What are you using your D-AOC on? Switchable transformers?

Matthew Jacobs

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I have a question for all those who own a D-AOC:

How are you finding your D-AOC compressor? What are you using it most on? And how is it working out as a Mastering Comp?

The reason I ask is because I am thinking of making the transformers switchable between Sowter and Carnhill or something else. I just want to hear your opinion on the versatility of this comp (in creative music making) before I experiment with transformers... I have completed my build using Sowters 4383 but haven't had the time to really experiment on different material.

My question is, is this compressor versatile enough and "does it really works well on lots of different material" to justify investing in various transformers to create a beast of a machine? Like the Shadow Hill compressor, judging from your own experience, would this compressor benefit from having multiple transformers? Input & output or input only?

J
 

Lowfreq

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I use mine for tracking vocals all the time.
And on the odd occasion I compress acoustic guitars during tracking, it's also very nice.

Sounds great for tracking bass too.

It never seems to impart too much character on the sound. a little bit, but not heaps.
You can really get the gain reduction going before it sounds like it's too much.

I had a friend borrow it for a couple of album mixes, and he's been loving it on the drum buss.

 

Silvas

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Nice, nice, really nice compressor....

i can use it on almost everything !

Must upgrade the input trafos, tho.

 

SIXTYNINER

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hello
what other compressor-limeters have you in  your "spaceship"
6t9r

Lowfreq said:
I use mine for tracking vocals all the time.
And on the odd occasion I compress acoustic guitars during tracking, it's also very nice.

Sounds great for tracking bass too.

It never seems to impart too much character on the sound. a little bit, but not heaps.
You can really get the gain reduction going before it sounds like it's too much.

I had a friend borrow it for a couple of album mixes, and he's been loving it on the drum buss.
 

living sounds

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Mine is transformerless right now. Works very well. I build the Kubi advanced version, and the units compresses a lot at moderate threshold levels. Need to tweak it some more, I think. But it sounds great on a lot of sources, if you can set the channels equally (which I hardly can, will have to change the pots for stepped attenuators) it's a nice mastering comp, but it works very well on vocals, drum bus, bass, anything really. It adds a very nice attack transient to perkussive signals, and can breathe live into mixes while at the same increasing loudness. Connected transformerless and using big Wima caps instead of Solen fast the signal path is pretty much transparent.
 

Matthew Jacobs

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Thanks for all your messages guys... keep them coming....

Living sounds, you've given me a great idea. I am now considering making my D-AOC switchable between 2 types of transformers (different cores maybe) and transformerless, probably using some Op-amps to debalance the signal... (would it be possible to have a 2025/990 drive a output transformer? that would be mad...)

The general feedback I'm getting so far is that this comp is really versatile, can be transparent, can also be colored (I assume when using "vintage" transformers maybe - I wouldn't know cause with sowters it sounds very transparent) and works on lots of different material including busses and masters. That's pretty impressive even without attack / decay controls.....

Please keep the feedback coming... Basically I want to know what transformers you use, how you are using the D-AOC in the studio and on what material.

I'm trying to figure out, in practical terms, how the transformers affect the "sound" and if it's worth having many selectable transformers. I'm trying to tap into our collective studio experience to generate some data that we could all benefit from.

J

 

Matthew Jacobs

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Lowfreq said:
I use mine for tracking vocals all the time.
And on the odd occasion I compress acoustic guitars during tracking, it's also very nice.

Sounds great for tracking bass too.

It never seems to impart too much character on the sound. a little bit, but not heaps.
You can really get the gain reduction going before it sounds like it's too much.

I had a friend borrow it for a couple of album mixes, and he's been loving it on the drum buss.

Hey Lowfreq, which transformers you got in your D-AOC? Edcor? or something else

J
 

Lowfreq

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SIXTYNINER said:
what other compressor-limeters have you in  your "spaceship"
1176 RevD with Ed Anderson inout xfmr and cinemag out
1176 RevJ with cinemag in and lundahl out
2 x gssl (1 with turbo mod, and other with HPF sidechain)
2 x forssell opto comps (usually with 990 opamps, but I try different DOAs all the time)
1 x LA2A with sowters.

Matthew Jacobs said:
Hey Lowfreq, which transformers you got in your D-AOC? Edcor? or something else
I've got Jensen JE-11p on inputs (10k:10k) and edcor wsm 10k/600 on ouputs. Most of the Kubi mods.
 

Gold

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I'm not using daily in my mastering chain. Only for boring practical reasons, not for sound quality. It is versatile but not flexible. It always sounds good and transparent but it obviously doesn't have attack, release and ratio controls so I wouldn't call it flexible. I'm using Jensen transformers. Personally I wouldn't go to the trouble of installing two sets of transformers but that's the beauty of DIY. It sure couldn't hurt. I'm firmly in the "why have two knobs when one will do" camp. I only have the threshold control brought out to the front panel. I think it makes a great one knob compressor.
 

skal1

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Hi living sounds,


Nice idea that ,how did you convert your doac to transformerless  ? what uf cap did you  use and would this make the doac unbalanced.

thanks

skal1
 

pucho812

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I use it on just about everything as it just sits nicely especially parallel compression of the stereo buss. It's a trick I picked up from Eddie Kramer. It just makes everything smear and gel together in the right way. other comps in the stable include 2 purple mc77's, 2 gssl both have filter to sidechain mod and one has thrust a pair of dbx 160 vu's a pair of aphex 661's that were given to me free and shadow hills mastering comp
 

Matthew Jacobs

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skal1 said:
Hi living sounds,


Nice idea that ,how did you convert your doac to transformerless  ? what uf cap did you  use and would this make the doac unbalanced.

thanks

skal1

I don't know how Living Sounds has done it or how Silvas intends to do it, but I was thinking of trying some IC balancing / debalancing input / output. I wonder if something like the SSL 9K balancing board would work on the output. I've got loads... I'll give it a try.

I'm now thinking having these various input / output options:

Switch position 1: transformerless - IC
Switch position 2: Transformer 1 - Clean (maybe sowter, lundall or heufe)
Switch position 3: Transformer 2 - Color (something vintage from ebay?, iron core?)
Switch position 4: API style

I don't know if that's pretty crazy... or worth it....

I think the minimum I will go for is switchable between IC and Transformer.


J
 

Matthew Jacobs

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pucho812 said:
I use it on just about everything as it just sits nicely especially parallel compression of the stereo buss. It's a trick I picked up from Eddie Kramer. It just makes everything smear and gel together in the right way.

Thanks for the info pucho812, so I'm guessing that having switchable input / output options with various color would be a benefit in this situation?

J
 

Silvas

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I made the transformerless inputs yesterday. When you connect them, the input trafo secondary is completely bypassed. Wow !

I like this comp so much more now. My slight mismatch between channels, was due to the Edcor inputs. I felt that my DAOC´s threshold was a bit too sensitive, but now, and due to the fact i´m going unbalanced instead 600:10K, i have a more manageable threshold range.

Also, i bypassed the 22u solen fast caps with .1 ERO MKP1840.

I don´t feel the need for the lundahls or whatever nice input trafo right now.

I think i´m leaving my DAOC this way. I´m keeping the edcors for balanced input, but, i think the unbalanced inputs are keepers. My cable runs are usually short.

Should i post this on the main DAOC thread ?

 

Gold

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I'm using 10k:10k input transformers and there is plenty of range for me with a 24 pos switch. I knew I didn't need the gain. I also knew the threshold range I needed was about -12dbu to + +12dBu.
 

Govinda Doyle

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I personally wouldn't bother, sure different transformers sound different, the ic thing is interesting but if you do it you will need to do both input and output to hear the difference, transformers limit bandwidth in (I think anyway) a pleasing way, from transformer to ic will be the most dramatic. I use a shadow hills mastering compressor and I cannot hear any difference between the transformer switch, I have tried on numerous occasions but swear it's nonsense haha, when we opened it up we could see the transformers and switching... In that application (master L-R) it's a worthless function, if you are going to go down the transformer switching path pick very radically different transformers if you want to hear anything dramatic or at all!
My 2 cents....
 

Silvas

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I´m doing the same to my D-LA2A, going unbalanced in and give it a run....

I´m loving it on my DAOC. Yesterday i mastered a couple tracks with it, and it was perfect. Clearer, more open than before, but keep in mind i was using the edcors on input ! the 12dB lowered gain at the input (from the XSM600:10K) made my threshold range more manageable, but i had to crank a bit the input and the output to have some sort of "unity gain" with comp on / bypassed.

 

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