what is the best vocal compressor?

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

hi
I always used to record my vocal track without any outbord compressor
and use volume automation in daw after recording vocal
and the result was good to me..
but I have to normalize the track it's terribe..
and eventually i am considering outboard vocal compressor...

I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
could u recommend any comp for vocal?

p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
detail gain reduction metering...
but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...

thanx..
22 answers Last reply
More about what vocal compressor
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    bj <bluesjeon@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >I always used to record my vocal track without any outbord compressor
    >and use volume automation in daw after recording vocal
    >and the result was good to me..
    > but I have to normalize the track it's terribe..
    >and eventually i am considering outboard vocal compressor...

    What is terrible about normalizing? Have you considered riding gain by
    hand? And why would normalizing do any good anyway?

    > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    >
    >p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    >detail gain reduction metering...
    > but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...

    The RNC is probably a good first compressor, but it's not a substitute
    for riding gain by hand and good vocal technique.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I like the Manley Labs Variable MU Compressor ...

    --
    Steven Sena
    XS Sound Recording
    www.xssound.com

    "bj" <bluesjeon@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1c7c168a.0412141646.4a82c37b@posting.google.com...
    > hi
    > I always used to record my vocal track without any outbord compressor
    > and use volume automation in daw after recording vocal
    > and the result was good to me..
    > but I have to normalize the track it's terribe..
    > and eventually i am considering outboard vocal compressor...
    >
    > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    >
    > p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    > detail gain reduction metering...
    > but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...
    >
    > thanx..
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?

    On the cheap, the older-style (pre-tube) Aphex Expressors are nice. Very
    clean. I like EL8 Distressors for when i want to hear the compression more
    (but in a good way).

    -jeff
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    << I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    detail gain reduction metering...
    but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...>>

    I recommend an LA2A. As you say, they are easy to use, low (enough) noise, &
    have detailed gain reduction metering.
    Oh, by the way, the LA2A sounds great, too. United Audio makes it.


    Scott Fraser
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Ditto...

    JK


    "Handywired" <handywired@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:20041215022459.21699.00001807@mb-m12.aol.com...
    > > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    >
    > On the cheap, the older-style (pre-tube) Aphex Expressors are nice. Very
    > clean. I like EL8 Distressors for when i want to hear the compression
    more
    > (but in a good way).
    >
    > -jeff
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I think that's Universal Audio. ;-)

    Tom

    "ScotFraser" <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:20041215042208.06022.00001461@mb-m21.aol.com...
    > << I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    > p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    > detail gain reduction metering...
    > but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...>>
    >
    > I recommend an LA2A. As you say, they are easy to use, low (enough) noise,
    &
    > have detailed gain reduction metering.
    > Oh, by the way, the LA2A sounds great, too. United Audio makes it.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Scott Fraser
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    ScotFraser wrote:

    > I recommend an LA2A.

    Yep, bullet proof vocal compression. Dead simple to operate and glorious
    results.

    --
    ha
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    << I think that's Universal Audio. ;-) >>


    D'oh!
    What I get for typing after midnight.

    Scott Fraser
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1c7c168a.0412141646.4a82c37b@posting.google.com>, bj
    <bluesjeon@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?


    Urei LA3A. Don't look at the VU meter, just listen.

    I've once spent time with a Crane Song Trakker and got it to sound damn
    good on vocals, but I haven't actually lived a while with it - tho' I'd
    sure like to - and it ain't cheap like an RNC. Plus the Trakker's a box
    for someone with compressor experience.


    David Correia
    Celebration Sound
    Warren, Rhode Island

    CelebrationSound@aol.com
    www.CelebrationSound.com
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 19:46:09 -0500, bj wrote
    (in article <1c7c168a.0412141646.4a82c37b@posting.google.com>):

    > hi
    > I always used to record my vocal track without any outbord compressor
    > and use volume automation in daw after recording vocal
    > and the result was good to me..
    > but I have to normalize the track it's terribe..
    > and eventually i am considering outboard vocal compressor...
    >
    > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    >
    > p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    > detail gain reduction metering...
    > but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...
    >
    > thanx..

    Learn better mic technique and singing technique and you won't need to rely
    on a compressor for tracking. I still like it on mixing though.

    Seriously, there aren't many devices out there that are cheap that can do
    alot of what you want. It depends on how bad the problem is.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford


    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <beadnZ0Q0ZCPMFzcRVn-tw@comcast.com>, Ty Ford
    <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:

    > Learn better mic technique and singing technique and you won't need to rely
    > on a compressor for tracking. I still like it on mixing though.


    Sure, good technique can help, but I'd encourage the original poster to
    def learn to record vocals with compression. It ain't hard to learn
    what you compressor can and cannot do with a vocal.


    David Correia
    Celebration Sound
    Warren, Rhode Island

    CelebrationSound@aol.com
    www.CelebrationSound.com
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Scott Dorsey wrote:
    > bj <bluesjeon@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > >I always used to record my vocal track without any outbord
    compressor
    > >and use volume automation in daw after recording vocal
    > >and the result was good to me..
    > > but I have to normalize the track it's terribe..
    > >and eventually i am considering outboard vocal compressor...
    >
    > What is terrible about normalizing? Have you considered riding gain
    by
    > hand? And why would normalizing do any good anyway?
    >
    > > I don't know what is the best vocal compressor
    > > could u recommend any comp for vocal?
    > >
    > >p.s I prefer a comp which is easy to use, and very low noise and
    > >detail gain reduction metering...
    > > but they are not very important factor for choosing a comp...
    >
    > The RNC is probably a good first compressor, but it's not a
    substitute
    > for riding gain by hand and good vocal technique.
    > --scott
    > --
    > "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


    Why is that you state a compressor is no substitute for gain ridin
    manually. ? Would not a compressor be more accurate and consistant in
    controlling levels ?

    thanks.
    Sidhu
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Sidhu <nitinsidhu@indiatimes.com> wrote:
    >
    >Why is that you state a compressor is no substitute for gain ridin
    >manually. ? Would not a compressor be more accurate and consistant in
    >controlling levels ?

    A compressor doesn't have a brain, and it can't tell when vocal dynamics
    are changing for effect, or just because of lack of performing skill.
    Sometimes you _want_ vocal dynamics. A skilled engineer can ride gain
    and preserve the dynamics that you want while eliminating the ones you
    don't.

    A compressor can make a vocal pop up out of a dense mix more easily,
    though, and it can be a useful tool to pull peaks down and bring average
    levels up because it can work much more quickly than an operator can by
    hand. But for slow averaging, an operator can do a more enlightened job.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  14. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Scott Dorsey wrote:

    > Sometimes you _want_ vocal dynamics. A skilled engineer can ride gain
    > and preserve the dynamics that you want while eliminating the ones you
    > don't.

    The way music used to be made.

    > A compressor can make a vocal pop up out of a dense mix more easily,
    > though, and it can be a useful tool to pull peaks down and bring average
    > levels up because it can work much more quickly than an operator can by
    > hand.

    The way music is made today. I much prefer the former.
  15. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 02:38:37 -0500, david wrote
    (in article <171220040238406124%ihate@spamo.com>):

    > In article <beadnZ0Q0ZCPMFzcRVn-tw@comcast.com>, Ty Ford
    > <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:
    >
    >> Learn better mic technique and singing technique and you won't need to rely
    >> on a compressor for tracking. I still like it on mixing though.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Sure, good technique can help, but I'd encourage the original poster to
    > def learn to record vocals with compression. It ain't hard to learn
    > what you compressor can and cannot do with a vocal.
    >
    >
    >
    > David Correia
    > Celebration Sound
    > Warren, Rhode Island
    >
    > CelebrationSound@aol.com
    > www.CelebrationSound.com

    Point well taken David. I'll recant. I'm using the Millennia Media STT-1 and
    GML 2020 these days for tracking vocals and am very impressed by their
    transparency.

    I was watching the STT-1 GR meter pop down to 10dB of GR just yesterday
    during a take and remember thinking, "Wow! I'm glad it's in there. Don't
    really hear it that much."

    I'm getting better (higher) overall levels while tracking. Sometimes I have
    to adjust a parameter during the take. Don't know whether that's me just
    hyper-fiddling, but if I think they are headed UP UP AND AWAY, I can keep
    from clipping by using the continuous output gain control or increasing the
    continuous ratio control.

    The GML 2020 compressor is VERY unique in that it works simultaneously on
    slow, RMS and peak. Three different thresholds. Best way I can explain it is,
    most compressors are like algebra. The GML 2020 is like calculus. It takes
    more to wrap your head around it, but as you do, things sound VERY nice.

    A full review is on my site.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford


    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
  16. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <wYWdnUasneRB-FncRVn-gA@comcast.com>, Ty Ford
    <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:

    > The GML 2020 compressor is VERY unique in that it works simultaneously on
    > slow, RMS and peak. Three different thresholds. Best way I can explain it
    > is,
    > most compressors are like algebra. The GML 2020 is like calculus. It
    > takes
    > more to wrap your head around it, but as you do, things sound VERY nice.
    >
    > A full review is on my site.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Ty Ford


    Doesn't the RNC also have a 3-stage compressor of some type in
    "SuperNice" mode?
  17. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <wYWdnUasneRB-FncRVn-gA@comcast.com>, Ty Ford
    <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:

    > On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 02:38:37 -0500, david wrote
    > (in article <171220040238406124%ihate@spamo.com>):
    >
    > > In article <beadnZ0Q0ZCPMFzcRVn-tw@comcast.com>, Ty Ford
    > > <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:
    > >
    > >> Learn better mic technique and singing technique and you won't need to
    > >> rely
    > >> on a compressor for tracking. I still like it on mixing though.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Sure, good technique can help, but I'd encourage the original poster to
    > > def learn to record vocals with compression. It ain't hard to learn
    > > what you compressor can and cannot do with a vocal.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > David Correia
    > > Celebration Sound
    > > Warren, Rhode Island
    > >
    > > CelebrationSound@aol.com
    > > www.CelebrationSound.com
    >
    > Point well taken David. I'll recant. I'm using the Millennia Media STT-1 and
    > GML 2020 these days for tracking vocals and am very impressed by their
    > transparency.
    >
    > I was watching the STT-1 GR meter pop down to 10dB of GR just yesterday
    > during a take and remember thinking, "Wow! I'm glad it's in there. Don't
    > really hear it that much."
    >
    > I'm getting better (higher) overall levels while tracking. Sometimes I have
    > to adjust a parameter during the take. Don't know whether that's me just
    > hyper-fiddling, but if I think they are headed UP UP AND AWAY, I can keep
    > from clipping by using the continuous output gain control or increasing the
    > continuous ratio control.
    >
    > The GML 2020 compressor is VERY unique in that it works simultaneously on
    > slow, RMS and peak. Three different thresholds. Best way I can explain it is,
    > most compressors are like algebra. The GML 2020 is like calculus. It takes
    > more to wrap your head around it, but as you do, things sound VERY nice.
    >
    > A full review is on my site.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Ty Ford


    I'm a longtime fan of George's pre, would love to spend time with that
    box. I've heard complaints about his stand alone compressor that it was
    too freakin' complicated. Everyone knows his eq is absolutely
    wonderful.

    Next time your getting levels to record a vocal, what you wanna try is
    spend a little time moving the threshold around and listening without
    looking at your meters.

    Many great vocal tracks I've done had my LA3 pegging the meters
    (measuring the amount of compression taking place) on loud stuff. At
    first when this would happen I would be a good little dobee and back it
    off. As time went on I trusted my ears. The proof is in the pudding,
    not on the meters on the box.

    I'd been encouraged to do this my an engineer friend.

    I def disagree with Scott D. on vocals and compression. It's not just
    about volume. It's about creating a wonderful vocal sound that can sit
    in a mix like Jabba The Hut with having to be loud.


    David Correia
    Celebration Sound
    Warren, Rhode Island

    CelebrationSound@aol.com
    www.CelebrationSound.com
  18. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    in article 181220042020058728%ihate@spamo.com, david at ihate@spamo.com
    wrote on 12/18/04 5:20 PM:

    > It's not just
    > about volume. It's about creating a wonderful vocal sound that can sit
    > in a mix like Jabba The Hut with having to be loud.

    > David Correia

    I get this idea.

    I'm a definite amateur here, in a Celtic band who self-recorded our five
    CDs, starting with a c.1980s Aiwa board to VCR tape and ending with a
    ProTools LE system using a Lawson mic. On our last CD I played around a lot
    with compression on the vocals, and it helped bring them out more than the
    previous recordings. While doing this I came up with an interesting idea
    about vox compression and apparent loudness.

    When someone is speaking very close to your ear in soft tones with low
    volume, it's naturally compressed (unless they intentionally raise their
    voice, that is.) Lower dynamic portions are raised, and spikes are lowered
    - whispering is a good example of an exaggerated example of this. I think
    that a compressed vocal thus "reads" to the listener as though someone were
    physically closer to you, even though the average volume may be the same as
    an uncompressed vocal.

    Carlos
  19. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "jackfish" wrote:
    > Ty Ford wrote:
    >
    > > The GML 2020 compressor is VERY unique in that it works simultaneously
    on
    > > slow, RMS and peak. Three different thresholds. Best way I can explain
    it
    > > is,
    > > most compressors are like algebra. The GML 2020 is like calculus. It
    > > takes
    > > more to wrap your head around it, but as you do, things sound VERY nice.
    > >
    > > A full review is on my site.
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > >
    > > Ty Ford
    >
    >
    > Doesn't the RNC also have a 3-stage compressor of some type in
    > "SuperNice" mode

    The GML does something the different. The RNC in Supernice mode is just
    using three stages of light compression in series--each stage only
    compresses a little so you get fewer artifacts for a given amount of
    compression netting a more transparent sound for a given amount of gain
    reduction.

    -jw
  20. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "John Washburn" <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:1Wixd.28199$Yh2.12609932@twister.nyc.rr.com...
    >
    > The GML does something the different. The RNC in Supernice mode is just
    > using three stages of light compression in series--each stage only
    > compresses a little so you get fewer artifacts for a given amount of
    > compression netting a more transparent sound for a given amount of gain
    > reduction.
    >


    The RNC is a really great compressor- it is known for being a really clean
    compressor- not imparting a particular sound on the source while it is
    compressing- as such, is there a reason why you would not use Super Nice
    Mode almost all the time, except maybe for limiting?

    Thanks!

    ~j
  21. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Jason McClelland" wrote:
    > "John Washburn" wrote:
    > >
    > > The GML does something the different. The RNC in Supernice mode is just
    > > using three stages of light compression in series--each stage only
    > > compresses a little so you get fewer artifacts for a given amount of
    > > compression netting a more transparent sound for a given amount of gain
    > > reduction.
    > >
    >
    >
    > The RNC is a really great compressor- it is known for being a really clean
    > compressor- not imparting a particular sound on the source while it is
    > compressing- as such, is there a reason why you would not use Super Nice
    > Mode almost all the time, except maybe for limiting?
    >

    Well, the super nice mode is really slow for one. It's also a little too
    "syrupy" for certain things, meaning it makes everything a little smoother,
    which may not be what you'd want.

    But then, I actually like how gnarly and aggressive it can be in regular
    mode, especially compared to other inexpensive compressors which don't take
    nearly as much abuse nearly as well.

    -jw
  22. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    If you're talking high end compressors....Avalon 747 is some serious
    piece of equipment. If you're on a budget, the RNC would probably be a
    good choice. Also try the PSP Vintagewarmer plug-in...I use it on
    pretty much every track I do...it's pretty good for compressing
    prerecorded stuff or running it on a final mix.
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