When you engage the compressorâs Dist 2 mode, you apply tube-like 2nd harmonic distortion to your signal, while in Dist 3 mode, 3rd harmonic distortion is appliedâsimilar to tape distortion. For mastering purposes, this isnât typically something youâre looking for, but FET compressors tend to suit a wide variety of aggressive rock and rap vocals. Shop our pick of the best reverb pedals for your 'board; Play with time courtesy of the best delay pedals; A boutique hand-wired guitar amp retailing for two grand plus may have all the natural compression you need, but for the large majority of us guitarists, a pedal to squash and sustain your clean tone can be the difference between a decent guitar sound and a seriously great one. 6:1 for slap bass. A compressor is a device that reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal, making the difference between the … VCA compressors, or voltage controlled amplifier compressors, use a control signal to dictate whether or not gain reduction is applied to an audio signal. Your feedback is always appreciated! Leave a comment below if you have any questions regarding this article. So you may now be asking yourself what these circuit types are. The thing to keep in mind about optical compressors is that the materials used in their construction greatly affect how they behave. If you could choose one compressor to use for the rest of your life, your best bet would be a VCA style compressor. It delivers exceptional transparency, smooth gain reduction, and warm harmonic content free of noticeable compression artifacts. Youâve undoubtedly heard the original unit used on the stereo bus of countless hits. Arguably one of the most popular VCA compressors used to make mixes sound âsnappy,â âpunchy,â and âhugeâ is the Solid State Logic (SSL) G Comp. Over the years, there have been over 13 revisions and variations of the 1176âeach revision is unique in its own way. Learn about VCA compressors, optical compressors, FET compressors, and tube compressors. They are usually cheaper than tube or optical compressors and are extremely fast. In Nick Messitteâs article called â4 Types of Analog Compressionâand Why They Matter in a Digital World,â he dives into the design elements unique to these different types of compressors. Universal Audioâs 1176LN reissue is what youâre most likely to find in stores now, but you can hunt down previous revisions of the 1176 by searching websites like Vintage King. VCA (stands for voltage controlled amplifier) compressors are perhaps compressors with the fastest response of the attack and release parameters. FET compressors, or field effect transistor compressors, make use of transistor circuits. When toggled into Old mode, the API 2500+ uses a feedback type of compression, in which the detector is placed after the VCA. I want you to be able to decide when it makes sense to reach for a compressor from one topology versus another. This beast is two compressors in one! Learn which phone and computer apps will help you produce better music. The way in which the LA-2A applies compression is highly program-dependent. In practice, FET compressors are capable of extremely fast attack times, but they tend to introduce some color and distortion to the signal you apply them toâespecially when driven. A compressor is a device that reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal, making the difference between the loud and quiet parts of the signal less significant. When you take a look at an LA-2A, youâll notice that the primary controls consist of just a Gain knob, Peak Reduction knob, and Compress(3:1 ratio)/Limit(100:1 ratio) switch. Learn about 4 of the best digital audio workstations (DAWs) for music producers and discover which DAW is the best fit for you. Tube compressors also tend to provide a slow response to transients, relative to other types of compressors. Since forming this link simply involves plugging in a few cables, you can start with one Distressor, and then integrate an additional Distressor later on as budget permits. These types of compressors, unsurprisingly, rely on tubes to tame dynamics. The Fairchild 670 (stereo) and Fairchild 660 (mono) are two of the most sought after compressors in the world, making use of 20 tubes and costing upwards of $50,000! Oops! What are VCA compressors? VCA. ... DBX 160 VCA Compressor. If youâre looking for an incredibly versatile hardware compressor, I personally recommend Empirical Labâs EL8 Distressor. Most audio compressors operate using either VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplitude), FET (Field-effect Transistor), OPTO (Optical), or VARI-MU (Variable-MU). These are some of the most common types of compressors and often include all the controls youâre used to seeing on plugin compressors, like attack, release, threshold, ratio, and sometimes a knee. If you're interested in learning more about music production, How to Record Vocals Through a Hardware Compressor, Sign up for our newsletter to get "The 14-Step Mixing Checklist" for FREE. Another unique feature youâll find on the API 2500+ is the ability to toggle between two types of compression modes, which include Old and New. One type of light source may illuminate faster than an other, while something as simple as the material the resistor is made of can alter the way compression is applied as well. A jack of all trades, the Distressor is the first hardware compressor that many audio engineers incorporate into their studio. One of the iconic features of the 1176 is that when you push in all four ratio buttons in at once, the results are aggressive and musical. VCA’s also tend to have less “coloration” compared to optical or tube compressors somewhat similar to the digital vs. analog tape […] Messitteâs article is somewhat technical, so Iâve summarized and simplified the key takeaways for you. The API 2500+ Stereo Bus Compressor is a popular VCA compressor that includes a unique âTHRUSTâ feature that places a filter in front of its RMS detector. On the whole, look towards the FET and Opto compressors if you’re after a more characterful vintage sound, while various VCA models balance a more retro performance with sonic accuracy. Why would one compressor sound different than another? This compressor has lightning-fast attack and release times, and it delivers a bright, present, and energetic sound. The uncalculated nature of the LA-2A is exactly what makes it desirable. A mini powerhouse with adapted studio-grade VCA internals to produce an ultra clean, noiseless compressor at an affordable price. It can sound really cool for example to use a compressor to really stomp on a … To improve on this, Pulsar Audio have actually integrated a full equalization section, as well as look ahead/behind transient capabilities. This filter imbues each octave with equal energy, instead of half the energy as the next lowest one. This is the compressor I have used the most on my mix bus in … Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor: The grand master of VCA compressors. Hear the difference with audio examples. The control interface is also super simple, once you’ve set your peak threshold to limit the maximum signal volume, just add on the compression ratio you’re after i.e. Finally, there are tube compressors. Reviews Jul 2020; link. Black Lion Audio Bluey | Audio Examples Hear For Yourself. Perhaps the most popular FET compressor of all time is the 1176 Limiting Amplifier, which was originally introduced to the market in the late 1960s. The four types of compressors you should become familiar with include VCA compressors, optical compressors, FET compressors, and tube compressors.
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