New York-based manufacturer Serpent Audio and KMR Audio have introduced two brand new products for 500-series, the Chimera, an optical compressor based on the LA-3A and the Send N’ Blend, a dedicated ‘mix and blend’ control module for out-of-the-box parallel processing.
The Serpent Audio Chimera uses a T4B optical cell for gain reduction, which is responsible for the compression characteristics of both Urei/Teletronix’s LA-2A and LA-3A compressors. Combined with an all-discrete circuit design, class AB transistor output, and transistor balanced input and output; the Chimera produces a thick, rich, and smooth opto compression sound.
It includes a steel enclosure and cover, Orange Drop and Elna capacitors, Sifam vu Meter, hard bypass and PCX power monitoring. A compress/limit mode switch gives you the same option as offered by the original LA-3A. The Chimera also features a custom wound output and EL transformers which have been made to meet the original specifications. Stereo linking is provided as well as HF sidechain boost allowing for de-essing. Serpent Audio has also incorporated the ‘Gain Mod’ to ensure lower noise operation.
The Serpent Audio Send N’ Blend unleashes the power of out of the box parallel processing. The dedicated mix and blend control module adds more flexibility to your rack equipment letting you use your favourite compressors and EQs in parallel.
The Send N’ Blend features a dry signal which connects to the standard XLR input of your 500-series chassis, and a wet signal accessible at the front via the TRS jack input located at the front of the unit. The Wet signal can also be routed to the ‘Omniport’ connection at the back of a workhorse or the ‘Input 2’ on a Purple Audio Sweet 10 Chassis. A three-way switch lets you bypass the dry or wet signal while the blend position gives you control of the amount of dry or wet signal via the main control knob.
The Send N’ Blend uses the same core audio path as the SB4001 Mixbuss compressor and boasts Elna capacitors and a sealed Alps potentiometer. A steel case protects the circuitry while Serpent Audio’s PCX power monitoring controller ensures reliability and protection of the module’s components.