As the title asks… What is your favorite 2-bus compressor (hardware or software) and why?
I use Voxengo Elephant and find that it does everything I need it to… it’s really versatile plus the pre-sets are a great starting point. I did find the gui a bit confusing at first - hmm, I probably still do [cheesy grin] but that is probably because there are a really wide range of tweakables… (new audio geek term). It can do a great translucent sheen or a distorted NYAH! In fact now that I’m thinking about it, it classifies as a plug that I really like… I do use several other compressors within a mix but the elephant is my 2-bus-go-to-one.
My main 2 buss for Rock is the Slate “Red” (Focusrite) model. Lately, I’ve also been using IKs “Classic Compressor” - it’s been around forever as part of the T- Racks package, but it’s actually a very versatile beast - has high pass and some mid-side capabilities. For limiting, I’ve been loving Boz’s The Wall.
I tend to forget about ol’ T-Racks. That package was actually pretty solid.
It’s T-Racks’ Bus Compressor for me - the SSL quad comp model. I’ve never heard the hardware so I’ve got no idea how close it is, but I love it on the master bus, usually 1.5:1 ratio, attack 1 or 3ms, release on auto and doing between 2-4dB when things are in full flight.
But here’s the thing that maybe marks me out as crazy; I use it in linked M/S mode, which I think sounds wider and does a better job of controlling the groove in the centre. In L+R mode it makes things a little narrower to me, which I’ve heard as a common complaint of software 2 bus compressor.
Other than a hardware FMR RNC (which was ok) years ago the only other comp I’ve really used successfully for this job is the @bozmillar +10dB Compex - absolutely brilliant comp, but it’s my go-to drum bus comp and I have this weird aversion to using the same comp on drum and master bus since it’s gonna be the drums hitting them both hardest anyway, usually.
I never compress the 2 bus. Hold onto all the dynamics uintil I master the final mixdown.
I like using the Elysia Alpha into a UAD Studer Tape, that is generally what I use all the time.
Yup. Same here.
I use the ik bus compressor but in a very mild manner mostly just as glue its not hitting any harder than 1db of reduction.
and for Cirrus ther eis a preset pack i got from repaer stash that has all of the waves ssl pack made for the ik bus compressor and its pretty spot on. heres the link…http://stash.reaper.fm/v/25282/SSL%20Presets.zip
Ah yes, the most transparent compressor of all!
I’ve been using a mutli buss Brauer type approach. Generally it sits like this.
Buss A - No Compression (FX, and instruments that need less compression)
Buss B - 2 Tonelux T5C’s set to a modern style compression (Drums and Bass)
Buss C - 2 Tonelux T5C’s set to a vintage style compression (Guitars, Keys, Piano etc)
Buss D - Manley Vari Mu (Vocals)
Each buss runs through a stereo channel on the console letting me add some eq if necessary.
@Paul999, you’ve been a fan of that Vari Mu for quite a few years now if I recall correctly!
+1 @Emma for that elephant, and +1 with @ColdRoomStudio for the Slate Red. Not a fan of the Vari Mu that @Paul999 uses on the 2 bus, but I do like it on group vocals, acoustic pianos, and overhead/room busses.
But my main go-to is the SSL G comp. 1:5 ratio, 3-4 gr, slow release, med fast attack for music.
Nugen, Waves, or Izotope for digital broadcast.
Waves for bus compression on 5,1 surround
Avid for bus compression on Atmos
Yes I am a huge fan of the manley vari mu. It is equally good tracking as it is on buss duties. It took a while for me to get the hang of it. The reaction of it is so different then any DAW compressor I’ve used. It is very much like riding a volume fader instead of what you usually hear in a compressor. Using the input section to add some grit is just amazing. I almost always have this on the highest input setting:)
[quote=“Paul999, post:16, topic:175, full:true”]
Yes I am a huge fan of the manley vari mu. It is equally good tracking as it is on buss duties. It took a while for me to get the hang of it. The reaction of it is so different then any DAW compressor I’ve used. [/quote] With mine I crank the front end to kingdom come so it hits whatever the hell is inside there full steam. Then I dial back the output. Once I have it under control, I start mashing with the compressor. [quote]
It is very much like riding a volume fader instead of what you usually hear in a compressor. [/quote] Correct me if I’m wrong. That’s what the vari-variable stands for…right? The response continuously re-adapts to incoming signal? [quote] Using the input section to add some grit is just amazing. I almost always have this on the highest input setting:)
[/quote] Same here!!! I wouldn’t have complained if they made this permanently +4. I don’t think I have ever dropped the input gain below unity. Negative numbers are for wimps. haha. That’s probably not true…I just haven’t discovered a reason to turn the thing down.
For me it’s waves API-2500 which I use lightly with 1:5 - 2 ratio, 0.25 release and 0.03 - 0,1 attack to get 1-2db GR. I like how it gels everything together.
However I guess that everybody will choose his favorite from the arsenal he has at hand, right?
I never had the luxury to own many compressors let alone dedicated buss compressors to test them against each other.
But at the end maybe that’'s a good thing.
It saves time from testing plugins and invests it in creating.
Ozone 6, Slate FGX or Oxford Limiter for me.
I recently got approved to be a Manley dealer for the shop, so I’m hoping I can get my hands on the occasional demo units of their stuff at some point. The Vari Mu has been on my “some day” list for quite some time now.