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Old 05-28-2017, 07:28 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Default Recommendations On Live Vocal Compressors

Any ideas on simple, effective and hopefully inexpensive vocal compressors?

As an open mic host, I'm often dealing with limited dynamic space between a chatty noise floor and a pain/annoyance threshold where customers start complaining and the manager tells me to turn it down.

And, of course, I'm dealing with many singers who have no ability or interest in working the mic to keep their vocals within a dynamic range that's between what's barely audible and what's painfully loud. I'll often have singers who'll go from a whisper to a shout without backing one centimeter off the mic. I'll need to turn down the vocal level, and then their quieter singing will be buried beneath the room's chatty noise floor.


Five or six years ago, I did a split-bill gig with Laura Clapp who was a rep for TC Helicon at the time. The only TC Helicon gear that she used on that occasion was a compression box which kept her raspy whispers audible and her loudest vocalizing within a comfortable range. I'm thinking that even that old box (if its available on ebay) might be helpful. I must observe, though, that Laura was using good mic technique in addition to using the compression box. She was still backing off the mic for the loudest passages.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:00 AM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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The older ART Tube M/C is a low-cost pre that does nice optical compression, and sufficiently inexpensive that you can have two in your rack - which I do. They can be found for ~$50 or so witch a bit of searching.

Ps it also works great for guitar or bass as a DI, so bonus there,.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:04 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Hayden View Post
The older ART Tube M/C is a low-cost pre that does nice optical compression, and sufficiently inexpensive that you can have two in your rack - which I do. They can be found for ~$50 or so witch a bit of searching.

Ps it also works great for guitar or bass as a DI, so bonus there,.
Thanks for the suggestion. I wasn't even vaguely aware of that one.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:08 AM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
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The Mic Mechanic 2 is essentially a compressor (along with reverb, echo and correction). I love what it does and our band now uses three of them. They make more difficult mics (poppy, essy, sensitive, super and hyper cardioid) extremely easy to use.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:36 AM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
Five or six years ago, I did a split-bill gig with Laura Clapp who was a rep for TC Helicon at the time. The only TC Helicon gear that she used on that occasion was a compression box which kept her raspy whispers audible and her loudest vocalizing within a comfortable range.
Was she using Voictone T1


Voicetone correct



or Mic Mechanic


I am curious...

Cuki
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:45 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions and observations, David and Cuki.

Cuki, That "pitch correction" box looks familiar. I think Laura was using the earlier version of that box - for the compression function. She doesn't need pitch correction.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:50 AM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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1st version was


Good thing with the old pedal you have separate tone knob (EQ: shape), Compressor and De-ess.

Did she had a compressor for the guitar too?

Cuki
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:12 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuki79 View Post
1st version was


Good thing with the old pedal you have separate tone knob (EQ: shape), Compressor and De-ess.

Did she had a compressor for the guitar too?

Cuki
That's it! She just processed the vocal, that I recall.

You needed to run a guitar signal to their harmony box to get the correct harmony for the chord being played, but I don't think it was necessary to send a guitar signal to this box. In any event, she had no problem with her relative vocal and guitar levels.

I had a TC Helicon Harmony box myself, but I didn't like what it did to my guitar signal. I'd run to a splitter box so that I could send one signal to the mixer and one signal to the Harmony box. It was also necessary to put a dummy plug in the harmony box's guitar out jack.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:03 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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After going to ebay and searching thru all the compressors/EFX pedals suggested here, I purchased a barely used TC Helicon Voicetone T1 which seemed to be the best bargain at the moment. Hopefully, it'll work for the singers who have trouble keeping their levels between what's loud enough to hear and what's uncomfortably loud.

Albeit, keeping within an appropriate dynamic range is not easy in a noisy room where the "annoyance threshold" seems pretty low for some patrons. Its difficult to make everyone happy, but I'm trying.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
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