Compression- absolutely necessary for a newbie studio?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by guitguy28, Feb 6, 2008.


  1. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

    Messages:
    1,166
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    For my newbie studio, I have on a PC laptop: Cubase LE, an Alesis USB interface, an inexpensive dynamic and an inexpensive condenser mic.

    One thing I don't have is a compressor, but what am I missing out by not having one for making basic demos?
     
  2. moody07747

    moody07747 Member

    Messages:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I would have to say no as cheaper gear will haev cheap ADA converters so IMO, sending the audio out of your PC will only harm it more.

    When it comes to low end studios I feel its best to stick with computer compressors.

    Now if you must have a compressor for say vocals and it has to be between the preamp and mic, then you will need a hardware compressor but I would probably only go as low as the FMR Audio RNC

    http://www.humbuckermusic.com/1001.html
     
  3. KillerV

    KillerV Member

    Messages:
    339
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Ladismith WC, South Africa
    +1 on a plugin compressor. If Cubase LE doesn't come with one, there are a couple of really nice ones availible for free. Have a look at the VST plugins you can get at www.digitalfishphones.com. They're all free and you get a vintage-style comp, a de-esser and a noise-gate/expander that are all very nice and have gotten great reviews.

    Also have a look at www.kvraudio.com for more plugins.

    I'd stick with plugins (like loads of guys do) untill you can get a really good hardware comp if you still feel you need one.
     
  4. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

    Messages:
    9,498
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    A killer outboard one can be a great thing. The inexpensive ones can really destroy your sound. Count on spending 700+ for one. I would say that unless you are really dealing with wild transients, just use the one included in most recording packages after the fact.
     
  5. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,977
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    the ocean state
  6. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Messages:
    16,946
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    To the original question i'd say no. Compression is important but it can be pretty complicated and can do more harm than good if you don't know how to apply it. If your just starting out, you have enough on your plate already. Before you spend money on a comp or plugins, learn everything you can about compression and how to use it.

    Heres some good reading on the ins and outs of compression. There's a lot to know about compression


    http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/articles3.htm
     
  7. eru

    eru Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    If the rest of what you're doing in the computer is up to snuff, you'll always get more for your money (often $0) with software, even if it has a dedicated FW DSP device like the newer SSL (et al.) stuff.

    Maybe it's the Trance (techno, to the lay people) DJ in me, but unless there's a specific sound from a specific piece of gear you really want, then what matters are good mics, good preamps, good cables, good interfaces, well setup software, and a computer that can keep up.

    Live is a different story.
     
  8. KPO

    KPO Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    I use a TLaudio Fatman stereo tubecompressor to fatten up a lot of signals before they go to the harddisk. If you compres gentle your recorded signals sound warmer, richer.
     
  9. smorgdonkey

    smorgdonkey Member

    Messages:
    690
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    I think in your EQ section in Cubase there is a compressor already. There has been since WAY BACK in the Cubase lineage so you will (or should ) see it when you open up the effects and/or eq section for each track.
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,477
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    I agree that software compression at this point makes more sense.
     
  11. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    western ma
    A 7 or 8 years ago I had 5 dedicated outboard compressors. Eventually I sold 'em all off, as I just didn't use them any more.

    I'm a UAD whore and tend to favor their compressor simulations - LA2A, LA3A, 1176, Fairchild, and the nice comp on their Neve 88RS channel strip.

    Decent quality freebies abound, too, I've had luck with Blockfish fro Digital Fish Phones.
     
  12. dougb415

    dougb415 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,472
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    On the farm, an hour south of Nashville
  13. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

    Messages:
    1,090
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Agree with most here--go the software route, learn to use them, then go get some hw if you prefer it....

    For compression in mixing, I also use a UAD-1.
     

Share This Page