Make / Model: Crane Song STC-8H Compressor / Limiter
This was my main compressor at MortarWorks Mastering, and was the most transparent compressor / limiter I have ever used. And it’s analog.
Using this can be a little like flying a plane on instruments only, you turn dials, and perhaps not realize exactly what you are doing. Namely, because the compression is so smooth, you will not hear the normal artifacts that occur when you are compressing the shit out of something. And there lies it’s only drawback: you have to LISTEN carefully with this thing. It will reduce dynamics to nothing, and it won’t scream at you while doing it. It seriously takes some getting used to.
Also, it’s not a character piece. Nothing sounds warmer or ‘fatter’ going through this (though it has two modes, Ki and Hara, which one of them does make a little more ‘character’, but not a lot). You use this to tame recordings. And in the wrong hands, you use this to make very dull recordings.
But, if you get it just right, it does magic. It can save the most difficult recordings, and not let anyone know how hard it was working.
Def worthwhile piece.