Q: Which is the best compressor and equalizer?
An Audio Masterclass reader wants to know which compressor is best, and for a bonus answer wants to know which equalizer too. The answer may be surprising...
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As you know, there are websites devoted to the topic of audio equipment. Equipment, equipment, equipment and equipment. (We'll include audio software with equipment as it does the same job.)
So if you go over to one of these websites and ask a question in the forum, "What is the best compressor?" You will get a zillion or so replies. Most of them different.
Indeed, if you make a post titled, "The best compressor is...", filling in the blank of course, then you will get a gazillion responses, all disagreeing with you.
But of course you can rely on Audio Masterclass to give you a definitive answer, so you can be absolutely sure which is the best compressor, and equalizer.
The best compressor is...
THE ONE YOU HAVE ALREADY!
Same for the equalizer.
Well you didn't expect that, did you. But think about it... your DAW came with a range of plug-ins, including equalization and compression. As you got to know your DAW, you got to know your compressor and equalizer.
So the compressor and equalizer you have already are the ones you know best.
What on earth therefore would make you think that you could achieve better results with a different compressor or equalizer that you don't know so well? Or not at all?
There's a lot of garbage talked about equipment and software these days. It is entirely possible to turn out a professional piece of work using any DAW that is sold into the pro-audio market, using only the standard plug-ins. We'll make an exception for reverb, because a good reverb is always nice to have.
Ultimately, the quality of your work is down to YOU, not your equipment or software, as long as it fulfills a basic professional standard.
Yes, new equipment and software can be fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact we encourage the active enjoyment of gear. It's also true that new and different equipment and software can expand the sonic palette with which you work.
But audio isn't like motor racing. In motor racing the guy with the best car wins. In audio it's the best guy or girl behind the wheel. The one who knows their equipment best.
P.S. Notice how we always choose an image that illustrates the topic!
By David Mellor, Wednesday February 09, 2011