Matt Sorum's Sonic Secret: dbx Compressors For Drums That Punch Through Any Mix

Matt Sorum's Sonic Secret: dbx Compressors For Drums That Punch Through Any Mix

August 02, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Matt Sorum needs little introduction as one of rock’s greatest drummers. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 with Guns N’ Roses, Sorum provided the percussive firepower for many of G N’ R’s most potent tracks. Sorum is also an accomplished producer and owner of Drac Studios in Los Angeles, which is equipped with an impressive array of recording gear, including Sorum’s favorite dynamic duo, the dbx 160A Compressor/Limiter and 162SL Compressor/Limiter with AutoVelocity™.

“I’ve used the dbx 160A since I can remember,” said Sorum. “It’s the workhorse compressor for me – it sounds great on kick, snare, electric bass and vocals. Its sound quality – that classic, even, musical compression we know and love and the fact that it can easily be adjusted from barely-there to a hard ‘squash’ make it perfect for the studio. Also, it’s a really tough piece of gear, specifically built to be roadworthy so I know I can depend on it when I go on tour.”

Sorum has also begun using the dbx 162SL. “I’m finding it to be an amazing stereo compressor,” Sorum continued. “I use it on individual tracks, on a stereo drum bus mix or on an overall mix. It sounds fantastic in all of those applications and its simple control layout makes it easy to dial in a great sound no matter what I’m using it for. Simple, but effective.”

On the road Sorum also likes using his dbx 1074 QuadGate™ Noise Gate with a 162SL to get his distinctively punchy and powerful sound wherever he plays. “Its four channels of noise gating have threshold, depth and release controls on each channel, along with a frequency-selectable filter, which makes the 1074 extremely versatile for getting my tom toms to sound just the way I like them. It’s great for getting my tom toms to cut through a mix, and the sound engineers like the way it keeps the mic feeds clear and clean.”

“There’s nothing else like dbx,” Sorum concluded. “The sound and presence of a dbx compressor is a mainstay in music, just like a Les Paul or Stratocaster. A lot of gear has come and gone but I still swear by my dbx processors.”

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