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Dual-channel audio compressor with vintage-inspired transformer-coupled diode gain reduction element, fully-balanced Class A amplifier design, and stereo linkable operation
The most well known audio compressor that uses a diode bridge as the gain reduction element would have to be the Neve 2254. The Buzz Audio DBC-20 is not a copy of the 2254 - but it is the inspiration for the design. The audio path is balanced from input to output. It includes the BE60 buffer input amps and Class A discrete BE41 amplifiers at the output. Buzz Audio have a custom "radio steel" transformer feeding into the gain reduction diode bridge between the input and output amplifiers.. This configuration produces a vintage character that can best be described as tight, colorful and rich with harmonics! Included is the Buzz Audio side chain design with attack and release responses offering a wider range of feel and rhythms choices.
The unique side chain design re-creates the style of compressors from the 60s (think Fairchild) whereby the compression ratio is progressively increased with deepening gain reduction. So as the input signal increases past threshold, the ratio will vary from 1:1 right up to 15:1. This feature allows for the control of very dynamic signals (such as vocals) in a seamless fashion and is also a very desirable characteristic when used on complex percussive material such as the drum buss and drum loops. On the mix buss the DBC-20 adds perfect analog color to "in the box" mixes.
This compressor is easy to get happening with six switched attack and release times covering a wide range, including an interesting auto release mode. Big knobs are provided for the amount of compression and the output gain control. The compressor can be switched to a Soft mode whereby dynamic peaks are partially retained. Another switch introduces a high pass filter to the side chain to lower compression sensitivity at low frequencies which is useful on the mix bus. The large knobs with pointers allow for accurate resetting of the compressor and the fast response 15 LED bar graph meter accurately displays gain reduction.
|Tube or Solid State||Solid State|
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