5 Compressor Types and Their Uses

1. VCA Compressor (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier):

  • Example: dbx 160, SSL G-Series Bus Compressor
  • Characteristics: Fast and transparent compression, commonly used for dynamic control in various genres. Best for bus compression and mix bus glue

 

2. Optical Compressor:

  • Example: Universal Audio LA-2A, Teletronix LA-2A
  • Characteristics: Smooth and natural compression, often used for vocals and instruments where a more gentle touch is desired.

 

3. FET Compressor (Field-Effect Transistor):

  • Example: UREI 1176, Empirical Labs Distressor
  • Characteristics: Fast attack time, versatile for both subtle and aggressive compression, popular for drums and guitars.

 

4. Variable-Mu Compressor:

  • Example: Fairchild 670, Manley Variable Mu
  • Characteristics: Smooth compression with a unique gain reduction behaviour, known for its musicality and character.

 

5. Tube Compressor:

  • Example: Teletronix LA-2A, Manley Variable Mu
  • Characteristics: Adds warmth and color to the signal, often used for vocals and mastering.

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