7 Excellent Hardware Compressors

Without further ado here's seven of our favorite high-end, analog, hardware compressors. This list includes vintage models and some units that are out of production.  

Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. He's also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz... Read More


Lowell George used two of these in studio to get his distinctive slide sound. Awesome units!!
ID Music
Hi Joe,

I recently bought an ART CS2 (Two Channel Comp / Limiter / Gate) compressor, one of the first models of the ART PRO brand. Do you know this equipment? it's good?
Joe A
I'm not really familiar with that particular ART model -- the only ART compressor I've used is the Pro-VLA II, a tube-based optical design -- AFAICT the CS2 seems to be a basic solid-state VCA circuit, like some of the smaller dBX units. I'm sure it'll perform well, but I wouldn't expect any "character" from it, just basic clean compression.

Btw, if you want to discuss further, I've started a thread on the MPV Forum -- feel free to visit.. :-)

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!