Taking modern loudness seriously while prioritizing clear, open sound, The Dangerous Compressor is pioneering a new and innovative approach to modern compression for today’s most discriminating tracking, mixing and mastering engineers.
Whether you’re tracking, mixing or mastering, The Dangerous Compressor works beautifully with vintage analog gear or patched into today’s cutting-edge digital systems, allowing you to achieve truly modern levels without the undesired artifacts that plague so many modern productions.
Combine it with our ultra-transparent BAX EQ for one of the most open EQ/Compressor combinations possible, perfect for tracking, mixing or mastering. Place the Dangerous Compressor after any “color box” — a console, a vintage tube compressor, a funky EQ, or all three together — and you can dial in the exact dynamics you want without having to rely on the often unruly controls of yesteryear’s gear.
Compressors fall into two categories: “color boxes” capable of drastically changing the sonics, of which hundreds exist, and the far more challenging to design “transparent units” that control dynamics without introducing obvious audio artifacts. The Dangerous Compressor is decidedly in the latter category, delivering crystal clear compression that allows you to easily alter and control dynamics without drastically changing the original sound.
But don’t let the word ‘transparency’ trick you into thinking the Dangerous Compressor doesn’t sound gorgeous – like all Dangerous gear, the low end is big and powerful, the mids maintain texture and detail, and the top-end is open and deeply engaging, even during very active gain reduction. When pushed to its outer limits, the patina is classic 1980’s FM radio. This level of open musicality is unique even among the small field of transparent compressors, putting the Dangerous Compressor in a class of its own where sounding transparent and beautiful is no longer a paradox.
The Dangerous Compressor is so transparent and simple to operate, it works on any source (vocals, drums, mix buss…), style (Jazz, Hip Hop, Pop, Metal, R&B…) and can handle an array of tasks often left to automation and EQ during tracking, mixing and mastering. Few compressors are as versatile. Tedious vocal level rides can be handed over to the Dangerous Compressor’s VCA as if it were a trusted assistant intuitively riding a fader. Use the internal sidechain EQ curves to tame a sibilant vocal or to let deep bass punch through untouched, or both simultaneously.
Effortlessly peak-limit a master in the analog realm and dispense with your digital limiter using the unique Smart Dynamics feature. Patch an EQ into the external side chain for dynamic EQ across the midrange, or use the two channels as independent mono units, or in series to achieve ultra-transparent “cascaded compression.” Beyond versatility, the Dangerous Compressor invites you to creatively solve sonic problems without worrying about unwanted artifacts.
|When linked in stereo, most compressors take the left and right signals, combine them to mono and send that to their detector circuit. This causes the loudest elements in the center to dominate information in the sides and worse yet, any out of phase information will either be ignored or exaggerated.
The Dangerous Compressor utilizes two totally independent RMS detectors with a nuanced and sophisticated circuit that governs how the left and right channels work together in stereo. This allows the Dangerous Compressor to deliver crystal clear and rock solid stereo imaging when processing a full mix, a drum buss, a finished master or any stereo material. What’s more, you can use each channel as an independent mono compressor – great on kick and snare, for example – or you can “cascade” the two channels into each other for ultra-transparent compression with peak limiting – a great technique for automatically riding a vocal, a spiky lead instrument, or anywhere that powerful and transparent control is demanded.
Auto Attack & Release
And if it wasn’t already easy enough to get powerful and transparent compression, the Dangerous Compressor also includes an automatic attack and release setting that allows you dial in your sound simply using the threshold and make-up gain knobs. If you need more precise settings for attack and release, simply press the “Manual Att/Rel” button and start tweaking.
The dual VU meters can show you gain reduction, input or output levels. There is a -6dB offset button so that loud material is always hovering in a usable range, perfect for visually monitoring average levels. What VUs can’t show you are the lightning transients. So nuanced, even a single transient crossing the threshold will register. Together, the VU and LED meters provide critical insights into the intricate inner workings of the Dangerous Compressor in action.
By engaging “SmartDyn,” you turn on the Dangerous Compressor’s unique “dual slope” detector circuits, allowing you to control fast transient peaks without causing average volume levels to drop. This lets you maintain higher average volume levels while avoiding the pumping artifacts commonly incurred when pushing toward the expectations of modern loudness. Smart Dynamics is equally helpful when tracking a dynamic singer or mixing a snappy drum kit, and most users end up leaving the “SmartDyn” button engaged at all times. With its dual detector working in conjunction with Smart Dynamics, the Dangerous Compressor’s circuit design is so agile that it seems to possess artificial intelligence.
Side Chain Filters
The Dangerous Compressor includes two instantly bypassable audiophile-grade side-chain EQs that feed the detector circuit…no complex patching necessary. Bass Cut turns down low-end below 60Hz, so it will not overreact to low frequency content or create “pumping” along with the beat. The Sibilance Boost utilizes the BAX EQ’s ultra-linear high-end shelf to push more treble content into the detector, which causes the Dangerous Compressor to dynamically attenuate sibilance and other unwanted spikes of high-end like harsh cymbals, blaring loops or erratic acoustic guitar strums – great on vocals during tracking or mixing, or on a whole mix during mastering.
Chris Muth’s fastidious designs call for only the highest quality components even in areas of the circuit that don’t pass audio. Detector and control voltage circuits (which lie at the heart of any compressor but are not in the audio path) are often built from substandard components in order to cut costs. However, these detector components dictate how well any compressor behaves, and if you seek nuance and intelligence you’ll adore the Dangerous Compressor.
Whether you’re tracking, mixing or mastering, the Dangerous Compressor works beautifully with vintage analog gear or patched into today’s cutting-edge digital systems, allowing you to achieve truly modern levels without the undesired artifacts that plague so many modern productions. Combine it with our ultra-transparent BAX EQ for one of the most open EQ/Compressor combinations possible, perfect for tracking, mixing or mastering. Place the Dangerous Compressor after any “color box” — a console, a vintage tube compressor, a funky EQ, or all three together — and you can dial in the exact dynamics you want without having to rely on the often unruly controls of yesteryear’s gear.