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Recommend a rack compressor

Royslead

Member
Messages
246
Hi, although I have had a rack for a few years now, I do not have a compressor. I would like to get something that works decent but is not very expensive. I am not looking to record, so this does not need to be studio quality. I am looking more for tone.it will be used with an H&K Access preamp, Alesis Quadraverb or TC G Major 2, I have a Behringer EQ, and finally, a Marshall 9100 power amp. Looking to get some sounds in the realm of Santana, to hair bands (good luck, right?) , thanks.
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,369
Are you using this as part of a guitar rig or is it part of the recording chain?


But yeah, I had an FMR RNLA and it was great.


There are tons of compressors out there, though, so it can be hard to recommend.
 

Dave L

Member
Messages
1,339
I´m guessing this is for a guitar rig. But yeah, I wouldn´t say using rack compressors post-gain is a typical part of either Santana or hair band tone. In the classic rack rigs the compressors were mostly used for poppy clean tones or as limiters.
 

vintagelove

Member
Messages
2,811
Fwiw, the best compressor I've ever heard is the

Atomic squeezebox


It can shave of 15db!!! And be barely audible. Of course, it will also shave about 4K off your bank account.
 

Royslead

Member
Messages
246
I´m guessing this is for a guitar rig. But yeah, I wouldn´t say using rack compressors post-gain is a typical part of either Santana or hair band tone. In the classic rack rigs the compressors were mostly used for poppy clean tones or as limiters.

It is for a guitar rig; and while I appreciate everyone's input, your answer was probably the best for me. I was on the fence about needing one or not; as my rack, the way it is, does the hair band thing pretty well.
I looked into the suggested models above, and found some cheap (really cheap, and probably real crap) models near me. I also got suggestions in the past regarding the DBX 160 (not sure if the suffix matters); so if I were to pursue one, that is probably the model I would seek. However, if the music I enjoy playing does not require a compressor, why bother? Anyways, thank you to everyone that responded.
 
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rstites

Member
Messages
1,628
Do you use any pedals with your rig? If so, I'd just pick up a good compressor that you like and place it in front of the amp. It'll take up less real estate than a rack compressor and it'll be set up for guitar. Most rack compressors are designed for studio work, and while they're work fine for guitar, they're a bit overkill for it.

Having said that, the two that come to mind are old 1/2 rack units: Rocktron had one in the ProRax series (never heard it), and Rockman had one in too that was very popular for 80's hard rock. If you have high gain already, it'd probably sound terrible, but if you're pumping the front end of a low/medium gain Marshall it was a pretty prevalent sound. All the Rockman stuff got played a lot in that era, but it always ends up sounding like Boston to me, so I never got along with it too well! :)
 

Gone Fission

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
561
I always associate typical compressor use on guitar with clean(ish) pop, funk, or country sounds. In ye olde 80s racks of doom, I'm pretty certain the primary goal was just to maximize the input without overs for old 16 bit (or worse) converters. Resolution dropped like a stone as input levels did, so it was a way to squeeze more out of the processors.

I would suggest, if you can, trying the compressor in the effects parallel chain before your effects stuff and running an uncompressed line signal right through. Might not work for you, but you might find it more in keeping with current record production practice.
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,369
I also got suggestions in the past regarding the DBX 160 (not sure if the suffix matters).



If you are still looking, that is a good solid unit. There is a lot of debate over which version is best, but for a guitar rig, I wouldn't sweat it too much.
 

cbm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,957
Back when I was using a rack compressor, I had an Aphex 651, which was really great, but has one drawback that didn't matter to me, but may to you: there is no remote bypass. I had it in a loop, so it was switched remotely through the switcher.
 

italo de angelis

Senior Member
Messages
4,786
Back when I was using a rack compressor, I had an Aphex 651, which was really great, but has one drawback that didn't matter to me, but may to you: there is no remote bypass. I had it in a loop, so it was switched remotely through the switcher.

That's a common "issue" with many studio type compressors.
 

cbm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,957
That's a common "issue" with many studio type compressors.
Agreed. These days there are some really nice floor compressors.

I have an embarrassing number on my board right now: Origin Effects Cali76 CD, Keeley GC-2, and VFE White Horse. (FET, VCA, and Optical, respectively.) The CG-2 is at the very end of my dirt chain, and is set to be more of a limiter / boost. The White Horse is in the loop of a preamp pedal, to emulate power amp sag. The Cali76 is my main "effect" compressor/sustainor. If I have the three of them on, I barely need to breathe on the strings to make a racket, yet it's still a pretty quiet noise floor.
 

Royslead

Member
Messages
246
Thank you, all, for the suggestions. I think I will keep an eye open for deals; and if I find one, get it. Until then, it doesn't sound like it is really needed.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,181
The ART Pro VLA is a very good sounding, tube compressor for under $200 used (2 rack spaces, stereo). Well worth having as just a general, "I might record this guitar riff" device.
 






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