Plug in Compressor

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 2 weeks ago.

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  • #98791
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Has anyone done a direct comparison of the stock compressor with the Opto plugin?
    I’ve only seem a comparison of dry vs plug in on the sound files in the A&H marketing pages..
    Is it that much better than the stock compressor? I bought the 16T and that is somewhat different to the stock and adds a certain colour that is good in some scenarios but is the Opto likely to be a noticeable improvement to stock in live scenarios?

    I run a small KV2 Audio (EX12s with EX 2.5 sub) rig with SQ5 to crowds up to around 300 people.. mixture of genres from jazz to folk to rock to pop

    Thanks for your thoughts
    Andy

    #98792
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    Is it that much better than the stock compressor?

    Nobody said it is better… it is different, better on some tasks
    adds another flavor… for vocals or bus compression

    #98794
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Yeh fair enough.. true..
    I guess I meant does it have a significantly different flavour?

    #98804
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    The OP is making an honest effort to provide a high quality sonic experience with his choice of a KV2 FOH system. I have over the past 15 years enjoyed working with a full 10 box KV2 ES system and three EX10 wedges. His question pursuant to plug-ins deserves a comprehensive answer.

    1) The SQ internal comp is a well thought out tool that enables either RMS comp averaging or limiting the passing thru of transients to FOH. It is a musical, transparent method to limit the dynamic range of your performance with out adding sonic artifacts or color.
    2) The flip side of the comp plug-in question is this; a) Your SQ with it’s 2496K FPGA digital processing will provide a world class transparent sonic mix for your pro point source KV2 FOH however some of us miss the Tube, tape, Transformer and Ribbon warmth of yesterdays analog processing that made playing vinyl LPs such a pleasure. b) There are very good reasons why the LA2a (opto) is a go to vocal comp. It can musically bring a warm vocal to the front of a mix while maintaining important support input.. c) The 1176 and 160 comps for instrumentation are also studio standards that have been modeled for the D-Live that are available in the SQ comp optional package.

    The short answer to you question is, you have everything you will need to compress/limit the dynamic range of your performance with the provided SQ comp. I have been using the subject studio plug-in comps in my production work for many years and would not be comfortable working with out them so I bought the 5 comp bundle when got the SQ5/DX168 combo. They provide the palette of sonic color I am accustomed to using.
    One other item that I believe is worth mentioning is for you to consider purchasing a decent quality tube mic for lead vocals. AT 4060s and/or Paluso 2247s are available on the secondary market from time to time if the new price point is too much. Either one will warm up and help the quality of your vocal capture.
    Hugh

    #98805
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    One other item that I believe is worth mentioning is for you to consider purchasing a decent quality tube mic for lead vocals. AT 4060s and/or Paluso 2247s are available on the secondary market from time to time if the new price point is too much. Either one will warm up and help the quality of your vocal capture.

    Nice mics but it sounds like the original question was for use in live sound production, maybe not the best mics for that use.
    Well except maybe for single mic bluegrass bands.

    #98806
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Hugh

    Quality and its highness is very very subjective. How do you measure it?

    As to compressors is there any standard that tells how to measure the quality of a compressor?
    Or does it come down to what your ears prefer whether mine or the audience agrees?
    And it might depend on the signal it was compressing as well as the DR of the source as well as the type of signal yada yada.

    Tube mikes are your opinion. You could not pay me to use a tube mike.
    Ditto for analog gadgets as digital is just simply so much better in every way that counts. YMMV

    People tend to forget that in the real world we get constrained by many things;
    time, money, audience ability to hear, room acoustics, and even legal in some places where there are SPL limits mandated.
    Claiming something is better quality without specifying the exact situation is nonsense.

    #98843
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Mike C,
    You have raised a very important point that I did not cover appropriately: In live performance the choice of a vocal mic is totally controlled by the amount of back line amp and drum kit stage noise. I have been deploying up to as many as 6 tubes for our seated acoustic Americana ensemble over the past 15 years with out any problems: However we do not have any stage amps or an acoustic drum kit on stage. The entire question rests within the required capture pattern to avoid feedback and un-wanted stage bleed. Hot back lines usually require eating a card pattern SM58 or one of it’s successors and any comparison between one of those and either of the mics I recommended will be a no brainer. The other critical factor is the fact that shooting video of singers eating a SM58 type mic is a very poor visual production problem. The main factor we need to consider is close micing any acoustic instrument or vocal performance sonically leaves a lot to be desired and the fact that the OP is deploying a KV2 pro point source FOH like I do, and we both are using a SQ desk, I wanted to share exactly how I deliver sonically superior FOH performance.

    Volounteer,
    Most MI gear sells to folks with your apparent assessment of what and how we quantify high grade sonic quality. The ability of pro gear to better address the type of problems you specified is at the core of the question. Unless you have actually run an SQ with a KV2 FOH and a singer working a Flea 47 Next mic, like I do for all of my shows, your negative comments need to be framed around the FOH mantra. “If it sounds good—it is good”
    Hugh

    #98847
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Hugh

    Our church is having this ‘discussion’ right now.
    The real question is who should decide if it is good enough?

    A couple of golden eared types want to make it ‘better’, without surveying the audience.
    My experience says that nobody in the audience cares about their tweaks;
    as long as there is no feedback and they can understand the preacherman they are happy.
    Keep in mind these are mostly old people not younger folks.

    A side question is should we throw a pile of money at it to keep the golden eared ones happy?
    Or do we have other competing uses for that money which might give us better overall results on all our objectives.

    I note that tube mikes are less reliable and break easier than our SM58s that just keep working;
    and reliability is high on our list as a church when we select gear.

    For my ears most all mikes are good enough although I had some ultra cheap ones a few decades ago that worked but I did not prefer but used as they came with my very early home quality tape recorder circa 1970.

    #98864
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    A side question is should we throw a pile of money at it to keep the golden eared ones happy?
    Or do we have other competing uses for that money which might give us better overall results on all our objectives.

    The QU32 is not the weak link in your system or ever will be, the operators that’s another topic!!

    As for the rest of your maybe that’s a weak link that could use some help, we don’t know because you have never provided any meaningful information about it, makes, models, or even a few pictures.

    #98873
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mikec

    The Qu is just fine.
    The weak link is people.

    The MD and the A1 were fighting each other on real time changes, one using the pad vs the other on the mixer itself, which proves what I said earlier. As a lowly A3 (maybe A2.5?) when the MD starts tweaking I just ignore everything for the rest of the show.

    We (the A/V team) are now arguing about whether the church needs to stream 4K 8K 16K 3D or holograms,
    instead of just the current 1080p full HD which is utoobs limit.

    The point of that was: everybody has their own idea of what is good enough; considering that perfection is not possible.
    My point is that the audience does not care about those extra little tweaks the golden eared audio folks think are necessary.

    And as a lagniappe, the video folks refuse to consider all the other places that video gets diddled so that users at home may not like what they see and complain. They think a bigger sensor and more pixels will fix everything for everybody.

    But you use the volounteers you have not the volounteers you wish you had.

    #98878
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    @volounteer

    I actually agree with about 80% of what you said.

    I’m going to say that “golden eared audio folks” more than likely
    just think they have golden ears.
    If they truly do have golden ears and knew how to adjust for what
    they were hearing or more importantly make adjustments to get to the
    point so they hear what they want to hear you would have all the
    issues you have posted about.

    Still waiting on the pictures of your system or a link to videos.

    #98879
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mikec

    Some of them can hear things I can not for sure.
    My English teacher told me not to sing when our class was to perform at an assembly.
    During rehearsal he glared at me and pointed and said “you, dont sing! you are flat!”
    A musician at work complained that the tune the copy machine played was in the wrong key!
    Nobody else could tell, or cared but him.

    But those differences in EQ and levels on the mixer do not mean the sound is ‘better’ only different.
    And , like I said, the *audience* can not tell the difference and they do not care
    as long as there is no feedback and they can understand the orators.

    As to adjusting things it is not really the hearing, it is the will do actually do it (and finding time as most folks still work)
    I believe they were going to do a reset to zero and have the dealer come in and run smaart with some magic mikes and measurements.
    Then we would adjust ALL the settings to max GFB. But we have been sidetracked as the MD is out sick and the video team has been getting the focus of everyones efforts. And the A1 is travelling for his job. The A2s have covid and are also out for a while.

    #98890
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    We have some how or other morphed from a discussion about audio compression into the relative importance of video pixels and big sensors. I can identify with volunteer’s frustration over dealing with the wide verity of strong opinions and lack of clarity that exists in his A/V committee. I also served for 10 years as the chair of our worship committee and the problem I had was the complete lack of interest in improving the audio quality in our sanctuary that seated 800 worshipers. The initial SR design was not good: it was designed for a rock & Roll praise band but we had a new $200,000 pipe organ with a 50 voice choir. The biggest problem was the absence of a clearly defined distribution of the spoken word. It was more than loud enough but way short of the definition needed for old folks (like me-I’m 80) to be able to hear very well.
    This is the point “where the rubber hits the road”: the ability to appropriately asses the real gear needs to alleviate existing problems with out chasing technology is easy said , but usually hard to achieve. If SM58s and plastic boxed MI FOH stacks get the job done for your congregation, then go for it: however more DBs is very rarely the appropriate answer.
    Hugh

    #98893
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Hugh

    We really morphed into discussing what is ‘better’ and how to tell. I say it should be majority vote of the audience. They think they should decide what is plenty good enough when it fails to meet what they prefer. There is a reason there are level and tone controls on radios and other consumer gear: One size fits nobody.

    I agree with you that we need to make the sound intelligible when the preacherman is talking and anything else past removing feedback is just opinions not facts. I note there is no distortion; or bad EQ or other problems that are real.

    We have a lot of self styled ‘experts’ who have a case of the Dunning-Kruger effect and can’t see past what they think they know and assume that what they do know is the answer to everything, and that they should get to decide for everybody else what is ‘good’.

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