The Smart Research C1LA is a two channel compressor/limiter, released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original C1 Stereo/Dual Mono unit, and the 50th anniversary of North American distributor, Sunset Sound. It is a versatile unit, housed in a two-module wide 500-series format, with three main modes of operation offering a range of possibilities. It can be used for all stereo or single channel signal applications: as a main mix bus compressor; for sub-mixes; or for tracking either mono or stereo sources.
For 25 years Smart Research compressors have been used across many mixes: with artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones to the Three Tenors. The C1LA shares this history by including the same electronics and settings as the original C1, but with several new features.
A Tri-Mode C1
Each channel can either be used independently, or in Stereo mode both are summed into the side-chain to eliminate any image shift. The C1LA also has the ability to DC-Link the side-chain signals in Stereo mode, allowing for more movement, while still preserving the stereo image. And for those who prefer to compress both sides of a mix without linking: when operating independently both channelʼs controls are ganged.
The essence of the sound is determined by its dynamic performance: the way it reacts around transients creating its signature. In many situations, best results can be from medium-slow attack; and medium-fast release settings: passing transients present in a signal, while the compression law and timings then played out as the side-chain reacts and recovers both controls the overall levels and adds ʻpunchʼ as the transients are shaped. The ʻSOFTʼ mode in the C1LA also adds a new compression curve, acting not just at the threshold knee point, but across a broad input range of about 15dB.
- 3 operating modes: Independent/ganged; Stereo linked/Sum; and Stereo Linked/DC
- Metering options: Input, Output, (VU) and Gain Reduction (PPM) for L & R Channels
- 3 side-chain filters : 65, 130, or 205Hz
- Automatic distortion null circuitry
- Normal and half-threshold ranges
- ʻSoftʼ compression curve reshapes a 15dB range
- Total of 12 Attack and 12 Release settings
- Total of 4 ʻAutoʼ settings
- Dual, balanced bantam jacks for external side-chain inputs
- All settings and circuitry from original C1 Dual/Stereo Compressor
"Wow, this thing is killer! Love it. Keeping it for sure!" - Grammy-award winning producer David Kahne
Hey Jeff (Ehrenberg),
Got the C1LA today. I had a mix up on the console so I swapped out the Neve for the Smart so I could test it out. That little thing sounds fucking great! I was a little skeptical if a 500 series comp could sound big enough for the master buss, but man I'm a total believer now. I never thought I would say this, but with the added features of the C1LA I actually prefer it and would choose it over the original C1. Those filters and the new available sidechain and knee settings make this thing so bad ass. It's perfect. Thanks for the great advice and service. Can't believe you were able to get it to me next day when I didn't even call you until 4:30 PM.