An introduction, and P38 questions

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    I’m looking for some advice (and/or perhaps conformation) about my most favorite tracking compressor the P38.

    I’m a long time partly for hire home studio guy and I’ve been using the P38 for quite some time as my primary tracking compressor – but with only one side being fed.

    I’m aware (or presume at least) that leaving one side unused has effects on the input gains I use, as well as the threshold -in the settings indicated vs amount of reduction wanted. I assume feeding just one side has had little downside, and has for the most part just meant compensating a little on either end to get what was needed.

    One a recent session I had a rather long period of fairly noncritical tracking (bass D/I) to experiment and pushed the input up into the ‘0vu range and apparently, gotten into some clipping. (I say apparently as a) part of the gain’ increase getting there was at the pre, a Chameleon 7602 preceding the P38 and b), the clipping was very benign’ as that pre might do approaching its saturation point. In other words I don’t know I actually clipped the compressor. (The P38 meter is in ‘Mono/Gr’, lines are balanced by the way, and ‘Soft Clip was off.)

    This brought me to my questions and an idea to confirm.

    – Is my supposition that by driving only one side I am operating at a higher real input level than indicated by the meter?

    – And second would a simple balanced y’ to feed both inputs (still using a single ‘mono out) be an advisable solution in general?

    Thank you for your time.

    BTW- This has been one of my best investments. Tracking mostly vocals, guitar or bass with the unit, and to my ear Mode 4′ is by far my most interesting useful and favorite compressor. 90% of the time it lands there.

    So, thank you for that as well. ;)

    Wayne Smith

    Ted Fletcher

    Hmmm…. By driving just one side, technically you are operating at a slightly higher level, because the whole architecture of the gains is designed to work with two inputs…. however, the difference is not really significant and there’s nothing wrong with the way you are working.

    By using a parallel input into the L and R you might find the compression more flexible…. because the sidechain has more level to work with. :)


    Thank you Sir!

    I’ll try the split to both sides to get a feel for the differences.


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