Alta Moda Unicomp
The Alta Moda Unicomp audio compressor combines the best features of both modern and classic audio compressors into a single, dual-mono unit. At its heart is a unique gain cell/sidechain combination which gives the Unicomp its own distinctive sonic character. The Unicomp’s comprehensive set of sidechain features gives it true versatility and accuracy which make the unit superbly suited for tracking, mixing and mastering applications.
The Unicomp boasts a fully discrete, Class A, high voltage minimalist audio path. The amplifiers are DC servo-coupled, eliminating all coupling capacitors in the signal path.
The sidechain features a high accuracy logarithmic-scaled detector, with a choice of operating in RMS or peak rectifier modes. The Unicomp also allows the user, with a single switch, to change the compressor topology from a modern and accurate feed-forward detection scheme, to the classic and more colorful feedback approach; completely changing the sonic personality of the unit.
The Unicomp’s personality is further changed with the addition of the warmth control. Turning this control adds rich, second harmonic distortion to the signal that increases as compression increases, adding even more character to the sound. A switchable filter changes the contour of the affected signal, useful when processing more complex signals, such as mixes.
Another unusual feature of the unit is the blend control. The blend control allows the operator to mix unprocessed signal back into the compressor’s output path. This gives one the ability to create a more subtle compression effect on tracks such as vocals, or for blending back dry signal when heavy buss compression effects such as drum submixes are being processed. A high pass filter is included which blends only the higher audio frequencies back into the output path.
- Class A high voltage, discrete capacitor-free signal path
- Electronically balanced input, impedance balanced, single-ended output
- FET-based wide dynamic range gain cell eliminates the need for an input control
- Log-scaled detector responds more like the human ear than linear detection systems
- Choice of RMS (excellent for overall level reduction) or peak mode (great for catching fast transients)
- Threshold knee control – can switch between hard knee for instantaneous gain reduction, or soft knee mode, for a subtle engaging of compression over several dB
- Continuously variable threshold, ratio, attack and release controls
- Switchable sidechain insert for keying and detector signal equalization
- Feed-forward/feedback – switches between the basic topologies. Feed-forward is precise and can yield high compression ratios. Feedback mode is more subtle, and can yield interesting compression artifacts, including the shifting of attack and release time constants.
- Warmth control – adds 2nd harmonic distortion, increasing as compression increases
- Warmth filter – high pass filter bringing out more mid-range frequency distortion
- Blend – mixes dry, input signal back into output path
- Blend filter- high pass filter returns only dry, upper frequencies back into output
- Dual mono/stereo – completely independent channels can be linked for stereo operation
- Sidechain L and R are summed after the rectifiers
- Gain makeup – increases output amplifier level from unity to compensate for lost level when compressing
- High-quality construction – premium components for long life
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