Single-channel "500 Series" discrete optical
Shadow Hills Optograph
This Single channel discrete optical compressor, in the API
500 series form factor, takes its cues and much of its design from the optical
stage of its behemoth Big Brother, the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor. The
Optograph's front end is balanced by an original Jensen input transformer. The
output utilizes our specially recreated Nickel transformer. The essence of the
compressor's character comes from our custom electroluminescent cell and
discrete op-amp combination. The high quality circuit is pristine enough for
bus compression, and yet has a unique character reminiscent of an antique world
class compressor, that has just now been discovered. It's also perfect for
squeezing drum busses and massaging vocals. It's the perfect glue for tracking
and mixing anything that needs to sound more finished, more like a record.
Just like The Mastering Compressor, the Optograph's
threshold and make up gain are controlled by discrete attenuators, made from
custom twenty-four position Elma switches. The tactile feel and quality of
these controls are unrivaled. They are of the highest quality and will last
Built into the side chain, are a very powerful series of
filters: 90 hertz, 150 hertz, 250 hertz, and band pass. By engaging a specific
filter, you choose at which point the onset of compression occurs. First
position, nothing below ninety triggers compression. Second position, nothing
below one-fifty. Third, nothing below two-fifty. The fourth position is a
musical bandpass filter. In this position, compression is triggered by the
program's mid-range frequency content, ignoring the highest and lowest
frequencies. The filters are amazingly useful for shifting the focus of what
should be more compressed and creating compression curves on purpose.
Another unique feature for sculpting the overall sonic
character is the Transformer Desaturate mode. In this mode we cancel out any
distortion and frequency non-linearity’s caused by the output transformer. The
result is a pure, almost transformer-less sound, whilst still receiving the
benefits, of limiting transients that can only come from magnetics.
There is also a VU meter for the display of gain reduction.
The Optograph is enclosed in a twelve gauge steel chassis, has an engraved
front panel and custom made knobs.
- Pristine sound quality and unique character
- Switchable sidechain filters
- Transformer Desaturate
- Detented switches
- Engraved front panels
"This is a warm glue factor type compressor. It's not
dark. It's just nice and warm. I actually had the Inward VC5 going into the
Shadow on a vocal that was just a bit too thin and aggressive. The combination
worked great for me."
Michael Brauer is an established A-list mixing engineer
known for his eclectic, highly acclaimed discography. Michael has worked with
The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Ben
Folds and John Mayer to name an incredibly select few. www.mbrauer.com