Hi everyone,

After watching Mike’s latest settings review of the DBX on YouTube could I ask if the same results not be obtained from audio processing alone within his DAW - I have watched other videos of him processing vocals in Adobe and wonder why he and others choose to use the DBX?

I look forward to hearing people views.


The use of the DBX is primarily down to it’s position in the signal chain because of the extremely low output of the Mic. The idea is to provide his Soundcraft MTK12 mixer (which acts as his audio interface with his DAW,) with clean and balanced audio at the optimum level and to provide the mic with phantom power and a pre-amp boost. The DAW alone has to rely on the audio interface for input gain level. If you simply plug a mic straight in, you amplify the noise as well as the signal so it’s better to start off with clean audio rather than spend extra time trying to fix it in the mix.


When you move up into the pro audio end of the market the DBX is considered entry level.
A pro audio high-end signal chain for example would go as follows:

Sennheiser 416 >>> Avalon 737 vocal processor >>> UAD Apollo Interface >>> Pro Tools >>
AKGs Beyers
Neumann U87

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Thank you very much Tone Arranger for your feedback.

My current chain is Rode NT1-A >>> Focusrite Clarett 8Pre >>> Pro Tools

Basically the reason I posed the question is to work out whether I would benefit from adding the DBX 286S between the Rode and Focusrite or simply apply a Compressor, De-esser and Gate within Pro Tools.

You would benefit starting off with clean audio. There’s a big difference. If you just want a signal boost then I’d recommend adding a Cloud Lifter and do your processing in PT. Up To you.

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Dbx is great way to save your time on post processing the voice. I have it in combination: Rode NT1a -> DBX 286s -> Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 -> Adobe Audition.

It works GREAT! Rode NT1a picks up so small amount of noise, with dbx you can reduce even more (gate process), enhance your lf and hf detail, remove sibilance sound, compress it. It’s so great! I would suggest buying dbx 286s! You wouldn’t be dissapointed! :slight_smile:

Absolutely agree with all the above. A dbx 286s is still the best thing I have in my rack. It saves me time in post and processes voice on the fly during live streams.