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mooseherman 11/30/2010

Tube-Tech CL1A : mooseherman's user review

« Tube-tastic compressor! »
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This is a hardware outboard compressor made by Tube-Tech. It's one of the more popular outboard compressors out there, it's been in use for decades and has a stellar reputation. It's a tube-based compressor, so you know it'll fatten up the sound you're running through it. This has typical connections as far as compressors go, the one I used was already hooked up to the patch bay. This compressor is a single channel.

UTILIZATION

Using this compressor is pretty easy overall. I'd say that using it is pretty easy, though it does have a few more features than most compressors do. It has a knob for gain, threshold, attack and release, as well as a ratio knob (ratio goes from 2:1 to 10:1, which is a pretty decent range). There are also knobs which change the mode of operation (manual, fixed, and fixed/manual). Basically, if you know what you are doing with compression, this will work just fine. I haven't seen the manual for this piece of equipment so I don't know what it entails, I doubt there are many people who still have the manuals.

SOUND QUALITY

I like the sound of this compressor a lot. It really warms and fattens up tone quite a bit. It's great at bringing vocals out front and kicking them up a notch or two. It's also great on other instruments for the same reason, it's definitely a compressor that will slightly color the sound but I'd say that it's almost always in a good way. I probably wouldn't want to use this on a voice-over job since that usually tends to be cleaner and less warm. But I'd say that you can get everything from a light limiting compression to a full-on squashed tone and it will all sound good.

OVERALL OPINION

I like the warmth and tone of this compressor a lot, it really fattens up sounds nicely. It's pretty expensive, so save up! Definitely only for studio owners, there's plug-in versions of it available that would work fine for home studio owners.