Awesome Transistor Amplifier Company (AwTAC) has introduced the Channel Compressor, a brand new FET Compressor for the 500 Series format.
Reminiscent of classic sounding compressors, the Channel Compressor behaves like channel compression does on a console, builds up well in a mix, and is quick and easy to set.
Subtle, the Channel Compressor will not over compress unintentionally yet is easily set to stun. Transformer balanced input and output help deliver a big iron sound with its associated weight, while carefully tuned discrete transistor amplifiers are used in the audio and side-chain circuit. The FET side-chain affects the gain of the input amp and can be thought of as an ‘auto-fader’ offering very smooth sounding compression akin to optical compressors.
The Channel Compressor uses an adaptive ratio of around 10:1 but starting at 1:1, transitioning to 1.5:1 at the bottom of the soft knee slope, it then increases to 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, and finally 10:1. The Gain Reduction meter, in addition to showing how much gain reduction is happening, is also indicative of the ratio being used. The first -0.5 LED indicates a ratio of 1.5:1, the -1dB indicates 2:1 etc… all the way to -15dB where the compression will behave as a limiter with a 16:1 ratio.
A Blend control lets you use parallel compression. Unlike traditional mix/dry knobs or crossfaders, the Blend control adds the dry signal back into the compressor while the Output pot controls the amount of compressed signal being let through. Both signals are then sent to an internal summing amp.
The AwTAC Channel Compressor is stereo linkable and the FET side-chain circuit is matched in stereo pairs to offset between both channels. Although designed to be used in a matched pair configuration the AwTAC Channel Compressor is equally at ease in mono operation.
A maximum output level of +18dBu means it can be sent into distortion without clipping the AD converter adding all the vibe and colour directly in the analogue domain. Although the Channel Compressor might be designed for clean operation, it will sound awesome when pushed to its limit.