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dbx 166a versus Behringer MDX4400

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lost eden View Drop Down
Young Croc
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    Posted: 04 August 2011 at 6:57pm

(I posted this in Newbie Discussion first but it go no attention, figured somebody here might know instead).

Title says it all really. I'm tweaking the amp/eq rack at my students union (removed an entire EQ that has a dead channel but had been running with everything set at 0dB anyway for years) & we have both of these compressors available but I don't know which is more respected.

We don't need the 4 channels of the Behringer, but we also don't use the gate or sidechain of the dbx. So it can come down to which sounds better!

If it matters, the system is 4x Martin W8C + 6x Martin WSX, driven by C-Audio & QSC, predominantly for club nights of mainstream modern music.

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mk2_ginger_biscuit69 View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mk2_ginger_biscuit69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2011 at 7:45pm
we have used 166A comps at plymouth student union for years without bother...

however, any compressor used as a limiter tends to suck, it saps the life out the music far too easy, try and get them to invest in a proper limiter unit like an AVC2 or similar.

Dont use the behringer..... it sucks.

the dbx, gate ect set to infinite/off, then set compressor (with overeasy engaged), run up reasonably hard, then adjust peak limiter to suit.
''Remember that the object of a subwoofer is to enhance the output of your main speakers, not overpower it''

''Dubstep - an elongated electronic fart''
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service dept Steve View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote service dept Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2011 at 8:02pm
Of all the compressors in all the world... DBX 166 is the weapon of choice, Bar none. Getting a bit old now, definitely a goodly thing. Weren't they a stack of cash new, 600 notes or something like that?
I agree with Mk2 GB:-  gate off, link on, threshold to 0, ratio to infinity, attack and delay central, hard knee on, peak limiter to 3-6 , Have the rest of the day off.
We are not "They", We are "The others"http://www.servicedept.co.uk -
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mk2_ginger_biscuit69 View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mk2_ginger_biscuit69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2011 at 8:15pm
personally i found the ratio somewhere between infinite and 1:4 better, maintaining some form of kick whilst still limiting!! Obviously infinite is safer, but they shouldnt really be running it into the compressor, thats a sign of too much kit!!
''Remember that the object of a subwoofer is to enhance the output of your main speakers, not overpower it''

''Dubstep - an elongated electronic fart''
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service dept Steve View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote service dept Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2011 at 8:23pm
Sorry about that, I spent too many years in contract rental!
The idea is that the limiter is transparent right up to the 0 line at which point it digs in and won't let them turn it up any higher, But having said that, as it is a 2 stage limiter it can sound relatively sweet, if you want a more progressive action from it whilst still achieving much the same result then do select 1:4 ratio or maybe even softer, what ever sounds best. 
We are not "They", We are "The others"http://www.servicedept.co.uk -
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lost eden View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lost eden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 12:29am
 
Originally posted by service dept Steve service dept Steve wrote:

I agree with Mk2 GB:-  gate off, link on, threshold to 0, ratio to infinity, attack and delay central, hard knee on, peak limiter to 3-6 , Have the rest of the day off.

If I set threshold to 0dB & ratio to ∞ surely it won't matter where I set the peak limiter because the compression will never let it go above 0dB?

Quote personally i found the ratio somewhere between infinite and 1:4 better, maintaining some form of kick whilst still limiting!!

Is the idea there that if they are playing up to 0dB, the kicks will be a few dB above, so by setting the ratio a bit lower than infinity it won't clobber the kicks entirely but if I get the ratio right it also shouldn't allow too many to get through & smash into the limiter?

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service dept Steve View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote service dept Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 8:56am
Originally posted by lost eden lost eden wrote:

  [QUOTE=service dept Steve]I agree with Mk2 GB:-  gate off, link on, threshold to 0, ratio to infinity, attack and delay central, hard knee on, peak limiter to 3-6 , Have the rest of the day off.

If I set threshold to 0dB & ratio to ∞ surely it won't matter where I set the peak limiter because the compression will never let it go above 0dB?

Part of the reason the 166 sounds as good as it does is that it is a two stage limiter which lets fast transients through, that is what the peak limiter is for, to set the "fast" stage. As the dial is calibrated 0 to +12 the clues are there.
We are not "They", We are "The others"http://www.servicedept.co.uk -
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lost eden View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lost eden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 4:58pm
Righto, thanks for all the advice. I'm going to have to do some experimenting, but that'll have to wait a few days until the place is no longer flooded... I'm not wading through a foot of floodwater to turn on 600A of 3-phase!
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mk2_ginger_biscuit69 View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mk2_ginger_biscuit69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 5:52pm
hahahaha same happened to us a few years back, just so happened the main room was being redone and everything was on the floor, hello massive insurance payout and piles of new kit!!
''Remember that the object of a subwoofer is to enhance the output of your main speakers, not overpower it''

''Dubstep - an elongated electronic fart''
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lost eden View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lost eden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 8:42pm
I guess we're 'lucky' we only really used the understage area to store broken kit & useless tat, but I wouldn't be surprised if all that broken kit is reported to the insurance company as fully functional...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crucial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2011 at 8:54pm
dbx are on the good side of budget compressors, I use them in my studio so would definitely recommend them over behringer. In fact, I would recommend most other brands over behringer equipment....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smiter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2011 at 8:40am
Originally posted by service dept Steve service dept Steve wrote:

Of all the compressors in all the world... DBX 166 is the weapon of choice, Bar none. Getting a bit old now, definitely a goodly thing. Weren't they a stack of cash new, 600 notes or something like that?
You're thinking of the 160, THE analogue compressor to use live.
166 is quite a lot cheaper, just above the 266 which is like £99 new. I used to have quite a lot of them, never gave me any trouble. Couldn't tell you if they sounded good or not - given what I was using back then!!
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