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Neve vs. SSL audio test

Janardana

Member
I made some tests using different comps with different settings.

- light (ratio 2:0, attack ~30 ms, release 300-400 ms)
- heavy (ratio 6:0 - 10:0, attack ~30 ms, release 100-200 ms)

Note: on some comps there are unable to set specific ratio, attack or release settings

download dry version

UAD Neve - light - heavy

Waves SSL - light - heavy

Alan Smart C2 - light - heavy

Manley Vari-Mu - light - heavy

I wonder your opinions after listening...
 

dusty

Active Member
Hey man,
nice work!

-Manley One word. BIG.
-C2 Puncy(smart is my fav comp)
-UAD neve Hell of a Plug in
-Waves come close to c2, but ain't the real deal

Although waves ssl sound pretty close to C2 and UAD did an outstanding job emulating neve comp, Plug VS outboard is no comparison!

I just dropped 4K for used C800G, so i won't be able to dish money for a outboard comp for a while.. :(
 

H2000

Member
Hey thanks for that great little comparison.

Here are my impressions:

I actually liked the dry track a lot because of the spaciousness which was diminshed in all of the compressed versions (as you might expect).

But for the compressor versions:

Light settings:

UAD Neve: I loved it here - it adds a nice warmth and a kind of powerful presence to the track with slight pumping in the bass (but very musical). Also, I really liked the way the strings and upper mids held up.

Waves SSL: somewhat thinner sounding in the upper mids- particularly didn't like what it did for the strings.

C2: not as thin as the Waves SSL, but same with upper mids. More controlled than the waves

Manley: I like the Manley here. It's fairly transparent.

Heavy settings:

UAD Neve: I don't like this at all...The bass is diminshed and it sounds mushy

Waves SSL: I like it better here than at the light settings... not bad

C2: I actually preferred the waves at this setting

Manley: Really nice - the best of the heavy settings to me. The low mids come through much better than the others


...just my opinions from a few minutes listening - really, they can all be made good at certain settings. But, while most of them remain fairly transparent, the UAD Neve added a color which can be used more as an effect than the others.

Thanks again...it was very informative
 

Suntower

Established Member
First of all... THANKS. It takes work to do this, it's not often done, but it's TOTALLY appreciated.

My problem is (sorry for the wine analogy) my palate gets busted really fast.

I tried the 'heavy' ones.

1. I also like the 'dry'.

2. I actually preferred the SSL the most which surprised the heck out of me. But on beat 4 of every other bar---where the hat sucks into beat 1 of the next bar really rocked. The hat really -sucked- hard (the shhhhwoop sound) which made the next kick quite dramatic. Great. I -always- seem to focus on hat chokes---if they sound powerful, the whole kit usually sounds great to me.

3. I liked the Neve -least-. It seemed to make the track sound thinner somehow. Don't want to speculate on specific freq.

The others were somewhere in the middle---the Manley made the kick sound bigger, but did nothing for the hat so it seemed out of balance.

Just my 2p. Thanks again...

---JC
 

Plec

Venerated Member
Light:

1. Smart C2
2. Manley
3. UAD Neve
4. Waves SSL

Heavy:


1. Manley
2. Waves SSL
3. Smart C2
4. UAD Neve

But the best sounding version is of course the \"Dry\" one!
Great test! Very well done!
 

ambrose

Member
A very careful test. Well done. Helped me a lot as, i'm working out the spec for a new project right now.

I have to say, like others have mentioned, the dry sounds fantastic! Great mix, space, dynamics and dimension, yet radio friendly.

Of the comps, I thought the manley did the best job of keeping everything together and not drawing attention to itself, but i did like what the waves ssl did to the rhythm section in terms of adding a bit of drive. If only the waves could sound less like a 'plugin' (sorry, that's the best way i can express this - there is something about the midband which isn't quite right to me). The UAD neve sounded absolutely lovely, but very much like a 1970s \"sunday morning\" to my ears.

Thanks again!
 
ambrose said:
A very careful test. Well done. Helped me a lot as, i'm working out the spec for a new project right now.

I have to say, like others have mentioned, the dry sounds fantastic! Great mix, space, dynamics and dimension, yet radio friendly.

Of the comps, I thought the manley did the best job of keeping everything together and not drawing attention to itself, but i did like what the waves ssl did to the rhythm section in terms of adding a bit of drive. If only the waves could sound less like a 'plugin' (sorry, that's the best way i can express this - there is something about the midband which isn't quite right to me). The UAD neve sounded absolutely lovely, but very much like a 1970s "sunday morning" to my ears.

Thanks again!
all theses subtles changes are all and well . but when you send yous song to an a+ r sll there going to listen to it on theyere own system, speakers and eq setting, enoughwithj the glue and all the subyle $240 changes you pay for if its a good song thtas gonns get someones attention , not how loud or effected they gotj there own rigs . just write a great song and use what you got. all this neve crap aint gonna make your songa HIT!!! you got plent to achieve what you need. don;t get causght in the hype btw uad... giv ethe ne ve compressor away to those wh o have been longtime users. it aint worth buyin. next plug bring isomehging thats gonna bkw mw away nd soend more time one your presents!!!
ciao
 

Arys Chien

Active Member
ubuntumusic said:
all theses subtles changes are all and well . but when you send yous song to an a+ r sll there going to listen to it on theyere own system, speakers and eq setting, enoughwithj the glue and all the subyle $240 changes you pay for if its a good song thtas gonns get someones attention , not how loud or effected they gotj there own rigs . just write a great song and use what you got. all this neve crap aint gonna make your songa HIT!!! you got plent to achieve what you need. don;t get causght in the hype btw uad... giv ethe ne ve compressor away to those wh o have been longtime users. it aint worth buyin. next plug bring isomehging thats gonna bkw mw away nd soend more time one your presents!!!
ciao
I hate it when people say things like this again and again.

Why can't we write good songs and use great tools to make them sound better AT THE SAME TIME?

If I have to choose between "a good song recorded with Sound Blaster" and "a bad song recorded with Neve", of course I'm goona go for the good song + SB. Yet if it's the same good song we're talking about, why not use better tools?

And which tools are the better ones? It's up to us, ourselves, to find out.

That's what all these talks here are for. While we also walk the walk.

Please, don't ever stop a discussion like this again with "go write a good song"! I've been a fulltime song writer for ten years and have had enough of people ruining my songs with bad tools (and what's worse, bad techniques and lack of passion....)
 

Janardana

Member
ubuntumusic said:
all theses subtles changes are all and well . but when you send yous song to an a+ r sll there going to listen to it on theyere own system[...]
There are many people that don't care about "being sold" since they're just simply interested in a misc gear in itself.... I personally like this kind of comparisions and there are not many of them available on the internet...
 
G

Guest

Guest
yes thanks for the test! these are great. and i have always wanted a manley in the comparison :)
 

wishingwell

Active Member
I'd like to say thank you for the tests aswell, i have'nt decided yet wich compressor i like the most in this test. I had a brief listen but plan to listen more later.
 

ed1966

New Member
I think that the Fairchild is unfairly being left out of this comparison. I took the dry file (yeah, I know that MP3 isn't the greatest starting point) and I used a single Fairchild to create this clip:

http://tinyurl.com/ocrzu

I chose to render this as a 24-bit Windows Media file to minimize data compression loss.
 

baronluigi

Active Member
Thanks for the clips


1. Manley - damn gotta splurge for one of these
2. C2 - again WOW
3. Fairchild - a longtime fave!
4. Neve
5. Waves
 

wishingwell

Active Member
Mariusz said:
wow! i liked the RNC 1773 best, all the compressors sounded pretty good but on this particular material my choices are below.

1. RNC 1773
2. Manley (best color and warmth over all).And Neve 33609 (it added its magic wich i think went well with material). Both of these compressors tied in second place to my ears. I'm speaking about the heavy compressed versions.
3. waves ssl and alan smart c2, both of these seem to not have the right feel to me for this material but still are nice.

I'd love to own all the compressors above and even though that file probably should'nt have been compressed i enjoyed listening to it just for the compression :) .
 

taylor

Active Member
1. vari mu
2. waves ssl
3. RNC
4. neve


i thought the manley was noticably better than the others. the waves and RNC were real real close for me... and the neve, while nice, was a color (on this track anyway) i liked less than the waves.. a bit mushier.. waves SSL had more punch.

good test.. all sounded better than the dry..

now to save up for that vari-mu...
 
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