Buzz Audio Essence
500 Series Optical Compressor Module
Audio path quality
The input is coupled directly to our proprietary light dependant resistor gain reduction element via a Lundahl LL1540 input transformer. This is followed by a discrete signal path using our class-a BE40 amplifier for gain make up and the BE50 high current line driver to excite the Lundahl LL1517 output transformer. All this creates a very warm low end sound along with extended top end clarity.
The essence is the only 500 series compressor (that we know of) to feature a side chain insert point so you can apply equalisation to the compression characteristic to control certain parts of the audio spectrum. The insert can also be used to "key" the compressor from another sound for all sorts of creative pumping effects. In addition, there is on board side chain eq allowing you to quickly adjust the compressor sensitivity at high and low frequencies.
The Essence attack & release settings have been carefully selected for a varied dynamic palette and the intelligent auto modes allow for really good "set and forget" operation. The soft knee Opto action is particularly excellent for smoothing the dynamics of vocals and a stereo pair will find immediate use to level and glue stems, instruments and the mix.
For critical stereo operation we recommend you order a factory matched Essence pair.
Controls & Features
- GAIN - sets the output gain from 0dB to +15dB.
- DRIVE - sets the amount of compression applied to the signal, clockwise rotation means more compression.
- ATTACK - 4 position switch with attack time settings of 1mS, 15mS, 70mS and our excellent Auto mode.
- RELEASE - 6 position switch with recovery time settings of 100mS, 200mS, 400mS, 800mS, 1600mS and the intelligent Auto mode.
- RATIO - 4 position switch sets the depth of compression from light to heavy, 2:1, 5:1, 10:1, 20:1 all with the soft knee action.
- METER - can be switched to read input level, output level and gain reduction. A jumper on the PCB is used to set the peak level reference from +4dBu or +14dBu.
- BYPASS - toggle switch used to hard wire bypass the Essence.
- S.C. MON - allows you to hear the side chain signal (the side chain eq) and the side chain insert return signal.
- S.C. HI EQ - applies 8dB at 10kHz of boost or cut to the side chain signal and therefore to the compression.
- S.C. LO EQ - applies 8dB at 100Hz of boost or cut to the side chain signal and therefore to the compression.
- LINK - using the 500 frame link system, two essences can be linked for stereo operation.
- S.C. INS - this switch engages the side chain insert point which are the input/output connectors associated with the second slot the Essence uses.