If I was stranded on a desert island and could only choose one compressor to sustain my dynamic needs for the rest of my days, the Slate Pro Audio Dragon would be my choice! This compressor will do nearly anything, plus you can chain two together for stereo compression. The "Mix" control is a godsend. No need to setup aux sends. It has parallell compression built-in! Buy this. You won't regret it!
I just got a Dragon bolted into my outboard rack, and a second unit is already a planned purchase. This is no ordinary compressor!
Reminiscent of the UA 1176LN, and as flexible as the Distressor, the Dragon is an AMAZING tool for both tracking and mixing. By redesigning and building on the basic elements of the 1176 and adding some great features such as the "Vintage" setting (my favorite ) and a "Saturation" Mode ( addictive ) Steven Slate has created a truly revolutionary compressor that will help you shape, create, and sound like never before. The output stage is a very "vintage Neve" sounding, transformer-based signal path that just sounds amazingly warm and rich, adding a vibrant analog vibe to anything that you touch with it.
From gentle compression to absolutely pegging the needle down, it sounds delicious. This is a must-have compressor to have in your arsenal of gear, especially in this digital world. Nothing makes an sound sit in a mix better than a real analog box with real transformers and "vibe!
Intoxicating, alluring, seductive, addicting!!!
I have been at the professional recording and Radio/TV broadcast engineering game since the summer of 1969. Used every type of genuine 1176 versions many, many times over the years. Also own some Purple Audio MC77's, best sounding 1176 remake on the market in my opinion (and a few thousand other's too). I also have Distressors racked up which are unique in their own right.
Now, enter the Dragon!! This thing is just amazing!!! It sounds absolutely stunning!!!
So take the basic 1176 circuit, meld in some incredibly useful and powerful features, pump your program material through this unit, tweak and fiddle the controls a bit, and prepare yourself to be thoroughly hypnotized by the absolutely stunning results presented to you. I don't get too many "wow" moments at my age, but WOW, the Dragon has totally seduced me into its heavenly sonic garden of delights.
Just as the LA-2A, 1176, and Distressor EL8 have become defacto studio standards and have remained the top three most widely used compressor-limiters of all time in the professional recording world, so shall the Slate Dragon own its place along side those formidable dynamic processors to become a true defacto studio standard as more and more folks experience its phenomenal sonics.
Once you've auditioned a Slate Dragon yourself, I'm pretty confident you'll be intoxicated by its alluring, seductive, and highly addictive sound, and you won't be able to relax until you own one (or two or three or ...)!!
This thing is impossibly good. Extremely transparent for vocals. I was PEGGING the gain reduction on a vocal the other day while tracking and it simply sounded finished and perfect. No need to run multiple compressors on vocals with this. And the tone options are just plain fun.
This is simply the best compressor I've ever used. Even the fact that this is only a mono channel compressor does not take points away. I have been using this compressor every day for the past few weeks as I work on mastering an album for a local band, and it has brought so many small details that I'd never heard in the tracks I'd been working on.
I cannot imagine another project without this on it. I'm already working on ordering my second unit for stereo operation.
I knew it was good before I actually used it. I went to a demo at Blackbird where Steven Slate demonstrated it and put it up against one of Blackbird's favorite 1176's. But when I finally got to use it I was even more impressed.
Tracking with parallel compression? Check. Quick and easy EQ settings? Check. Ability to run clean or colored (via "Vintage" and "Harmonics" sections). Check. This thing has quickly replaced my Distressors as the first compressor I reach for. Everyone I've worked with recently is blown away by the vocal sounds we're getting. And it's a beast on a mono drum mic!
One of those pieces that seems to find its way into every signal chain I set up these days.
Versatile. Deifnitely has the beating heart of an 1176, but hugely flexible. At first I was averse to the EQ options onboard, thinking "That's the last thing I need is more switches and EQ options where they don't belong in the chain" but boy did I change my tune quick. Extremely musical tweaks just sound natural - get your squeeze on a bass through this and you'll feel it in your gut, back it off and use it for subtle vocals is beautiful, and it can slam when you want it to. Had to calibrate the meter when I got mine, but no problems. Love to squeeze my tracks a little harder then back off the blend to 25% or so - incredible flexibility and speed of workflow. The Distressor has been lonely since this unit showed up, and I don't think I'm just drunk on it - this is going to be a staple in my rack for years and years to come. I'll venture as far to say that this will eventually become a modern classic.
This is the best compressor of the century. I can describe its particular sound as a cross between an 1176 and a Distressor.
ONE stop compressor
This thing really does the job. Its quality is amazing but the configurability of it makes it brilliant. The settings can be overwhelming but it literally can come up with any compressor sound I have ever wanted. The only music I can give is the manual is bit confusing. But in this case you would want to hear the effects rather than read about so its not a big deal.
perfect for many reasons
I really am pleased completely with this buy... I have yet to regret paying the price. Number one- for vocals, it's easy to dial in and sounds just right... number two- for guitar, it's easy to dial in and sounds just right... Number three... well forget it, everything I have ran through it has sounded just right after tweaking it for each instrument... Drums/ Bass.. Piano... everything. Since I cut my own music in my studio, it's important to have gear that shines, and makes whatever I record, sound correct to what I'm trying to create... this does exactly that, I'm now a huge Slate audio fan! The guy is a genius
Finally the commercial sound Ive been looking for!
Ive been chasing that commercial sound with software plug-ins. Its not possible. I have Waves Mercury Bundle, a $5K software effects package. I don't care what plug-in you slap on your vocals, it wont compete with the Dragon's compressor! The rich tone melts you. This Dragon makes my below average voice sound radio ready. I once believed digital would take over, but you need the Dragon to compete.
Also, I record R&B and Hip-Hop. This compressor works great for it. I was hesitant that the Dragon might type-cast the sound. This compressor will work for any style of music.
This will be one of your game changers!
Got it into the rack today and went through the paces with my guitar rig and all I can say is WOW!!! This is the most musical compressor I have heard. I own an LA-3A, I have recorded with a Distressor in the past and they are definetly kickin comps but the Dragon is on another level. There is so much character to this unit. I couldnt get a bad sound with it. My guitar sound went from really really good to spanking great
All of the switches are musical and add different flavors to your sound. They dont change your sound in any "bad coloring" way but they just make your sound more there and whatever sonic character is added only improves what your putting into it.
I also ran a bass into it. Just a simple bass into a Sans Amp DI and then into the dragon. The results where just as awesome! All the compression ratios work great. The manual has presets to try but to be honest these are just getting you in the ball park ... you can go nuts with the settings and push the envelope and never go wrong.
I will run everything through this unit! Its totally worth every penny!
A versatile weapon for your mixes
The Dragon would have gotten a 5 if it weren't for the discrepancy you can experience when linking two Dragons together. One may be pushing for 5 db of gain reduction but the other at around 4. You have to do some workarounds to get things fairly even. It's just a weird thing that disrupts workflow a little. Other than that, these things are beasts. They sound great. The color that they add is very flexible. This is not what I would call a transparent compressor. It can add grit, warmth, vibe, or "sheen" if you want. Run your main vocals through this thing and they will pop a lot more. The sheen, bite, and boom settings help you by allowing you to shape and add character to sounds without having to resort to EQ. The Lynx Aurora, Dangerous 2-bus, SSL X-patch and Slate Dragons are the foundation of my new studio setup. I run everything through these bad boys....EVERYTHING.