Discover our accurate selection of audio compressors for professional use in rack or 500 series format.
All the compressors in our professional outboard catalog dedicated to recording, mixing and mastering have been carefully selected to meet the most demanding requirements in terms of sound quality and equipment reliability, both for use in the recording studio and in situations of greater technical stress, such as in concerts or events.
Compressing a sound means reducing the dynamics of an audio signal by reducing the ‘distance’ from the highest peaks of a waveform to the lowest ones, thus modifying the harmonic content of the treated sound.
From an acoustic point of view, the compressor helps us to have a sound that is more controlled and easier to place in a mix.
From a technical point of view, instead, compressing a sound is equivalent to modifying the original waveform, bringing it, in the case of excessive compressions, towards distortion. Given the multiple fields of use of an analog or digital compressor, it is very important to carefully evaluate the choice of outboard most suitable for its purpose.
Compressors divided into 5 technology categories:
They are the most used and most easy to build compressors. They use a VCA for dynamic control and can have a very high compression range. They tend to be very versatile and are suitable for use in almost any type of application. Their low cost makes them the most suitable choice in most cases.
The Optical Compressor is characterized by a very neutral and transparent sound. Even with more extreme settings it tends to almost never make its coloration be felt. It is characterized by the Detector managed by a photo-sensitive sensor and, thanks to this, automatic attack and release, which guarantee extreme naturalness to the sound. The optical compressor is very suitable for tracking or mastering.
They are the most colorful and sought after compressors in recording and mixing. They give depth and body to the sound, thanks to the use of valves in every stage of the circuit, including the detector. The Vari-Mu are on average more expensive than the other families because they are built using only selected and difficult to source components, but they are irreplaceable for their colour and warmth. Very suitable for solo voices, basses, room batteries or master bus control.
The FET compressor is built following the same typology as a Vari-Mu, but using a transistor (Field Effect Transistor) instead of a valve. It is the best alternative to its bigger tube brother, and is characterized by a slight emphasis in the middle range. Very used in tracking and mixing on vocals, basses, guitars, drums and much more.
The digital compressor offers in a single solution all the features of the previous ones since most plugins are emulations of their analogue brothers, adding features that are characteristic of the digital such as the ‘Look ahead’ function.
To date, however, the digital solution is still only one of the options as certain tonal characteristics are still achievable only in the analogue domain, so it is essential, when choosing a compressor, to carefully evaluate the target sound you are looking for. This is why the Milk Audio Store staff is always available to identify with you the compressor that best suits your needs of Recording, Mix or Mastering.