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Grant Harding

Tube Compressors

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Depends on the mastering studio. Some use extensive hardware, others lean more towards software. 

As far as compressors in a pro-level recording studio, hardware is still commonly used when tracking - more often than plugins are, due to latency issues when using plugins, although there are some ways of getting around that. When it comes to mixing, plugins tend to see more use, although some studios and engineers still use hardware when mixing too. Not everyone mixes "in the box" and those who still like the sound of outboard gear and who use hardware mixers will often take a hardware or hybrid approach and use all hardware, or a combination of hardware and software. It really depends on the gear setup and the individual engineer's preferences. 

FWIW, I use both hardware and software, with the hardware compressors seeing more use when tracking, and software when mixing.  

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Oh, and tube compressors aren't the only types of hardware compressors - some of the most loved compressors on the planet use solid state electronics, VCA's, etc. 

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