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Not Your Average Compressor

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

We designed the CRUSH as a compressor for those who don’t like compression pedals. Compression has long been an effect used and raved about by studio engineers. However, most pedals of this mysterious effect type seem to fall flat, offering squashed peaks, squishy dynamics and higher noise. Our goal was to take a different approach to compression and try to bring one of our favorite styles of studio compression to the pedal board world!

There are two main parts to this compressor: The RMS sensor and the Discrete VCA.

The RMS Sensor: a complex array of circuitry that analyzes the input signal and produces a real time RMS (Root-Mean-Squared) measurement of it. This measurement, of the average level of the signal, can then be utilized to control how much gain the VCA needs. Simply put, automatic level control!

The Discrete VCA: the core of this compressor. It’s specially made for us by the company that makes our Discrete Opamps for the LIFT, Predrive and Filter Deluxe. It was initially designed as a drop in upgrade/replacement for vintage SSL consoles and DBX comps, along with several famous mastering compressors. Think of it this way, the discrete VCA itself functions as an automatic gain knob, adjusting the output gain as the RMS sensor tells it the input signal is too high. Like a pedal-sized elf making sure your volume doesn’t get to loud.

The discrete VCA is surrounded with Burr Brown buffer stages for a very short but highly effective signal path with very few audiophile parts in the audio path. Couple all of this with the pre-amped parallel Clean Mix and you have a pedal that is to good to ever turn off. The perfect always-on pedal that you can place anywhere on your board.

Here are some pointers to help you dial in your CRUSH

Funk/RnB Players: Ratio & Release will usually be on the Light/Short settings. Compression set closer to 3 o’clock for those snappy riffs to pop. Play with bringing the Clean Mix in (but not to far past noon on the dial). Bring the Level up for a slight boost that will add the perfect push to your punch.

Rock/Blues Players: The rhythm player will gravitate to Short-Med on the Ratio and Compression set around 2-3 o’clock while the lead player will love the fatness of the Hard setting and a dimed Compression for some singing sustain. Clean Mix to taste.

Acoustic Players: 18Vis a must for added headroom and dynamics. Dialing the Tilt EQ to the right will help keep those highs sparkly and cutting while not getting so fat and woof-y on the low end. Light Ratio and a Medium Release. Bring the Clean Mix in to taste and never turn the pedal off. Great always on unit for any acoustic instrument.

Bass Players: Tilt EQ closer to 9-10 o’clock. Clean Mix can help the uniqueness of slaps and pops stand out while the Compression handles the body and balance of your tone. Med-Hard Ratio will keep you present in the mix without being in the way.


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