The next compressor I tried was the Empirical Labs Distressor. When set to a light compression setting, the pumping was very audible, which was very surprising to me. The soft hits were not brought very much, but the loud hits were compressed very hard. When applying an aggressive compression setting, The soft hits were more audible, but the loud hits were squashed to an extreme. If you want a squashed snare drum sound, this is one way to achieve it. Audio examples below:
The next compressor I chose was the Neve 543. When applying a soft compression setting, the compression really helped to beef up the low end frequencies and introduced a very slight pumping effect. When applying an aggressive compression setting, The snare sounded very punchy with some nice low end. This was a very natural sound in my opinion, and would cut through a mix very well. Audio examples are below:
Last but not least was the Daking 500 compressor. With this model, the user has very little control over the attack and release times, ratio, and whether or not to compress or limit the signal. For some, this would be an inconvenience For others, it allows one to focus on the sound rather than tweak a million different knobs all day. When applying a light compression, the higher frequencies seemed to be brought out, amounting to a very transparent sound. When applying aggressive compression, The frequency response was maintained, but a much more obvious pumping effect was heard. Audio examples below:
My compressor rankings within the light compression category are as follows:
1. Neve 543
2. Daking 500
4. Chandler Germanium
I chose the Neve 543 as best because I believe it added just the right amount of punch to the hits, and also added the right amount of low end to each hit.
My compressor rankings within the aggressive compression category are as follows:
2. Neve 543
3. Daking 500
4. Chandler Germanium
I chose the Distressor as best because I believe it showcases a great pumping sound for when an engineer wants that kind of character. It wouldn't work in all cases, but when it's needed, it can deliver killer results with a lot of ability to fine tune the sound.