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waves cla vs. hardware compressor - what to buy?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Fragle, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    i'm suffering from severe compressor gas right now...

    so far i'm not running any outboard equipment.
    i wonder what would be the better (and/or most cost effective) route right now.
    - waves cla pack. right now i'm using several la2a and 1176 plugin clones very frequently on my mixes...and it's obvious that they are a studio standart in many ways
    - hardware comp a la fmr pbc or safe sound p1 (recommended by lasse). this would obviously allow me to use compression when going in.
    - fuck everything, and save up for the real deal, a.k.a. distressor.

    the cla pack is said to sound really good as far as i can tell, and would be very convenient in the mixing stage. i'm just in love with that "expensive" sounding compression on screams that you can hear all over the professional work. a distressor would be my best bet for that i guess, but then again for the price i could buy the cla pack AND a mid level comp like the ones listed above.

    which would be the more sensible move, in your opinion?
     
  2. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

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    Hardware!
    I can recommend you the guy who built my 1176 for me, it's awesome and decently priced.
     
  3. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Sensible is always with the plug-ins. These days they sound great, you can't get past that. 99% of people couldn't tell the diff between a CLA 1176 Rev A and a real one (or a clone, in my case).

    Hardware is when you're a neurotic prick like me who 'needs' to have the best, and know that the tracks are moving musically, and every last % is being sucked out of them. It's not a cost effective option at all, nor is it sensible in this day and age. You only get one instance per comp, you don't get automatic recall, and the reliability issues can totally screw you.

    So bear all that in mind, and if in spite of all that you opt for the hardware.... well, welcome to the brotherhood :)
     
  4. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

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    well said ;)
     
  5. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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    Just my 2cents but you need to ask yourself what you want to do and for what element. A 160a/xt/vu work with snare, vocal... like a 1176 but isn't your best choice if you don't like it, or if you need a workhorse comp.

    For workhorse comp look for a distressor, or best choice: a distressor with brit mod. You can't go wrong with this choice;)

    Hardware for me btw:D
     
  6. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    what i'm mainly looking for is
    a) a compressor for tracking vocals. just to even out some peaks, and add a nice hardware touch so to speak
    b) *that* aggressive vocal sound....it's hard to put in words, but you all have already heard it. think of some high pitched, LOUD scream where you can really hear the compressor adding it's texture. i don't know how to put it in words really, guess you know what i mean.
    [disclaimer: obviously the right vocal technique plays a huge role in that respect, but let's just take that out of the equation. think about making a good vocal sound even better]

    right now i'm seriously considering the waves cla pack (found a nice deal on them), plus something like the fmr rnc for tracking vocals...nice plus would be that i coudl also run the full mix through it, different flavour from the ssl g comp.
    on the other hand, 1176 IS that aggressive vocal sound i'm talking about (aside from the distressor, which also would be much cooler for tracking, andy sneap knows it hehe), and lasse has pointed me to a really cool deal on the 1176 clone (thanks for that!).
    pro of the cla pack would obviously be the ease of use, plus you also get la2a/3a style compression to use on drums etc.
    but then again, i want to spend money to *improve* from where i am now gear wise, and i'm afraid the cla/rnc would be more of a side step.
     
  7. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    It sounds to me like a 1176 Rev A clone would be perfect for you. Everything you listed above is something my unit does.

    Also, don't know of many people who use opto compression on drums in these genres. I tried the Millennia's comp once on snare and it really wasn't that great. For what we tend to want, VCA... SSL-style compression is king. 160VU, Distressor etc. etc.

    Once you define what you want, as you have, your options become clear.

    On the 'Peace' track on my site, you can hear the 1176 A taking off about 10 to 15dB of the lead vocal.

    Here you can hear a Waves CLA vs real clone comparison of the 1176s A and D on lead vocal and bass respectively:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/285689/Forum/1176 Shoot-out/Porc-Waves1176.wav
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/285689/Forum/1176 Shoot-out/Porc-1176Clone.wav

    Decide for yourself.

    Also, found something else: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/285689/MissTemptation-4.mp3

    1176 A and D clones on vocal and bass respectively. Waves CLA-2A on backing vox.
     
  8. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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    Ok so it's only for vocal:D


    -1176 (UA blue face, Purple audio MC77, or any other clone)
    -LA2A and 3A (some guys love 3A with female vocals)
    -DBX 160 serie (160vu,A/XT) or a 162 (a stereo 160), 165 (a 160 with more adjustment posibility,).
    -distressor

    Just for the most common:D
     
  9. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    would you say the 1176 rev a clone is good for tracking vocals, too, or is it too aggressive and you're better off using it in the mix only?
     
  10. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Wondered the same thing myself, Fragle. To be honest I don't think i"ll ever try it, but rather continue tracking vox through the Distressor then annihilating them with the 1176A. I mean... you can't unprint that sort of aggression.
     
  11. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    i guess you're mainly tracking vocals at a rented studio then?
    that's what i'm thinking too....you're just stuck with the aggression then, no chance to go back.
    seeing how i only record vocals in my own rooms i don't have that luxury, though. that's where i got the idea of saving up and getting a distressor, as it's supposedly really really cool for both tracking and mixing. OR the cla pack for a very decent approximation (after all i've yet to hear a single bad review of them, aside from gearslutz nerds) of the 1176 aggression and a decent mid-level tracking compressor....

    edit: by the way, thanks a LOT for the knowledgeable input from you guys!!
     
  12. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Just FWIW it's not like an 1176 can't be tracked with un-aggressively, and then used more aggressively later down the road. That's exactly what I plan on doing with the clone I'm building next month.
     
  13. MetalJonesy

    MetalJonesy more metal, more booze!!!

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    where are you getting your clone from Jeff? like the chassis, transformers and plans
     
  14. Razorjack

    Razorjack Bass Behemoth

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    For the cost of the Waves pack I suggest getting a Focusrite Liquidmix. You get a lot more versatility and DSP to process all of your EQ and compression (for me this is the biggest CPU drain). I've had my LM for a few years now and the only other dynamics plug to touch any of my tracks has been Metric Halo channel strip.
     
  15. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Lasse can you share a link to your clone please :)
     
  16. Melodeath

    Melodeath Moonbow

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    Yeah, please share that link.
     
  17. Ronnie_Rocker

    Ronnie_Rocker Member

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    If you are looking for good 1176, LA2A etc. i recommend UAD 2. I think its the best sounding plugins there is.
     
  18. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    I pm'ed Lasse so here we go:

    http://www.prime-analog.com/

    and i had to email and ask for models and price, dont think he will mind :)

    There are some Units I do:

    - 1176 Clone
    - SSL Oxford Mixbus Compressor (stereo)
    - PEQ Tube Equilizer
    - G9 Dual Tube Mic PreAmp

    About the Price:

    Although it`s a hell of work, i keep the prices as low as possible.
    If you have a valid VAT number, i can ship without VAT.

    Here we go:

    1176 : 549 € + 19% VAT
    SSL Oxford Mixbus Compressor: 649 € + 19 %VAT
    PEQ1 : 629 € + 19%VAT
    G9: 779 € + 19 % VAT

    I'll probably place an order for the SSL mixbus and a 1176 this fall. If anyone got the SSL comp please chim in :)
     
  19. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    Nice info chaps. I get closer every day to pulling the trigger on those CLA compressors. Its killing me actually lol. What is the best deal you can get on them atm (native)?

    I found £398 so far. Maybe I should just get on with it...
     
  20. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    the cla compressors are incredible.
    And i know 1176's VERY well
    FWIW Tracking with a compressor on vocals / Bass is VERY different to tracking it dry and then adding it.
    cant explain, but it just sounds better.
    However. am Loving the CLA Bluey on vocals
     

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