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Non-rack, small Stereo Compressor for Live Rig?


aphemia

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Hi guys

 

As per the thread title, I'm looking for recommendations on a small Stereo Compressor for use between my Hartke KM200 Amp (which also acts as my mixer) and the desk for live gigs. Whilst I do all I can to control unwanted peaks in my Keys output through careful patch editing, I'd be more comfortable by sticking a compressor in there too to help control things. My band, Aphemia, is very synth orienated and there are some HUGE industrial type synth sounds I'm throwing out there. Levels can vary enourmously within a song and I've frightened a few soundmen in my time when we've launched into a huge sounding keyboard break after I've spent the rest of the song just tinkling around with something very low in the mix....

 

I know that most FOH guys will slap some compression on there anyway, but I'd rather have control of this myself if at all possible.

 

The only suitable product I've managed to track down so far is the Samson C-Com 16. Does anyone have any experience using this? It seems very cheap so I'm wondering how well it might work.

 

Also, are there any other units out there? I've seen a Presonus unit that looks similar, and despite being "Stereo" it handles this through a single input and output. The Samson has L+R jacks, and I think I'm happier with this configuration.

 

Any help, as always, is much appreciated.

 

Many Thanks

 

Aphemia

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Originally posted by mate_stubb:

Get a FMR Really Nice Compressor. Stunning sound for about $200.

 

http://www.fmraudio.com/productspage.htm

This compressor has gotten quite a few accolades from those who've worked with it.

 

I'm thinking that you probably don't want to compress your synth voices as much as you want to tame the peaks with limiting.

 

Nevertheless, get one of these compressors and decide for yourself what sounds best.

 

KLONK HERE FOR GOOD INFO

 

Read this too

 

...and this

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Tom's right when he says limiting would prob be better for you situation, thought i'd just post and mention that FMR also do a limiter as well (they call it a leveling amplifier) klink here

I have no idea how it measures up but I thought i'd just throw it out there what with FMR's good dynamics reputation.

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Hi guys

 

RR - Yes, it looks that way, but even though they do UK Voltage versions they have an EU plug as far as I can tell. This means in the UK I'd need a plug adaptor which is just too fiddly!

 

Cheers Kavyon - I know where you guys are coming from regarding the limiter v compressor. Does anyone have any experience of using the FNR Levelling Amplifier? It quite proudly states that it colours the sound, which I think I might want to steer clear of? Any thoughts on this product?

 

Sorry for all the questions dudes

 

Aphemia

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Color can be good. I have the RNC, and am tempted by the RNLA. If I were to have to pick one, though, it would be the RNC.

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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As an RNC user, I can't say a bad thing about it. It doesn't make itself known unless you compress the heck out of stuff. Super Nice mode (had to look) is amazingly transparent compression.
This keyboard solo has obviously been tampered with!
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Aphemia, I think the main times you'd want to steer clear of a coloured comp/limiter would be with things like acoustic piano, vocals and generally any acoustic instruments where it wouldn't sound true to the original to be coloured. Obviously There's times where producers would want this and so products like the FMR limiter exist.

 

You say from your original post that you use industrial type synth sounds, these type of sounds I believe would fare better under limiting and may even sound better from the colouring.

 

Another option might be to go second-hand for something from dbx, you can pick up something like the 266Xl which does both compression/limiting and gating for around £50-60. That might be a cheap way of seeing what works for you. The 266XL i've used on drums when i've wanted a pumping sound and i've had good results but i've not tried it on dynamic keyboard material. There may be a better dbx limiter than the 266XL for cheap but i'm not too up on the different models.

 

 

EDIT/ I've just seen you specifically didn't want a rack so you can kinda forget the 266XL

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Thanks for the input Kayvon. You're right - there are no acoustic type emulation sounds, it's all pure synth stuff.

 

I agree that colour may not be a bad thing....but what colour is it??!! ;)

 

I know a guy with the 266XL - i will get my hands on it and see which option suits best in terms of comp v limiter.

 

Thanks again

 

Aphemia

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One thing to watch out for if you are running large amounts of compression (certainly 3:1 or higher where its very obvious) is when you play a key, it modulates any key you are holding down at the time. Makes for a really weird sound.
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