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With a limiter, you'd set the threshold at a high amplitude with the highest ratio possible. In this article, we’re going to be discussing vocal compressors, and in particular, listing the top 4 vocal compressor units that are available in 2020. It reproduces your signal completely and faithfully. It starts immediately but the process is smoother instead of sudden if you choose a soft knee (more transparent). You actually have to listen and this means your mix is going to benefit greatly. Waves CLA-76. Just like the LA-2A, you can rarely go wrong with an 1176 on vocals. Beyond this basic yet all-important task, it can also be used to sculpt the signal to promote or hide specific details in your signal, such as making sure the initial smack of a snare can be heard or hiding the ear-piercing sounds of sibilance and plosives. The knee is how fast the compression ratio reacts, but not like the attack. Typically, solid state and transformerless compressors are transparent. But if you're on the hunt for a great vocal or bass compressor, you're looking at one right here. You can switch over to Limiter mode with the push of a button, and check both your gain reduction and your output levels in the same fashion. By choosing any of the models discussed here you can be sure that you'll be picking up one of the best vocal compressors available. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. This bad boy is a hefty beast. The Rupert Neve 543 is the version of their giant mixing console compressors for the rest of us who don't have or need a big board like that. What this means is that a compressor is designed to lower the volume of the loudest parts of your recording so that they more closely match the quieter parts so that everything can be heard more comfortably. Not only does it sound sweet, but gentle harmonic distortion can also help your vocals remain clear and present in a dense mix. It looks amazing on stage or in the studio. It's not the prettiest, but looks amazing behind the optional rackmount faceplate that can pair with an RNP or RNLA from the same company. An expander is like the inverse of a compressor. When we say warm, we're talking very warm here! This beast uses a vacuum tube in its hybrid circuitry to add some warm coloration. While not all interfaces have inserts (a cheap audio interface won't for sure), you can usually route directly from an output into a compressor and then back into the next line-in input to get around this scenario. You're recording live takes to reel-to-reel, cassette, or using a multi-track recorder. You can dial in heavy compression without unwanted artifacts, and its simple 2-knob control scheme makes it a pleasure to work with throughout your sessions. (female and male singers). Notice the lack of options. What we'll do is separate them into price categories and show you the best of the best in each budget range. Pop, R&B, and Rap vocalists should give this heavy consideration. This means, while the compression itself is very transparent and realistic, it does add a pleasant color to the signal. We’re not trying to be cute here — you could own all five of the compressors listed above, and perhaps only one would sound “right” on your next vocal session. … The best vocal compressor is the one that allows you to shape your vocalist’s track exactly how you want. You do have the option to monitor the gain reduction or the output levels, which is a nice convenience for gain staging purposes. The dbx 560A is the 500 Series version of one of the most-used compressors in studios around the world, the dbx 160A. Boasting all-transistor circuitry and a unique transformer design, the 1176LN is capable of amazingly fast attack times — as low as 20 microseconds. But you can always add color, but not remove it. If your compressor has independent control knob on Knee parameter, then you have to adjust it manually by listening to the vocal. Otherwise, for mixing they do just fine (albeit it's less fun than mixing through hardware). Those who've had the pleasure of using this compressor hail it as the most transparent compressor ever. He acts as owner, editor, lead author, and web designer of LedgerNote, as well as co-author on all articles. You can drive the input signal real hard to achieve an interesting distortion as well. Further luxuries include a bypass button, RMS versus Peak detection modes, Feed-forward versus Feed-back detection, and also a high pass filter at 250 Hz for the detector (so bass doesn't trigger the compression). However you use it, you can expect precise, transparent results from the 560A module. This lets you safely track dynamic sources live without having to heavily compress if you don't want to. 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