Steve Kempster Uses Daking Compressor on Recent Projects

Nov 17, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Recently, scoring mixer Steve Kempster has worked on new movies such as Disney's Brother Bear and the Haunted Mansion and Bad Boys II. Residing in Los Angeles, Kempster is a "first-call" recording engineer/mixer for both major theatrical releases and record projects. During the years, he has collected a large amount of expensive outboard gear, including the Daking FET Compressor II.

According to Kempster, "The Daking FET Compressor II first caught my attention when I was loaned a pair for evaluation by Brad Lunde at Transamerica Audio. I already have loads of some of the best compressors made spread out amongst the five full racks of outboard gear I own. I thought I'd just use these on drums, percussion overdubs or other things where I may not want to exercise or commit a more expensive compressor I would hold in higher regard. What I noticed was that the FET II was an incredible and useful management tool, but sonically kept itself pretty much out of the way, which a lot of compressors don't.

"Initially, when I first began using the Daking when recording and/or mixing drums, percussion and miscellaneous items, I saw that it was so fast in attack time that I could dial in good control and manage very transient material without leaving a big sonic footprint," continued Kempster. "I found the FET II very flexible in release time and the different characteristics of the release times with the seven different time constants available. Pretty soon, I was up for trying the unit on more crucial jobs like lead vocal processing. During the mixing of Brother Bear, we had a lead vocal by Tina Turner and I found the Daking FET II managed it in a very good way without sounding 'compressed.'"

Kempster also used the FET II as a master stereo percussion stem compressor on Lion King 1 1/2, a Disney animation for DVD. "I used it on the percussion stem left/right. And you're talking about huge tympani hits and all kinds of percussive information that on the dubbing stage needs to be controlled, but not heard as 'controlled,' so the Daking was very helpful on that stereo pair. So what started out as a curio purchase—a Swiss Army knife processor—has evolved into something that has become very significant to me because the FET II continually surprises me with its very clean and extremely flexible operation."

For more on the Daking, visit or

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.