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Hardware Buss Comps

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Hardware Buss Comps

Postby jkervin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:28 pm

So I'm fairly new to Nebula although I've picked up quite a few libraries. I have recently picked up Cupwise's Rayphlex and Slick 9k - both awesome, and AlexB's Fenix. All fantastic. I've read the thread here about using Nebula on 2Buss and done lots of reading on GS about hardware. So I'm really looking for opinions on what you guys use here for (hardware) buss compression and how you think it compares to the latest and greatest Nebula ones. I still feel like I'm going to buy something, but haven't completely made up my mind yet.

Thanks guys!
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby SWAN » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:11 pm

Ive used a Drawmer 1968 which I think is an excellent but affordable (second hand $1000) bus comp. Another is the Elysia Xpressor, or you can get reasonably priced S*L clones. Portico 5043 also good.

Higher price stuff that is popular is the A Designs Nail, M****y Vari Mu, Cranesong STC8...Culture Phoenix

Ive been going back and forth on this for a while, but Im starting to feel that hardware channel compression is preferable for me. Bus compression on the master needs to be so slight - that considering the price of a hardware compressor and budget I work to I might just use a Nebula program or the upcoming SLate bus compressor for that 2db Gain reduction - and spend money on hardware compressors for channel eg DBX160 or Dristressor.

However I make electronic music so YMMV.
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby jkervin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:21 pm

Hey Swan thanks for the reply! I was considering the Drawmer for a while, but have been thinking of going with something higher end, I guess. The Nail was one I was considering, but was thinking more about the A*I 2500 or UBK Fatso. I'm pretty sure I'll pick up Slate's VBC when it comes out.

I make electronic music also but also throw in a lot of organic stuff like acoustic basses and guitars. Kind of a mix like New Order, etc. I do have a Slate Dragon that I track with and like, but was thinking about selling to fund a stereo comp. So you think it would be better to keep that or something similar for tracking, etc, and stick with Nebula for the 2 buss, huh? For hardware channel compression - do you do that while tracking or afterwards? Thanks a bunch for your input!!

Thanks!!!
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby SWAN » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:00 am

jkervin wrote:Hey Swan thanks for the reply! I was considering the Drawmer for a while, but have been thinking of going with something higher end, I guess. The Nail was one I was considering, but was thinking more about the A*I 2500 or UBK Fatso. I'm pretty sure I'll pick up Slate's VBC when it comes out.

I make electronic music also but also throw in a lot of organic stuff like acoustic basses and guitars. Kind of a mix like New Order, etc. I do have a Slate Dragon that I track with and like, but was thinking about selling to fund a stereo comp. So you think it would be better to keep that or something similar for tracking, etc, and stick with Nebula for the 2 buss, huh? For hardware channel compression - do you do that while tracking or afterwards? Thanks a bunch for your input!!

Thanks!!!


I guess having hardware for both would be very nice - but if you have to choose one - I find myself preferring to hit channels harder with compression (tracking or mixing ) then just a tad on busses...

If you have the money for a expansive hardware bus comp - go for it. I just feel that you spend a lot for just 2db compression. Personally I would keep the dragon (but also using it as an external insert when mixing)...

A lot of people love the 2500 - but it as a very specific chunky sound to it but it doesnt always work. Seems very good for a rock drum bus. People seem to love it for its transformer sound - and that is an expensive route just for that. UBK Fatso I dont think is a great bus processor as its attack times are all quite fast. Plus its very coloured and I personally feel its not a great idea to try to colour an entire track in one pass. UBK Fatso nice channel compressor/saturator.

I suppose it depends on how you want to work. Some like just having a master bus chain to mix thru-and get great results. I have found I prefer to bounce tracks thru hardware comps and leaving the master for either a cheap bus comp for that 2db - or using a good plugin. Not leaving it until the last stage to 'analogize' it in one pass.
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby jkervin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:55 pm

Hey thanks again!! I'll keep the Dragon for a while and use it as an insert while tracking. I'll probably use Nebula compressors on mix busses then go for a less expensive outboard comp for the stereo buss (or maybe even Nebula for that also). I'm not sure what I'll get but I've heard a lot of good things about the Overstayer VCA and it's not too pricey. As far as the Fatso I know that AlexB has a library for it - so I'll probably use that!

Thanks again for the awesome input!!!!!!!
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby david1103 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:22 pm

I would like to add the question of DA/AD conversion.

If you choose hardware for the master bus the entire mix has to come out your machine and back. You need very high quality DA/AD to not have this lower the overall sound quality.

Slick9K just had an update with many extra options that could be interesting for master bus compression, and I know cupwise used very high quality DA/AD conversion. You can use the 1k version too, and TIMED kernels. Now that's clean :)

Another outboard compressor that is not too expensive but meant to be great is BC1:

http://www.tkaudio.se/index.php?option= ... 3&Itemid=3

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan12/a ... c1mkii.htm

You can hear it in action, along with many of the other compressors mentioned in this thread here:

http://www.zenproaudio.com/clipalator.aspx

Be very careful about Nebula compressors that are not made by cupwise at this stage. This maybe a controversial point, but in my personal experience they have major flaws that only become apparent after use for a while. (EDIT: I have not tried all compressor libraries, especially the latest, so don't let me put you off trying others.) He has made some kind of breakthrough in compressor sampling, you can read all about it on this forum.
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby SWAN » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:54 pm

From my experience I have found that conversion - and fears about it damaging the signal - are not a huge issue. Even a mid range converter its not easy to hear any damage after many passes. The benefit of running thru a piece of analogue hardware seems to far outweigh any cost there. And I still find it preferable easily to using a plugin.

I agree regarding the TK BC1 or any S*L Clone - quite useful. You can pick up a well built S*L clone for only around £400 if you keep your eye out. I had the Overstayer VCA and it was ok but I wasnt crazy about it. It had no tone and sometimes maybe the sound seemed a bit plastic.
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby jkervin » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:40 am

I'll check out the TK BC-1 for sure. I have also hears great things about the FCS P3S. Surprised to hear negative feedback on the Overstayer! Also considering the Elysia Xpressor.

My converters are pretty good, think, so I'm not overly concerned there.

Once again, THANKS!!!!!
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby SWAN » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:47 am

jkervin wrote:I'll check out the TK BC-1 for sure. I have also hears great things about the FCS P3S. Surprised to hear negative feedback on the Overstayer! Also considering the Elysia Xpressor.

My converters are pretty good, think, so I'm not overly concerned there.

Once again, THANKS!!!!!


the overstayer VCA is still good for the money its just I felt something about it wasnt for me. A lot of people do like it.
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Re: Hardware Buss Comps

Postby jkervin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:11 pm

I'm gonna buy a lunchbox and get a Serpent Audio SB4001. Anybody try these? I'm also going to get a decent tracking comp and EQ.
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