Compression on drums / dbx 160 Compressor plugin


I've been really digging the drum sounds from Tame Impala. Very Bonhamesque. He says he uses a dbx 165A on his drum tracks to get those bombastic sounds. I see that there is now a dbx 160 compressor plugin available for a fraction of the cost of buying the actual unit. Anyone have experience with this plugin on drum tracks?


Yeah I've used the UAD one a bit, installed at a studio I freelance at and IMO there's no comparison. Sounds nothing like the 160VUs I've owned and used... the knee is similar but the actual tone is pretty far off the mark especially on drums where it lacks the "smack" and bite that the hardware has. Useful? Sure, fared better on vocals & bass but isn't the first thing I go to.

I haven't heard the tracks in question but whenever someone mentions "Bonham" & bombastic they're really referencing a style of playing and miking more then actual equipment. Get the right sound in the room and you could basically use any compressor to blow it out.

FWIW the 165a and 160 are pretty different beasts... the 165 has variable attack & release vs the 160 "fixed" points, separate detector input, plus the limiter on the 165 yada yada they are not the same thing.


If you can't afford the actual hardware, the plugin might be cool to have. I've downloaded the demo and I liked it quite a bit. Like Moose said above, it's a little different than the 165. But DBX compressors sound killer on drums period. I usually test out the software to decide if I like the "vibe" of the compressor and then I might invest in the actual thing down the road. Your ears will tell you if you like it or not ;)


You won't regret it. If you have the cash get all of them! DC8C2 is a very versatile compressor, very clean. SDRR is spectacular, and the VUmeter is (from what I've read) the best VU meter plugin on the market. Another very high end and very affordable plugin developer is Tokyo Dawn Labs. Just go and get all of there free plugins and you'll quickly see what I mean. One of the guys at Tokyo Dawn is Vlad G. He has 3 plugins everyone should have which are free 64 bit and top quality. The Molot comp is excellent for drums and LimiterNo.6 is my favorite Limiter. Here are some links...

Get all of these freebies and I bet you'll keep them all forever...they are that good!

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