From recording to mixing to mastering, signal processing is an important part of music production. Compression has proved to be irreplaceable for catching peaks, squashing tracks, tweaking balance, and much more, while equalizers and summing mixers are unforgettable for their tone-impacting capabilities. For the NAMM 2019 show, Heritage Audio released two new pieces of analog hardware goodness. The Successor is a stereo bus compressor offering a fresh take on a classic and not-too-common compressor design, and the MCM-8 II is an 8-slot 500-Series enclosure with an integrated 10-channel summing mixer. Both models are rack-mountable, so adding them to your mobile, studio, or live rack setup is surely within reason.
Whereas some of the more widely recognized compression circuits are FET-, VCA-, or tube-based, the Successor uses a diode-bridge circuit with Carnhill transformer–coupled I/O and a ’73-type Class A output stage to deliver vintage tones characterized by 2nd-order harmonic distortion. In addition to standard compression controls such as threshold, ratio, and makeup gain, the Successor boasts adjustable attack time ranging from the ultra-fast 50 microseconds to a slow 20 milliseconds, and adjustable release time from ultra-fast at 25 milliseconds to slow at 400 milliseconds. It also has two “auto” compound-release settings.
The Successor has a couple of unexpected surprises in store, too. A selectable blend control with dry-to-wet adjustment allows simple and powerful parallel compression within the Successor. Also, this compressor has a startlingly flexible sidechain, which is sure to elicit cries of joy from engineers everywhere. Optimize the sidechain signal with high-pass or midrange peak filters, and use the 1/4" sidechain send and return jacks to process the internal sidechain externally, or route an external sidechain trigger signal into it. With all that and more, the Successor will sit nicely on stems, sub-mixes, or the whole mix!
As for the MCM-8 II, versatility is also one of its defining traits. At its core is a 500-Series enclosure containing eight slots, each one with its own power supply linear regulation stages (thanks to Heritage Audio’s On Slot Technology). It supplies up to 400mA per rail, and up to 140mA of phantom power. Atop the 500-Series slots is the integrated summing mixer; quasi-balanced voltage summing topology eliminates hiss in its circuitry. Sum up to ten channels sourced from the eight 500-Series slots and balanced stereo aux input, making it ideal for working with individual tracks, stems, and even the stereo output of another mixer. Per-channel mixer controls include mute, pan, level, and a “500” button for inserting/bypassing the module in the summing stage. The master section features stereo VU meters and a single stereo master level knob to keep your output level under control. For tracking or mixing, the MCM-8 II and a basket of 500-Series modules would be a treat!
If you want to tap into a vintage tonal vibe while opening new creative avenues, stop by the B&H SuperStore or visit our website to learn more about Heritage Audio’s Successor and MCM-8 II!