Thought of as the secret weapon of many producers in the 1980s, the Solid State Logic's Listen Mic Compressor from the SL 4000E console was originally used to stop overloading on talkback mics. Most famously utilized by Hugh Padgham for Phil Collin's "In The Air Tonight," the processor became famous for giving a distinct, aggressive tone that became one of the most famous drums sounds of all time.
"Phil [Collins] was playing the drums and I had the reverse talkback on because he was speaking," Hugh Padgham says of the session. "Then he started playing the drums. The most unbelievable sound came out because of the heavy compressor. I said, 'My God, this is the most amazing sound'"
Solid State Logic is now bringing back the famed compressor in a new 500 Series format dubbed the LMC+. Offering even more control over the sound than the original, the module is packed with variable High and Low Pass filters, wet/dry blend control and a "filter to compressor" side chain option.
Looking to improve on the original design, Solid State Logic has added a "scoop" phase invert, which will allow engineers to use the wet/dry control as a unique way of sculpting sound. Another addition to the new module, the "split" function, compresses specific frequencies while leaving others unscathed. Used together or on their own, the "scoop" and "split" options can add distinct tonal qualities to your recordings.
Perhaps the most interesting quality of the Solid State Logic LMC+ is that there truly is a wide range of sounds that can be made with this module. From the masterful tone created during the "In The Air Tonight" sessions to what could be described as "anti-sound," the choice to create or destroy your sound is all held within the more than capable hands of the engineer.