Just writing to let you know that I plugged in the SOC-1.1 and inserted it on a bus for a stereo acoustic guitar track and was totally blown away. I had it set as follows: auto attack, auto release, 2.1 ratio, 1 drive and 4 output. The review articles that I read are spot on. It made the guitar sound the way I had imagined it to sound on a very well produced CD. I had previously used a Manley VariMu on the guitar tracks, which while sounding good, was 50% of the quality of the sound I got from the SOC. The SOC really smoothed the guitars and gave them a very wide and upfront sound. It made them sound much better than the unprocessed sound (which was recorded with a Doug Jane 2A73 and a stereo set of Neumann KM 184s and sounded good unprocessed). I am looking forward to using the SOC on vocals, bass and all sorts of other instruments including mixes. I will be saving my pennies to buy more gear from you.
The Buzz Audio SOC1.1 adds the sweet glue that I don't get from any of my other compressors. If it was food it would be like maple syrup poured all over my morning pancakes. After using it at a friends studio I knew this was a must have compressor to have in my arsenal. It adds some magic to whatever you run through it in a very subtle way. You can barely hear it work but when you take it out of the chain it looses something. It's my go to compressor to warm up digital piano's, strings and backing vocals
[Origami Studios. May 2011]
A few months ago, a friend loaned me his SOC 1.1 while he was away on tour. Almost immediately, it became the most used compressor in my rack and when its owner returned there was a moment of "pry this thing from my cold, dead fingers" before I gave in and said goodbye. Needless to say I ordered one for myself and have been using it day in, day out alongside some very nice, well respected pieces. What strikes me most about the SOC is its ability to retain the tonal character of the source while some pretty serious amounts of gain reduction are happening. Transients remain punchy and clear and there is no "veil" effect or "boxiness" that many other compressors exhibit when working hard. Yesterday I used the SOC on electric bass, lead vocal, string quartet and mix bus. In every case it performed amazingly well. The only downside I've seen so far is there are only 2 channels...guess I'll need another!
[The Woodshop Studio 2011]
I've tried the SOC 1.1 for 2 days now, yesterday on programme material which gave nice and pleasing results when tweaked with a low ratio and at moderate settings of course, hardly audible but some nice things happened. I also tried a bit of parallel compression, gave the opto a bit more drive and blended it with the straight signal which gave excellent results. It is indeed rounder with more personality than the other compressors I toyed around with. Today I added heavy compression on a Blumlein recorded grand-piano and did that sound good or what! - it just flew me back to the 60´s/70´s film score sounds from my favourite movies with such excellent music on them. Now I see what I have been missing and tried to accomplish without having had the right means! Thank you for this superb product.
[Camelot Studios 2008]
What is amazing with the SOC 1.1 is that whatever I strap it on, whether it is a drum bus, bass, guitars or vocals it sounds absolutely great. It has become my favorite compressor on basically everything. The unit really adds character but at the same time remains silky and detailed - whether you hit -3dBs or -12dBs GR. My only problem is that I only have one.
[Northward Studios 2006]
I'm definitely keeping the Buzz Audio SOC 1.1. It sounds great and I've only just scratched the surface of what it can do. It's like a Teletronix LA2 but more flexible, and the fast mode is REALLY cool -- I just used it on Perry Farrell's vocal on the mix of the new Satellite Party single.. brilliant!
[Eli Janney website 2005]
The Buzz SOC 1.1 Compressor is AWESOME. While some compressors color the music, the Buzz is for people who want their instruments to sound as they are. For critical acoustic instruments, this compressor is the one. This SOC1.1 is great for tracking and on the 2-buss. It is highly underrated and underpriced. Grab it while you can!
Just wanted to say thank you for a great product. Had the SOC1.1 for some time now and this one will never leave my rack. It never lets you down and shines on all kinds of vocals, even with insane amounts of compression it sounds relaxed and open, not stealing any highs and lows. I just love this baby!
I just added an SOC1.1 to my rack along with the SSA1.1 and I think I will just hard wire the two together. I do mostly acoustic sessions and the combo is really great. I just finished 3 sessions yesterday – a pretty mediocre sounding acoustic guitar that was well played, a good sounding upright bass played slap rockabilly style and a semi pro female vocalist with a nice but very bright voice and a lot of dynamic range. All of the above are not usually the easiest of recording tasks. However your gear (with the help of some nice mics) made the task not only easier but musically pleasing. I have to hand it to you. Thanks.
[Dove Creek Studios 2004]
I love it's [SOC1.1] open, large and transparent sound. The attack and release settings are well chosen which gives me different sounds and enables me to blend things within the mix. It's a beautifully built machine and takes me one step closer to my signature sound.
Compression is one of my all-time favourite "things", and I LOVE good compressors - I just can't normally afford them for my own studio! I tracked some vocals with just 2 or 3 dB of light compression (using the MA-2.2, SOC-1.1 and either a Neumann TLM103 or an AKG 414TLII), then did some finger-picked acoustic (a lovely Martin orchestra model, miked with a pair of KM184s in XY) with again just a hint of compression - I thought the results were astounding even with this fairly subtle use. So I did the obvious thing and squeezed the crap out of a Gibson acoustic being hit HARD for a different song (one KM184, on 414TLII)! It got me that old, fat, Jimmy Miller sound that I wanted (and love). Outstanding, truly outstanding.
For me, the sign of a real quality compressor is the way it handles a full mix. I'm not sure how other engineers use compression on the stereo buss, or what they're looking for it to do really, but I like to use a compressor that, with only a couple of dBs compression at a light ratio, ties the track together. For me this means specifically that the voice sits better and the bottom end becomes more integrated with the track. Very few compressors seem to be able to do this well (I guess that's why you have to pay for them!) and my previous mix compressor only got so far. I found before with my TL Audio C1 that by the time I had got the result I wanted on the voice and the bottom end, the whole thing was too squashed and un-natural. However, the SOC1.1 did the trick perfectly - and almost instantly - on a pretty demanding track.
One of the reviewers had pointed out what he felt was a drawback when using the SOC-1.1 in stereo link mode is that you must set each channel individually. Yes, I agree that the norm these days seems to go in the opposite direction and I must admit it made me think for a moment. But I believe he may have been hasty. I do a lot of live performance classical recording and every so often find that I need a touch of gentle overall compression just to keep levels away from the dreaded "digital over" place. I also realized how often I wished I could tweak each channel a little diferently and then let the link function do the rest. My take on this is, it's actually an added plus feature cleverly disguised as a flaw (smile). Both the friend who turned me on to this thing [SOC-1.1] and myself do acoustic music, albeit different genres, but both requiring the best in transparency from every piece of gear we use. The SOC-1.1 is clearly one of the most useful tools in my kit. Keep up the good work !
My initial impressions of the SOC are quite good. I've used it thus far on acoustic guitar and mandolin, and I like it very much on the guitar; I arrived at the following settings: ratio 2:1, attack slow, release 2 (I assume that's 200 ms) and enough drive to yield 3 - 5 db reduction on peaks. The same settings weren't quite enough to control the mandolin, which I believe will benefit from a higher ratio; I tend to use an 1176 on 12:1 for mandolin, so as time permits I plan to try some of the steeper settings. At any rate, the SOC is now my first chioce for acoustic guitar, which was my primary reason for wanting the unit - so I'm already happy.