ART tube compressor

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ernstinen
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ART tube compressor

Post by ernstinen » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:35 am

Hey Guys,

A few months ago I thought I'd take a chance on an Applied Research and Technology (ART) tube compressor/limiter for my mastering studio. I had read great things about it like "Makes everything I run through it sound better," and "Amazing bang for the buck." But I wasn't so sure, because ART has the reputation as being kind of the next step up from Behringer, i.e. El Cheapo! Well, the reviews were correct. For about $300 for a stereo tube compressor, this thing IS amazing! It really has professional components, like a +4/-10 switch (my board is +4), XLR inputs and outputs, real VU meters plus digital meters, an input/output level switch, and lots of adjustments for ratio, threshold, knee, you name it, its got it.

I used to rent real high-end gear for mastering, like a Massenburg parametric EQ (which goes up to 25 kHz to add some "air" on top), but this ART compressor makes the high frequencies/harmonics sound like that! Clean, glassy high end, even if you add just a tad of compression. Just going through tubes makes digital mixes sound better! Warmer, fuller, and that aforementioned sweet high end! It's the real deal, and its such a deal LOL!... The old adage of "never leaving the digital domain" is a bunch of b.s., IMHO. I say go for it, if it makes things sound better!

Ern :D

LamarPecorino
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Re: ART tube compressor

Post by LamarPecorino » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:13 am

Thanks Ern. I'll check it out!
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Re: ART tube compressor

Post by WeWillWriteUaSong » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:50 am

I have no idea how they do what they do. The smallest one they make (tube mp i believe) is less expensive than the tube within it should be. Crazy. I have several art pieces. I also love the tubepac...i have a pair of those. Great stuff for the price indeed.
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ernstinen
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Re: ART tube compressor

Post by ernstinen » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:08 pm

Marcus, I don't know how they do it, either!... Another company like that is Line 6. I swore, as an old school tube amp guitar player, that I'd NEVER buy a non-tube guitar amp. But then I played through a $99 Line 6 Spider IV 15 amp. It's sure no tube amp, but for practicing guitar it's great. That amp is like a powered pedal board, basically. It gets so many sounds, 15 watts through a little 8" speaker, with a line (headphone) output, delays, reverb, chorus, everything and amp modeling, too... Of course, it sounds like a $99 solid-state amp, but all the effects and modeling are easily worth $99 by themselves (more like $500 if you bought pedals)! And add a power amp, cabinet, and speaker --- How do they do it? I'm sure it's made in China, but hey...

Ern :)

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Re: ART tube compressor

Post by mojobone » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:15 pm

Yeah, these things are awesome and they're $299 for two channels, so no reason not to have one, unless you're just plumb outta room or don't belieeeeve in rack hardware, LOL. (they also make similarly awesome, similarly-priced and spec'd tube preamps and channel strips with or without AD/DA, plus a whole bunch of other handy audio and MIDI gadgets) I don't believe I've ever met a mix that couldn't use at least a little kiss from an opto-compressor, and the ART's routing is flexible enough, you could run the two channels in series, compressing and soft-limiting, for tracking vocals, snare, kick drum or bass, and of course it's awesome across a drums, guitar or vocal bus. Definitely as close as you can get to a magic box for under $300, and there's no latency; none.

I'm a similarly hidebound traditionalist guitar geek, and Line6 products? A couple of them have won my heart, including their Variax and X3Live, which despite the name is a studly workhorse in my studio. If you like the Spyder, you definitely should check out their top of the line Helix guitar processor; it's the Axxe-FX/Kemper killer; I woulda bought one, but I had an opportunity to seize an original 1965 Super Reverb right about the time the Helix came out, so I did what I had to do. I used to be a tube freak and a vintage enthusiast, but I no longer own anything older than me, though I'd certainly make an exception for a nice Gibson Advanced Jumbo..but it doesn't make sense for a working musician to gig with gear that comes with a vault and an insurance bill.

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