This affordable 500-series opto compressor will surprise you with its high-quality sound and build quality, and also includes impressive features like wet/dry mixing for parallel compression and side-chain filtering!
The Artistic Leveler - Opto Compressor
The Artistic Leveler is a single channel opto compressor with multi-channel link capability in the 500 series form factor. If used in Fredenstein Bento 6 or Bento 10 racks, an external side-chain input is available through the Aux input connector.
The Leveler features rotary controls for Input Gain, Release Time, Compression Ratio, Make-up Gain and Wet-Dry Mixing (parallel compression). The Attack Time can be set in three steps, as well as the side-chain low cut filter., the side-chain can be fed externally by activating the LED bar-graph meter indicates the gain reduction in the range of 1dB to 16dB. It's punchy and detailed sound is generated by three major components:
1) Fredenstein's proprietary Reverse-Mancini opto architecture
2) our advanced OPA2 discrete Audio Operational Amplifier
3) the American made vintage style steel core output transformer
Like most opto compressors, the Fredenstein Artistic Leveler features a fixed threshold. The compression depth is controlled by changing the input gain. Increasing the input gain will cause the Leveler to apply an increased gain reduction. The output level control is used to make up for the gain reduction. The maximum compressor output gain is +20 dB.
The ATTACK TIME switch and RELEASE TIME control define how fast the compressor reacts and how fast it falls back after the signal is lower than the threshold. The perfect values are depending on the program material and the desired sound..
The COMP RATIO control sets the relationship between input and output level for signals above the threshold and can be varied from 2:1 to 7.5:1.
Additionally, so-called dry/wet mixes can be performed (parallel compression). The dry signal (uncompressed) and the wet signal (compressed) can be mixed together in any relationship to achieve special sounds. The Wet-Dry control of the Artistic Leveler dramatically boosts the versatility of the device. If you put the Wet-Dry control fully counter clockwise, only the compressed signal is present at the output, if turned fully clockwise only the unprocessed input signal reaches the output. Another sound shaping tool is the three position side-chain low cut filter. If switched to 150 or 300Hz, it prevents low frequency signals below the selected value from being processed by the compressor. If the external side-chain input is used, the dynamics of the signal can be controlled by another source, which allows for more creative sounds.