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Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:43 am
by Hexism
Hey guys. I am looking for a suggestion for an affordable rack compressor for my analog synths, a sub 37, and future retro XS.

During songs I'm often ramping up the overdrive, and filter setting, the amplitude changes are a bit too much for the sound guy to handle, so I'm thinking a comp/limiter might make things a lot more manageable. I just want one that won't mess up that sweet analog sound too much. I also don't want to break the bank. Any suggestions?

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:10 am
by MoogProg
I'm using a Dyna Comp for this very purpose, and it is working well. Sub37 -> DynaComp -> MF Delay -> Hardwire Reverb -> DI/Amp

Also have an inexpensive Behringer rack compressor that has Noise Gate, Comp, and Limiter sections. I don't think this unit sounds all that great, but for live work is a very useful rack.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:27 pm
by vinnyburns
Hexism wrote:Hey guys. I am looking for a suggestion for an affordable rack compressor for my analog synths, a sub 37, and future retro XS.

During songs I'm often ramping up the overdrive, and filter setting, the amplitude changes are a bit too much for the sound guy to handle, so I'm thinking a comp/limiter might make things a lot more manageable. I just want one that won't mess up that sweet analog sound too much. I also don't want to break the bank. Any suggestions?


Focusrite Compounder is a good sounding cheap rack compressor.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:50 pm
by Disarm D'arcy
Focusrite stuff is great at a moderate price. You might also want to look down the pedal route if you plan to use any other pedal. Aforementioned Dyna Comp is a classic but something a bit more high end might suit you better (Diamond Compressor, Effectrode PC2A, Walrus Deep Six...).

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:30 pm
by Hexism
MoogProg wrote:I'm using a Dyna Comp for this very purpose, and it is working well. Sub37 -> DynaComp -> MF Delay -> Hardwire Reverb -> DI/Amp

Also have an inexpensive Behringer rack compressor that has Noise Gate, Comp, and Limiter sections. I don't think this unit sounds all that great, but for live work is a very useful rack.



This seems like a good cheap fix, I think I'll grab a dyna comp and see how it works, Thank you!

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:08 pm
by MoogProg
^Cheap fix for me, since I already had one in the pedal box. But, if you are thinking about purchasing one, the MXR Bass Comp is pretty cool because you get LEDs to show your input signal, and can also choose the ratio. Of course it costs more than the DC, but I thought I would mention it in case it was not on your shopping radar.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:10 pm
by Hexism
I picked up a Dyna Comp and tried it out. The compression seems to work, but when I turn it on i get a MASSIVE volume drop. Even with the output all the way up the signal drops like 24db. Is this because it's changing the output to instrument level by running it thought he pedal?

I think I need to find a comp that still has a line level output. If this pedal cuts out with the 24db boost on, it would be speaker blowingly loud. It's a disaster I'd prefer to avoid.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:29 pm
by Hexism
I picked up a dyna comp today to give it a shot. The compression is def what I'm looking for, but unfortunately there's like at least a 24db drop in volume when I switch it on. I can compensate for this on my mixer, but if the box ever cut out, or got switch accidentally, durring a speakers as well as ear drums would get blown, so this stomp isn't going to work for me.

I think maybe it's dropping things from line level down to instrument level since it's a guitar pedal. I need a line level mixer, so I'm just going to order a FMR RNLA and see how that works.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:30 pm
by Hexism
this forum won't let me respond 90% of the time.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:43 pm
by mmarsh100
Another manufacturer you might try is ART - very reasonable price for a tube compressor, desktop or rack.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:23 pm
by vinnyburns
Dynacomp is a guitar compressor. Get something better suited for keyboards.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:59 am
by MoogProg
^Vinny, what would you recommend for the OP's situation? Really would be interested in your opinion here. We know the goal is to limit the crazy peaks that might result from knob turning in a live situation. We don't know much about the music or venues, so maybe Hexism can tell us more about the particulars.

Hexism, sorry my rec didn't work as planned for you. I'm not experiencing the db drop you describe, but my rig is pretty guitar-like (described above), and that is my main instrument so "everything looks like a nail" to me.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:35 am
by psynthetic
Depends what you call cheap.. but in my humble opinion the Drawmer DL241 "Auto Compressor" can't be beat in it's price bracket.

http://www.drawmer.com/products/pro-series/dl241.php

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:26 am
by Disarm D'arcy
vinnyburns wrote:Dynacomp is a guitar compressor.


That doesn't mean it doesn't work on synthesizers and at a nice price point.

I recommended a couple guitar / bass pedal compressors a couple messages ago that I've had the chance to test out on synthesizer and the results are far from ridiculous.

Re: Rack compressor for synth?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:47 pm
by Rabalder
I just bought a ridiculously cheap Dbx 166xl dual compressor, 1 unit. Ive set it up as a brick limiter to keep my speakers from blowing(two DXR15s). For a "crappy" compressor this thing works great. Cant hear anything wrong with the sound. The noise gate and the actual peak limiter sounds like crap, but the compressor set up as a brick limiter works just fine.