The Radial Engineering PreComp Channel Strip is a combination microphone preamplifier and compressor made for the popular 500 series rack format that is designed to offer greater efficiency to the recording process by simplifying the signal path and gain stage management.
The single wide module begins with a high performance preamp that can deliver in excess of 60 dB to handle all types of microphones. Equipped with Accustate gain control, the PreComp simultaneously sets the output and sensitivity to maximize signal-to-noise at all levels. This is particularly important while recording in the digital domain where background noise can often be audible during quiet passages.
A full-feature VCA compressor follows with adjustable threshold, compression ratio, and gain make-up controls. The advanced compression algorithm reads the program material and automatically transitions from soft-knee to hard-knee as the signal rises above the threshold. A simple slow-fast switch makes it easy to set the PreComp for either vocals or percussion.
Once connected to a 500 series power rack, connections to and from the PreComp are automatically routed to the XLRs for balanced operation. When used with a Workhorse, connectivity increases with 1/4" TRS connectors and D-Subs, while the Omniport provides direct patching to the preamp or the compressor, thereby enabling the engineer to use each processor separately.
Other features include 180° polarity reverse for phase matching 2 microphones, a high pass filter to eliminate unwanted resonance, 48V phantom power for condenser microphones and an IN/OUT switch that lets you quickly compare the original uncompressed signal with the processed result. This makes the PreComp well-suited for recording, broadcast, and post production suites where instant control over voice and instrument is desired. The PreComp is also a favorite for multi-channel live recording engineers where the small footprint can accommodate many input channels in a higher density rack.
- It is used to set the mic level. The accustate level control sets the input sensitivity and gain at the same time.
- Reverses the polarity to help phase-align 2 microphones or reduce feedback in a live situation.
- Stage meter lets you know when signal is active near threshold and compression is being applied.
- High Pass Filter
- Cuts bass frequencies to reduce resonance which can muddy up a recording.
- Threshold Control
- Variable threshold control is used to set the point when compression will take effect.
- Sets the compression from 1:1 (off) to 10:1 where a 10 dB input produces 1 dB at the output.
- It is used to set the speed at which the compressor will take effect. Set to slow, the initial transient such as snap from a snare will pass without compression.
- It turns the compressor on or off and is used to compare the dry signal with the compressed results.
- Activates phantom power for condenser mics and active direct boxes. It is recessed to prevent accidental turn-on.
- Solid State Electronics
- Combines an application-specific integrated circuit (not a general use op-amp) with ultra-condensed surface-mount technology to pack in the required electronics to fit the compact 500 series format.
- Gold Plated 15-Pin Card Edge
- Double sided to ensure positive connection to the receptacle for improved mating.
- Dual Potentiometers
- Double up the solder points for greater durability. Steel casing with steel shaft and retention nut will not bend when under stress.
- Double Layer Front Panel
- Steel construction adds rigidity to reduce stress on the PC board.
- Radial Push Switches
- The radial switches feature extra durable metal outer casing. They are rated at over 20,000 cycles for added durability.
- Mil-Spec Circuit Board
- Features double sided PCB and full ground plane to assure lowest possible noise and durability for years of trouble-free performance.
- PreComp for Voice-Over in Post Production
- The PreComp is suitable for recording a voice-over in post production or tracking a vocal while recording. Plug your microphone in, set the microphone level, then add a touch of compression to level the signal, and keep it out of the red. The PreComp is quick and easy to use.
- Using the PreComp in a Broadcast Studio
- The PreComp is a suitable front-end for on-air broadcast. Set the level and add the appropriate amount of compression to ensure that the voice is maximized. For greater tonal control, add the Q4 parametric EQ into the signal chain using the Omniport 1/4" TRS insert.
- Using the PreComp for Live Recording
- Use the PreComp to capture the signals from the microphones and keep the dynamics under control to prevent distortion. Split the signal by using the 1/4" TRS output on the Workhorse to feed the recorder and the XLR out to feed the PA system.