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Daking FET Compressor - 1st impressions.

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
I want to preface this by saying I'm not an audio engineer by training. I'm a musican who's been playing, performing and teaching most of my life, but what little I know about audio engineering has been aquired by listening and paying attention... not formal education. OK, that said...

Now that I'm about to mix my own band's next CD, and knowing how a good hardware compressor can bring out a vocal track like no software emulation ever can, I decided it's about time I dug deep.

I've liked Daking preamps and compressors for years. The pre sounds wonderful on everything and the compressor doesn't lose airy high-highs (10k+) when attenuating, which I feel is critical when it comes to vocals. So I picked up a FET compressor and started experimenting.

All I can say is I had no idea how versatile and potent a tool it is, which I found out when I got into the different Release settings.

Besides three single time-constant release settings of .5, 1.0 and 1.5 seconds, which I had used when tracking, there are four auto-release settings based on the Neve 33609 and Audio Designs Compex (both dual time-constant) and Fairchild 670 positions 5 & 6 (triple time-constant). The Neve and Fairchild 6 auto settings are very slow, probably best for the stereo buss, but I haven't used them yet. What blows my mind about the faster auto settings is how they shape the dynamics in ways I'd never expected, even while the overall dynamic range is reduced. I find myself constantly using the Compex setting mixing down percussive or very rhythmic tracks, and the Fairchild 5 just kills me for mixing vocals.

I'll post some examples later, if and when I have the time. The difference between before and after is really remarkable, even with as little as -2 to -2.5 dB. attenuation, tops.

The single time-constant settings, meanwhile, are perfect for tracking. I thought at first that the limited number of options compared to other compressors would be frustrating, but in fact I don't feel limited at all (no pun intended) by the built-in release options. It's a choice betwen fast, medium and slow, and so far I've not felt the need for anything in between. The attack times range from 250 microseconds (1/4 of a millisecond?!) to 64 ms. I've never owned a compressor this fast; it took a little getting used to. I tracked a fingerstyle acoustic guitar part with the fastest attack, ratio 3:1, Fairchild 6 release and average attenuation pretty light, average around -2 to -2.5 dB. It came out beautifully, the peaks just flattened a bit with plenty of dynamic expressiveness intact.

That's it for now...
 

mds

Member
Messages
1,187
Daking's comp is one of my favorites...and I AM a professional audio engineer...haha....congrats and enjoy!
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
Not only does Daking make really nice gear, but in Detroit in 1966, the Blues Magoos were IT. They packed a local club every time they came into town, to the point where there were lines of kids around the block to get into every one of their shows.

Go Daking!
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Not only does Daking make really nice gear, but in Detroit in 1966, the Blues Magoos were IT. They packed a local club every time they came into town, to the point where there were lines of kids around the block to get into every one of their shows.
Cool! I never saw them live, but I don't doubt it.

What I dig about Geoff is that he builds just a few things, builds them very, very well, and doesn't stray from his basic designs.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
To give you an idea of how much in its infancy rock and roll was in 1966, while bands like the Beatles packed 'em into large venues, the Who, after several hits, actually played a local high school prom! (Southfield High).

Kind of a Spinal Tap thing, but it's true!

So the Magoos were, to us, the real deal, even though they played a local club. My friends and I got into them before their first big hit record came out, but when it did, we wore out Psychedelic Lollipop, their first album (it's true, in those halcyon days of vinyl and cheap record players, you often bought new records you already had just because the old ones had worn out!).

I wish I could remember the name of this little club on Livernois in Detroit near the University of Detroit. Dang!
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
Oh crap, I just remembered...it was called the Chess Mate! Kind of a Beatnik folk club before the days of rock and roll.
 

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
Oh crap, I just remembered...it was called the Chess Mate! Kind of a Beatnik folk club before the days of rock and roll.
Wasn't that like back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the streets of the Motor City?:roll
 




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