James Perrett wrote:The only time you need compression going in . . .
It's not just about need though is it? there's what we like, and what is convenient and easy. SOS's own review of the comp-3a said:
'"I did have the Waves and UA plug-in equivalents, so I compared it with those. I found that, using the software versions, I was able to get very close to the same settings. In terms of the gain reduction, the plug-ins were probably a tiny bit faster acting — just a hint more grabby. But I much preferred the tonal contribution of GAP’s Comp-3A. But the biggest difference was that with the software it just took me that much longer to arrive at a sound I was happy with, and that alone makes hardware like this appealing."
So long as the OP isn't blowing a big chunk of their disposable income on the hopes of a magic bullet then maybe the H/W is the right thing. But I'd still suggest trying plugins first.