For years I've been using my good old Audio Design Vocal Stresser which is really an old timer now. With the ARC, I found a channel strip which is more than catching up my old unit. Impressively good preamp and a fantastic compressor always keeping your vocals perfect in the mix in a musical way - live or in the studio.
I can’t say enough good things about the Buzz Audio ARC that I got a couple of months ago. This piece is simply amazing. I can’t tell you how many fantastic comments I received about vocal sounds and tones on the Sum 41 tour. It was really the most in-your-face vocal sound that I have achieved in a live situation. Totally cool, it will most certainly be my first pick of gear for any gigs that I do from now on! The pre had TONS of gain, and totally flexible tonally with the variable impedence and switchable tranny and an output control as well. Everything from super pristine clean to overdriven is available. The EQ combined with the high pass filter gave more than enough control, even on days when we were downstage of the PA a bit. You can really carve with this EQ as well if you needed to. As for the compressor, it has quickly become my favorite for vocals in no time. 6-8dB of reduction at 5:1 is just killing. Not audible, but it just sits and allows me to mix the rest of the show instead of riding vocals all night.
FOH Engineer, Australia.
I'm very happy with the ARC. It does exactly what I need it for which is vocals in live-situations. Bright but never sharp, big but never boomy, dynamical but never too much or too little. With Gino Vannelli for example I tend to boost a lot of 120Hz, and then set the lowcut at 200Hz. It doesn't make much sense I guess, but it sounds wonderful and he loves it. I don't know many channel strips that could handle this so well. I tried a couple before I tried the ARC. Also in broadcast situations it works wonderfully. In the studio I have not used it yet with always a SSL 9k or a Neve at hand there doesn't seem much need for it. Compliments for the auto settings on the compressor! I use them quite often, which is new for me. I never use the auto settings on compressors but on the ARC they often seem to do the job just right.
Tijmen is a freelance recording engineer in The Netherlands.
I've only had the ARC for a short time and after working with it on several tracks lately, I'm really appreciating the improvement in the sound of my mixes. As an electronic producer, I got the ARC mainly to use on key elements during mixdown; namely vocals, drums and bass. The ability to process several sounds at once with high quality EQ and dynamics is wonderful. Great unit Tim!
This box is awesome! I have no hesitation in recommending this unit, a world-class product!
What can I say about the Buzz Audio ARC? Where to start? It's a fantastic clean pre with loads of extra gain? (perfect for ribbons) or the killer compressor? How about the EQ? AND what about the fact each bit can be used simultaneously and seperately too? Can you say 'value for money?'. This box has become my tracking swiss army knife. Now I want a pair!"
First off, I'm still loving the box. Really loving it. I've used it mostly for vox (sung and rapped), acoustic guitars, and some percussion, too. The preamp is fab (clean, fast), the eq is lovely and the compressor just *kills* on vox. One of the producers I work for has been renting the unit when I'm not using it because he loves it so much. (Full disclosure: he's said how much he loves it on a couple of occasions when I've not actually patched it into anything, but he's the boss!). All of the sections of the unit are top-notch and the patching versatility just makes me wonder why can't everything be so thoughtfully designed? I'm not sure when the budget will allow it, but I'd love to have a second unit for stereo stuff.
I have been able to play with the ARC a bit, but (being alone in the studio) I've barely scratched the surface of its capabilities. I do think it will be my 'go to' preamp for ribbon mics (love the variable impedance). It also sounds magical with the Gefell UM75 on piano or acoustic guitar. I can't wait to really dig into the EQ and compressor sections - I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Private Studio in Florida