With two years of research, the Dangerous Music Compressor was developed by mastering electronic circuit designer Chris Muth to optimize the signal dynamics of your mix for tracking, mixing, and mastering while preserving the transparency and musicality that defines the company's reputation for uncompromising audio integrity.
The unit is a dual-channel processor with each side capable of operating independently or both sides can be linked for stereo operation. The two sides can also be utilized serially which allows for example to use one channel to compress a mix and the other to function as a limiter.
Separate Detectors for the left and right channels prevents the phase cancellation that can sometimes occur when a stereo compressor sums a mix to mono and instead uses a single detector.
A front-panel smart dynamics button engages a peak limiter with an extremely quick attack and release. This prevents fast transients such as a snare hits from ducking the level of RMS compression, which in turn allows for the overall level to be raised much higher while preserving the musical dynamics of your mix. The smart dynamics are so fast that the unit can perform like an automated fader with virtually no distortion. A hard-wire bypass button allows you to A/B compare the effect of the unit on a track or mix.
The back panel of the 2RU rackmountable compressor includes balanced left and right input and output XLR connectors, as well as XLR left and right active send and return connectors, for sidechaining external processors. The send and return sidechain path allows you to insert and activate outboard gear such as an equalizer for removing frequencies that would overshoot the compressor's detectors or focusing the compression over a particular frequency range.
A sidechain bass cut button gives the mix more low end by ignoring infrasonic and bass frequencies below 60 Hz from influencing the compressor. A sidechain sibilance boost button cuts back on harsh "ess" sounds from vocals, cymbals, and other sounds.
Active sidechain I/O ensures that loading and different device impedances are not an issue. A front-panel sidechain monitoring button allows you to A/B compare the effect of the external sidechain device on the compressor's detectors.
A soft/hard knee button provides two preset knee options for different scenarios. After the threshold of the compressor has been crossed, the hard knee setting offers a more aggressive transition to compression while the soft knee setting is more forgiving.
For visual feedback, the unit features both LEDs and two center-mounted edge meters that can display the signal's input and output levels or the amount of gain reduction. A -6VU button can be engaged to protect the meters from potential damage when metering hot input or output levels. The meters can also be manually re-calibrated in the rare event of meter drift to ensure accuracy.
The compressor can operate in either automatic or manual modes. For manual controls, both the left and right channels feature five metal rotary knobs that provide you with eight selectable compression ratios (1, 1.4, 1.7, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 20:1 for brickwall limiting), enable gain attenuation and makeup within a ±10 dB range, set a ±20 dB threshold, set an attack time between 1 and 100 ms, and set a release time between 10 and 500 ms.
The unit is hand-assembled in the United States using mastering grade components to preserve the integrity of the circuit board. The unit is DC coupled with high-power voltage rails and Mogami point-to-point wiring so that no transformers or filter caps color your sound. The compressor is so carefully designed that even the internal non-audible control circuitry within the device is of audiophile-grade quality in terms of total harmonic distortion. The unit's switchable voltage power supply allows you to operate the compressor anywhere in the world with the appropriate cable.