The Distopik Precision Series VCA compressor is the well-known british console bus compressor design revamped and pimped up until we ran out of ideas. At it’s default settings, it will sound familiar to anyone used to the ubiquitous unit and exceptionally transparent to those used to plugin emulations. The latter might discover that the hardware unit starts to show it’s true beauty when pushed hard, holding its own and not “falling apart” even at 10dB+ gain reduction(!) - there’s a good reason why engineers love the original “Gold can” DBX 202 discrete VCA units so much.
Then the fun begins with extra features. Bass-heavy material that needs to stay this way and just gain some additional thickness and glue? Use the tilt filters or low-cut filters for the sidechain to avoid pumping and only bring out low level details and 3D space. A hard-panned element in your mix causing the whole mix to duck in an awkward way? Un-link the left and right side-chains completely or only for a couple dB to find the sweetspot between center stability and desired gain reduction transparency.
But if the side-chains can be variably linked… yes, this calls for Mid-Side. MS processing was in fact the inspiration in the first place to do the variable SC-link. Imagine having completely separate controls for mid and side channels - augmenting the kick and snare attack in the centre with slower attack and medium release (there are more timing constants available then on the vintage unit, so you can fine-tune it to source material) and just gently touching the side with low ratio and fast timing constants, to bring out details and reverbs. That alone is powerful, but a link between the two channels of just a couple dBs would provide a combination of uniform stereo “vibe-generating” compression and MS image-shaping ability. How about that?!
All in all, this unit speaks “class” in no uncertain terms and can be operated simply as a normal, well-known bus compressor, or tweaked in an unprecedented detail to achieve results not possible with any other unit. We love it.
Price (excl. tax):
- Build to order ONLY
- 4000€ (unit with knobs + control plug-in)
- original DBX202 "Gold Can" VCAs - clean and punchy bus compression
- true dual-mono design with separate controls
- extended selection of attack and release times
- side-chain filters (tilt and HPF)
- variable side-chain link between channels
- bus processing
- program material