Elysia Xpressor 500-Series Stereo Compressor


Incredibly powerful and versatile stereo compressor from Elysia Audio shrunk down to a double-wide 500 series module.  

What we think:

I’ve never been one to lightly throw out the “L” word, so you can trust that when I say this I truly, sincerely mean it with 100% of my being - I've fallen in love with the Elysia Xpressor.  
So what exactly is it about this 500 series 2-channel dynamics processor that’s convinced me to utter such a powerful 4 letter word? Well, for starters you have a wet/dry mix knob, a feature I’m surprised more compressors don’t include despite the incredible versatility it provides. You’ve got a “warmth” button to quickly add some extra analog tone to your signal (great for beefing up your drum bus or vocal tracks) as well as a selectable side chain filter to help ensure you’re not getting any mix bus pumping from your heavy-hitting kick. But what really separates this compressor from the rest of the two-channel dynamics processors out there is the incredible power and control that comes from the greater than infinity (negative) ratios and the “GRL” or Gain Reduction Limiter knob. That’s right, negative ratios, meaning  the output volume actually gets pulled below your threshold any time the incoming audio exceeds your set threshold. While this naturally lends itself to create some pretty aggressive sounds, setting the GRL knob to restrict the amount of compression to just a few dBs can result in some very usable sounds within even a more traditional, less effect-heavy mix. 
I’ve been using the Xpressor on drum bus pretty extensively (I’d love to try it on other sources, but I’ve only got one and I just can’t pull it off my drum bus!). Sonically the Xpressor covers a HUGE range of characters - it can be a very smooth, transparent bus compressor used to bring up your RMS level without any standard compression artifacts (with ratios as low as 1.2, the Xpressor can definitely do subtle if that’s what you’re after). It can also get incredibly punchy and heavy hitting, just check what it does to the drum track in Elysia’s demo video - it does not disappoint.
The Xpressor really does redefine what a stereo dynamics processor is capable of. And given it’s incredibly affordable price tag, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more engineers retiring their $2.5k range 19” stereo compressors to move towards the more compact 500 series format for their stereo compression needs - especially if future 500 series designers follow in Elysia’s footsteps by creating processors that not only match the sonic qualities and capabilities of 19” rack pieces, but push multiple steps ahead to offer truly unique features not found anywhere else.

Manufacturer Description:

The xpressor 500 is an extremely versatile stereo compressor available in API's 500 series format. With its many unique features taken from our flagship products, you not only get great compression, but an amount of control on processing which is hardly ever experienced elsewhere.
No matter if you want to set and forget or plunge deep into the secrets of compression, the xpressor 500 is for you. Its discrete audio path running in constant class-A mode provides a superior audio quality which combines a clear and open sound with a good lot of punch.
Stereo buss compression, processing single signals, approaching dynamics in creative ways – the xpressor 500 shines in many different applications. Best of elysia? You got it!
• Discrete Class-A Topology
  Pristine audio quality.
• Auto Fast Attack
  Perfect attack in any situation.
• Switchable Release Characteristic
  Smooth or crisp – the choice is yours.
• Warm Mode
  Transparency? Saturation? Both!
• Parallel Compression
  Mixing direct and compressed signals.
• Sidechain Filter
  Frequency selective compression.
• Gain Reduction Limiter
  Ultimate control on the compression process.
• Made in Germany
  High grade components, solid aluminum knobs.

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