Testing Compressors: Cali, Smoothie, Empress, Diamond, Keeley, FEA, Darkglass, Doc Lloyd, JHS & more

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scubaduba, May 21, 2018.


  1. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Oh that’s a rowdy bunch.
     
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  2. Charlie Tuna

    Charlie Tuna

    Feb 21, 2005
    Key West, FL
    After you do some A/B'ing, try the Cali in front and swap each of the others behind it. Don't forget to report your findings.
     
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  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks! I didn't want to get too far ahead of myself, but yes, good suggestion! I do have another pedalboard set up for Round B of testing (compressor sandwiches). I think maybe this will sound good:

    compressorsandwichDSC_0083.JPG
    But first things first. Round A of testing is, just try each of the five on its own.
     
  4. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Happily trending in my own peculiar direction. Supporting Member

    I would try the Lab first so you can get it boxed up and ready to ship to Ontario sooner.
     
  5. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    tenor.gif

    Whoa. That is quite a collection of awesomeness.
     
  6. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    Erf
    WhhhhoooooooooooWEEEEEEEE! That's a lot of good lookin' compressor meat right there! :woot::drool:
     
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  7. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    That's cool. I bet that is a nice sounding little board there. The only thing better than the TiBox is the DiVision.
     
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  8. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    Now I have to show mine! C5143D32-CB74-4F39-BBE1-85350E45034B.jpeg
     
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  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Before I get into compressor testing in earnest, here is a fun and silly detour: In the process of setting levels on my audio interface, I asked myself, "What does each of these compressors sound at maximum compression? Let's push them to the limits and hear their MAX SQUISH!!!"

    These clips aren't supposed to sound "good" so please don't cross a compressor off your list, just because it sounds "bad" here. My purpose in doing this was simply, to stress-test the character of each compressor at its "goes to 11" setting. To my ear, the dry signal (the first 30 seconds of the clip) sounds better than any of these compressors, because too much compression is worse than no compression at all. But still, it was a fun experiment!

    The order of clips is dry bass into TI Box, no compressor (0:00) then Fairfield Accountant 9 volts (0:28), Origin Cali76 18v (0:55), Broughton Monocomp 24v (1:23), Union Lab 9v (1:50), and Doc Lloyd PDR Vactrol 18v (2:19).



    The big surprise was the Doc Lloyd Vactrol. The waveform looks really strange in my DAW. It has huge transients, but only on one side of the waveform. Hitting the Phase button on my DI flips the peaks to the other side. Any of you compressor gurus ever seen a compressor do this before, compress only one side of the waveform? Would a signal like this be potentially harmful to my amp or cabinet, at loud volume?

    Screenshot from 2021-05-27 18-02-12.png
    Anyway I will be posting better-quality sound clips, with more reasonable settings, over the next few days, but I thought some of you would enjoy this fun warmup exercise, the unpleasant sound of 5 different compressors running at torturous MAX SQUISH settings.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  10. LightForce104

    LightForce104 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Hawaii/Washington
    Looks like just the attack delay? Since you're playing fingerstyle, all of the strings theoretically start moving in the same direction, which means the waveforms for each note will all start in the same direction.
     
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  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I follow your logic, but it's shockingly different than the behavior of the other 4 compressors. It just sort of jumps out at me visually, none of the others are so drastically lopsided:

    Screenshot from 2021-05-27 18-38-58.png

    But like I said above, these are intentionally "bad" sound clips, so I'm not too worried. It's just weird and I feel like there should be some electronical explanation, why that circuit is giving such different output than the other two optical compressors.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  12. LightForce104

    LightForce104 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Hawaii/Washington
    Might have to do with release times as well? My guess is that the PDR has a longer release time than the others. But yeah, you're never going to actually use the compressors like this.
     
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  13. Rycebag

    Rycebag Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    I recently bought a Keeley compressor pro from someone and am wondering what happens to the attack and release section when Auto mode is engaged? Or rather how is it working to automate and make the adjustments to the signal? Also, Is there a manual for the pedal that goes more in depth than the information that is given on the Keeley website?
     
  14. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    According to the manual the Compressor Pro looks at the input signals (like guitar, bass, vocals or drums) and determines the correct attack and release times depending on what you’re playing and what signal levels are being detected. In real world usage, it works too. When in auto mode, you essentially have the Keeley GC-2. Threshold, Ratio, and Gain all function in auto mode just like the GC-2.

    Here’s a link to that Bassist/GC-2 manual https://robertkeeley.com/woo/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/GC2BassistManual.pdf
     
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  15. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    Did you try turning all the compressors on at the same time?

    Please report your findings.
     
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  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Shout-out to Russ at Doc Lloyd for the excellent customer service! :)

    I took down the sound clip temporarily, until the playing field is leveled. Each of these compressors deserves a fair shot at the championship.
     
  17. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    What’s the issue with the PDR?
     
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  18. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Unclear at this time, and I don't want to speculate on any half-baked theories.
    We'll get to the bottom of it, I'm confident! :)
     
  19. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    I have a rane dc24 here is anyone is looking for one
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
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  20. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 22, 2021

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