audio path color
The most well known audio compressor that uses a diode bridge as the gain reduction element would have to be the Neve 2254. The DBC 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 our BE60 buffer input amps and Class A discrete BE41 amplifiers at the output. We have a custom «radio steel» transformer feeding into the gain reduction diode bridge between the input and output amplifiers.. This confiration produces a vintage character that can best be described as tight, colourful 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.
dynamic ratio power
Our unique side chain design re-creates the style of compressors from the 60’s (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 colour 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.
The lower cost of the DBC-20 is not achieved by using cheap parts, instead with clever design we have reduced the amount of time it takes to assemble and align each unit. And everything is assembled right here in our boutique New Zealand workshop with human hands.
controls and functions
GAIN – variable pot that adds gain at the output to correct for lost level with 15dB range.
COMPRESSION – variable pot that sets the amount of compression.
ATTACK – rotary switch with 6 settings, FAST (less than 0.5mS)-5mS-10mS-15mS-25mS-50mS.
RELEASE – rotary switch with 6 recovery time settings, 50mS-100mS-200mS-400mS-600mS and AUTO.
HARD/SOFT – adds dynamics in soft mode for times when very light compression is required.
FLAT/BASS – reduces compression sensitivity at low frequencies for more bass punch, approx 8dB at 100Hz.
BYPASS/ENGAGE – hard wire unit bypass to compare compressed and uncompressed signals.
LINK A/B – links the side chains to prevent image shift when used on stereo material where there may be heavy channel to channel volume differences.
There is also a handy power ON/OFF switch on the front panel for your convenience