List of RE Compressor Types?

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True
Posts: 198
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Post 19 May 2020

Is there a list of which type of compression each device in Reason uses. Some are obvious (Softtube FET, and I assume Moo Tube is Variable-Mu), and my understanding is that the mixer, being modeled after the SSL, is all VCA. But most of the rest just give vague references to the "vintage" gear they are modeled after, or else they just talk about compression in general, as if there were only one kind.

I'm trying to learn more about compression, and I understand that the different types have different uses. But that knowledge is useless if I don't know what type each one is. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Loque
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Post 19 May 2020

Not everything needs to be modeled after 60 year old gear. Some devices are made for now and for the future.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

True
Posts: 198
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Post 19 May 2020

I understand that not all software compressors are modeled after vintage gear, but many clearly are. And for the ones that aren't, is there no classification for those? Then for those of us who are still learning, how can we decide when to use which one? If I have to resort to trial and error, then I'll just skip them, which brings me back to my original question.

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Loque
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Post 19 May 2020

True wrote:
19 May 2020
I understand that not all software compressors are modeled after vintage gear, but many clearly are. And for the ones that aren't, is there no classification for those? Then for those of us who are still learning, how can we decide when to use which one? If I have to resort to trial and error, then I'll just skip them, which brings me back to my original question.
You should learn to make a decision by ear rather than by specs or marketing blah. I know, its a boring old phrase "by ear", but its the truth. I come more and more to the point, that i just close my eyes and listen. And for compressors, it always depends what you are after, what source you have and problem you want to solve.

Forget compressor models, rather think of "sound". If you want something smooth, glueing everything together, you may need a slower attack and slower reaction to the signal. If you want to tame some peaks, you need faster attack, if you want more sustain, you need longer release and so on...Try to test a compressor on different material and see if it works for you.

And one more thing i noticed in the last years, there is really a lot of hype and bs. You do not need the most expensive compressor and limiter. Often those ppl want to fix their mix, so learn how to mix. Fix the root cause and not the symptoms. I know, i know...old phrases...but somehow the truth...IMO.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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MrFigg
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Post 19 May 2020

I’ve got loads of compressors. I know nothing about compressors. As Loque says above just slam one on and see if it sounds good. I do have to say I do use RE-2A a lot but you don’t need to worry about that because you can’t buy it any more haha :).
I use them the same way as I would use an effect or an eq. Try that and see if you get some sounds you like.
丰2ॐ

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hurricane
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Joined: 14 Oct 2017

Post 19 May 2020

Slate's Academy is currently free and there's a huge and comprehensive class on compressors which is worth the watch.
https://soundcloud.com/hurricane-music | https://soundcloud.com/hurricaneaudiolab
Mac mini | Logic Pro X | Reason 10.4 | DX7 | DX7s | TX7 | CZ-1 | JP-8080 | Virus Classic | Roland XP-80/XP-30/RD-700/D2/TR-09 | microKorg I 03R/W | SL990 PRO

True
Posts: 198
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Post 19 May 2020

Loque wrote:
19 May 2020
You should learn to make a decision by ear
That's what I'm trying to do, but I don't know what to listen for. So I'm reading as much as I can about the different types. "Oh, this is what faster attack sounds like, this is what a smoother release sounds like, etc." In another thread, Giles mentioned starting with the classic stuff (e.g., VCA on a bus) and learning how that sounds, and growing from there. That certainly seemed like a more concrete path forward that just learning by ear. Some people learn by ear, some don't. Billy Joel learned to play piano by ear; me, I need someone to tell me some things. I'll never be Billy Joel or Tony Maserati or whoever; I'm just trying to learn this stuff.

That's why I'm asking for help. I have spent years trying to listen. I'm not some preteen with a Mac and too much time on my hands. I've been doing audio for 30 years, but I never had access to a lot of gear, so there's still a lot I don't know. I'm also a pretty introspective person; I know what works for me and what doesn't. I didn't just wake up today and decide to become a music producer and figured I'd get a shortcut by asking a question on here. This is something I have been trying to learn, but without some level of guidance I just can't do it. That is one of my limitations.

So again, any help will be appreciated.

True
Posts: 198
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Post 19 May 2020

hurricane wrote:
19 May 2020
Slate's Academy is currently free and there's a huge and comprehensive class on compressors which is worth the watch.
Thanks! I hadn't heard of them. I was only familiar with Coursera. They have some decent courses, but they tend toward the scientific and theoretical.

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Loque
Posts: 7475
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 19 May 2020

True wrote:
19 May 2020
Loque wrote:
19 May 2020
You should learn to make a decision by ear
That's what I'm trying to do, but I don't know what to listen for. So I'm reading as much as I can about the different types. "Oh, this is what faster attack sounds like, this is what a smoother release sounds like, etc." In another thread, Giles mentioned starting with the classic stuff (e.g., VCA on a bus) and learning how that sounds, and growing from there. That certainly seemed like a more concrete path forward that just learning by ear. Some people learn by ear, some don't. Billy Joel learned to play piano by ear; me, I need someone to tell me some things. I'll never be Billy Joel or Tony Maserati or whoever; I'm just trying to learn this stuff.

That's why I'm asking for help. I have spent years trying to listen. I'm not some preteen with a Mac and too much time on my hands. I've been doing audio for 30 years, but I never had access to a lot of gear, so there's still a lot I don't know. I'm also a pretty introspective person; I know what works for me and what doesn't. I didn't just wake up today and decide to become a music producer and figured I'd get a shortcut by asking a question on here. This is something I have been trying to learn, but without some level of guidance I just can't do it. That is one of my limitations.

So again, any help will be appreciated.
I hear you...i still want to >see< what is happening...but from time to time i just close my eyes and listen and that helps a lot.

And as everything else in your body, it needs training. Train to hear the difference of different attack times. Drive the compressor hard and experiment. Just use a simple sound, maybe a snare and experiment. Close your eyes and hear how the sound changes.

And there is another rule i learned (from Giles): If you cant hear a difference, you do not need it.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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motuscott
Posts: 1932
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: the New York

Post 19 May 2020

Different types of comps, whether modeled on something real or not, work with different sounds.
It’s a complex effect and it takes more than a while just to be able to hear it, much less to ride the wild beast.
I’ve read interviews with Michael Brauer in TapeOp magazine that helped me a lot.
https://www.mbrauer.com/
https://tapeop.com/
Vlad the thread stopper

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guitfnky
Posts: 2140
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 19 May 2020

Loque wrote:
19 May 2020
True wrote:
19 May 2020
I understand that not all software compressors are modeled after vintage gear, but many clearly are. And for the ones that aren't, is there no classification for those? Then for those of us who are still learning, how can we decide when to use which one? If I have to resort to trial and error, then I'll just skip them, which brings me back to my original question.
You should learn to make a decision by ear rather than by specs or marketing blah. I know, its a boring old phrase "by ear", but its the truth. I come more and more to the point, that i just close my eyes and listen. And for compressors, it always depends what you are after, what source you have and problem you want to solve.

Forget compressor models, rather think of "sound". If you want something smooth, glueing everything together, you may need a slower attack and slower reaction to the signal. If you want to tame some peaks, you need faster attack, if you want more sustain, you need longer release and so on...Try to test a compressor on different material and see if it works for you.

And one more thing i noticed in the last years, there is really a lot of hype and bs. You do not need the most expensive compressor and limiter. Often those ppl want to fix their mix, so learn how to mix. Fix the root cause and not the symptoms. I know, i know...old phrases...but somehow the truth...IMO.
isn’t this sort of beside the point? it can be helpful to know whether you want to bother trying a compressor because it’s based on an optical circuit vs 1176-style FET, etc. using your ears is a great determining factor, but you can save yourself some time and narrow the field if you already know what type of compressor you’re looking at and what it’s likely to do.

anyhoo, this may or may not help: https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/4-type ... world.html

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Loque
Posts: 7475
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 19 May 2020

guitfnky wrote:
19 May 2020
Loque wrote:
19 May 2020


You should learn to make a decision by ear rather than by specs or marketing blah. I know, its a boring old phrase "by ear", but its the truth. I come more and more to the point, that i just close my eyes and listen. And for compressors, it always depends what you are after, what source you have and problem you want to solve.

Forget compressor models, rather think of "sound". If you want something smooth, glueing everything together, you may need a slower attack and slower reaction to the signal. If you want to tame some peaks, you need faster attack, if you want more sustain, you need longer release and so on...Try to test a compressor on different material and see if it works for you.

And one more thing i noticed in the last years, there is really a lot of hype and bs. You do not need the most expensive compressor and limiter. Often those ppl want to fix their mix, so learn how to mix. Fix the root cause and not the symptoms. I know, i know...old phrases...but somehow the truth...IMO.
isn’t this sort of beside the point? it can be helpful to know whether you want to bother trying a compressor because it’s based on an optical circuit vs 1176-style FET, etc. using your ears is a great determining factor, but you can save yourself some time and narrow the field if you already know what type of compressor you’re looking at and what it’s likely to do.

anyhoo, this may or may not help: https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/4-type ... world.html
Yea, sure. Thats why i like Fabfilter Pro-C. They named it like it sounds or what they were made for: "Punch", "Pumping", "Vocal" and so on :-D. But nobody limits you to use them therefore...
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

Spaceship
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 May 2019

Post 19 May 2020

I’m also interested in the OP’s original question. A list of RE compressors and their types would be useful.

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guitfnky
Posts: 2140
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 19 May 2020

Loque wrote:
19 May 2020
guitfnky wrote:
19 May 2020


isn’t this sort of beside the point? it can be helpful to know whether you want to bother trying a compressor because it’s based on an optical circuit vs 1176-style FET, etc. using your ears is a great determining factor, but you can save yourself some time and narrow the field if you already know what type of compressor you’re looking at and what it’s likely to do.

anyhoo, this may or may not help: https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/4-type ... world.html
Yea, sure. Thats why i like Fabfilter Pro-C. They named it like it sounds or what they were made for: "Punch", "Pumping", "Vocal" and so on :-D. But nobody limits you to use them therefore...
yeah, that’s a good sort of shorthand to go off of. more companies should do that. although “vocal” as a compression character doesn’t make much sense to me 😆—the others do.

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Loque
Posts: 7475
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 19 May 2020

guitfnky wrote:
19 May 2020
Loque wrote:
19 May 2020

Yea, sure. Thats why i like Fabfilter Pro-C. They named it like it sounds or what they were made for: "Punch", "Pumping", "Vocal" and so on :-D. But nobody limits you to use them therefore...
yeah, that’s a good sort of shorthand to go off of. more companies should do that. although “vocal” as a compression character doesn’t make much sense to me 😆—the others do.
They also have some types like "Master". I guess its obviously for what they are optimized :lol:
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

WarStar
Posts: 129
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 19 May 2020

Ultimately it isn't really a type of sound persay but it's functionality. And determining what to use is really about trial and error. mostly the controls are all very similar. Some differences being attack times and specifics like gentle compression like the Master Bus.

But before all this it's important to know how to dial in your compressor. You want the level of the output from your compressor, ie after compression, to match the volume level of your clean signal. This is important so you don't get any unwanted volume bumps after a comps release BUT more importantly matching levels allows you to actually accurately hear what the comp is doing compared to your input clean signal. This is more important than thinking what and where to use compression because if you're not hearing it in context with the clean signal then you don't really know for Sure what the comp is going to behave. Knowing when to use compression will then start to make sense because now you're hearing more accurately

Spaceship
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 May 2019

Post 19 May 2020

I suppose the usefulness of such a list is subjective, but it would be interesting at very least.

Rackman
Posts: 89
Joined: 28 Dec 2019

Post 20 May 2020

Grab a trial of FabFilter. Their compressor has various different types, but more importantly shows you what is going very clearly. People love regurgitating the whole 'you should do everything by ear thing', which is obviously true, but when you're learning good visual feedback is really helpful.

https://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro- ... or-plug-in

Of course there are plenty of other ways to learn, but I found this really helped me understand the effect of different params. Also check out their guides to compression on YouTube. Some of the best content you will find.

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