With this type of compression, you maintain more of your natural dynamic fluctuation while still bringing the average volume down. Combine that with the RMS detection and you can use this on any signal or switch over to Peak detection for scalpel-precision detail work. This makes sure you don't have any strange transients slipping through if you're sending in a crazily dynamic signal. This is a true winner for those looking for a solid color to add to their signal or even mix-bus during mastering. Although this is a VCA compressor, the feed-forward mode allows the attack to be as fast as any other compressor. It may range from 0.2 millseconds up to 300 ms. They managed to cram all of the features you'd want into this 500 chassis, which is amazing. These you can pick up as soon as you're ready instead of waiting 12 months for one to pop up used and pray that it's not actually broken. But when you are ready, I have a few favorite compressors for vocals. There are many plugins that can enhance your vocal performance like compressors, reverbs, delays, etc. While most of the classics were invented in the 60's and 70's, the Distressor came on the scene in 1995 and immediately solidified it's spot at the top. The only qualm we can muster is that it's single channel, meaning you'll need two if you want to record in stereo. This can sound nice with bass and really complement a mix, helping it stand out. It's hard to keep up with, honestly. However you use it, you can expect precise, transparent results from the 560A module. It features two independent mono channels (two compressors in one!) When the labels are abstract like this, you can't just resort to 5:1 or whatever shortcut you might decide works. It’s also commonly used on the entire mix to tighten the whole song up. He has also mixed, mastered, & recorded for countless independent artists. You've heard API on thousands of hit records and may have never known it. The problem with relying only on software plugins is that you can't apply compression to your signal before it's already passed the converters, which means you can't safeguard against clipping. I don't care who you are though, I suggest having at least one hardware compressor for vocals for the reasons I mentioned above regarding clipping. Let me make something clear… The stock plugins that come with your DAW are INCREDIBLE. It's the holy grail. This bad boy is an optical compressor with a hard-coded soft knee. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to vocal compression. I suggest everyone read the top portion where we give a quick overview of all you need to know about compressors before jumping down to our reviews. It should be mentioned that you have your typical four choices for ratio settings like other leveling amplifiers. What I like about this compressor is the simplicity of operation. Attack: The attack is how fast the compressor reacts to the signal jumping over the threshold. As an example, let's say you're choosing a 5:1 ratio for vocals. What I do is apply a light amount of compression, especially on vocals, to make sure there won't be any surprise clipping and distortion that ruins an otherwise perfect take. This is a summary of which an entire short book could be written. Don't overthink it! Channel strips are typically come in the rackmount shape but are taller and may require two or three units of your rack space. This lets you safely track dynamic sources live without having to heavily compress if you don't want to. This is where parallel compression comes in (sometimes called New York Compression): What a mixing engineer will do is split the signal into two and lightly compress or not compress at all one version of the signal. The main difference beyond that is that, compared to the RNC, this isn't transparent at all. Featuring built-in harmonic enhancement, you can add 2nd- or 3rd-order harmonic distortion to your signal to emulate vintage tape saturation and tube mojo. The Universal Audio 1176LN is built to the same original specs, and it packs the same legendary sonic mojo. Best Compressors for Vocals. The preamp made our list of top pre's and we're featuring it here for its comp too. You can unlink them and have two mono channels too. With that being said, it is possible to quickly dial in the right vocal compression settings, if you know what to listen for. 1176. They include a preamplifier, a compressor, and an equalizer in serial form so you can clean up and mix a single signal live before pushing it into the computer or P.A. Vocals take on a smooth sheen that helps them hold their place even in dense mixes. What I do like is that the attack and release are on one knob that has two independent spinners on it. Now, as you read through this you can know that every one of these is readily available. DBX has been in the game forever and are constantly revamping their models by tagging new letters on the end. You can also apply a true high pass filter or two modes of distortion as well. For an all purpose channel strip, it's the best vocal compressor out there. Another point – you have to realize that plugins are just tools. You’ve heard them countless times without knowing it. If there are instruments battling the vocal for space in the mix, you can use sidechain compression to get them out the way. You understand at this point that having a compressor is not an option and that it really boils down to purchasing the best one you can afford. Let's smash through them real fast. It looks impressive to see those flicking on and off and back and forth, if you want to amaze your clients. A mix of both is nice if you're looking for a really smashed signal instead of crushing the louder parts. There are dozens of Neve clones for each of their models, regardless if we're talking about comps or pre's, but you'll never nail the perfection and luxury of an actual Neve. What Daking is doing is not insulting your intelligence and assuming you understand about compressors, but more than that this keeps you from committing a major sin, which is mixing with your eyes instead of your ears. It works on any source and works well. Otherwise, if your'e going to acquire a lot of various studio gear, you should consider the standard 19" rackmount form. I wouldn't worry too much about all of that since most are electronic anyways. If the signal crosses above the threshold, compression is applied. It's perfect for any source but I feel this guy really shines on vocals and bass. Being music makers ourselves, we love geeking out on all things gear. Softube Tube-Tech CL-1B Compressor. With over 28,000 articles and counting, inSync is your FREE resource for breaking news, reviews, demos, interviews, and more. In the end, your listener won't care or know. When it comes to compressors, you've got five basic types: We're not going to talk about software plugins, which attempt to emulate hardware compressors. A lunchbox can either be portable or itself can mount into a larger rack. There are three different labels based on what the compressor is set up to do, but in the end they are all compressors. This can be done with any compressor as long as it features an insert input/output. You'll read a lot of people praising this one for drums and bass, but just as many people use it on vocals, synthesizers, guitars, etc. I say, in my perfect mental utopia, you should have both! The reason not to is that once you apply compression before the signal hits the computer, you can't undo it. This will allow you to insert the compressor (using a TRS cable) between the preamp and converters. You can drive the input signal real hard to achieve an interesting distortion as well. Generally, the Soft knee is used to compress the vocals effectively. It's likely that most of you reading this might have one or a few of these questions yourself. Most of the time, this is the compressor that everyone considers the best available.