Transformer-balanced optical compressor module for Black Series BR-10.
The Black Comp by Audient is a Class-A transformer-balanced optical compressor and limiter. The Overcomp function allows a large amount of pre-compression to be added to the signal, with some stunning results possible where an increase in the energy of the signal is desired. The compressor's Smooth function switches the side-chain characteristic into a dual mode where a relatively slow RMS-sensing circuit allows a gentle leveling of the signal while a peak-sensing stage pulls down any peaks that pass through. Gain reduction or output level can be monitored via the VU meter at the top of the module and a link mode allows 2 or more Black Comp modules to form a stereo or multi channel compressor and limiter.
Audient Company History
While British-based Audient is fairly new on the scene (1998), the company's founders have quite a respectable pedigree. Co-founder David Dearden has worked with David Manley (original owner of Manley Laboratories), Eddie Offord (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes), and was involved in building a custom console and private studio for John Lennon for his Imagine sessions, followed by studios for George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Gus Dudgeon (producer, Elton John, David Bowie), and Chris Squire of Yes. After three years with MCI and two years with Soundcraft, David Dearden and Gareth Davies (also from Soundcraft) formed DDA (Dearden Davies Associates), a maker of high-quality analog consoles. When DDA became part of the Klark Teknik Group, he also designed the Midas XL200 live sound console and did the initial concept and design of the Midas H1000 console. In 1997 he rejoined with Gareth Davies to form Audient, whose products are typified by high performance, intelligent ergonomics, and transparent sound quality. Notable users of Audient gear include Pete Townshend's Eel Pie Studio, England's Royal Academy of Music, and Abbey Road Studios.
- Discrete Class-A circuitry opto-compressor
- Transformer-balanced input
- VU meter switched between gain reduction and output level
- Switched Ratio, Attack and Release controls
- Auto-release function
- Overcomp field electron transfer (FET)-based compression circuit for over-compression feature
- Smooth switches to dual-time constant mode for overall mix bus compression
- Link, to link modules for multi channel use