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Sneak preview: new FEA opti-FET compressor!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bongomania, Apr 21, 2010.


  1. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    [​IMG]

    This one is based on the principles behind one of Frank's favorite Avalon compressors, utilizing both optical and FET elements. The compression can be set to affect your signal in a semi-parametric fashion, using the sidechain controls.

    He keeps coming up with such cool stuff! Full report to follow in the not-too-distant future, after I've worked with it a while. :) :bassist:
     
  2. faceinbass

    faceinbass

    Apr 20, 2008
    KCMO
    His pedals look so cool. :help:
    I bet it sounds amazing.... at least as amazing as a compressor can sound.
     
  3. grue

    grue

    Apr 13, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Side chain compression in a pedal? Wow. I know people use side chain compression in mixing to do things like lower the cymbal volume whenever the snare hits, or squish the bass guitar when the kick drum kicks. I'm trying to think of how you would use it with a pedal, though....

    I'm a big knob twiddler, so I think I would have hours of fun with that thing. Frankly, I'm kind of jealous. :D
     
  4. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    How is this 'sidechain' more than just a loop?

    The sidechain trigger on my EP-1 is in only. This is in/out.

    When I sidechained Compressors in the studio there was never a 'loop send'...

    ...Very curious!

    OFC-0001-Large.

    There's certainly no Sidechain/trigger in, so this must somehow be integrated...



    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JoeMeek has some serious competition.
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The input signal gets split into an audio path and a control path. The audio path passes through the compressor circuit, and goes to the output. The control path leaves the pedal, goes to any external processor, and then back into the pedal, through the 3-band EQ, and finally controls the actual envelope response of the compression circuit.

    In a normal comp, the audio signal triggers the compression, which then acts on that same audio signal. In a sidechain, an external source triggers the compression (I know you know that, I'm just spelling it all out). In this particular case, you can also use a modified version of the audio signal to trigger the compression. It's an esoteric option, but very cool nonetheless. :) I think you can use the sidechain of this one just like a normal sidechain, by plugging any external source into the loop return, not connecting anything to the loop send.

    The audio path is "normalled" from the loop send to the return, if you don't plug anything into those jacks. In that case, the compression is triggered by the original audio signal but after it's been adjusted with the 3-band EQ. The EQ doesn't touch the audio path.
     
  6. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    So the EQ influences the compression not the signal? Would that work so that if you turn up the bass, ferinstance, it will compress more bass? But it's not a multi band comp or is it?
     
  7. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Thanks bongo. I wasn't getting the sidechain, but now it makes sense.
     
  8. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Thanks!!:)

    If you were to use an inexpensive trigger on the kick drum to the return of the side-chain loop you could do the same thing. This way you could stay in sync with your drummer all night long and not worry about your beer consumption.:D

    Yes, the EQ only has affect only upon the compression. If you were to increase the level of bass there would be more bass energy crossing the threshold. The result would be a greater amount of compression applied to the entire signal. The opposite is also true… if you decrease the level of bass, less compression would be applied to the signal, resulting in more boom in the bottom end. I guess the best way to look at the EQ would be the opposite of how the EQ section works in your amp. Think of it as, “where do I want more or less squeeze applied”.

    Multi-band comps split the signal into two or more bands of frequencies. They apply individual compression upon those bands before they are finally mixed back together for output. This comp is not a multi-band comp.

    I can not elaborate further on what Bongo has stated above (he is so thorough!:cool:), so I hope this block diagram will help.
     

    Attached Files:

    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  9. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Thanks Boomer. This looks pretty cool. My mind boggles just trying to imagine what various effects in the loop would do to the compression.
     
  10. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Let’s say you have a 7-band EQ pedal lying around that you are not using. You could put it in the loop to use the narrower frequency bands for more precision on taming a resonant frequency or adding some life to a dead spot on the neck. Or possibly, an old (buffered) volume pedal for adjustable threshold changes on the fly. Maybe a tremolo in the loop could be pretty cool. I am sure people way more creative than me can find many other cool ways to use the loop feature.

    The way this is designed, the loop jacks do not have to be connected to anything to use the onboard EQ in the side-chain. The jacks are there incase the user wanted to use “studio techniques” and apply compression beyond the typical pedal.
     
  11. I feel like I'm not usually as excited about FEA stuff as other TBer's, but I think that may change with this pedal. I can't wait to hear more.
     
  12. You should be! :smug:

    I love my FEA comp/limiter. Such a quality build and it sounds awesome.
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
  14. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I absolutely love my FEA SMX pedal. This one sounds very cool, as well! :cool:

    That reminds me, I really want to try one of his Growler pedals. :)
     
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Go for it, but wait just a short while--he has just developed a significant improvement to the Growler that will be in new production ones. So when you're ready to buy, just call or email him to confirm that he's got that upgrade rolling already.
     
  16. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    mmm, dark warm and syrupy.
     
  17. Robertron

    Robertron

    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    After reading what the EQ actually does, I'm extremely curious.
     
  18. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Thanks for that info, Bongo. Much appreciated. :)
     
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    wow. a pedal comp with a sidechain. havent really tried out too many compression pedals but i'm sure i could find a cool way to use that.

    can it pump musically (i.e. does it sound good pegged?)
     
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It doesn't sound bad pegged, but that's not its strong suit, and it doesn't really squash or pump in that musical way. It's more like the sound of one of those "squashy" comps being run clean--so you get some juice, but not a whole lot.
     

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