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Maselec MLA-4 Stereo Triband Compressor and Expander

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Maselec MLA-4 Stereo Triband Compressor and Expander

The MLA-4s beautiful front-panel features all stepped rotary controls and bipolar switches with solid, positive action. The solid-state processor splits its left- and right-channel in- put signals into three frequency bandsLow, Mid and Highfor stereo dynamics processing. Dual-mono processing isnt afforded, but separate input-gain controls for the two channels each provide ±5dB adjustment range in 0.5dB steps. The two crossovers between bands each have a 6dB/octave slope; their filters are passive, promising minimal coloration and accurate summing for the three bands. You can select 100, 200, 400 or 800 Hz for the crossover between low and mid bands. Selections for the midrange-high crossover are 1.5, 3, 6 and 12 kHz. Each band has separate stepped controls for adjusting threshold, ratio, attack and release times, and makeup gain. An additional master threshold control proportionally adjusts the thresholds for the three bands at once. Rotating a bands ratio control counter-clockwise from the noon position (which provides 1:1 ratio) affects compression, while clockwise rotation produces upward expansion. Each band offers the same selection of compression and expansion ratios (five each): The compression ratios are 1.4:1, 1.6:1, 2:1, 3:1 and 6:1, while the expansion selections include 1:1.2, 1:1.4, 1:1.6, 1:1.8 and 1:2.0 ratios. Each bands gain control provides up to 2.5 dB of boost or cut in 0.5dB steps. The selection of attack and release times differs for each band, with each control offering six switched positions. The actual release times are program-dependent. Switching in the S/C (sidechain) Boost function provides a shelving boost to high frequencies in the High bands sidechain, causing greater compression or expansion in that band. Novel Linking and Metering. A five-position switch links the three bands sidechains in varioussome unusualways and provides an Off position to unlink them. The L->M setting makes the Mid band compress or expand the same amount as the Low band, but not vice versa. The L->H setting causes the High band to compress or expand as much as the Low band, but not vice versa. The L->MH setting makes both the Mid and High bands compress or expand the same amount as the Low band, without linking the Mid and High sidechains to each other or causing them to affect the Low sidechains detector. With the L->M, L->H and L->MH settings, there is an exception to the behavior detailed thus far: The bands linked to the Low bands sidechain wont follow the Low bands gain changes if they are by themselves producing higher gain changes than the Low band. This is one of several key operational points omitted in the somewhat vague owners manual. Another setting, dubbed Linked, links all three frequency-bands so that they are compressed or expanded the same amount (tantamount to wideband dynamics processing). With all link settings, compression and expansion functions are linked separately. Three vertically oriented, high-resolution LED ladders show compression and expansion amounts for the three bands, respectively: up to 4 dB of gain expansion is displayed by the top six (red) LEDs, while the bottom ten (green) LEDs show up to 8 dB of gain reduction. When bands are linked, its possible to see both gain expansion and reduction simultaneously displayed on one or more meters. For example, say youve selected the L->M link setting, the Low band is compressing 3dB, and the Mid band is expanding 3 dB. In this case, the Mid bands meter would show 3 dB of compression and 3 dB of expansion simultaneously. The net effect would be 0 dB gain change due to the equal expansion and compression cancelling each other out. But the meters would still show what each process is contributing to the net gain change so you can discerningly adjust each. A five-way switch lets you select what signal is routed to the MLA-4s outputs: the combined multiband signal; discrete signal from either the Low, Mid or High band; or unprocessed input via hardwire bypass. A large output-gain control adjusts post-processing gain ±5 dB in 0.5dB steps. On the rear panel, separate latching XLR connectors are provided for the left and right I/O, which are all electronically balanced but can be unbalanced by grounding pin 2 or 3. Roughly five feet in length, the detachable AC cord is rather short. The MLA-4 boasts superb specs. Respective maximum I/O levels are +29 and +28 dBuhigh enough to strap the unit across the stereo bus of virtually any mixing console. The frequency response is stated to vary no more than 0.05 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and the bandwidth is said to extend beyond 500 kHz. Typical noise is -90 dBu, and THD (with 1:1 ratios selected) is less than -90 dB. A country pop mix had a somewhat loud, boomy and muddy-sounding kick drum to go with slightly weak and dull-sounding snare hits. I set the MLA-4s crossovers to 200 Hz and 3 kHz. I selected a 2:1 compression ratio for the Low band, and then dialed in the fastest possible attack and release times and the highest threshold so that only the kick drums low end was audibly compressed. Next, I selected a 1:2.0 expansion ratio for the High band, switched in its S/C Boost circuit, and chose fast attack and release times. I adjusted the High bands threshold so that only snare (and, unavoidably, kick) hits would be expanded; doing so made the snare sound brighter and louder, but it also made the kicks beater sound too slappy (now that the kicks bass frequencies were attenuated in the Low band). No problem: By linking the Low and High bands sidechains, I could make the kicks high frequencies compress simultaneously with the same amount as its lowsfully nulling the kicks High-band expansion and without affecting expansion on snare hits. The net effect was the kick sounded leaner, tighter, clearer and quieter, while the snare sounded louder and brighter. I know of no other device that can achieve quite the same balance. Unfortunately, during the same songs choruses, the lead vocal became louder than the snare and was expanded along with itnot what I wanted. I wished the MLA-4 had separate bypasses for each band so I couldve instantly defeated only the high-frequency expansion during those song sections. The solution was to master the tracks verses and choruses in separate passes and then splice together the whole enchilada. Next up was an Americana mix propelled by a very percussive, slow groove played on acoustic guitar. The mix was nevertheless not quite dynamic enough, and it sounded slightly midrange-y. Mild compression in the Mid band softened the glare. But the mojo really ignited when I expanded both the Low and High bands and linked their sidechains; fast attack and release times gave the guitar groove a smiley-curve pulse and accented the male singers deep and raspy voice in sync with the music. With all ratios set to 1:1, I could also use the MLA-4 as an equalizer for broad tone sculpting. The MLA-4s passive filters sound excellent, with crystalline clarity and depth that goes all the way to China. Powerful and pristine, the MLA-4 is a fantastic tool for both mixing and mastering. This unit has had very little use. It’s in great rack condition has been a smoke free studio and not on the road. The Bypass pot very occasionally drops out momentarily while being switched. Has never been an issue. The item “Maselec MLA-4 Stereo Triband Compressor and Expander” is in sale since Monday, May 22, 2017. This item is in the category “Musical Instruments\Pro Audio Equipment\Signal Processors & Effects”. The seller is “prostudiogear” and is located in London. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.

Posted by admin on May 23rd, 2017 :: Filed under maselec
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Maselec MLA-2 precision 2-channel compressor limiter

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Maselec MLA-2 precision 2-channel compressor limiter

Killer beast of a machine. The slightest rack ear scuff on bottom rack nuts. Overview The MLA-2 is a stereo or 2-channel compressor with stepped drive (input gain), ratio, attack and release time and output gain controls. For optimum transparency and freedom from noise the MLA-2 employs a non-VCA design. Applications Top recording and mastering engineers still use some analogue signal processing equipment, finding the familiar correlation between sound and control better to work with. However, most analogue compressors have either continuously variable controls, making precise adjustments difficult, or just a few coarsely-stepped controls. Many fail to meet the standards of audio performance consistent with digital media. The MLA-2 provides fully-stepped controls for precision and repeatability for ALL parameters. The MLA-2 is extensively used in mastering but also works well on an insertion point in recording or mixing. The MLA-2 has a rear-mounted range control switch that adjusts the threshold range to suit either mastering or recording/mixing applications. The MLA-2 is a compressor that can provide effective dynamic control with minimal side-effects – it is designed to provide a very transparent signal path. Pedigree and design philosophy for the Maselec Master Series The second to appear in the range of Maselec Master Series products, the MLA-2 was developed for Prism Sound by engineer/producer Leif Mases. Leif’s work with a diverse range of artists including Abba, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and Black Sabbath as well as co-ownership of the renowned Marcus Studios in London provided the essential experience using the “tools of the trade” needed to define and implement new and improved professional audio components. Also qualified in electronic design, Leif Mases developed the highly acclaimed Maselec 9001 retrofit equalizer for SSL 4000 mixing consoles used in film sound and recording studios and currently also builds custom consoles and equipment for mastering and other applications. The combination of Leif Mases’ experience with the creative process and Prism Sound’s focus on engineering and technical excellence ensure that the Maselec Master Series delivers great-sounding audio in an intuitive and easy-to-use package. Using the MLA-2 The MLA-2 is a very special Compressor that has been designed to provide effective but subtle compression. It uses the principle of a fixed threshold, with adjustable drive (or input gain). This makes for more intuitive operation than an adjustable threshold – turn the drive control clockwise and increase the compression depth. The progression into the compression region is gradual and changes as the ratio is increased. Minimal output gain make-up adjustment is needed as the threshold is slightly modified running through different ratio settings. This creates a consistent gain point with about 2-3dB of compression across the ratio range. Control of release time is always an issue and special attention has been lavished on this feature. The MLA-2 intelligently adjusts its release time based on the front panel setting for the most musical result. In addition, a modified release decay has been used rather than the conventional exponential curve. The MLA-2 IMAGELINK system provides a stereo side-chain link that allows the gain of the two channels to track so avoiding the risk of stereo image shifting when only one channel is controlled. However, transients that are placed to the extreme right or left can result in a slightly un-natural ducking of the other channel, so the stereo link is controlled to avoid this. The MLA-2 achieves excellent results with speech and other highly dynamic sources, as well as instruments such as piano, saxophone or drums. It has a distinctive character, discernable both sonically and in the unique shape of its progressive compression curves. It provides the warmth, punch or air you need with a minimum of effort and without compromising the signal path. Great sounding compression is right behind the controls! The item “Maselec MLA-2 precision 2-channel compressor limiter” is in sale since Monday, May 22, 2017. This item is in the category “Musical Instruments\Pro Audio Equipment\Signal Processors & Effects”. The seller is “bazthewhitecat” and is located in Cheltenham. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, Mexico.

Posted by admin on May 22nd, 2017 :: Filed under maselec
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