OWNER'S MANUAL
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
DYNAMICS PROCESSOR
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
Manual by: Rafał Smoleń
Table Of Contents
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Introduction
Installation
Signal Path
Controls - Front Panel
Getting Started
Introduction
Thank you for choosing Looptrotter EMPEROR. This two channel single band dynamics
processor is in fact a three-in-one device. The compressor, limiter or saturator depending
on how you use it - has been designed to add colour and liveliness to your audio tracks,
individual instruments, whole sections (subgroups/submixes) or it can be your „Magic Box”
on mixing bus. Thanks to separate WET and DRY knobs, it is up to you whether you add a little
bit of EMPEROR's „touch” to your audio, or run your signals 100% through it's processing
path.
Please be aware that this is not a colourless, transparent limiter. EMPEROR uniquely
enhances apparent loudness, warmth and presence, depending on how much DRIVE you use to
feed the Processor. As you can see on the front panel, there are no input/output meters,
nor gain reduction indicators. EMPEROR is a creative device putting the wide spectrum of
sonic possibilities right in your hands and ears – not eyes.
Nevertheless, EMPEROR is a precise device, in terms of control and operation. All buttons
and knobs control digital potentiometers and switches, while Processor's signal path
remains 100% analog. So you get the best from both worlds – digital control over analog
processing – and no longer worry about servicing worn out analog knobs and switches.
The digital potentiometer's resolution is up to 1%, and the LINK button allows you to
maintain the same exact settings for both channels. When the LINK button is on, only left
channel section is active and it controls both channels.
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
Installation
Looptrotter EMPEROR is factory set to the correct mains voltage for your country. Please
check the voltage setting on the rear panel.
With the power button switched off, connect the IEC mains cable to a 50/60 Hz AC source of
the voltage typical for your country.
You can use either XLR or TRS balanced input/output slots. Connect the signals to the 3 pin
XLR or TRS slots on the rear panel:
XLR:
PIN 1: ground
PIN 2: positive
PIN 3: negative
1
TRS:
Tip : Hot(+)
Ring : Cold(-)
Sleeve : GND
2
3
2
1
3
1
2
2
3
1
3
Signal Path
The input signal goes to the input amplifier, next it is split into the DRY (unprocessed)
path and the WET (Processing) path. The Processor Path is fed by DRIVE potentiometer, which
directs the signal into the Limiter Circuit. As the signal achieves Limiter's threshold,
the analog Voltage Controlled Resistor – Attenuator starts to work. The more DRIVE it gets,
the stronger processing will occur.
The Processor's sidechain has two EQ swithes:
1. Low freq attenuator and
2. High freq boost.
1.
Low
frequency
shelf
attenuator
dips
low
frequencies
from
the sidechain signal, so the EMPEROR can act more transparently and naturally on bass and
signals with lots of low frequency information (eg. kick drums, bass guitars, drum loops
etc.) With this option set to ON, processor's behaviour would be less affected by low
frequencies, allowing you to give your signal more processing and preserve low frequencies
energy and dynamics.
2. High freq boost gives additional amount of high frequencies to the sidechain signal,
allowing EMPEROR to become high frequency sensitive. This means that you can apply more
processing to unwanted hiss on vocal tracks (and achieve a de-esser – like result) or
attenuate harshness on overhead microphones.
TIMING CIRCUIT: EMPEROR has three timing circuit settings: FAST, MED and SLOW.
These settings change both attack and release time of the Processor. Slower attack/release
times will save the transients on signal's attack and smooth the transition that occurs
when the signal dips below the threshold. It is especially useful for material with
frequent peaks. Fast attack/release time makes EMPEROR behave more like limiter but with
extreme DRIVE setting it will lead to signal saturation and audible harmonic distortion.
After processing, wet signal is amplified and goes into WET levelling section. This section
is controlled by WET potentiometer. At the same time, dry signal goes into DRY levelling
section, where you can set how much dry signal you want to combine with wet signal. In the
end, mixed signal goes to the output.
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
INPUT
OTHER CH.
INPUT
AMPLIFIER
LINK
DRIVE
FAST
MED
TIMING
CIRCUIT
SLOW
VOLTAGE - CONTROLLED
RESISTOR ATTENUATOR
SIDECHAIN
FILTERS
AMPLIFIER
WET
DRY
CH 01
CH 02
OUTPUT
AMPLIFIER
OUTPUT
Controls – Front Panel
DRIVE – this knob controls signal level that goes to the Processor. Increasing the input
will result in more processing (depending on the settings of the other parameters). The
available range is 0 – 10. The knob is also the primary saturation controller.
At lower settings, apparent loudness is not as dramatic but processing still occurs,
producing a richer sound with minimal reduction of dynamic range. As DRIVE is increased,
the sound becomes more saturated with “sonically pleasing” distortion and perceived
loudness.
SIDECHAIN – the Sidechain buttons shape the signal that controls the Processor.
With Low Shelf engaged, it dips low frequencies allowing the device to process bass
instruments such as kick drum or bass guitar without distorting and overpumping low
frequencies of the input signal.
High Shelf button boosts high frequencies of the sidechain signal and makes EMPEROR to act
like an analog de-esser or a very fast compressor for bright dynamic instruments.
TIMING CIRCUIT - Below you will find EMPEROR's Timing Circuit button. Cycle through to
switch between three factory attack/release settings:
FAST: sets Processor's attack and release times to the fastest settings, making it behave
like a limiter. With this setting on, it is more likely to get rich, dense saturation of the
input signal.
MED: makes EMPEROR to act like a fast compressor.
SLOW: this setting makes the processor behave more like an analog compressor rather than
limiter.
DRY – sets the amount of an unprocessed signal fed to EMPEROR's output.
The range is 0 – 10.
WET – sets the amount of processed signal that goes to device's output. The range is 0 – 10.
These two knobs determine the balance between the original and the processed signal.
In EMPEROR's central section the 01 and 02 buttons engage processing equally on left and
right channels. The LINK button puts the Processor in stereo operating mode, to preserve
exact same settings for both left and right channels. When the LINK button is on, only left
section of the EMPEROR's controllers is active.
Getting Started
As a starting point for general enhancement, set EMPEROR's DRIVE knob to 5 with Low Shelf
engaged and FAST release time. Set DRY knob at 10 and WET at 4. These settings offer good
results under most conditions, producing more presence with a warmer sound and enhanced
detail (especially with lower frequencies), while retaining the apparent dynamic range of
the original signal.
The most natural warmth and tube-style distortion can be obtained with DRIVE at 6, with MED
release time, and both EQ shelves disengaged. Set DRY at 10 and WET at 6.
More overdrive may be obtained by setting DRIVE at 8 and with FAST release time, also often
with Low Shelf on. Set DRY controller at 10 and start to increase WET output level until you
achieve desired amount of distortion.
For optimum results make sure the source signal is not clipped before it arrives at the
EMPEROR's input.
Set WET at 10 and DRY at 0 in order to hear the full affect of the EMPEROR's process.
Increase DRY when blending in the original signal is desired.
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
Getting Started
As a starting point for general enhancement, set EMPEROR's DRIVE knob to 5 with Low Shelf
engaged and FAST release time. Set DRY knob at 10 and WET at 4. These settings offer good
results under most conditions, producing more presence with a warmer sound and enhanced
detail (especially with lower frequencies), while retaining the apparent dynamic range of
the original signal.
The most natural warmth and tube-style distortion can be obtained with DRIVE at 6, with MED
release time, and both EQ shelves disengaged. Set DRY at 10 and WET at 6.
More overdrive may be obtained by setting DRIVE at 8 and with FAST release time, also often
with Low Shelf on. Set DRY controller at 10 and start to increase WET output level until you
achieve desired amount of distortion.
For optimum results make sure the source signal is not clipped before it reaches the
EMPEROR's input.
Set WET at 10 and DRY at 0 in order to hear the full effect of the EMPEROR's processing.
Increase DRY when blending in the original signal is desired.
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
Artist:.........................................................
Track:...........................................................
Instrument:..................................................
Sesion:.........................................................
Date: ............................................................
Notes:..........................................................
Artist:.........................................................
Track:...........................................................
Instrument:..................................................
Sesion:.........................................................
Date: ............................................................
Notes:..........................................................
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
LOOPTROTTER
AUDIO ENGINEERING
Contact:
www.looptrotter.com.pl
looptrotter@looptrotter.com.pl
Distribution:
www.mjadiolab.pl
office@mjaudiolab.pl
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