Black Lion Audio AGB Compressor


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Introducing another member of the BLA product line: the AGB Compressor. An homage to the venerable Neve 33609, the AGB is a two-channel diode compressor and limiter housed in a 2U rack mount chassis. Imagine a quick, responsive, low-noise compressor with powerful control features. It does everything from smooth and easy compression to weird rhythmic clicks to funky envelope tricks. It's insanely fast and doesn't choke when you really push it. Strap it across your drum bus and smash away. Give your snare a nice, dense crack. Use it for program material. The slower attack mode is great for vocals. Whatever you use it on, you’ll find it does the job well, and without raising the noise floor.

So where does this design differ from the original? For one, the signal path is a fully balanced, opamp-based circuit. While using rotary potentiometers instead of stepped potentiometers, you have more control over things like input level and attack time. Like the original, the AGB uses input, interstage, and output transformers.

"So far I am in awe of the thing. Absolutely no noise at any level! I mean zero noise. I love it on the 2 bus, which is what I bought it for. I have a tg1, elop, and a few others, this thing is invisible when it's working hard. For 1000 it is hard to imagine a better unit. I would think this would kick butt on acoustic guitar and sparkly lead guitar. I ran a folk mix with banjo and Mando through and it made the whole thing sparkle. Ran a full band pop mix through and it added a bit of finish and glue. I love cranking the input to 10! Seriously people, this unit is awesome. Might get a few more..."

-Mark Palmer, Royal Laundry Studios, as posted on GearSlutz forum

•  Threshold: -20dB to about +10dB.
•  Ratio:1.5:1 to 6:1.
•  Release:100ms to 1.5 seconds.
•  Slow Attack:Standard setting is fastest and is designed to catch transient spikes. When pushed in, the attack response time slows down by a factor of about 10 to compensate for slower moving parts like vocals.
•  Key In: When pushed in it switches the detector's sample signal from the standard input signal to the "key input" jack on the back of the unit.
•  Compress In: Engages the compressor.

•  Threshold: +4 to +15dB.  This is post makeup gain, so raising the makeup gain can raise the level of the output signal enough trigger the limiter.
•  Release: 50ms to 600ms.
•  Fast Attack: Cuts the attack response time for the limiter in half.
•  Limit In- Engages the limiter section.  The limiter is triggered from the output, so the compressor section's signal reduction will reduce the signal's triggering of the limiter.  The limiter could also work without the compressor engaged just as the compressor can still work without the limiter engaged.
•  Stereo Link: Puts the unit into stereo mode.  This runs both channels of compression and limiting from the detector in Channel 1.  In link mode, Channel 1's compressor and limiter settings control both channels.  Input trim and makeup gain settings for each channel remain independent of each other.
•  Makeup Gain: Compensates for the signal reduction from compression.  Bypassing the compressor bypasses the makeup gain stage.
•  Gain Reduction Meters: Monitors the amount of signal reduction by both the compression stage and the limiter stage.  In stereo mode, both meters will track the same because both are triggering from Channel 1's detector circuit.

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