This is more of an invisible compressor than the other Universal Audio stuff IMO.

cam
I demo'd the Old Timer and was impressed. Where do you see this comp in relationship to your list?


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Old 06-02-2011, 03:29 AM   #8
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i love the old timer for a track compressor.

Does anyone make a Distressor VST ?
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
i love the old timer for a track compressor.

Does anyone make a Distressor VST ?
For distorted electric guitar duty, Rocket is very close, its got a knob on there to see how much of the effect you want instead of all or nothing
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:38 AM   #10
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Great post camerondye !

I'd just like to add that the Fairchild in Lat-vert mode( mid-side ) works really well on a drum buss, especially if you want to get a big roomy type of drum sound, because you can compress the mid and the side of the stereo signal separately.

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:41 AM   #11
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I actually have a Distressor and I just got the 6176 which has a 610 preamp and an 1176 (and a free UAD-2 Quad card). I also own just all the UAD plugins except the new 224 reverb which I'm not super psyched about. I also own all the FMR comps and a DBX 160a.

The Distressor is a super complicated, super versatile compressor that happens to be easy to get a good sound out of surprisingly enough...that's probably why it's a studio staple already. I don't think anybody who is just fooling around will make an accurate model and it will take one of the big boys to make it right...probably UAD since they work with Dave Derr anyway.

I actually just bought the Old Timer on it's last sale about a month ago and it is awesome, it might be better than UAD stuff on certain things. I figured it was going to be an LA2A type thing but they made it so you can make drums punchy with it. I'm not sure what it's close too honestly...I think it is it's own great thing.

I will try and take pictures tonight of my new rack and throw them up. The 610 preamp is pretty damn cool also. I wasn't super excited about getting it because I have an ADL600, but the 610 is totally rock and roll. I plugged my bass into it and turned on a touch of 1176 and it was the closest thing to a mic'd amp I've ever heard going direct. I recorded a Marshall JCM800 the other day with it and it did the right things and the minimal eq on it helped to shape things a touch. A touch of 1176 on it made it a little bit more angry...just a touch but enough to notice. I'm more excited about than I thought I would be honestly...I just wanted the great deal with the free $1500 card initially but I'm super happy with it. Gain staging it is a little funny but not near as bad as some people have bitched about it....hell it's a full channel strip, by just a pre if you want easy.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:16 AM   #12
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Just to add to some already good information:

The Fairchild is a very unique compressor that is extremely useful for lead voices (both vocal and instrumental). In addition to nice leveling it really brings out the sheen and can make your signal much easier to place into a mix. Just the saturation from the unit without any clamping is gorgeous. You can get a super silky, smooth kind of clamp down that is very pleasant on the human voice. Some people love the Fairchild on buss compressor duty; I have never been able to make it useful there, personally, but it is done.

Due to the age and build process, my understanding is that no two Fairchilds are the same (a real 660 or 670 will run you in the 5 figures, they're very expensive so I've never had the pleasure). Even the clones tend to be pretty expensive (I think the ADLs are considered very authentic at about $9k for a 660 and Anamod makes an interesting digital hardware unit that's also well thought of for thousands of dollars). The rarity certainly affects the market price but people don't shell out $30,000+ for a 2-channel compressor that sucks no matter how rare it is.

For dbx style compression, add to the list de la mancha's sixtyfive. It's based on the 165a as opposed to the 160 (which I think is what Major Tom is based on). My understanding is that the 165 was the first of the 16x series to offer soft knee and a variety of other adjustable controls but that it's essentially the same compressor (in terms of the VCA, transformers) although as the manufacturing modernized it did change the design a bit. In addition to bass and drums these things can be very useful on some vocalists. Also an inexpensive plugin choice (I think it was 15 or 20 bucks).

1176s, while certainly one of the most famous compressors out there, has never really struck me as a versatility compressor; not that it can't be used on a wide variety of material (like almost any other compressor) but the attitude it leaves on a track is pretty heavy. There are, in my view, other compressors which are far more versatile than the 1176 (mostly more modern designs). Of course, this is a fairly subjective measure. Some engineers love to use 1176 on everything. When the 1176 was first released it was basically the first all solid state peak limiter; today there are lots of excellent compression choices including many units which can nail multiple characters/sounds with the flip of a switch. But that said, if you could only have one single compressor, the 1176 would at least be a great choice (not my first as I said, but it would be better than a great many others for your "only compressor" choice).

It's also difficult to talk about 1176s as a single compressor when, in reality, it more often refers to a class of compressor design (FET feedback, all button mode). The original Urei design underwent several major revisions (including faceplate changes, hence the blue face, silver face and black face 1176s) and reissues. And that doesn't include the probably hundreds of clones that have popped up ranging from 1176ish to exquisitely modeled. So an 1176 != an 1176 necessarily (although they should be in the same ballpark at least).

SSL G comp, to me, is a great character compressor. I suspect its widespread use is mostly based on availability: the 4K is a hugely popular board and so engineers had G comps available without patching anything; that sounds lazy but when you have a finite number of compressors to patch to and/or a huge ass mix going on and you just need a little off the top, it's a really big deal to have something nice sitting right there. It also nails a particular sound (and it's a useful character to have in your toolkit for many kinds of modern music). One place the G comp can really shine is buss compression duty (including the two buss). Again, a matter of taste (some people despise the sound of the G comp on the main buss) but it's a sound I really like on some things.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
I actually have a Distressor and I just got the 6176 which has a 610 preamp and an 1176 (and a free UAD-2 Quad card). I also own just all the UAD plugins except the new 224 reverb which I'm not super psyched about. I also own all the FMR comps and a DBX 160a.

The Distressor is a super complicated, super versatile compressor that happens to be easy to get a good sound out of surprisingly enough...that's probably why it's a studio staple already. I don't think anybody who is just fooling around will make an accurate model and it will take one of the big boys to make it right...probably UAD since they work with Dave Derr anyway.

I actually just bought the Old Timer on it's last sale about a month ago and it is awesome, it might be better than UAD stuff on certain things. I figured it was going to be an LA2A type thing but they made it so you can make drums punchy with it. I'm not sure what it's close too honestly...I think it is it's own great thing.

I will try and take pictures tonight of my new rack and throw them up. The 610 preamp is pretty damn cool also. I wasn't super excited about getting it because I have an ADL600, but the 610 is totally rock and roll. I plugged my bass into it and turned on a touch of 1176 and it was the closest thing to a mic'd amp I've ever heard going direct. I recorded a Marshall JCM800 the other day with it and it did the right things and the minimal eq on it helped to shape things a touch. A touch of 1176 on it made it a little bit more angry...just a touch but enough to notice. I'm more excited about than I thought I would be honestly...I just wanted the great deal with the free $1500 card initially but I'm super happy with it. Gain staging it is a little funny but not near as bad as some people have bitched about it....hell it's a full channel strip, by just a pre if you want easy.
That's a pretty serious piece of hardware. I've read a lot of good things about that pre. Fat and warm, they tend to say...

How do you like the UA plugs? How do they compare to other plugs and hardware. This thread is about compressors, but it would be cool to hear your impressions of other plugins (in addition to the soft compressors, of course).
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:33 AM   #14
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I think they make the best plugins for me for sure. I've tried a lot of others and own a lot of others and IMO UAD's are the best. I think they do a pretty good job most of the time giving good deals on their stuff also which is a good thing too. I will throw some examples up and I will work on starting a thread today on the UAD plugins.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:38 AM   #15
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Sounds cool. Looking forward to it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #16
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http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep0...ompressors.htm
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
I think they make the best plugins for me for sure. I've tried a lot of others and own a lot of others and IMO UAD's are the best. I think they do a pretty good job most of the time giving good deals on their stuff also which is a good thing too. I will throw some examples up and I will work on starting a thread today on the UAD plugins.
cam
When I heard Waves CLA compressors, the UAD sounded plastic in comparison. But it may depend on the source material and the desired effect though.
Let me add the recent line of Nebula based compressors to the list – the 1968 and the Fate are surprisingly good (to say the least).
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiK IK marketing dude View Post
We just released the new LA2A and 1176 comps in the new T-Racks 3.5 update.... something your going to want to check out plus tons of cool info on those two comps too!

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/black76.php

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trsingle...fo/white2a.php
stop the bus: no you didn't -
you meant to say you've made them available to integrate into tracks 3.5 when you've bought them for £132!


funny how everyone finds that out only after downloading the update and asking "so where are the 2 new processors?".

none of the release info/blurb mentions this and clearly positively MISLEADS users into thinking they come bundled free with the upgrade.

to quote the 3.5 release notes:
2 new processors, 64-bit support and Authorization Manager

2 new processors available.

-
why not make it clearer? it doesn't change anything and you don't piss off users, i wouldn't mind a bit if you'd said '2 new xtra processors available to purchase'. is pretty simple.

its very dubious and frankly cheeky behaviour,
such unpleasant marketing tactics of IK make their reasonable products less appealing tbh.

a token existing user discount would also help shift units, but nope.
100 negative JAM points for you
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
i love the old timer for a track compressor.

Does anyone make a Distressor VST ?
Antress has one:



Ref: http://antress.blogspot.com/

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenK-msx View Post
ooh... i underestimated you guys for a second* and thought i'd have to pay for these, but no... (I got t-racks and the reverbs bundled when i got ARC.)

*EDIT* : I take that back, you do have to buy them seperately.. how foolish of me, and everyone else it seems.
the 3.5 update makes the two processors 'available' i.e TO BUY. not available to use.

VERY dubious wording and descriptions not just here/above but on the IK website too. damn cheeky i'd say.
loads of users have updated on the basis on getting 2 new comps to plays with, when in fact it is "WITH THIS FREE UPDATE YOU CAN NOW 'INTEGRATE' OUR 2 NEW PRODUCTS.... when you buy them.".

theres not even a discount.

negative 'jam points' for you lot.

edit: interesting info too btw Cam'
Yes that is right. We updated T-Racks 3 to 64 bit and also released two new singles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenK-msx View Post
stop the bus: no you didn't -
you meant to say you've made them available to integrate into tracks 3.5 when you've bought them for £132!


funny how everyone finds that out only after downloading the update and asking "so where are the 2 new processors?".

none of the release info/blurb mentions this and clearly positively MISLEADS users into thinking they come bundled free with the upgrade.

to quote the 3.5 release notes:
2 new processors, 64-bit support and Authorization Manager

2 new processors available.

-
why not make it clearer? it doesn't change anything and you don't piss off users, i wouldn't mind a bit if you'd said '2 new xtra processors available to purchase'. is pretty simple.

its very dubious and frankly cheeky behaviour,
such unpleasant marketing tactics of IK make their reasonable products less appealing tbh.

a token existing user discount would also help shift units, but nope.
100 negative JAM points for you
Sorry about that but our site does specify that these are add ons and not a part of the free update.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:09 PM   #21
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cheers for responding, though 'specify' is a touch ambitious! - you can see that - even if you won't admit it publicly - need i say more:

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/forum/vi...hp?f=13&t=1390 (3rd post onwards)

if you: read your first post, then visit the links you put up, then go into a user area,downloads etc, all the blurb implies and says 'available'. none of the blurb says add-on or purchase.

its just a bit unnecessary and a bit of an own goal, thats all i'm saying and only serves to irritated customers, i'm clearly not the only one (in fact did anyone not think they were bundled?), as shown byt the above link:



you'd have not irritated anyone by saying "fab new plugins available, they're awesome and are good value and they integrate nice with the new t-racks 3.5"

I can imagine research has found that people are a bit more likely to pay-up for 'surprise Xtra costs' than 'known in advance' ones, and hence all your marketing is based on that.

thats fair enough i guess - but i also don't have to not think its devious bordering on creepy. with respect.

sorry for OT forumites. mans gotta do...

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Old 06-02-2011, 08:27 PM   #22
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From the UA manual:

http://www.uaudio.com/media/assetlib...-2a_manual.pdf
Quote:

Mike Shipley

Mike Shipley (Def Leppard, Shania Twain, Blondie): "I grew up using 1176s --- in England they were the compressor of choice. They're especially good for vocals, which is also what I primarily use the LA-2 for. Most anything else I can do without, but I can't be without at least a pair of 1176s and an LA-2A. For example, on the Enrique Iglesias project I'm currently mixing, I'm using both an 1176 and an LA2 on his voice, which is not unusual for me.
"The 1176 absolutely adds a bright character to a sound, and you can set the attack so it's got a nice bite to it. I usually use them on four to one, with quite a lot of gain reduction. I like how variable the attack and release is; there's a sound on the attack and release which I don't think you can get with any other compressor. I listen for how it affects the vocal, and depending on the song I set the attack or release--faster attack if I want a bit more bite. My preference is for the black face model, the 4000 series--I think the top end is especially clean.

"The LA-2A is not as versatile, but it also has a sound that I really like. On certain voices you can crank it heavily, to where you almost want to put a piece of tape over the meter because there's so much gain reduction that you don't want anyone else to see it! I'm not particularly into over-compression, but when you use it that way there's something about it that just sounds really great. It does depend how it's set on the back, where there's a flat control that can be set to roll off certain frequencies when you reduce more gain. If you have a singer with an intensely piercing voice I find that compressor a good one, incredibly useful. It makes things warmer, especially when you crank it, and for thinner voices that can be just the ticket."

Allen Sides

Allen Sides has always been known for having golden ears when it comes to the sound of equipment. The owner of Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles and Nashville, he's also a speaker designer and engineer who is especially respected for his work with live musicians, including orchestra and string dates. Among his recent credits are work with the Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morissette and Green Day. Sides brings his different perspectives into play when he talks about using the 1176.
"The 1176 is standard equipment for my sessions. I just used them last night, as a matter of fact, on a project for singer Lisa Bonet that Rob Cavallo was producing at Ocean Way. We were recording drums and I used them on the left/right overheads as effects limiters. It's something I learned from (engineer) Don Landy, who worked with Randy Newman a lot. I mult the left and right overheads and bring them back on the console, then insert a pair of 1176s into a pair of the mults. Push in 20 to one and four to one simultaneously and it puts the unit into overdrive creating a very impressive sound."

Murray Allen

Murray Allen is a veteran engineer and Director of Post Production for the San Franciso Bay Area company Electronic Arts. He has a fascination for gear both old and new and he explains why he thinks the 1176 has been so popular for so long. "It has a unique sound to it that people like, it's very easy to operate, and it does a great job. You have just two controls relative to the ratio of compression. You have input and output and you have attack and release. That's all there is. It's still my favorite limiter for Fender basses and string basses, because you don't know it's working. It doesn't change the way the bass sounds, it just keeps the level at a more controllable place.


Ken Kessie

Mixer Ken Kessie (En Vogue, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Celine Dion) is known for being experimental. "Seems like everybody knows the basic tricks for he 1176," he says, "But here are two that might be lesser known. If you turn the attack knob fully counterclockwise until it clicks, the 1176 eases to be a compressor and acts only as an amplifier. Sometimes this is the perfect sound for a vocal. And of course the unit can be overdriven, adding another flavor of distortion in case your plug-ins are maxed out!
"Then, for that hard-to-tame lead vocalist (the one that backs up from the mic to whisper and leans in for the big ending chorus), try an 1176 followed by a DBX 165. Use the 1176 as a compressor, and the DBX as a peak limiter...it's guaranteed to be smooth as silk."

Jim Scott

Jim Scott shared a Grammy for Best Engineered Album for Tom Petty's Wildflowers. He's also known for his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Natalie Merchant and Wilco. "I use 1176s real conservatively and they till do amazing things," he comments. "I'm always on the four to one button, and the Dr. Pepper--you know, 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock, and it does everything I need.
"I always use them on vocals. I use them on room mics, on acoustic guitars--sometimes in mixing I'll sneak a little on a snare drum or a separated channel of a snare drum. I'm not one of those guys who leaves it on everything, but I'd have to say I've used an1176 on everything at one time or another.
"They have an equalizer kind of effect, adding a coloration that's bright and clear. Not only do they give you a little more impact from the compression, they also sort of clear things up; maybe a little bottom end gets squeezed out or maybe they are just sort of excitingly solid state or whatever they are. The big thing for me is the clarity, and the improvement in the top end.
"The 1176 has that same kind of phenomenon, where, when you patch something through a Neve equalizer and you don't even engage the EQ, it sounds better. It's just a combination of the amps.

"I also use LA-2As all the time. I use them on bass, and it's one of the compressors I use for reverb. Often I'll send a bunch of things to one LA2A and bring it back into the console like a return--it's great for drums, great for kick drum especially.
"LA-2As warm things up. They're the opposite of the 1176--they EQ all the warmth and low mids and bass. When you put bass and drums in them they get fatter and bigger. And unless you hit them way hard and make the tubes sizzle they don't really distort. Of course, you can get them to sound like an AC30 if you want to, just turn them all the way up. They are very loud, powerful amplifiers.
"I've also used both the 1176 and the LA-2A for stereo buss compressors--you just have to be a little bit careful that your mixes don't go one sided. Tom's [Petty’s] records have often been mixed through 1176s. I've also done that with LA-2As --they are of course, more inconsistent piece to piece than the 1176s, because of the tubes and the difference in fatigue of the tubes.
"My big mentors were Andy Johns and Lee DeCarlo and Ron Nevision because they were all Record Plant guys. I learned how to make a rock and roll record from them. Although over the years it's become my own thing, my style still tends to be that Record Plant style, U87s, 1176s, LA-2As, 47 F.E.T.s...it's what I like."

Mike Clink

Producer/Engineer Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Sammy Hagar, Pushmonkey) also comes from the Record Plant school of recording. "I find that I actually use 1176s more now than I ever did," he comments. "I like them because they bring out the brightness and presence of a sound--they give it an energy. It seems like when I'm mixing I end up using an 1176 on the vocals every time. And if I want to compress a room sound I'll take a mono room mic, put an 1176 across it and push in all the buttons."

Bruce Swedein

Bruce Swedien is a master engineer who needs no introduction. He also is a die-hard 1176 fan. "I have two silverface 1176LNs in my rack that Bill Putnam personally picked out for me," he says. "I remember sitting at Bill's place in the Channel Islands, and talking about the 1176 and how I wanted a pair . The next time we went over he'd picked this pair out and they were sitting in his garage waiting for me. I love them on vocals. All of the Michael Jackson and James Ingram vocals that everyone has heard so much were done with at least one of those 1176s. I couldn't part with them for anything. They sound fabulous."
FWIW, I plan to demo the new IK plugs next to the UAD versions. From the test done by Slate though it appears the gain structure on the IK version is a little wacky, but after compensating, it's pretty spot on.

I never liked the LA-2A much personally, but the 1176 destroys on drums. The Rocket (Sex, Drums and Rock n Roll!), sounds quite a bit like the 1176 in 4 button mode, so that's a less costly alternative that can get a similar character...

I bought the UAD Fairchild, but barely ever used it. I probably don't know how best to use it though.


(I also prefer the UAD Pultec over the IK one, but mostly because I use the Pultec Pro on the UAD, which is much more flexible, so maybe I didn't give it a fair shake.)


*EDIT*
I did a quick test of the IK76 against the UAD version on the Amen break in 4 button mode.

With matched settings, they're nothing a like. If I boost the input on the IK by 6dB however, they get similar amounts of compression, but the IK breaks up a bit harshly whereas the UAD has a lot of grit, but without sounding harsh.

It's still better than any other native version of the 1176 I've tested (and this was just a quick test on one source with extreme settings), but I'm not ready to ditch the UADongle yet...

Until IK addresses the input gain, they're going to miss the entire market of people that want to substitute their version into existing mixes using the UAD 1176, match the settings, and have it sound similar.
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Last edited by PitchSlap; 06-02-2011 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:42 PM   #23
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Does anyone know of a free SSL-G vst clone?
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:57 AM   #24
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You can try this one out for 2 weeks but its $99 to buy. I've heard great things about it though. Very popular alternative to the SSL G comp. Listen to it on your buss with a couple db of reduction on 2:1.

http://www.cytomic.com/products
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
i love the old timer for a track compressor.

Does anyone make a Distressor VST ?
Liquid Mix has distressor emulations too...


Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger View Post
A classic article about classic compressors. This is very worth a read, I was going to recommend this SOS article, but Flatfinger beat me to it. Not just What to use, but why -and comments from many named SE/Prod about their preferences...

>

Last edited by planetnine; 06-04-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:55 AM   #26
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OK,
I have to humor you, since I don't think anybody has yet.
If you had enough $ for a fairchild, and thus, a fairchild, you wouldn't be asking .

Or are you speaking of a fairchild emulation??? I don't own one,..but so far, even though the compressor emulations can sometimes work and sometimes not,...they do a poor job of emulating analog.

my 2 cents.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:15 PM   #27
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Necro thread... 4 years and counting.


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Old 02-02-2015, 04:10 PM   #28
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Yeh, what a bump!
But I bookmarked this thread a few years ago it was so informative for me.
I'm still referring to some of the linked articles.
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