Music Gear Review: Q2 Audio F765 500 Series Compressor/Limiter

Q2 audio’s F765 is a single-channel 500 module version of the compressor and limiter sections of Q2 Audio’s reissue of the 2U, two-channel ADR Compex Limiter F760X-RS.

The “Compex Sound” is popular for a wide range of uses, from unique compression effects like drum kit smashing as Led Zeppelin used the original ‘60s modules, to more conventional and subtle compression control. The F765 is available in matched pairs (as I have here for this review) that guarantees accurate stereo linking made possible through 500 racks that support stereo linkable modules.

I started my evaluation with lead vocal processing in a Pro Tools 12HDX mix session. The singer constantly switched back and forth from falsetto to full voice with the accompanying large level changes. The vocal level was too quiet while in falsetto and too loud with full voice.

I tried subtle leveling using just the F765’s compressor section alone and obtained about 5dB maximum gain reduction on the Sifam meters. The lead vocal, now more consistent in level, had better intelligibility and was more easily heard within the mix.

Q2 Audio’s F765 500 Series Compressor/Limiter is a chip off the old block in so many ways and succeeds as an excellent compressor/limiter for any source, from overly raucous vocals to wimpy guitar sounds to boring drum recordings. It is a well-made quality piece of gear that is easy to get solid operation. I just love my pair here in the rack and I use them on every mix.

The Q2 Audio’s F765 500 Series Compressor/Limiter sells for $1,025 (street) per module and matched pairs are available.


BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com