Please read this with the "movie guy" voice in your
mind. Many years have passed since the invention of the compressor, and the world has seen many incarnations of this piece of recording history. Through the ages, the compressor has morphed from a simple AGC or "automatic gain control" into a box capable of radically altering the source. Now enter the mpressor by Elysia. See the future of compressors... today!
Okay, now back to my typical Brooklyn loudmouth disposition. The mpressor. Wow... How can I even convey my enthusiasm for this box?!?!? This compressor truly is something I can safely say is new. The designer of the mpressor also designed the SPL Transient Designer, yet another great box that rethought the way an envelope-shaping device should work. The mpressor brings an entirely new spin on the classic compressor design. I almost feel bad referencing "classic" in the case of the mpressor, as this thing is destined to be a classic, but without any trace of looking to the past for inspiration. Here is a bold statement: the mpressor is truly the most forward-thinking creative compression tool available today-period.
That being said, let's look at why I am freaking out so hard about this box. First of all, the one feature that sold me on this box before even demoing out (besides on the
floor at the AES show, which is usually a pretty useless way to hear anything), is the GR Limit knob. This acts like a control voltage limiter to the gain reduction circuit. That means you can get a tone together with a time constant you feel is flattering to the track, get your drum bus really slamming and feeling really correct for the track, then you can actually limit the amount of gain reduction applied to the source, without changing the threshold or changing anything about the sound you worked hard to get rolling-no more pumpy cymbals on the drum bus where you don't want them. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Add to this amazing box the incredibly useful, weird, EQ circuit. In the very well-written manual, the EQ curves are described in detail. They are also discussed on the Elysia website, so I won't waste space with the tech aspects of the EQ section, but I will say this. The EQ section allows me to "re-voice" the compressor to suit the application. The EQ is post-compression, and having a bit more low end on the back end of the compression can really get drums "whomping". Or easing up on the bottom a bit and giving the drums a kind of upper-mid and high-end tilt can get the overheads and rooms really sparkling. Whatever the song calls for, the mpressor seems to have it. Used simply as a limiter for tracking overly dynamic vocals, the box is absolutely incredible as well. The fact that I can get 15 dB of gain reduction almost completely devoid of audible artifacts is incredible, or I can hit the Anti Log button and really hear the compressor working.
Elysia basically just hit it on the head with this box. Everything I ever wanted in a stereo compressor, without too many options or gimmicks. The face of the mpressor is not "simple" nor is it overly complex-just the right amount of choices/options to make this my go-to compressor. I am lucky that I get to work on many different styles of music, and when I am mixing a track with Tom
Waits singing, I am going after something pretty different than when I am mixing something super-heavy, or super-avant, or something achingly beautiful. The mpressor works in all of those circumstances and really, really shines. I bought one of the first five in the U.S., and it has quickly become one of my favorite compressors. I have managed to collect many choices, and though the ADL 670 pretty much stays parked on the 2-mix, the mpressor has really become a box that I would take anywhere with me. The mpressor is built like a tank, and I feel like I could put it in one of my traveling racks and hop on a plane. I will be bringing it with me to Tiny Telephone for some Book Of Knots sessions, and I really wouldn't leave home without it. I can't recommend the mpressor highly enough. It truly is a glimpse at the future of compressors, and even fifty years from now I am not sure we will see an all-analog box that can do all the amazing things the mpressor can do... unless the geniuses at Elysia figure out a way to outdo themselves. If and when they do, I will be first in line for that box.
If you need a stereo/linkable compressor that does everything well-and most things incredibly well-this box is for you. The mpressor took the place of the much coveted Neve 33609 on my drum bus right away, and the 33609 is one of my favorite compressors ever (along with my ADL 670). The mpressor should be in your rack if you need a compressor that will make your mixes better-and more fun. Really. Truly. Amazing. The mpressor is worth every penny of its asking price-and then some. Thank you Dominik and Reuben (Elysia) for making an incredible box that I will be loving for years to come.
Read again in the movie guy voice: If you don't have an mpressor yet, you haven't seen the future of compression. ($4700 street; www.elysia.com)
Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.