mpressor - Barry Rudolph

PLUGIN MANUAL

mpressor

WeLcoMe!

introduction

First of all, thank you very much for using the mpressor plugin!

The ‘virtual’ mpressor is the as-close-as-it-canget emulation of our famous creative compressor. Its all discrete circuitry and its special character have been translated into software in every painstaking detail....

The plugin has all the great functions of the hardware which can be combined in many ways: Auto Fast for attack makes life easy even on longer attack settings. The Anti Log function offers an alternative release curve that can be engaged for instant pumping effects.

The result is an outstanding universal compressor as well as a dynamics effect machine which will significantly enhance the potentials of your host software. The mpressor is available in RTAS,

VST, AU and TDM formats.

In addition to standard ratios, the mpressor also provides negative values. Combine this with its extremely fast attack times, and you will be able to create completely new signal envelopes.

The Gain Reduction Limiter regulates the virtual control voltage and keeps even the most extreme settings under control – completely independent from the threshold and ratio settings.

The additional filter is a perfect fit for changing the compressed signal in its sound character.

The possibility to control the mpressor by an external sidechain input to get things grooving makes for further flexibility.

Whatever you are looking for – a high grade sum compressor, a flexible tool for single instruments or an inspiring dynamics effect processor: the mpressor delivers. Have lots of fun with it!

manual version 1.0.3

introduction - welcome!

2

INSTALLATIoN

introduction

ILoK ReQUIReD

The mpressor plugin requires an iLok. This is a multiplatform USB dongle that works both on

Mac OS and Microsoft Windows systems. It can hold more than 100 separate licenses from different manufacturers. It is not part of our software offer and needs to be purchased separately. Setting up and maintaining an iLok web account is free of charge, though. For more info please check www.ilok.com.

SYSTeM ReQUIReMeNTS

The following specs are the absolute minimum; we highly recommend running a machine with better performance:

BoUGHT THe PRoDUcT oNLINe?

1. Make sure to have the latest iLok drivers installed (get them at www.iLok.com)

2. After your purchase you will receive a confirmation email informing you that your license has been sent to your iLok account.

3. Go to www.iLok.com to log into your account and transfer the new mpressor license to your iLok USB dongle.

4. If you have not installed the software already please go to www.elysia.com to download the latest software installers.

STANDARD PLUGIN LocATIoNS

Please note that different host programs place the mpressor plugin in different folders:

Pro Tools (RTAS/TDM)

Dynamics u

mpressor

Logic (AU)

Audio Units u

elysia u

mpressor

cubase/Nuendo (VST 3)

Dynamics u

///mpressor

cubase/Nuendo (VST 2 - standard version)

elysia u

elysia mpressor

Mac

• Intel or PPC CPU (at least 1 GHz)

• 256 MB RAM

• Mac OS X 10.4 or higher

• Pro Tools 7.0 or higher or a VST/AU

compatible host

Pc

• Intel compatible CPU (at least 1 GHz)

• 256 MB RAM

• Windows 2000 or higher

• Pro Tools 7.0/higher or a VST compatible host

Of course you also need an adequate audio I/O solution (sound card, AD/DA converters). The

TDM version requires a Pro Tools HD compatible

DSP card.

BoUGHT THe PRoDUcT IN A BoX?

1. Make sure to have the latest iLok drivers installed (get them at www.iLok.com)

2. Send an email with the registration code you will find on the box and your iLok user ID to [email protected]

3. You will then receive a confirmation email informing you that your license has been sent to your iLok account.

4. Go to www.iLok.com to log into your account and transfer the new mpressor license to your iLok USB dongle.

5. You can always get the latest versions of our software installers at www.elysia.com.

cubase/Nuendo (VST 2 - sidechain version)

elysia u

elysia mpressor sc

(If you are wondering about the different VST versions: The reasons why there are three versions lies in the way VST addresses the sidechain function of a compressor plugin. Learn more about this on pages 8 and 9. All three VST versions will be available on your system after a standard installation process.)

SoFTWARe VeRSIoN

A click on the elysia logo will reveal the actual version of the plugin you have installed and the people behind the project.

introduction - installation

3

SPecIALS

introduction

TRUe eMULATIoN

How has the hardware mpressor been

‘translated’ into software code? Actually the plugin is the result of a pretty long and complicated development process...

The following provides just the basic idea:

oVeRSAMPLING

The mpressor plugin benefits from higher sample rates in two ways: In the first place, it can react to changes in the source signal faster, which is especially important if a short attack time is set.

MoUSeWHeeL SUPPoRT

You do not necessarily have to click and drag the controllers of the mpressor. Instead, try making your settings with the alternative mousewheel control without clicking on the specific controller first!

Transferring a complex analog hardware into digital code is not exactly trivial, especially if the model is a completely discrete design like the mpressor.

Secondly, the generated virtual control voltage and therefore the compression behavior of the plugin becomes more precise because there are more measuring points available.

The following shortcuts provide some further comfort:

The first important task in a project like this is to fragment the electronic circuitry into separate functional blocks. These blocks are translated into software step by step after which they will be reunited to become a functional plugin.

This first result is measured very accurately and then compared to the hardware, which leads to an extensive and very detailed matching process. The work on the graphical user interface

(photography, retouching, rendering) takes place at the same time.

The mpressor plugin employs the oversampling technique in order to enjoy these advantages even if lower sample rates are used. This means that the basic sample rate of a project is multiplied by a certain factor inside the plugin without the need to set the complete project to a higher frequency.

This method consumes a certain amount of CPU power, but the acoustic result speaks for itself.

The mpressor plugin uses oversampling according to the following rules:

Fine mode

VST

AU

Shift + mouse wheel

Shift + mouse wheel

RTAS/TDM Ctrl/Cmd + mouse wheel

Standard position

VST

AU

Ctrl/Cmd + mouse click

Alt + mouse click

RTAS/TDM Alt + mouse click

Linear/circular mode

VST Alt

The final stage is the calibration of the behavior of all the controllers in order to give the software the ‘feel’ of the real thing. Finally, the finished code is ported to different plugin interfaces (RTAS/VST/AU/TDM) and packed into installation routines.

• Project sample rate lower than 50 kHz:

4x oversampling

• Project sample rate lower than 100 kHz:

2x oversampling

• Project sample rate higher than 100 kHz:

No oversampling

introduction - specials

4

oVeRVIeW

controls

Floor: switches the emulation of the mpressor’s analog noise floor on and off.

Link: left and right channel can be linked on a stereo track.

Active: sets the plugin from bypass to active status.

GRL: indicates activity of the Gain Reduction Limiter.

Meter: displays the amount of gain reduction in dB.

Threshold: If the input level exceeds this value, the compression process will start.

Sc extern: If this function is active, a signal that is fed into the corresponding buss will control the compression process.

Attack: the transient response of the compressor. It determines the time the mpressor takes to react to a peak.

Auto Fast: a semi-automation. This function shortens the attack time automatically on fast and loud signal impulses.

Release: the return phase of the compressor. It controls the period of time that the compressor takes to return back to unity gain after 6 dB of gain reduction.

Anti Log: an alternative characteristic of the release curve. Switches from a linear to an antilogarithmic progression.

Ratio: the relation between the input level and the output level. As a specialty of the mpressor, even negative ratios can be set here.

controls - overview

5

oVeRVIeW

controls

eQ Gain: the characteristic of the Niveau Filter. Between the mid and fully counter-clockwise position, bass is boosted and treble is cut (vice versa in the other direction).

on: activates the Niveau Filter. In the signal path, this special EQ is placed after the compressor part, thus it will not influence the behavior of this section.

eQ Freq: the center frequency of the Niveau

Filter. Around this reference point, the bass is boosted and treble is cut or vice versa.

x10: shifts the frequency range of the Niveau

Filter. The printed values from 26 Hz to 2.2 kHz are multiplied by 10 to 260 Hz and 22 kHz.

GR Limit: limits the virtual control voltage.

This innovative limiter is not placed in the audio path as usual, but in the control algorithm of the compressor.

on: activates the Gain Reduction Limiter.

Gain: the ‘make up gain‘. In the mpressor, amplification already takes place in the input stage, thus the whole plugin can be driven harder on purpose.

controls - overview

6

THReSHoLD

controls

The threshold determines the operating point of the compressor. If the input level exceeds the value set with this controller, the compression process will start.

The complete control range covers a total of 34 dB, offering the complete variety from very sensitive processing up to the most extreme effect settings.

The settings of threshold and ratio should always be considered as a couple: If a high ratio is applied, the threshold will usually be in the lower range in order not to produce an overdone amount of gain reduction.

The figure to the right shows a number of different threshold points of the mpressor.

However, if lower ratio settings are chosen, the threshold will be turned more clockwise as a general rule.

dB

Several threshold settings at a fixed ratio

dB

controls - threshold

7

SIDecHAIN

controls

If the SC Extern button is active, compression will not be controlled by the actual input signals anymore, but by different audio signals which are fed into a specially assigned buss.

Note: Your host software must support this functionality! If no buss is assigned to the sidechain of the mpressor plug-in, activating the

SC Extern button will not produce the desired results.

frequency dependent compression. Another example is to send the bass drum of a drum sequencer into the sidechain input in order to achieve nice groovy compression that is pumping in time with the music.

The external sidechain is coupled with a fixed high pass filter that has its cut-off frequency at

80 Hz with a slew rate of 6 dB per octave.

If a duplicate of the input signal is processed with an equalizer and then fed into the sidechain input, for example, the result will be

This reduces the influence of the low frequencies in the sidechain on overall compression by a certain amount in order to keep the effect as balanced as possible.

SC buss assignment in Pro Tools

SC buss assignment in Cubase (VST 3)

SC buss assignment in Logic controls - sidechain

8

SIDecHAIN

controls

On the previous page you have learned that many host programs feature a built-in support for the mpressor’s external sidechain functionality.

Remember the different locations for the VST 3 and VST 2 versions of the mpressor:

cubase/Nuendo (VST 3)

Dynamics u

///mpressor

If you are using Pro Tools or Logic, all you have to do is activate the SC Extern switch on the mpressor plugin and assign a bus to it in the corresponding drop down window.

cubase/Nuendo (VST 2)

elysia u

elysia mpressor / elysia mpressor sc

Since the introduction of VST 3, using the sidechain function with Cubase and Nuendo (version 4 or higher) is equally easy.

But why is there also an elysia mpressor sc variant? If you are using a VST based host that does not support VST 3, you cannot address the sidechain input directly from the interface of the plugin.

This is where the elysia mpressor sc comes into play. It has 4 inputs (audio L+R plus sidechain

L+R). Unfortunately, every host is a little bit different in how to do adress these 4 inputs . Please understand that we cannot describe all the different approaches here. An Internet search

“host name” + “sidechain” will quickly bring you the desired info, however.

If your host does not support sidechaining at all, just use the normal mpressor plugin without the sc extension.

controls - sidechain

9

ATTAcK

controls

The attack time parameter is a very crucial factor for the control behavior of a compressor.

Choosing the right setting is very important, but depending on the dynamic progress of the source material this can be a difficult task.

If a very short time is chosen, the compressor will be able to catch the short peaks, but on the other hand the sustaining signal will also be processed, which might result in audible distortion. Longer attack settings reduce distortion significantly, but then the compressor is too slow for fast impulses.

This is where the Auto Fast function comes into play. If you engage this mode, the attack time will be shortened automatically on fast and loud signal impulses. The compressor reduces the signal quickly and prevents it from slipping through.

Then the attack time directly and automatically returns to its original setting. This way the compressor can be very fast, but only if it is really needed. The attack parameter is influenced on short and loud impulses only; in all other cases the controller setting is given priority.

dB

Standard attack (dark) and Auto Fast (light)

sec

controls - attack

10

ReLeASe

controls

The release parameter, on the other hand, has a strong influence on the character of the compression being obvious or unobtrusive to the ear. As a general rule, linear or logarithmic release curves will be employed if a discreet performance of the compressor is required.

It is characteristic of a logarithmic release that the time constant shortens when the gain reduction raises. The advantage of this is that short and loud peaks (e.g. drums) have a fast release time, while the remaining material is processed with a slower release time.

But if intentionally striking and creative compression as well as producing new and interesting sounds are the sought-after goals, it definitely makes sense to turn the established approach upside down. For this reason, you can switch the release curve of the mpressor from linear to antilogarithmic.

Compared to a logarithmic release curve, the effect of the Anti Log option behaves just the other way round: If the threshold point is passed, the release time will no longer be shortened at first. If the input signal starts to decline, however, the release time will become faster.

dB sec

Standard linear release (dark) and Anti Log (light) controls - release

11

RATIo

controls

The mpressor is a typical hard knee compressor, which is easy to see in the diagram to the right.

Compression directly starts with the full ratio in the very moment the input signal passes the threshold point.

Compared to a soft knee characteristic, this kind of compression is more on the noticeable and audible side.

The louder the input signal becomes with a setting like this, the lower the output level becomes – perfect for groovy compression effects.

To get a grip on the extreme ‘destruction’ this can cause, engaging the Gain Reduction Limiter is just the right idea.

The mpressor also features negative ratios – but what exactly does this mean? At a negative ratio, the characteristic curve bends and returns back down after crossing the threshold.

This special capability of the mpressor might seem a little hard to understand in theory. Just give it a try with some drum samples and you will understand what this is all about...

dB dB

Different ratio settings including negative values controls - ratio

12

NIVeAU FILTeR

controls

This filter is specialized in changing the overall sonic character of a track with ease.

Its main function is to change the proportions between high and low frequencies. The principle is similar to a pair of scales: Dependent on the gain setting around a variable center frequency, the high frequencies are boosted and the low frequencies are cut (or vice versa).

The characteristics of the filter change in the extreme positions of the EQ Gain controller: the full counter-clockwise setting will produce a low pass filter (full clockwise = high pass).

dB

Hz

EQ Gain settings between 0 and Hi position @ 500 Hz

dB

Hz

EQ Gain settings between 0 and Lo position @ 1.5 kHz controls - niveau filter

13

GAIN ReDUcTIoN LIMITeR

controls

A specialty of the mpressor plugin is the Gain

Reduction Limiter. This limiter is not placed in the audio path where you would expect it, but in the control path of compressor instead.

The effect: No matter how high the input level or your threshold and ratio settings become – the amount of gain reduction will never exceed the value which is set with the GRL controller.

Loud parts in an arrangement can keep their dynamics, and special effects like ducking or upward compression can be achieved by only reducing the quieter signal parts.

dB sec

Compression progress at different GRL settings

dB

Input to output ratio at different GRL settings

dB

controls - gain reduction limiter

14

GAIN

controls

The gain controller is used to make up the difference in level between the original and the compressed signal. As you might already have expected, there is something special about this

‘standard’ controller on the mpressor, too: amplitudes. It clearly shows how the original sine form is shaped with an additional edge reminding of a square wave form. This produces a rich sound by generating additional harmonics.

The higher the amount of gain it is, the more harmonics are produced. In the mpressor, this function is located directly in the input stage, therefore the added harmonics will be processed by the complete compressor algorithm.

If you want your signal to stay clean, you should take care not to use lots of make up gain, but use a simple gain plugin from your host software directly after the mpressor instead.

The diagram to the right shows the saturation behavior of the mpressor plugin at increasing

However, if added harmonics are just what you are looking for, apply a good amount of make up gain with the mpressor and use a following gain plugin to reduce the overall level.

V

sec

Saturation characteristics at several amplitudes controls - gain

15

FLooR | LINK | AcTIVe

controls

FLooR

This button switches the emulation of the mpressor’s analog noise floor at -96 dBFS on and off.

that generates separate ‘virtual control voltages’ for left and right channel with the same controller settings.

LINK

In link mode, the mpressor uses the information of both the left and the right channel to generate one combined ‘virtual control voltage’ which is then applied to both channels (a true stereo compressor in this case).

But why would this make any sense? The answer is that by running a stereo compressor in unlinked mode you might benefit from a more vivid feeling of your track. This is because both channels are compressed differently from each other (as a result of different signals in the left and right channel).

If the link mode is not active, imagine the mpressor plugin as a dual mono compressor

MoNo

On a mono channel, the link function is obviously not available. The link button is semitransparent in this case to indicate it is not available.

AcTIVe

There is no big secret behind this button: It switches the mpressor into the signal path

(white control light on) or bypasses the plugin

(light off).

By the way: On a hardware mpressor, the gain reduction meter stays active even if the unit is in bypass mode. The software version does not have this feature because of technical reasons.

controls - floor | link | active

16

STANDARD coMPReSSIoN

settings

*

*

Because of the well-balanced adjustment of its parameters, the mpressor is suited perfectly for many applications in everyday studio business.

The settings shown in the above figure provide a good starting position for ‘normal’ compression jobs like vocals, choirs, guitars, drums, keyboards and so on.

Moderate ratios from 1:2 to 1:5 and release times around 300 ms make a good basis for further parameter variations. The threshold controller is used to adjust the desired amount of gain reduction.

Keep in mind that the mpressor is a hard knee design. This means that if you are looking for subtle compression, you will need to use moderate settings to get there.

Depending on the source material, the EQ section can be used in addition with great benefit.

It definitely pays off to spend some time on getting to know this interesting feature of the mpressor and what it can do for your sound.

The Gain Reduction Limiters offer completely new possibilities, too, and therefore should be given a try soon by all means.

Realize that the mpressor gives you an ample range of possible settings, which like the super fast attack times or the negative ratios can lead to very extreme compression results.

While this can be very cool in lots of cases, it might not always be what you are actually looking for. With the mpressor, you get what you set.

Take some time to find out which settings work best for you.

*

important for the threshold and ratio controls!

settings - standard compression

17

BIG DRUMS

settings

In this case, a complete drum mix is processed with the mpressor. The intensity of audible tran- sients is determined by the attack time. If this parameter is very short, only the first milliseconds of the signal will be emphasized, whereas longer settings will come closer to its original structure.

more and more extreme. You can use the Gain

Reduction Limiter to use such settings without producing too wild results in order to get very energetic drums.

If you ask us, this pretty much nails it. Make sure to give it a good try with some drums you really like - this is not only about compression, it is about ambience, transients, sonic structure, too...

The release controller can now be used to adjust the loudness. Shorter settings will produce louder signals, while longer settings can influence the groove of a track in a nice way.

If high ratios are applied, this effect will become

Drums like these are very punchy, with beautiful attacks that can really shine in a mix. An increased amount of ambience is generated on top of it, resulting in a loud and massive sound.

We have received lots of good feedback from our hardware mpressor customers, and one comment is mentioned time and again: “The mpressor is killer on drums!”

So many attributes you can influence with the mpressor plugin... just go ahead!

settings - big drums

18

SMASHeD DRUMS

settings

If the drums are supposed to sound extremely compressed and loud, this setting can be used to limit almost the entire signal in a way where nearly no dynamics remains.

phones: few transients, lots of ambience and long sustaining toms and cymbals.

The Auto Fast function for the attack parameter makes sure that the mpressor works fast but without distortion, and fast release times of about 50 ms are responsible for the loudness.

Just play with this a little and find out that you can use the mpressor almost as a reverb processor. Do not be afraid of extreme sounds! You can always keep things under control by doing the following:

The ratio controller is set to 1:10 which makes the mpressor act like a kind of fast brickwall limiter. The drums now sound as if they had been recorded with a focus on the room micro-

Route the compressed signal to a separate buss and then mix it with the unprocessed original, and the result will be the typical parallel compression which is very popular for this kind of application.

Remember that setting high amounts of makeup gain also adds harmonics which can contribute to a powerful sound.

If you are processing a stereo track, just try deactivating the Link button. The result will be that the left and right channel will not be compressed exactly the same anymore, which can breath some new life into a heavily compressed track.

settings - smashed drums

19

ReVeRSe SoUNDS

settings

This is so cool! Because the mpressor also features negative ratios, you can perfectly use it to create weird and really way-out effects:

The Anti Log mode should also been given a try on top of this, as it will even increase the intensity of the reverse effect.

Signals sound like if they were played backwards and become louder in their progression.

Very loud input signals are reduced by large amounts which creates the reverse effect.

The Auto Fast function for the attack parameter is used to perform the control process fast and without distortion. The position of the release controller determines the character the sound will get louder with.

A good balance of the threshold, release and ratio parameters is very important for this effect.

A setting like this can easily produce an amount of gain reduction which exceeds the 20 dB mark frequently, therefore adequate settings of the gain controller have to be made for compensation.

Again, the mpressor shows that it is not only a dynamics tool, but a powerful effects processor at the same time. Try the suggested settings with some percussive material like drums or a slap bass guitar - did you expect it could sound this different?

The mpressor plug-in is perfect for mangling samples! Just add some modulation, distortion and delays to taste ;-)

settings - reverse sounds

20

TRANSIeNT eNHANceR

settings

A special task is to emphasize the transients at the beginning of a tone, chord and so on. The

Gain Reduction Limiter is of special importance in this scenario. The chosen parameters result in a rather strong amount of compression with fast release times and negative ratios.

Without the limiter, the signal would be compressed way too much; 10 to 15 dB of gain reduction would occur quite regularly in this case. But here the limiter reduces the maximum amount of gain reduction to 6 dB.

If now the gain controller is set to 6 dB, the signal will be boosted by 6 dB at its beginning and will then be held at 0 dB during its further progress.

If for example an organ is processed this way, it will sound tighter as its transients receive an accentuation. And no matter if a single note or a full chord is played – the output level will always stay the same, so that the result does not sound like typical compression.

This example shows that the mpressor can have a strong influence on the complete envelope of a signal. Take some time to find out how the specific parameters relate and you will be able to use the mpressor not only as a compressor, but as a creative envelope shaping tool, too!

And once you got your envelope right, do not forget to check if the Niveau Filter can give an additional kick to the processed signal...

settings - transient enhancer

21

GRooVe DUcKING

settings

The external sidechain can be used to achieve specific groovy effects. In fact you have heard this effect on many productions with eventually not even being aware of it (although sometimes it is really hard not to notice it ;-) here, as you can use it to adapt the timing of the effect to the tempo of the song. Kick in the Anti

Log mode for some interesting variations!

If, for example, a 16 beat Hi Hat is processed in this way, it will benefit from a nice vivid groove it will now be moving in.

In this example the sidechain is triggered by a rhythmical signal like a 4 beat bass drum. The audio path could carry any desired sounds which are then reduced with every bass drum beat and as a result will groove in sync with the beat.

Bass sounds can be given a stronger accentuation, as the so called ducking effect creates more space in the mix and the focus is shifted more onto the 4 beat bass drum.

your host software, you will also be able to trigger an arrangement of various instruments etc. via the external sidechain.

The creative options are almost infinite. Compression can be exactly on time or totally against it, which can of course be varied on the fly. Single instruments can be given more space in a mix according to its rhythm. All of a sudden, static sounds become vivid and sound really interesting!

The release parameter is of special importance If the mpressor is inserted into a subgroup of

settings - groove ducking

22

NeGATIVe GATING

settings

An interesting variant of the groove ducking technique is negative gating which is based on faster release times and the use of the Anti Log mode. Higher ratios are also very typical for this process.

function for a short moment, after which it snaps back very fast.

This special envelope makes the effect almost sound like a gate – but with the difference that the signal is made quieter instead of being totally muted.

If you feed a bass drum into the external sidechain as a trigger signal, for example, the compressor will reduce the audio signal by a significant amount, resulting in gain reduction values of 30 and 40 dB caused by the negative ratio.

If you want the effect to be as stable as possible, please take care that the trigger signals have constant attacks and levels.

nario, but if you are looking for some extraordinary rhythmical effects, the negative gating procedure might just be what you have been looking for.

After the trigger signal has gone, the gain reduction value is kept constant by the Anti Log

Of course you would not want to use extreme effects like this for a standard compression sce-

settings - negative gating

23

DUcKING FX

settings

Using the mpressor in combination with effect units like reverb, delay or chorus processors creates fascinating results.

The important part in this case is that compression is applied after the signal has passed the effects processor. The external sidechain, however, is fed with the original dry signal that is also fed into the input of the FX unit.

It sounds different than only compressing the reverberation without using the external sidechain, because now the spatial part depends on the dynamics of the original signal.

An electric piano which is processed with chorus and delay effects can benefit from this technique, too, as the chorus/delay effect will become more and more prominent while the played note decreases in volume.

If a drum track is processed with a reverb, for example, the reverberation can be compressed extremely strong so that it will almost vanish in very loud parts at first.

It is important that all effect units only send the pure effect signal (100 % wet) which is then mixed to the dry signal on a parallel track.

If you are not 100 % sure what this is all about, just think about it as a volume automation of the effects buss - but this time not done by a fader, but by an automated rhythmical process controlled by the mpressor according to the values you have set.

Just give it a try - it’s so much fun!

settings - ducking fx

24

DISToRTeD coMPReSSIoN

settings

By using very fast time constants, the mpressor can also be abused to create special distortion sounds. To do so, set the attack controller to its minimum of 0.01 ms and the release time also to its fastest value of 5.0 ms.

increase the amount of total harmonic distortion (THD) which can be used to push this effect even further.

Now the compressor becomes so fast that it compresses and twists almost every single wave form separately! The result sounds similar to a distortion unit, but without the usual drawback that the noise floor of the input signal is amplified.

If this causes too much output gain for the following stages, just add a simple gain plugin from your host software directly after the mpressor to get it right.

Now you can also use the Niveau Filter to shape the distortion sound you have just generated.

Remember that a high makeup gain setting will

If the filter is used in its low pass position, for example, everything will start to sound in a wonderful LoFi style. Especially bass and drums are ideal instruments for being processed in this way.

These characteristic sounds can be the perfect twist for Ambient Music, Trip Hop and all styles of electronic music in general.

settings - distorted compression

25

DeLAY LooPS

settings

Delay and compressor in a loop – does that make any sense at all? Absolutely, because this combination is a truly rich source for lots of crazy sounds!

To create them, assign an AUX buss (let’s say

AUX 1) to the input of the mpressor. Send the output of the mpressor to the input of a following delay, which has to be set to 100 % wet, so that its output carries only the processed signal.

Now send a signal from any source into AUX 1. If the gain controller of the compressor is set in a way that the delay sound becomes louder with every repetition, it will finally fall into a feedback loop which is kept steady by the compressor.

If the Niveau Filter is used in addition to bend the frequency response, very noisy, pumping and breathing sounds that keep changing continuously will be the result.

The output of this delay is what you will listen to, but at the same time you send the output of the delay to AUX 1, too!

Very short delay times between 5 and 30 ms can even generate oscillating sounds that instantly remind of synthesizers. Turning the Niveau Filter controllers during this process results in a shift of the frequency response with each repetition of the delay.

If you are familiar with feedback loops, you will not have a hard time setting this up. If it feels difficult at first, though, never surrender: it takes some experiments at the beginning to get it right.

Make sure to check the demo sounds both for the mpressor hardware and the plugin on our website in order to get an idea how this will sound and what you can do with it.

settings - delay loops

26

FReQUeNcY coMPReSSIoN

settings

The external sidechain also makes it possible to apply frequency dependent compression. This means that the compressor selectively reacts stronger or weaker to certain frequencies.

Depending on the settings of the external EQ, it is also possible to use combinations of normal compression and de-essing. This can be achieved by only boosting the frequencies of the “S” sounds without cutting anything else.

One of the most typical applications of this technique is de-essing: The input signal is duplicated to a separate buss before the mpressor and then fed into an equalizer that raises the “S” sounds and lowers all other frequency areas.

Another variant is to only lower the bass area on the external EQ so that these frequencies will not dominate the compression process so much anymore, which will result in an increase of overall loudness.

This processed signal is then send into the external sidechain input of the mpressor which will only react to strong “S” sounds as a result.

Especially if you process a complete mix that has lots of energy and strong impulses in the low frequencies, you might face the problem that the mix starts to pump, because all signals are compressed according to the trigger of the dominant bass.

If this is not what you are looking for, set up a frequency dependent compression scenario like this one to solve your problem.

settings - frequency compression

27

MIX BUSS

settings

The mpressor also proves of great value when used as a high class mix buss compressor, especially when it comes to the more vehement genres like rock and electronic music.

If you use the mpressor plugin straight on from the beginning of a mix, it is very likely that you will automatically adapt your mixing to the sound this produces.

We even have some clients who are using the hardware for mastering applications. If you are aiming to do so, though, always keep in mind that the mpressor is a hard knee design and that applying lots of gain also increases THD.

The proportions between the levels of the separate tracks will be attuned perfectly to the active compressor. This kind of mixing especially makes sense if the complete basic sound is supposed to sounds different from the ‘standards’ of other productions.

If you want to achieve gentle results, gentle and careful settings are the inevitable basis to get there.

If you want a complete song to sound very groovy and pumping, for example, just mix the drums louder as usual so that they dominate the compression process. All other instruments which are quieter in the mix now groove in conformity with the drums and become very vivid thereby.

From here on, feel free to experiment with the mpressor plugin in any way that comes to your mind. There are lots of options and interesting sounds to be discovered. We wish you lots of fun finding them!

settings - mix buss

28

coNTAcT

information

If you have any question or need individual advice, please feel free to contact us directly. It is our pleasure to take care about your requests immediately.

You can reach us by phone between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm MEZ (09:00 am and 5:00 pm UTC/

GMT) and via email any time.

The information in this document is subject to change without further notice and shall not be deemed as an obligation or warranty of any kind by the manufacturer. No warranties, express or implied, are made with regard to the quality, suitability or accuracy of this document.

elysia GmbH

Ringstraße 82

41334 Nettetal

Germany

Tel: +49 2157 126040

Fax: +49 2157 126312

The manufacturer reserves the right to change the contents of this document and/or the associated products at any time without the provision of prior notice. The manufacturer shall not be held liable for damages of any kind arising from the use, or the inability to use this product or its documentation.

[email protected]

www.elysia.com

General Managers:

Ruben Tilgner & Dominik Klaßen

The information in this document is subject to copyright. All rights, technical changes and errata are reserved. No part of this manual may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the explicitly written permission of the copyright holders.

Register court:

Krefeld, Germany

Registration number:

HRB 10987 elysia and mpressor are registered trademarks of elysia GmbH. Other product and brand names contained in this document are used for identification purposes only. All registered trademarks, product designations or brand names used in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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DE247353545

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DE94572736

information - contact

29

MoRe?

elysia.com

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