Review: Alesis 3630 Dual Channel Compressor
Positives:Cheap, you get what you pay for but loaded with features
Negatives:Cheap, you get what you pay for, noisy
This compressor has been on the market for over a dozen years easily. A VERY inexpensive 2 channel (stereo linked if desired, or dual mono). Probably one of the best selling compressors of all time (when looked at number of units sold) and for one reason. IT’S DIRT CHEAP! This is a great compressor to get your feet wet if you’re learning about compression and how to use it. Would I use this in a studio on a recording session, probably not, as it tends to be a bit noisy. Would I use this in a PA rig where it would sit in a rack and not be moved around a lot? You bet. Which is where mine have sat for quite a while. The controls are very well laid out, metering is actually QUITE good for such an inexpensive piece of gear and the options are pretty cool. There is a knee control to change the attack properties of the compressor engaging. There is an almost useless peak/rms metering option. bypass / comp (off/on) and a switch to view incoming or outgoing signal. At the center we have a stereo switch option which is nice if you’re compressing a pair of overheads or keys on a live date, or even program music. Again, cheap gear, but works great and actually doesn’t compress badly at all. Fully sweepable threshold, ratio (1-inf), attack, release, and output level. If it weren’t for the amount of hiss and noise the unit had, this could actually be a decent piece of project studio gear. Then theres the gate… which reminds you of how much noise this thing has which you can hear come in and out as the gate opens and closes. Meh, its a hundred bucks for 2 channels of compression with gate.