Q: Which is the best compressor and equalizer?

Q: Which is the best compressor and equalizer?

A RecordProducer.com reader wants to know which compressor is best, and for a bonus answer wants to know which equalizer too. The answer may be surprising...

Audio Masterclass

As you know, there are websites devoted to the topic of audio equipment. Equipment, equipment, equipment and equipment. (We'll include audio software with equipment as it does the same job.)

So if you go over to one of these websites and ask a question in the forum, "What is the best compressor?" You will get a zillion or so replies. Most of them different.

Indeed, if you make a post titled, "The best compressor is...", filling in the blank of course, then you will get a gazillion responses, all disagreeing with you.

But of course you can rely on RecordProducer.com to give you a definitive answer, so you can be absolutely sure which is the best compressor, and equalizer.

So...

The best compressor is...

THE ONE YOU HAVE ALREADY!

Same for the equalizer.

Well you didn't expect that, did you. But think about it... your DAW came with a range of plug-ins, including equalization and compression. As you got to know your DAW, you got to know your compressor and equalizer.

So the compressor and equalizer you have already are the ones you know best.

What on earth therefore would make you think that you could achieve better results with a different compressor or equalizer that you don't know so well? Or not at all?

There's a lot of garbage talked about equipment and software these days. It is entirely possible to turn out a professional piece of work using any DAW that is sold into the pro-audio market, using only the standard plug-ins. We'll make an exception for reverb, because a good reverb is always nice to have.

Ultimately, the quality of your work is down to YOU, not your equipment or software, as long as it fulfills a basic professional standard.

Yes, new equipment and software can be fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact we encourage the active enjoyment of gear. It's also true that new and different equipment and software can expand the sonic palette with which you work.

But audio isn't like motor racing. In motor racing the guy with the best car wins. In audio it's the best guy or girl behind the wheel. The one who knows their equipment best.

P.S. Notice how we always choose an image that illustrates the topic!

Publication date: Wednesday February 09, 2011
Author: David Mellor

 

 

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Earlier discussion on this topic...

Anonymous

sonifier is rather good as it allows you to compress individual frequencies to different levels. it depends what your using the compression for. different compressors will be better for different jobs
Sunday May 08, 2011

Reza Assadpour, Tehran, Iran

I think one of the plug-in format is different than the other format. for example : WAVES L3-16 in DAE-RTAS format is working better than the VST format, or the TDM mode has better quality than RTAS and VST. Is this correct theory ? the TDM format process with 48 bit DSP chip and other format do it Native, Could it be different ?
Tuesday March 15, 2011

Brian J Siegel, N Hollywood, USA

There it is. Well said.
Wednesday February 16, 2011

Nurredin, Las Vegas, USA

The one that makes you smile when you listen on playback! Do you really think someone listening on their Ipod (or their home stereo) is thinking "that sounds like an Avalon to me"?
Monday February 14, 2011

Eviltobz, UK

"It is entirely possible to turn out a professional piece of work using any DAW that is sold into the pro-audio market, using only the standard plug-ins. We'll make an exception for reverb, because a good reverb is always nice to have." Does this mean that you consider all DAW reverbs to be sub-par, or that all decent DAWs have good plugins in general, but the reverb quality varies between em? I've got Logic Pro 8 and was under the impression that the Space Designer plug was pretty decent, being a fancy convolution reverb and all that. It sounds good to me, but maybe I'm missing something and I'm not even aware of it without having something else to compare it to.
Monday February 14, 2011