Compressors and limiters are helpful tools for enhancing your live-sound PA system. Some compressor units are legendary for the warmth and color with which they imbue the signal. And limiters, which are basically extreme compressors with a brick wall feature, can be used to ensure channel levels never exceed your set threshold, providing a great failsafe measure for unexpected volume spikes. They can also help you bring the overall level of your mix up without distortion.
Single channel and stereo compressors are the most common. These have become industry-standard audio tools for controlling dynamics and for helping to gel a mix together. If you're looking for a gang of channels, we carry options for up to 16 channels in a single unit for the ultimate in detailed compression tweaking.
There are quite a few different flavors of compressors and limiters. Sweetwater carries VCA, Optical, FET, Tube, and Hybrid options. Each variation has its own particular characteristics. For example, VCA is known for having very fast attack and release times, whereas an Opto is very good at smoothing average levels. We offer a large selection of each type, including many of the very top brands and models.
Among the compressor types you have a variety of options and features at your disposal. There are some incredible manufacturers out there doing a wonderful job of recreating classic compressors from the golden age of analog music production. Many of these can be had at a fraction of the cost of procuring a used original. Plus, these new units are built to last.
Another feature you should consider adding to your must-have list is sidechain I/O. In the live setting, sidechain compression is incredibly useful for setting up ducking on the bass channel that is triggered by the kick drum signal. The parallel mix feature is also extremely useful in a live-sound setting because it allows you to mix the dry and compressed signal without having to set up complex routing in your mixer. We even have solutions for multiple-unit linking designed for full 5.1 surround mixes.
If the sheer volume of choices to be made in picking out a compressor or limiter is making your head spin, no worries. Give us a call! Our Sales Engineers have hands on experience with all of our gear. We will help you find the right compressor or limiter for your needs! Learn More
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.