Ashly | CLX-52 | Specifications | Ashly CLX-52 Specifications

Ashly CLX-52 Specifications
CLX-52
CLX-51
Compressor/Limiter
Operating Manual
Th. 2
0
+3
-3
-6
-10
-15
-6
-10
+6
-3
4
Gain Reduction (dB)
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
7
0
+3
5
Threshold
4
∞
Ratio
Input/Output Level (dB)
Clip
-18 -15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 +3 +6 +9 +20
0
.5
5
1.5
3
+6
-20
+10
+20 2.5
-40 dB +22
2
dB +15
Gain
3
2
10
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
Th. 2
0
Output
Input
+3
-10
+6
+6
Channel 1
-10
-6
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞ dB
-20
-10
+15
+20
Output Level
-15
In
Stereo Tie
-6
+3
-3
dB +15
-40
Gain
-3
7
+3
3
+6
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
Th. 2
-10
+6
-6
-20
-10
-15
-6
+3
dB +15
Gain
-40
-3
∞
+3
4
Input/Output Level (dB)
Clip
-18 -15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 +3 +6 +9 +20
Output
Input
+3
-6
10
+6
Channel 2
-10
Model CLX-52
Dual Channel
Comp/Limiter
+10
2
15
.2
20
mS
3
2
10
1.5
∞
-3
1
.2
.1 Sec
Attack
4
3
Release
-20
-
∞ dB
+15
+20
Output Level
In
Power
Input/Output Level (dB)
Clip
-18 -15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 +3 +6 +9 +20
0
.5
5
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
Ratio
0
.5
5
Gain Reduction (dB)
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
5
3
+6
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
Threshold
4
20
1
30 .5
Ratio
7
0
3
2
10
1.5
5
Threshold
0
-3
Gain Reduction (dB)
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
4
0
Output
Input
+3
Model CLX-51
Comp/Limiter
+6
-10
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞ dB
+15
+20
Output Level
In
Power
ASHLY AUDIO INC.
847 Holt Road Webster, NY 14580-9103 Phone: (716) 872-0010
Toll-Free: (800) 828-6308 Fax: (716) 872-0739 Internet: http://www.ashly.com/
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Table Of Contents
1
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2
UNPACKING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3
AC POWER REQUIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
4
MECHANICAL INSTALLATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
5
CONTROLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.1 Gain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 Threshold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.3 Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.4 Attack Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.5 Release Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.6 Output Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.7 In/Out Switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.8 Stereo Tie Switch (CLX-52 only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.9 Threshold/Gain Reduction Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.10 Input/Output Meter Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
6
CONNECTIONS AND CABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1 Balanced vs Unbalanced Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2 Inputs and Outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3 Detector Loop/Ducking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
6
6
6
7
TYPICAL APPLICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7.1 Live Sound Reinforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7.2 Recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
7.3 Broadcasting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
7.4 Special Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
8
BLOCK DIAGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
9
DESIGN THEORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
10 TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
11 WARRANTY INFORMATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
12 DIMENSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
13 SPECIFICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
14 SCHEMATIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
1. INTRODUCTION
3. AC POWER REQUIREMENTS
The Ashly CLX-SERIES of Peak Compressor/
Limiters were designed in response to the need for universal peak-sensitive automatic gain control (AGC) devices with exceptional audio performance and rugged
durability. It took years of research to realize this goal,
with much of that time spent in developing a wide-bandwidth, ultra-low-distortion, low noise VCA (voltage controlled amplifier). The resulting products are versatile
and highly listenable compressor/limiters suitable for use
in professional sound reinforcement, recording and broadcasting.
A standard IEC-320 AC inlet is provided on the
rear panel of both CLX models to accept the detachable
power cord shipped with the unit. Units distributed within
the United States are preselected for 120VAC, 60Hz and
should be plugged into a standard NEMA 5-15 3-wire
grounded AC receptacle. Most units distributed outside
the US are preselected and labeled for 240VAC, 50-60Hz
and are shipped with the appropriate power cord.
What’s New?
The CLX-52 replaces the CL-52E with the addition of a threshold control, an input/output meter select
switch, and XLR connectors. Also, the detector loop is
now on a single TRS patch point, with send on the ring
and return on the tip. Premium components are used
throughout, and computerized automatic assembly equipment verifies that each component's electrical specifications are within tight tolerances before becoming part of
the circuit assembly. Each finished unit is then tested
twice before leaving the factory, guaranteeing you a
worry-free, professional product for many years. The
CLX-51 is the mono version of the CLX-52.
We ask that you please read this instruction
manual thoroughly before operation so that you may realize all the features and benefits that ASHLY Compressor/Limiters have to offer.
2. UNPACKING
As a part of our system of quality control, every
Ashly product is carefully inspected before leaving the
factory to ensure flawless appearance. After unpacking,
please inspect for any physical damage. Save the shipping carton and all packing materials , as they were carefully designed to reduce to minimum the possibility of
transportation damage should the unit again require packing and shipping. In the event that damage has occurred,
immediately notify your dealer so that a written claim
to cover the damages can be initiated.
Both CLX models will perform normally from
95 to 125 volts AC. An internal line fuse is used. In the
event of fuse failure, refer to a qualified service technician for servicing. Power consumption is 12 watts.
4. MECHANICAL INSTALLATION
The CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiters mount in a standard 19 inch equipment rack. The
mounting screw threads vary with different rack manufactures and you should refer to your rack instructions
for proper hardware. An oval head or flat head screw with
a plastic countersink washer is preferred to protect the
finish of the compressor/limiter under the screw.
This unit is housed in a rugged steel case and
will tolerate moderate abuse. However, for road systems
which may be dropped or otherwise subjected to extreme
forces, we recommend some rear support for the chassis
to prevent bending the front panel the front panel when
these forces occur.
For installations where it is desirable to protect
the front panel controls from tampering or accidental
misadjustment, use the Ashly security cover. Installation
is simple and does not require removal of the equipment
from your rack. See your Ashly dealer for details.
The right to any claim against a
public carrier can be forfeited if the carrier is not notified promptly and if the
shipping carton and packing materials
are not available for inspection by the
carrier. Save all packing materials
until the claim has been settled.
Ashly Security Cover Installation
3
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Th. 2
0
-6
+3
-3
-10
+6
-6
-20
-10
-15
dB +15
Gain
-40
-3
4
Gain Reduction (dB)
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
7
0
5
+3
+6
3
∞
Ratio
5.1 GAIN
The Gain control is used to adjust incoming signal level to the VCA circuit. It is always active, so switching out the limiter function has no effect on this control.
Used in conjunction with the Input/Output Level Meter
Display, this control is useful for setting up optimal system levels. This control should normally be left at "0" to
achieve accurate Threshold calibration.
5.2 THRESHOLD
The Threshold control has a range of -40dB to
+22 dB, allowing applications from low level compression to high level limiting. The Threshold control determines the audio level above which Gain Reduction
occurs. When the Threshold LED comes on, that means
that Gain Reduction is beginning to occur, due to input
signal peaks exceeding the selected threshold in dB.
5.3 RATIO
This control determines the ratio of change in
output level to changes in input level for all signals above
threshold. The numbers printed around the Ratio control are calibrated in db and indicate the increase in
input (above threshold) required to produce a 1db increase in output. This can be expressed conveniently as
a ratio. If the output remains constant no matter how high
the input level, we have an infinite (∞) input/output ratio. It should be remembered that the Ratio control has
no effect on signals which are below threshold.
There is a common but incorrect notion that limiting always implies the use of an infinite ratio. Although
there are times when an infinite ratio is desirable, there
will be situations where infinite, or “hard”, limiting action is neither appropriate nor necessary. In fact, it should
0
.5
5
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
5. CONTROLS
4
4
1.5
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
Threshold
3
2
10
Input/Output Level (dB)
Clip
-18 -15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 +3 +6 +9 +20
Output
Input
+3
+6
Channel 1
-10
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞
+15
dB +20
Output Level
In
Stereo Tie
be noted that an infinite ratio setting is likely to cause
noticeable side effects in the sound, and may not be usable on programs where subtle control is desired.
5.4 ATTACK TIME
The response of the compressor/limiter to signal
levels above threshold is further defined by the Attack
Time control. Attack time is the amount of time that
the unit takes to attenuate the output level after threshold has been reached. For very fast transients, such as
hand claps, snare drums, or other percussive sounds, a
fast attack time is usually desirable so that the limiter
can respond in time to control the peak level. On other
types of program material, a slower attack time may be
preferred. A too-fast attack may, on some material, “square
off” the top of a waveform, producing a distorted sound.
This unit provides continuously variable attack times from
200 microseconds to 20 milliseconds.
5.5 RELEASE TIME
Another parameter which affects compressor/limiter performance is Release time, or the time required to
restore system gain to normal after the input signal
has fallen below threshold level. Again, proper release
time will depend on the type of program material being
processed and the way in which the limiter is being used.
When subtle limiting is desired, slow release
times are often chosen to avoid condition referred to as
“pumping” or “breathing”. This occurs when overall gain
is modulated up and down by repeated peaks which are
followed by quieter intervals. If the release time is set
too fast, then the overall level will jump up and down,
producing an objectionable and unsettling effect. Note
that, in some cases, an individual track or channel which
seems to be pumping may sound acceptable when heard
in context of a complete mix.
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Th. 2
0
-6
+3
-10
+6
-20
dB +15
Gain
-40
-3
4
Gain Reduction (dB)
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
7
0
5
+3
+6
4
Ratio
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
∞
0
.5
5
1.5
3
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
Threshold
3
2
10
Input/Output Level (dB)
Clip
-18 -15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 +3 +6 +9 +20
Output
Input
+3
+6
Channel 2
-10
Model CLX-52
Dual Channel
Comp/Limiter
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞
+15
dB +20
Output Level
A unique feature of Ashly Compressor/Limiters
is the incorporation of a double release-time constant.
When a conventional compressor/limiter is adjusted for
slow release times, transients such as mic “pops” may
cause a severe reduction in gain followed by a slow fadeup, making the action of the limiter very obvious. With
the double time constant, release from gain reduction after a brief transient is always fast, with a slower release
after a sustained overdrive.
5.6 OUTPUT LEVEL
Output Level control is provided to fully cut or
restore up to 18 dB of system gain. For unity gain, set
the control to 0. NOTE: When the unit is in the BYPASS
mode the Output control still functions.
5.7 IN/OUT SWITCH
This switch enables you to quickly hear the CLX
compressor/limiter in or out of the audio chain. When the
switch is in the OUT position, all limiting and compression controls and functions are bypassed, with the exception of the Gain and Output controls, which continue to
function as straightforward level controls.
5.8 STEREO TIE SWITCH
This switch allows for Gain Reduction on a stereo signal with no degradation of the stereo image. When
pressed in, the Stereo Tie Switch combines each
channel's internal detector outputs so that the channel
with the loudest signal will determine the action applied to both channels. Leave this switch out for normal
operation.
In
Power
5.9 THRESHOLD/GAIN REDUCTION DISPLAY
As soon as the threshold level is reached, the yellow LED illuminates. Depending on how far the input
level rises above threshold, successive red LED’s will illuminate, indicating gain reduction. Gain Reduction can
best be described as the difference between input level
and the resulting change to output level. For signals
below threshold, there will of course be no gain reduction, that is, a 10dB increase in input will yield a 10dB
increase in output. For signals above threshold however,
output level will increase only to the extent that the ratio
control allows. With a high ratio, say 20 or so, it will take
20dB of increased input level to increase output level by
1dB. With a gentler ratio of 3:1, input signals above
threshold will be “gain-reduced” at the output by 1/3. In
other words, with threshold set at 0dB, a signal peak at
+12 dBV that is 3:1 compressed (ratio at 3) will produce
only +4 dB (12÷3) at the output, and 8 dB of gain reduction has occurred (12 dBV input minus 4 dBV output=8
dB reduction.)
5.10 INPUT/OUTPUT METER SELECT
While the Gain Reduction display accurately represents the action of the limiter, comparing input to output levels in real time is somewhat more intuitive, and is
made simple using the Input/Output Meter Select switch.
The Input meter takes its signal just after the Gain control, and will indicate input signal level regardless of CLX
output levels or limiter settings. The output meter display takes its signal from the actual output of the unit, so
every control that affects the output will also have an effect on output meters. Used in conjunction with the gain
reduction meters, Input/Output meters prove to be an extremely useful diagnostic tool when working with system
dynamics and level control.
5
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Channel Two
Made In USA
CLX-52
TIP = Detector Return/Ducking Input
(Use Mono Plug For Ducking)
RING = Detector Send
100-120VAC
50-60Hz 12W
6. CONNECTIONS AND CABLES
6.1 Balanced vs. Unbalanced Audio Connections
Balanced signal connections are preferred in pro
audio applications because of their improved immunity
to induced hum and noise. A properly shielded and wired
balanced input stage on any audio product will reject most
unwanted noise (RFI, EMI) picked up by the cable, as
well as minimize ground loop problems. Therefore it is
always advantageous to use balanced connections when
running signal more than ten or fifteen feet, although particularly noisy environments may require that even short
patch cables be balanced.
Tip (+)
Ring (-)
Sleeve (Ground)
Stereo Phone Plug
used for balanced
Pins are
numbered
in the
connector
insert.
2 = (+)
3 = (-)
1 = (gnd)
Output
Terminal Strip
(-)
(+)
Chassis Ground
(-)
Input
TRS balanced connections use the tip as (+) and the ring
as (-) signal, with sleeve used for ground. Ashly XLR
connectors use pin 2 (+) and pin 3 (-) with pin 1 ground.
Inputs are 20KΩ active balanced using precision 1% metal
film resistors, outputs are 200Ω "pseudo-balanced", which
means they have balanced impedance with a single-ended
signal source, and can be wired balanced or unbalanced.
When possible, we recommend balanced connections between all components in your system.
If inputs are used unbalanced, the signal should
be on the (+) connection and the (-) connection must be
tied to ground, or signal loss will result. While a mono
phone plug used as an unbalanced connection will automatically ground the (-) ring of the jack, XLR's will not
automatically do this, so attention must be given to proper
wiring.
Detector Loop - Ducking
XLR Male
Input
Detector
Output
The CLX Compressor/Limiters have a TRS Insert DETECTOR PATCH point which can be used as a
"ducking" input, or in conjunction with an equalizer to
produce frequency-sensitive limiting. Various uses of the
detector patch are discussed under TYPICAL APPLICATIONS.
(+)
Signal Ground
Balanced Audio Connectors
Unbalanced connections are used mostly for short
distance, high level signals (0dBu nominal). Most external EMI noise pick-up will be masked under the noise
floor of the signal, assuming there is little or no gain following the unbalanced signal. If a gain stage does follow
a signal, or if externally sourced noise persists, use balanced connectors.
6.2 Inputs and Outputs
Tip (+)
Sleeve (Ground)
Mono Phone Plug
used for unbalanced
Pins are
numbered
in the
connector
insert.
2 = (+)
3 = (gnd)
1 = (gnd)
Input
Your CLX Compressor/Limiter is provided with
two different connector types. 1/4" TRS (tip-ring-sleeve)
phone jacks, and three pin XLR connectors will allow
interfacing to most professional audio products. Ashly
XLR Male
Output
Terminal Strip
(gnd) (+)
Chassis Ground
(gnd) (+)
Signal Ground
Unbalanced Audio Connectors
6
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Channel One
3
2
1
TIP = Detector Return/Ducking Input
(Use Mono Plug For Ducking)
RING = Detector Send
TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK DO NOT REMOVE
COVER. NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE. REFER
SERVICING TO QUALIFIED SERVICE PERSONNEL. TO REDUCE
THE RISK OF FIRE REPLACE ONLY WITH SAME TYPE FUSE.
TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE OR ELECTRIC SHOCK DO NOT
EXPOSE THIS EQUIPMENT TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.
AVIS: RISQUE DE CHOC ELECTRIQUE NE PAS OUVRIR.
(+) (-)
INPUTS are Active Balanced.
OUTPUTS May Be Wired Balanced
Or Unbalanced.
Detector
Output
7. TYPICAL APPLICATIONS
The applications of the Ashly CLX-52 and CLX51 can be divided into two basic categories, limiting and
compressing. When used as a protective device to prevent audio levels from overloading systems such as tape
recorders, power amplifiers, speakers, or transmitters, it
is generally referred to as a Limiter.
It may also be used to create special effects and
unusual sounds for recording and musical performance
by deliberately reducing the dynamic range of a signal,
creating a much louder or fuller sounding signal without
increasing the loudness peaks, in which case it is referred
to as a compressor.
In either case, the Ashly CLX units offer exceptional performance and precise controls for the audio professional.
Input
if this type of transient doesn’t destroy a speaker outright, it may damage the speaker surround in such a way
as to cause mechanical abrasion and future failure.
Alternatives For Sound System Installations
To install the CLX unit in a sound system using
a passive crossover, insert it between your mixing console output and the power amplifier input. For systems
using electronic crossovers, there are two ways to use an
Ashly limiter. It may be inserted between the mixer out-
Stereo
Mixer
CLX-52
The CLX-52 As A Protective Device
The CLX-52 provides fast and accurate gain control for the prevention of sound system overload due to
unexpected transients. Sound system distortion is usually the result of amplifiers running out of power, in which
case nice round waveforms turn into harsh sounding
squared-off waveforms. Looking at it from the perspective of the speaker diaphragm, this means that, whereas
in normal operation the diaphragm is required to accelerate, slow down, smoothly change direction, and accelerate again, distorted operation requires an instant
acceleration, instant stop, a change of direction, and instant acceleration again.
Since speaker diaphragms are subject to the laws
of physics, they won’t take this kind of punishment for
long. The diaphragm may shatter, or its voice coil may
overheat. In addition to the damaged caused by sustained
overload, the speaker may also be damaged by occasional,
one-shot high level overload, for example, the sound of a
microphone falling face-first onto a hardwood floor. Even
Power
Amplifier
Full-Range
Speakers
CLX-52 Used For Speaker Protection
in Stereo Passive Speaker System
put and the crossover input, in which case it will act on
the entire audio frequency spectrum. Alternately, if the
limiter is inserted between an output of the electric crossover and the input of a power amp, it will only affect a
specific band of frequencies.
7
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
Procedure:
Mixer
1. Set up the CLX unit’s controls as follows:
Crossover
Low
High
CLX-52
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
Output level control to -20dB.
Input Gain control to 0dB.
Threshold control to -30dB.
Ratio control to infinity (∞)
Attack time to 5mS.
Release time to 1 Sec.
Limit switch IN
2. Adjust equalizer controls to a flat setting, and
if the equalizer has an overall volume control, boost it by
10 to 15 dB.
Power
Amplifier
3. Open up several microphone input channels
to a normal operating level, with typical EQ settings, and
turn the console master fader up to a louder than normal
setting. At this point, the system should be well into feedback, but the room volume will be constant due to the
action of the limiter. You can listen to the feedback at
any level you like by simply varying the CLX’s output
level control, although below a certain monitoring level,
the feedback will stop.
CLX-52 in Active Bi-amped System
With Limiting On Lows and Highs
4. Try to determine the feedback frequency, and
then equalize it by adjusting the center frequency, bandwidth, and boost/cut controls of your parametric equalizer. (Note: a graphic equalizer can also be used, although
with less accuracy.) After eliminating the problem frequency, try to further define it by sharpening up the bandwidth, reattacking the frequency control, and making the
cut shallower, if possible.
Compression For Feedback Control
A common ritual in sound system set-up is equalizing the room to remove feedback. This is generally
accomplished by turning up system gain to purposely induce feedback, searching for the center frequency of the
feedback, and then equalizing at that frequency to remove
the feedback. Once this frequency has been cut, system
gain is again increased to induce another feedback point,
and the whole procedure is repeated until the engineer is
satisfied that the significant problem frequencies have
been corrected. The major problem with this approach is
that the feedback can easily get out control, and the engineer ends up dashing back and forth between the mixer
volume controls and the equalizer controls, while everyone in the room plugs their ears and prays it will end
soon. The Ashly CLX-52 (or CLX-51) can turn this procedure into a fast, painless job, eliminating loud feedback levels and the possibility of speaker or ear damage.
Mixer
Parametric
Equalizer
CLX-51
Power
Amplifier
Parallel
Speakers
CLX-51 Used For Feedback
Control With Parametric
Equalizer in Mono System
8
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
5. As soon as the first feedback frequency has
been removed, the Ashly CLX unit will automatically
bring up system gain until another feedback point is induced. Repeat the equalization procedure until it becomes
impossible to distinguish individual, predominant feedback frequencies.
6. Return all mixer, EQ overall gain, and compressor/limiter gain controls to normal settings.
7.2 Recording
The Ashly limiter can be used to prevent tape
saturation in analog recording. Also, with modern trends
toward inexpensive digital recording, it remains necessary to protect against input overload. With digital recording, the information stored on tape, hard disk, optical
disk, etc., is either a 1 or 0, so actual signal level on the
tape is not the concern it is with analog recordings, in
fact it is not even a user controllable parameter. What is
of concern however, is the signal level applied to the A-D
(analog to digital) converters. If clipping occurs at the
converter input stage, the resulting distortion is most unpleasant, and will be recorded digitally as if they were
part of the original audio signal, forever mixed with the
audio. To prevent converter distortion while preserving
the extended dynamic range of digital recording, look up
the max input level of your recorder/converter and set up
the limiter as follows:
1. Set Gain to 0.
2. Set Threshold to 2-3 dB below max
converter input.
3. Set Ratio to 10.
4. Set Attack to 2 mS.
5. Set Release to .2 Sec.
6. Set Output level to 0.
If you are exceeding threshold frequently, your
input signal is probably too high and should be turned
down. Of course, every situation is different, so experimentation before final recording is always a good idea,
but this is a good starting point.
To obtain a gentler limiting action at the expense
of some dynamic range, decrease the threshold to -15 and
the ratio to 3-5. This is also a good starting point for
analog recording.
De-Essing
A special type of saturation problem often encountered in recording is the sibilant (Ssss) sound of the
human voice. High frequency, sibilant sounds can reach
very high energy levels, so that a voice that is otherwise
undistorted breaks up on the esses, producing a raspy, undesirable sound. With analog recording to magnetic tape,
high frequencies tend to saturate the tape sooner, and combined with the internal high frequency boost (record preemphasis) on standard tape decks, the need to control
sibilants becomes apparent.
The solution is frequency-dependent limiting,
which is easily accomplished with the CLX unit. By inserting an equalizer into the Detector Patch point and
boosting the equalizer at high frequencies in the vicinity
of the sibilant, the limiter’s detector circuit becomes more
sensitive to this particular range of frequencies, and so
will limit the bothersome sibilants more than other frequencies.
Realize that this technique is very different from
simple equalization. Equalizing a sibilant vocal by cutting high frequencies would result in a loss of important
high frequency information at all times, whereas de-essing
has no effect whatsoever on the signal except at the instant of the sibilant. At that moment, the Ashly limiter
will reduce overall gain. Frequency response is unaffected, and the sibilant is controlled.
7.3 Broadcasting
Compression has long been used as a tool to make
an audio signal appear louder. A good example is in broadcasting, where competing stations with identical transmitters and power attempt to sound louder than each other.
Since they are all restricted with respect to maximum audio level (modulation), their best tactic is to squeeze the
dynamic range of their programs to just a few dB. The
audio output level of the station virtually never changes,
and the listener perceives this continuous high-level sound
as being louder than the same material in an uncompressed
form. Although both compressed and uncompressed programs reach the same peak levels, the compressed signal
stays near peak level more of the time, and thus sounds
louder. This technique makes the broadcast more intelligible over the road noise in your car, and increases the
geographical area over which the broadcast is audible to
the listener. A similar, if less pronounced, effect can be
used in sound reinforcement and recording applications.
9
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
7.4 Special Effects
Altering the Texture of Musical Instruments
It would be impossible to mention here all the
ways that compression is used to create new sounds with
familiar instruments. Some typical uses are:
1. Creating a “fatter” kick drum or snare sound.
2. “Thickening” acoustic guitars.
3. Adding punch and sustain to electric bass or
guitar.
In general, use a gentle compression ratio, say
4:1, with a 10 mS attack time, 0.1 Sec. release time, and
a low enough threshold to cause 6 to 10dB of Gain Reduction. Try using this effect to help bring out a lead
vocal or instrumental solo in a cluttered mix. The compressor is also a great corrective tool when working with
singers whose own dynamic control is less than perfect.
A little compression helps to keep their quieter lines from
becoming buried in the mix. Experimentation is highly
recommended.
Voice-Over Compression (“Ducking”)
The CLX units can be used to automatically reduce music to a background level when an announcer is
speaking. In this scheme, only the music signal is actually gain-reduced by the Ashly limiter. However, the de-
tector is connected to respond to an announcer’s voice
instead of the music’s peaks. Voice-Over compression
assumes you are already using some sort of mixer to combine the music and mic signals. Use the direct out (send)
of the mic channel to feed the detector input on the CLX
unit. Note: Be sure to use a mono plug for the CLX
detector input. Then use the Threshold and Ratio controls to determine when and by how much the announcer’s
voice affects the music level.
Stereo Operation
On the CLX-52, pressing the Stereo Tie switch
combines the detector outputs so that the loudest channel
(one which activates the threshold first) also controls the
limiter action of the other channel. Note that the stereo
audio signals never mix, just the detector circuits. This
allows true stereo imaging to be preserved regardless of
which channel is in gain reduction.
The Stereo Tie switch overrides an individual
channel’s In/Out switch. For example, if Ch. 2 is switched
out but Ch. 1 and the Stereo Tie switch are both in, then
any limiting action which occurs on Ch. 1 will also occur
on Ch. 2, even though Ch. 2 is switched out. The channel
2 Gain Reduction meter will verify that this is true. Use
this technique if you want to make one channel a slave to
the other.
8. BLOCK DIAGRAM
2
1
3
CLIP
BALANCED
INPUT
INPUT/OUTPUT METERS
GAIN
2
3 1
-
VCA
+
OUTPUT
LEVEL
GAIN REDUCTION DISPLAY
STEREO TIE
OUTPUT
RATIO
ATTACK
DETECTOR
CIRCUIT
CHANNEL
IN/OUT
TH
DETECTOR
INSERT
RELEASE
THRESHOLD
10
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
9. DESIGN THEORY
THE NEED FOR GAIN CONTROL
The human ear excels in its ability to detect an
extremely wide range of loudness levels, from the quietest whisper to roar of a jumbo jet. When we attempt to
reproduce this dynamic range, by means of amplifiers,
tape recorders, CD players, or radio transmitters, we run
into one of the fundamental limitations of these electronic
media: limited dynamic range. Amplifier dynamic range
is quite good, and is adequate for most musical program
material. However, some types of audio equipment, such
as cassette tape recorders, have a very narrow useful dynamic range.
What is it that compromises the dynamic range
of this equipment? The useful operating region of a piece
of audio equipment is squeezed in between noise and distortion. As program level decreases, it approaches what
is known as the “noise floor”, and if the volume of the
program material goes lower still, it is engulfed by the
noise. The noise floor, or minimum constant noise level,
will consist of hiss, hum, transistor noise, tape hiss, buzz
and whatever noises are inherent in the medium. When
the program level is considerably higher than the noise
floor, our hearing masks the noise, and it is not a problem. However, when listening to very quiet sections of a
program for example, a pause between movements of a
string quartet the noise can become very bothersome.
At the other end of the loudness spectrum, the
limitation on dynamic range is usually distortion, either
in the form of amplifier overload, tape saturation, or A to
D clipping. In most transistorized equipment, the transition from clean, undistorted operation to severe distortion is very abrupt. Therefore, it is common practice to
operate a piece of equipment at a level that is somewhat
below the distortion point, leaving a margin of safety for
unexpected, transient volume peaks in the music. This
safety margin is known as headroom, and may range from
10 to 25 dB. Lowering our standard operating level to
leave ourselves some headroom helps prevent distortion,
but at the same time it moves our average program level
closer to the noise floor, thereby compromising signalto-noise performance. It becomes apparent that to get most
out of an audio system, you have to keep your standard
operating level as high as possible without risking distortion.
GAIN RIDING
One solution to the noise vs. distortion trade-off
is to keep your hand on the level control and manually
adjust gain to suit the program. Indeed, there are times
when this approach is entirely satisfactory. However, in
most types of music there are instantaneous, short duration volume peaks, or transients, which would be difficult to anticipate and impossible to respond to with manual
gain riding, you simply could not bring the level down
fast enough. In many situations, this can present real problems. For example, in recording, an extra burst of enthusiasm from a lead singer might overload the capabilities
of your recording tape, causing ragged distortion and necessitating another take. In sound reinforcement, a sudden burst of energy through the system can blow fuses or
even damage loudspeakers.
In addition to the problem of response time with
manual gain riding, it also requires your constant attention, which takes you away from more important jobs.
The need for a fast-acting, reliable, automatic gain control is answered by limiters and compressors.
WHAT COMPRESSORS AND LIMITERS DO
LIMITING
In any musical program are constant changes in
loudness. It is the job of a limiter to detect when the volume has exceeded a predetermined maximum safe level,
and to then turn down the volume. When the incoming
signal returns to its original level, the limiter should respond by restoring the gain to normal. Thus, when the
level is within a specified “safe” range, the limiter has no
effect. When an occasional peak occurs, the limiter responds. This situation is completely analogous to manual
gain riding, except that it occurs faster and more consistently.
COMPRESSION
A very significant difference in dynamic range
is achieved simply by changing the relationship between
nominal signal level and threshold, as a result of either
increasing the GAIN and/or decreasing the THRESHOLD
control. The most interesting effect to be noted, however,
is seen by comparing the original input signal with the
output signal. The quietest portions of the original signal
will be effectively increased in volume while the loudest
portions of the original signal will be decreased. In effect, both ends of the dynamic spectrum will be pushed
toward the “middle”. This is quite different from simple
limiting, where only loud peaks are subjected to gain reduction. More than anything else, it is this double-ended
effect which distinguishes compression from limiting.
Compression is further differentiated from limiting by
careful selection of attack and release times. When limiting is employed to protect an audio system against transient volume peaks and possible overload, attack time is
11
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
usually set as fast as possible, consistent with distortionfree performance. Release time would also be relatively
short, so that the output signal would be restored to normal as quickly as possible after the transient.
Compression is frequently used to keep overall
signal level within a specific dynamic range, and for this
application, slower attack and release times are usually
chosen. This approach is analogous to our manual gain
riding example, where our operator is fading the music up
and down to keep it fairly constant, but is doing it slowly
enough so that the listener is unaware that the gain is being altered.
Voltage Controlled Amplifiers
Early VCA’s were based on vacuum tubes with a
“remote cutoff” characteristic. The tube would simply
change its gain in response to a changing bias voltage.
Tubes developed for this purpose did an excellent job, in
fact they could exceed the noise and distortion performance
of today’s best solid state VCA’s. Unfortunately, they also
had some serious disadvantages peculiar to tubes - change
of gain and matching as aging took place, heat, microphonics, high cost, and the need for both high-voltage and
filament power supplies.
Over the years the need for good, low-cost, solid
state VCA brought about many innovative approaches. A
good example is the electro-optical attenuator where a photocell is used as one leg of a potentiometer. Since the
photocell behaves as a true resistor, distortion and noise
are very low. Unfortunately, the response time of photocells is slow and unpredictable so their use in a fast peaklimiter is really not feasible. Also, the matching between
units is very poor so that stereo tracking is not possible
without tedious hand-matching of photocells.
Another approach uses a field-effect transistor
(FET) as a variable resistor. Here, at least, the response
time is fast (in the nanosecond range), but matching between units is still poor, requiring hand matching for stereo. An additional problem is that a FET will only act as
a pure resistor with very small signals applied so it is necessary to attenuate an input signal before the gain control
FET and then amplify it again. Of course this results in
less than ideal noise performance and imposes a frustrating trade-off: less noise = more distortion.
A number of VCA’s based on the exponential voltage-current characteristic of a bipolar junction transistor
have been used. One of the most common is called a
“transconductance amplifier”. Using the inherent matching obtained by integrated circuit technology, these devices have very predictable control characteristics.
12
Tracking within 1dB over a 40dB range is common.
Not only do the control characteristics match well from
unit to unit, but they can easily be made exponential
(logarithmic) so that even increments of control voltage produce even increments of gain change in decibels. The response time is also very fast.
The problem with simple transconductance
amplifiers is that, like FET VCA’s, they can handle
only very small signals so the noise performance is
poor. A number of linearizing circuits have been devised to minimize this problem, but even the best
transconductance amplifiers have an equivalent input
noise of about -80dBv, which compares poorly to
straight linear amplifiers.
The best analog compromise to date is the
“class AB current ratio multiplier.” Early implementation of this circuit used two matched pairs of transistors, one pair of NPN’s and one pair of PNP’s. The
problem here is that excellent matched integrated NPN
pairs were available, but integrated PNP’s were not.
The PNP’s had to be hand-tested and matched. Careful
trimming was necessary for low distortion and even
minor temperature changes made re-trimming necessary because of differing characteristics between the
two types.
The Ashly VCA
The Ashly VCA is an integrated current ratio
multiplier circuit. It has low noise (-90dBv), low distortion (.05%), excellent response time and tracking
and does not suffer from thermal drift. The noise and
distortion are at state-of-the-art levels and the circuit
is consistent in mass production with minimal trimming and no hand-selection of transistors.
Detectors
It would seem that, of the two components in
a compressor/limiter, the VCA is the more critical since
the audio passes through it and the detector only provides it with a control voltage. Experience showed us
that both are crucial to the overall sound and that, if
anything, the detector’s performance is the harder to
judge by conventional measuring techniques. While
the VCA is doing its job if it has low noise and distortion, the detector must constantly adjust the gain of
the audio path in a manner which keeps the level under control while sounding acceptable to the listener.
This constantly changing gain is a Dynamic action,
while conventional audio measurements like noise and
distortion checks are Static (at a constant level). We
became painfully aware of this problem with some of
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
our earlier limiter prototypes which measured fine and
sounded terrible. This led us to use a purely subjective
approach in the design of the detector - we did a lot of
listening to determine what sounded good and what didn’t.
Two important features emerged from this re-
10. TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
Note: Unshielded cables, improperly wired connectors, and cables with broken strands of wire are very
common problems. Use quality cables with quality, correctly wired connectors.
search:
No Output
1. We designed the detector to let the attack and
release times speed up as more and more limiting occurs.
The compression ratio also increases. This lets us maintain peaks fairly close to a constant ceiling level, but allows the illusion of increasing loudness as input level
increases, thereby preventing complete loss of dynamics
when limiting.
2. We incorporate a Double Release Time Constant. When release time was set slow with a single time
constant, transients such as mic “pops” caused a quick
reduction in gain and a slow fade-up, making the action
of the limiter very obvious. With the double time constant, release from gain reduction after a brief transient
is always fast, with a slower release after a sustained overdrive.
When choosing a compressor/limiter, you can see
that it is very important to listen to it in your particular
application and see that it sounds the way you want. There
are lots of these devices with seemingly excellent specs
which sound very different with real program material
applied to them.
Peak Or RMS
There are several ways of looking at a signal to
determine its level. A peak detector looks at the maximum voltage a signal reaches regardless of it’s waveform,
while an RMS (root mean square) detector looks at the
energy in a signal regardless of the short term voltage
levels. This makes a peak detector the correct choice for
preventing clipping, overmodulation, or tape saturation,
while an RMS detector can be used to restrict material to
a given loudness. When an RMS limiter is used to prevent clipping, the result is unpredictable. For instance, a
flute and a snare drum which are limited to the same RMS
level might have peak levels as much as 30dB apart! Use
peak limiters to prevent clipping.
Check AC Power. Is the power switch on? Check
input and output connections - are they reversed? Are
you sure you have an input signal?
Controls Have No Effect
Is the Limiter In/Out switch In? Perhaps the Ratio control is set too low to produce an audible effect or
the input level is below threshold. Is the Threshold LED
lighting up? If not, lower the threshold setting or increase
the gain. Do not expect to hear any effect when the input
level is below threshold, since the unit is simply a linear
amplifier at those levels.
When Using Heavy Compression, Background Noise
Is Noticeable During Quiet Sections Of The Program
As defined in the section on compression, quiet
program material is effectively made louder while loud
peaks are made quieter. When the program source is thus
raised in volume, its noise floor is also raised in volume
by a proportionate amount. This is not a defect in the
Compressor/Limiter, but an unavoidable side effect of the
gain altering process. If the noise becomes a problem,
the solutions are to either decrease noise at the program
source, or use less compression.
Excessive Hum Or Noise
Hum is often caused by a “ground loop” between
components. Try using the suggested balanced input and
output hookups if the other pieces of equipment used in
conjunction with the CLX unit have balanced inputs and
outputs. Noise can also be caused by insufficient drive
levels. Make sure you are sending a nominal 0 dBV line
level signal to the unit.
13
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
11. WARRANTY INFORMATION
13. SPECIFICATIONS
Thank you for your expression of confidence in
Ashly products. The unit you have just purchased is protected by a five-year warranty. To establish the warranty,
be sure to fill out and mail the warranty card attached to
your product. Fill out the information below for your
records.
Gain:
..................
Ratio:
..................
Attack Time: . . . . . . . . . . . .
Release Time: . . . . . . . . . . .
Output: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Maximum Input Level: . . .
Maximum Output Level: . .
Input Impedance: . . . . . . . .
Output Impedance: . . . . . .
Frequency Response: . . . .
Distortion: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
±15dB
2:1 → ∞
200µS-20mS
100mS-3Sec
-∞ to +18dB
+23dBu
+23dBu
20KΩ balanced
200Ω Quasi-Balanced
±0.2dB 20Hz-20KHz
<.01% THD, 0dBu, 1KHz
<0.15% THD, +15dBu,
20Hz-20KHz
Output Hum and Noise: . . <-96dBu
Power Requirements: . . . . 93VAC-120VAC, 50-60Hz, 5W
Size and Shipping Weight: 19"L x 1.75"H x 6"D (8 lbs.)
Model Number ______________________________
Serial Number ______________________________
Dealer _____________________________________
Date of Purchase ____________________________
Notes:
0dBu = 0.775 Vrms
Pseudo-Balanced Output has balanced output impedance
with single ended signal.
12. DIMENSIONS
Gain Reduction (dB)
Th. 2
0
-3
-10
+6
-6
-20
-10
-15
dB +15
Gain
14
-6
+3
-40
-3
0
4
6
Threshold
Input/Output Level (dB)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20
7
5
+3
3
+6
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
∞
Rati o
3
2
10
1.5
4
-18 -15 -12 -9
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
-6
0
.5
5
-3
Clip
Gain Reduction (dB)
0 +3 +6 +9 +20
Th. 2
0
Output
Input
+3
-3
-10
+6
+6
Channel 1
-10
-6
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞ dB
-20
-10
+15
+20
Output Level
-15
In
Stereo Tie
-6
+3
dB +15
Gain
-40
-3
0
4
6
Threshold
Input/Output Level (dB)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20
7
5
+3
3
+6
+10
+20 2.5
2
dB +22
∞
Ratio
3
2
10
1.5
4
-18 -15 -12 -9
-3
1
.2
-6
10
20
1
30 .5
-6
0
.5
5
-3
Clip
0 +3 +6 +9 +20
Output
Input
+3
+6
Channel 2
-10
Model CLX-52
Dual Channel
Comp/Limiter
+10
2
15
.2
mS
20
Attack
.1 Sec
3
Release
-20
-
∞ dB
+15
+20
Output Level
In
Power
14. SCHEMATIC
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
15
Operating Manual - CLX-52 and CLX-51 Compressor/Limiter
ASHLY AUDIO INC. 847 Holt Road Webster, NY 14580-9103
Phone: (716) 872-0010 Fax: (716) 872-0739
Toll Free (800) 828-6308
Internet: http://www.ashly.com/
 1997 by Ashly Audio Corporation. All rights reserved worldwide.
Printed in USA 10/97
CLX Rev 1
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertising