All user reviews for the Native Instruments Vintage Compressors Bundle
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IK Multimedia T-RackS Black 76 & T-RackS White 2A and Native Instruments VC 76 & VC 2A Review - From 1176 to LA2A
The (almost) simultaneous launch of the 1176 and LA2A software versions by IK Multimedia and Native Instruments is a good opportunity to make a quick comparison. Let’s go!
tarrtime's review"Even better as stand-alone plug-ins"
The compressors in this bundle are supposed to model some famous hardware compressors - 1176, LA-2A, and DBX-160. If you have any idea about how to use the controls on the hardware, then using this software emulations will be pretty straight-forward. However, if you are more familiar with digital compressors than hardware compressors, the controls are a little different. In these models, the compressor threshold is controlled by using the 'input' volume rather than having a separate threshold control. Depending on the compressor, the 'attack', 'release', and 'ratio' are all a little different.
I actually wish Native Instruments would have included more presets for specific instruments to give me a better starting point. The Waves CLA compressors includes much better presets to use, if you aren't very familiar with using compressors.
These compressors were a collaboration between Native Instruments and Softube. I can only assume that Softube performed most of the modeling and NI took over the rest. Softube has their own versions of these compressors available (minus the 160). I don't own any of them so I can't compare the sound. My impression is that the Softube versions modeled more individual components of the hardware compressors and that the NI versions modeled the processors at a higher level.
A great thing about these compressors (as well as the Softube ones) are there parallel compression options. Parallel compression is a popular technique where an uncompressed version of the signal is mixed with the compressed version. Typically this means that you have to have use two tracks to achieve this - one with a compressor, one without. These compressors allow you to achieve this on a single track. One thing to watch is whether the you are 'mixing' between the dry and wet signals (30% dry, 70% wet) or if you are just adding extra dry signal to the 100% wet signal. The GR5 and stand-alone versions of these plug-ins do this differently. Just something to watch out for.
Native Instruments have finally set these compressors free by releasing them as stand-alone plug-ins rather than as effects inside Guitar Rig 5. I loved having these effects inside GR5 when I was using amp simulation. However, I almost always inserted a different compressor when I wasn't using amp simulation because I didn't want to open GR5. Now that these are stand-alone plug-ins, I am much more likely to use them on drums and vocals. The DBX-160 is especially useful for drums to make them punch, with a little bit of dirt/saturation.