Buying outboard compression, how to decide? (AKA- justifying a 33609 clone)

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Contributor Since: Nov 11, 2007

After spending some time at my landlord's studio and working with an engineer that frequents the place, I think my next step is outboard compression. Already yakked at BH about it and he brought up a good point that outboard compression is not the first thing a studio should have, so I'll just re-cap what is already in place and you guys let me know if I'm missing something more important than compression:

-My mixing room is treated
-My tracking space is gi-normous, wood floors, brick walls, high ceilings
-Modified Digi 002R (BLAudio sig) interface
-SSL, API pre-amps
-I rent a collection of mics for about $100/weekend. AKG/Senneiser/Neuman stuff

So based on what I have, and what I feel like my mix is lacking right now, I want a compressor. Mainly to run the drum bus through and also for bass and vocals.

On one hand, my landlord is an electronics wizard and makes some fantastic clone gear. Total gearhead, and from what I've heard his work stands out. He'll take a clone schematic and make it as good or better than the original from a component level, and add some features along the way to make it more versatile. He's currently building a Neve 33609 clone available for well under $3000.

On the other hand, there's a Black Lion Audio Neve 33609 "homage" that is available for less than half the price. It isn't marketed as a clone, so I'm sure some "cost efficiencies" were granted in the build design somewhere...but where? I'd really like to know some most likely components to ask about. I emailed BLaudio but they aren't eager to share it seems.

I haven't heard either unit, and if I order the BLaudio and decide to return it there's a 15% restocking fee so I'd prefer to avoid the trial and error method. Anyone out there using outboard compressors know what the relevant electronics are to these things? Do I need to compare the transistors, etc?

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Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 06, 2011 10:21 am

if you ask me if you want an outboard comp i would stick to buying one thats in line quality/money wise as youre pres and mics.

Unless youre gonna upgrade yer pres and **** soon. i dunno.
a distressor is a nice comp apparently.

I cant say im a full bottle on outboard compressors, in fact, im just plain not a full bottle.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Oct 06, 2011 11:01 am

On the other hand, there's a Black Lion Audio Neve 33609 "homage" that is available for less than half the price.

That's on my "want" list... If it's even "reasonably close" (but less "silky" or what not) it's a bargain.
Since: Nov 11, 2007

Oct 08, 2011 10:33 am

I went with the 33609 clone. Looks like I wont be buying anything else for the next year. Sucks too, 'cuz I really liked that "food" stuff.

Since: Aug 17, 2004

Oct 08, 2011 09:02 pm

Slut! Jealous as man, post some before and after files!
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 08, 2011 09:02 pm

yeah food's alright. but you'll have yer new pre to look at. look forward to hearing some stuff with it tho man for sure.

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