Wow, just received my new [DBC-20] compressor and installed it today. Who'd have thought diodes could sound so good! I am so pleased, I had to let you know. Beautifully thought out, excellent controls, clear metering, wonderful sound. I'm now thinking of getting an ARC, looks like it'd be amazing for recording vocals.
My background is in electronic music and sound design. Since procuring the DBC-20 in May of 2015, it has been used on every track I've done, usually while recording parts or groups, and always on the final mix. I'll sit it on a drum or synth bus while recording to give it extra color and heft and on a final mix to give it some glue and sparkle.
What I really enjoy is dialing in the different Soft/Hard and Bass/Flat settings based on my use case. This makes it extremely flexible in situations where you want more transients to come through, or to not have the low end trigger the compression too much, which causes the usual pumping heard on other compressors.
It always gives me a texture and sheen that complements the source material nicely, while never sounding obviously compressed. The extent that you have to push it to get it to even exhibit typical artifacts are well beyond what most other compressors can handle. Amazing job Tim!
DBC20 arrived safe and sound thanks mate. Its been doing mix bus duties for 5 hours straight now, sounds awesome, very impressed! Has just the right amount of colour to it, its tight, punchy, rich and lush sounding. Im really digging the SOFT setting, really lets the drum transients breath nicely in the mix, naturally without any artifact. I'm currently finishing the mix on a local heavy rock band, and its just added a nice weight to the sound. Perfect! Big thumbs up mate! I'm coming back for a SOC20 as soon as I can!
Thanks Tim for the DBC-20, upon receiving this it went straight to work in an active mix replacing a well known highly sought after vintage compressor on main vocal and mono acoustic guitar. The DBC-20 straight away brought some new life and character to both of these. Some heavier compression was able to be applied to the vocal when needed and the DBC-20 still allowed the musicality of the vocal to come through. The auto release function was also really great on vocals for an easy set and forget. I think this would also be a good compressor for adding a smoothing and slight thickening to overly bright and percussive acoustic guitars, adds some great mid range presence. Can't wait to try this over a mix in the future.
I have been living with my DBC-20 for the last few weeks, and I am so impressed with it - it just sounds fantastic. I haven't been able to to use it on too many different instruments, as it's pretty much just stayed on the mix bus since I obtained it. I will say this though - it is killer on drums, and unbelievable on bass. Nothing else in my collection seems to be able to touch this thing on bass! Lastly, I need to mention that this has been a dream come true for me on the mix bus, with incredible control and just the perfect amount of character to suit my tastes. Very happy here!
This is a very colored compressor, but what a color; sparkling wet, fast, clear, snappy, snazzy, and flamboyant come to my mind. I don't know if its those steel transformers, but there is this unique beautiful polished sheen that I have never heard anything else do. A client of mine described it as a 'turquoise shiny chrome finish' on vocals, I think I agree. Its hard to make this thing pump. Very very well-designed compression action. The sidechain HPF is perfecty tuned. It is stupid easy to get awesome results very quickly. It can be really gentle and glue-ey or pushed pretty hard where it really shows its personality, but that personality remains fit, classy and handsome. Just makes you smile wide!
I work with electronic music using a bunch of plug-ins and an array of external hardware, both vintage and contemporary. Having run the DBC-20 for a couple of months across drum machines, synths and full mixes, these are my impressions.
This guy is all about texture, bite and punch. Lovely for thickening sounds up with harmonic grit and sparkle. He rewards fine tuning, giving you access to a wide range of results. The led gain reduction meter is excellent; responsive and finely stepped, giving very practical insight into the subtleties of how the Compression control interacts with attack transients. The Soft switch is fab for summoning additional punch and the Bass switch gives a useful option for dealing with full frequency input. Combine these parameters with the Attack and Release controls and you've got a deceptively wide range of shaping and colouring possibilities in this box.
Conclusion; the DBC-20 gives oodles of character and depth, he's animated, responsive and electric. There's lot's to explore and doing so reveals the limitations of plug-in compressors which set out to emulate the same. He's carved himself out a permanent spot in my studio. Thanks Buzz Audio!