Buzz Audio Essence Photo Optical Compressor
The Essence is a 500 Series version of the flagship Buzz Audio SOC-1.1 compressor with a similar compression characteristic. The signal path uses Lundahl input and output transformers and our True Class A discrete amplifiers. This compressor is the only compressor on the market to offer a side chain insert point in the 500 Series format. In addition, on board side chain equalisation allows you to alter the sensitivity of the compressor at high and low frequencies - another unique feature of the Essence.
The compression can be very smooth making the unit extremely useful for gently leveling a source without pumping and nasty artifacts. In contrast, the 20:1 ratio can produce heavy limiting effects when driven hard. In either case, the Essence is easy to operate and quick to achieve that "glue" that only optical compressor can give. The sound through the Essence is tight and clear with some nice harmonic effect from the transformers.
Controls and Indicators
Switch functions are Bypass, Side chain Monitor, Side chain High EQ, Side chain Low EQ, Link (for stereo operation with another Essence in the same rack), Side chain Insert and a switch that lets you view the module Input or Output level or Gain Reduction on the 10 segment LED Meter.
Rotary pots set the output make up Gain and the amount of compression with Drive. Rotary selectors are used for the 4 attack and 6 release settings (including our excellent Auto modes) and the 4 Ratio settings. For an in depth over view of all the control functions we suggest you read the user manual.
The Essence will physically fit all 500 Series frames and consumes 2 slot widths. The connectors associated with the first slot carry the main signal input and output. The connectors associated with the second slot carry the side chain insert send and return. The power draw of 120mA is spread over the 2 slots and within the capability of all know 500 Series racks.