By Norman Walker
Posted 20 August 2016, 4.48am edt

Hi Folks

Setting up a studio on a bit of a budget but trying to get the best kit we can.

We've got DBX 286S mic processors for each microphone - does anyone have experience of these? I've found some recommended settings online but would be interested to hear others.

Also, were looking for suggestions on a processor for the final studio output - there's the DBX 286S or I've seen a lot of people use the various Behringer units. Does anyone have a strong preference and again typical settings you tend to use?



3 years, 3 months ago

Hi Norman,

I also use the Harman DBX 286s Mic preamp processor and I find it brilliant. Like you I used the settings recommended online and just tweaked them a little to suit my needs. There are many processor's out there which do a great job, but my opinion would be to stick with what you know already.

I hope this helps and good luck.


3 years, 3 months ago

Hi Bob. You don't mention if this is for broadcast or webcast. If broadcast then you definitely need something better than a Behringer or the DBX on the main output. Even for Webcast I'd want something better. Ideally it should have three main stages. First a slow-acting AGC, then a multi-band section, and finally a fast acting limiter/clipper.

Broadcast Warehouse DSP-X units are ideal. Other manufacturers like Adessence make similar high quality units that don't break the bank.

If you are on a budget, possibly a software processor like Breakaway Broadcast or Stereo Tool. But by the time you've paid for the software, a decent rack mount PC, and a UPS (because it takes longer to re-boot than a HW unit), the cost quickly approaches a proper hardware audio processor.

If you've got money to burn, Orban Optimod sounds lovely, and many people rate Omnia processors.

Steer clear of Behringers though - their kit is fine for individual parts of the chain, but not for the main box that will determine the whole sound of your station!

A bit more info and links on our website

3 years, 3 months ago

Hi Glyn, I think your reply was meant for Norman who originally post the Discussion in the first place. But thank you anyway for the useful information regarding the Processor.

3 years, 3 months ago

I've got the DBX in my home studio. Love it.

3 years, 3 months ago

Hi Glyn, I also use the dbx 286S and love it. No doubt there are are other, more sophisticated processors out there but the dbx is affordable and does what I need it to do. You're most likely already aware of this but the Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW) website have an incredibly helpful video and "crib sheet" for setting the dbx for broadcast use. Hope this helps.

3 years, 3 months ago

Really good guide to setting up the DBX here by V/O Mike Russell:

I use his settings and they work a treat for me.

On the subject of processing, whilst I wouldn't ever use it on FM, using a Composer Pro (single-band) feeding into a Eurocom SPL3220 (dual-band) can give acceptable results for webstreaming.

When I worked at Rutland Radio, they fed their audio through a singleband DBX stereo compressor which was then processed by a dualband Optimod 2200 at TX. It sounded beautifully warm.

3 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, my reply was meant for Norm, not Glyn. D'oh!

3 years, 2 months ago

I'd never reply to the wrong person ;-)

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