Many people have this question of using a Hardware compressor or a software compressor in their recording chain.
Well, it all depends on how you want to record in your DAW. Remember, mostly your MicPre signal is recorded dry in your Signal path straight into your DAW without any processing. What we all do in the insert are all POST work not PRE. So if you want your compressor to act during the recording stage, you will need a Hardware Compressor in your chain like your old school console style of tracking (Recording).
But be sure of the correct settings in your compressor before you hit the RECORD button! Later, this take cannot be UN-DONE!
One Simple TIP which i do during Recording:
- Record MIC 1 directly using your PREAMP straight into your DAW
- Recording MIC 2 using the Hardware COMPRESSOR and then to your DAW
By doing this, you will have 2 audio Tracks, so that you can blend or decide which you want in your Project.