The OctoPre is the first hardware compression unit I've owned. I use it with an Allen & Heath ICE-16D 16-Channel Multitrack Recorder in mobile recording rig as a serious hobbyist. The combination has proven to be simple to operate achieve excellent results. Recently, I use the OctoPre with my Mackie CR1604 VLZ on vocals and kick drum for front of house sound for a cover band in a small venue. Again, simple and straightforward to operate. Great sound, and really helped keep the vocals out front in the mix.