Crane Song Falcon 500-Series Tube Compressor


Tube Opto Compressor featuring a Wet/Dry parallel compression knob, stereo linking, variable attack and release times, and a musical tube-based tone - all in a compact single-slot 500 Series module!

What we think:

Anyone that thinks that 500 series modules are categorically inferior to rack-mount gear should spend 5 minutes with the Falcon.  Dave Hill somehow found a way to fit a tube opto compressor in a single slot, and really bring it to life.  It’s not meant to be a clone of any other tube opto’s on the market but stands as a fine example of what’s possible within this category.  It brings more flexibility than the traditional 2 knob designs, but without losing the character and 3 dimensionality that you should expect from a tube opto.

With 3 speed positions for attack and release as well as a colored/transparent switch, this is not the one trick pony that many tube optos are.  To add more flexibility Dave added a blend knob for parallel compression, though if I had my way I’d have preferred to see a variable HPF instead.  Personally, I find parallel compression more useful in conjunction with faster, grabbier compressor designs that will demolish your transients when pushed over the limit. The falcon has a much sweeter, slower and gentler character to it and doesn’t have as much need for a blend in my opinion.

Don’t expect to put this comp to use on drum tracks, but it will prove its worth on vocals, bass guitar, piano, and plenty else.  As you’d expect from a tube opto, I found it most useful on vocals. When you need it to move a bit more quickly and grab faster vocal spikes, the fast attack setting can really manage those quick moments, but if you’re looking for a slower smoother sound it will really impress you in the middle or slow position.

Dave Hill always seems to hit home runs with the gear he designs, but the falcon is particularly special.  If you’ve been overlooking 500 series up to this point, it’s time to get a rack and at least one falcon.

Manufacturer Description:

FALCON is a classic sounding tube compressor in a 500 series package.
FALCON features 3 attack and 3 release time settings, hard and soft knee choices for compression or limiting, two different audio path sounds, wet-dry mixing for parallel compression, and is linkable.
The audio path color is changed by modifying the tube circuit so it has negative feedback or does not have negative feedback.  This along with the optical like quality of the compressor allows for a colored vintage sound or a much cleaner sound with optical characteristics.
When linked the master unit controls all functions on the slave except for wet-dry and make up gain.  The link system is capable of doing 5.1

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