Retro Instruments Sta-Level
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Retro Instruments Sta-Level

Sta-Level, Studio compressor from Retro Instruments.

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mooseherman 14/12/2010

Retro Instruments Sta-Level : la opinión de mooseherman (content in English)

"Fantastic tube compression"
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This is a pretty awesome hardware compressor made by Retro Instruments. It is apparently a replica of an older Tube Compressor and is more or less exact as it uses all the same parts and ingredients as the original which was made by Gates who no longer manufacture it. It is a single channel compressor so it has one XLR input which can be hardwired to the patch bay as it is in the studio where I used it. It doesn't have any other connection types. It's 100% tube technology so there are no ways to connect it to a computer except as part of the audio chain through Pro Tools.

UTILIZATION

Using this compressor is easy. While it doesn't have all the knobs and parameters that other tube compressors do, it's still quite versatile. The main controls are input and output gains, which are pretty self-explanatory. There are some additional features too. There is a mode switch which changes the ration from single, double, or triple. There is also a "recovery" knob which will adjust the release rate. While some of the terms may be different the functions are basically the same as most compressors.

SOUND QUALITY

This is a highly flexible compressor despite the apparently limited functions of it. It's a pretty transparent and noiseless compressor which I really like to find in a tube compressor. That doesn't always happen really. The different modes give it a whole lot of different character, going from a light smoothing out compression to a more punchy, intense compression that'll put a vocal or instrument way out front in the mix. The release controls don't seem to be very flexible at first listen but they soon reveal that they are indeed quite flexible after all. This is simply put one of the better sounding compressors out there. While there are going to be times that you need a compressor to be more flexible in terms of what it can do, this one in particular is great just because it has a great tone. It does slightly color the sound but I've yet to hear that in a bad way.

OVERALL OPINION

I like the sound of this compressor the most. In each setting it always sounds great. While it's not the most flexible or functional compressor it often works for great sounds. If you are looking more to augment a great, classic vintage sounding vocal or instrument, this is a great compressor for you. If, on the other hand, you intend to squash each track to death, I don't really think this is for you.