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Compressors??

 
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Bertotti
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Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:56 pm    Post subject: Compressors?? Reply with quote

I have an Antelope Audio Zen Tour and they have a lot of compressors. I am new to compressors so my question is how do you know which to pick and use? Is there really that much difference between them?
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SanderXpander
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Joined: 29 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, only just saw this. Compressors are like analog (or in this case virtual analog) synths. They all basically do the same thing, some have more options than others but each one has a distinct character. How do you know? Mostly experience. There are a few really famous classic compressors though and they differ enough that they tend to work best on different things;

The LA2A is an optical compressor with a very simple "peak reduction" controller. It's technically called a "leveling amplifier" and has a "smoothening" effect, working well to even out vocals for instance.

The 1176 is a compressor with exceptionally fast attack and thus works well on drums, or to catch the initial sharp plosives in a vocal performance. Note that the "attack" knob, contrary to most compressors, doesn't signify attack time but rather the "speediness" of the attack, so clockwise/higher values means a faster attack.

The SSL bus compressor is the compressor originally included in the SSL studio desks. Nowadays you can buy several clones separately. It is often used on mix buses and drum buses because it has an uncanny ability to "glue" a mix together while still sounding transparent.

There are others but I believe these are the most famous ones. If you google the names I'm sure you'll find more pointers on what they're used for.
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Bertotti
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SanderXpander, you gave me a great start and in this case, I don't know why, I never thought of googling each name! Thanks again!
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megamarkd
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learnt a lot from using my first dbx166xl. It's a budget compressor but it has dbx's 'auto' button. I would use the auto button and listen to how the signal was changed then tried to recreate that in manual mode. Once attaining the same results in manual, I then spent some time listening to what happened when I tweaked the settings, first the decay, then the attack. I then tried to set my (even cheaper) Phonic up to react the same. It actually had times on it's attack and decay dials, so I could get an idea of lengths the dbx was using. It was a bit of an eye-opener (should that be ear-opener?) to hear the decay do the opposite of what I thought would happen when set to really long times.
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Bertotti
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will try that. I have noticed that these amps and cabs sounds darn good in the Zen Tour. So good i have even considered selling some of my tube amps and just keeping a couple. I can only assume they did an equally good job on all the other emulations because everything sounds so good to me.
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