I use the AN/DI Pro Mic preamp + AD to record vocals.
Now I want to insert a hardware compressor/limiter between the preamp and the AD, to make vocal recording easier.
I cant decide between a behringer mdx2600 or a dbx 266… Any opinions?

Never used either box but I would not put any vocal through a Behringer compressor ever.
I would go as far to say that for front end compression, considering the quality of plugin stuff these days that any hardware should be of the highest quality possible as some cheaper comps will do more damage than good.

Thats just purely my opinion though.

The most damage does my voice.
I find it too hard to record vocals without at least a limiter before the AD.

Yeah, I’m not saying don’t do it, more just be careful what you get.

The Behringer offers everything, all bells and whistles for basically nothing or very little money I’d be very suspicious of that and from previous experience with behringer compressors (not that model)

At least dbx have a better reputation, but for £100 I wouldn’t expect the world.

For your info I always track vocals through front end compression, usually my La2a but that’s in a different league.

This http://www.fmraudio.com/rnc.htm has had a lot of good press and reviews. You can get them online for about $175. Reviews say, “sounds better than any compressor under $2,000”. I wouldn’t know!

I’ve used a RNC a while ago and was suitably impressed for it’s ability to do big gain reductions on vocals without actually noticing it, when in super nice mode :slight_smile:

Just my 2 cents, if you’re recording at a higher bit depth than 16bit, which I’m sure you are, I’d just compress after the vox has been recorded.

Borrow a compressor and compare the difference between compressing on the way in and compressing afterwards, I bet the one after wins, especially if you have any decent compressor plugins, which again I bet you do.

Unless at the very gentle of settings, it’s easy to wreck a vox take with a compressor. Also the cleaner the path to disk, the better, your pre-amp sounds nice, but them two cheap compressors will just rubbish it, I’d spend your money on a decent plugin.


You are sure right. I did exactly this for years. And I am unsatisfied now, because I can’t record relaxed, allways fearing clipping, or ruining takes cause of clipping, allways messing with the level, then readjusting software compressors… I’m sick of it :wink:

So I thought I have to put at least a basic neutral limiting possibility before the AD…

I don’t really understand. I’d just get the loudest singer you can, or yourself to sing at the appropriate distance from each of the mics you use( at full throttle! ) and adjust the level until it’s a couple db below clipping.

Take note of each level, and just default to these all the time and move on in the certain knowledge that you’re capturing every vocal without clipping and with full dynamic range to be adjusted to your taste in the mix.

Like I said, I’d just default to these and not bother with adjusting the level each time you record someone else, life’s too short, and vocals always clip on the best take, it’s murphys law !


Well… compressing vocals on the way in has been and still is the way it’s done in all major studios (mostly) given that the engineer has usually a great choice of compressors and probably knows what there doing. The approach of not compressing on the way in has more or less developed with the rise of the DAW, home recording, decent software compressors and 24bit recording, There are pros and cons to both ways.

To the OP, I would say if you feel you are holding back your performance due to level phobia, then as pointed out above have a serious look at the RNC. I would otherwise not bother with a lot of cheap compressors due to the stated quality suspicions that cheap compressors usually suffer from.

You will also have a good hardware compressor for other duties.