The 286s from dbx is a full featured channel strip that includes a studio quality microphone/instrument preamplifier, and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination. The hassle of patching together multiple processors for use on one track can be frustrating. The unit delivers the entire microphone processing chain needed in a single box, with the shortest, cleanest signal path.
Features include wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble or wind. The dbx OverEasy compressor can transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks, or deliver the classic "in your face" vocal performance. Vocal sibilance can be tamed or even eliminated and high frequency distortion removed from instruments such as cymbals with the frequency tunable De-Esser.
The Enhancer provides both HF Detail and LF Detail controls that can add sparkle and crispness to vocals, while making adjustments to the low frequencies for adding fullness and depth to vocals and bass instruments. Muddy low midrange frequencies can be cleaned and the separate threshold and ratio controls on the Expander/Gate allow for subtly reducing headphone leakage, or radically gate noisy guitar amplifiers.
The channel strip provides a full complement of metering and status LEDs. The XLR microphone input accepts balanced or unbalanced inputs, allowing for easily connecting professional or home studio microphones. The 1/4" TRS line input can accept balanced/unbalanced signals to process live electronic instruments or pre-recorded tracks at mix-down, while an insert jack provides access to the signal flow between the preamp and the processing sections for connection to external processors.