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chrislieck 09/25/2012

dbx 160X : chrislieck's user review

« Colored sounding Good for live not studio. »

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If you hit this compressor with a very hard signal you will hear the compression and the sound of the unit. The sound of the unit is not what I want in a compressor for all things. I used this for very specific instruments such as snare drum or at times a kick drum, but not on vocals. For vocals, even at a mere 2:1 it is very noticeable and I don't want that in a vocal performance. I don't think you would want this for studio applications. I would buy a better compressor such as the Empirical Labs or a really high end unit. The unit lay out is about as simple as you can get. Threshold, ratio, output, bypass.... you get the picture and for the price it is great for live. I have seen many young producers use this compressor and use it the wrong way. For the price it is a bit high for my liking and I would not get this unit for the studio but that is my opinion and I am sure that there are many studios that use them in-house for vocals and other instruments but for me it is way to compressed sounding even on a light ratio and with not much input gain it can be heard. I tried it on bass guitar a few times and it is really a great unit for that but that was live and when I used it for vocals live it picks up so much bleed that I had to go back to using it for bass and guitars. When I have tried it in the studio it really does not sound like some of my compressors that cost about the same. I like the Blue Tube better for the studio personally.


It is not difficult to get use to if you have used a hardware unit before. If you have not it will be confusing. The manual will only help you if you know compression and how much to use or not to use.


I used this on snare drum, bass and guitars only. I only like DBX on bass guitar or snare. The hardest hitting instruments. I also use it on kick or room mics. If you like colored compressor this unit will suffice but if your not use to compression this will be over your head.


It has a colored sound and if you are not use to compression you may want to get use to it on a plug in first. DBX has a very distinct and so you have to be very careful as to how much to use. I have tried this on Live Sound and snare is the most common use for it or in a guitar rig it is great. I have seen a lot of them in guitar racks for some time. If you are not use to the sound of the DBX compressors it is very distinguishable to my ears. There is a sound of DBX that only DBX can provide. I love DBX for live but not my favorite in the studio. For this money I would shop around for a studio compressor.

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