Vintage Digital & Analogue Studio Effects

Vintage Digital

Focusrite Red 3

Focusrite Red 3 Dual Compressor Limiter

The Focusrite Red 3 employs an unusual and original single-VCA design to achieve high quality and truly independent compression and limiting, without the compromise and unnecessary processing involved in traditional designs.


The success of the Focusrite Red 3 Dual Compressor Limiter is attested to by the Red 3’s TEC award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the Signal Processing Technology category in 1995, as well as it’s placement in the racks of Michael Braur and Chris Lord Alge.

The VCA used is a proprietary Focusrite design, fully discrete and balanced, offering superb low noise and distortion. and excellent common-mode rejection. In order to separate compression and limiting, the side-chain electronics contain three VCAs in series to generate compression and limiting control voltages which drive the main VCA.

The result is true compression followed by limiting. rather than the more common characteristic of compression that turns into limiting. The side-chain electronics are class A. ensuring superb transient response. Both compression and limiting therefore, offer true peak response, not averaging RMS response.

The use Of such a high quality audio VCA as the only element between input and output means a very short signal path, and an ability to retain a natural, unobtrusive sound even when significant compression is being applied.

Each channel has clear and identical controls, for compressor ratio, threshold, make-up gain, attack and release. and limiter threshold. A program-dependent auto-release mode is available, and the VU meters can be switched to show levels in two ranges, or gain change. In stereo mode the lower set takes control of channels.


  • Stereo switch for true stereo operation from a single set of controls
  • Key inputs with illuminated push-button selection
  • Illuminated push-button switches for compressor/limiter in/out on each channel
  • Precision VU metering Of signal level or gain change (switched)
  • Can operate as a discrete channel unit



Frequency Response: 5Hz – 200kHz
Signal to Noise: 80 dB
THD: 0.006%
Output: +24 dB

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Focusrite RED 3 Rear

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