Elysia xpressor is a Discrete Class-A stereo compressor. As with all Elysia gear, the discrete class-A circuit results in a fast, transparent, and detailed character. This is a perfect contrast to other vintage dynamics processors that we already have on the roster! Is the Fairchild 670 too slow? Is the GoldCan VCA too 90’s cliché?
The xpressor might just be what you’re looking for!
Another thing that really struck me while I was testing the xpressor was how responsive the controls are. While some compressors seem to retain more or less the same sound no matter how you set the controls, that’s certainly not the case with the xpressor! Every change is clearly perceivable and that makes it both a versatile tool and a joy to work with!
Last, but not least, the build quality of Elysia units ensures that they will be making music sound better for decades to come and it’s no wonder that a lot of them found their place at various mastering studios around the world. We at mix:analog are pleased and proud to be able to let you use one as well, in addition to other wonderful units from Elysia and others.
Xpressor Left Side Controls
Threshold sets the level at which the xpressor starts to attenuate the signal. Use it in combination with the Ratio control to decide the general amount of compression.
The Attack knob controls the speed at which the xpressor reacts to stuff above the Threshold. Fast settings (CCW) will catch even the sharpest transients and slower settings (CW) will let more and more initial “punch” through.
Release decides how fast the compressor will “let go” after the initial onset of attenuation. Fastest settings (CCW) on this particular compressor are very fast and can, in combination with faster attack times and high ratios, turn the xpressor into a clipper of some sorts!
Use mid-way settings for a transparent character or experiment with longer release times set to match the tempo of the song to induce some pleasant movement.
The Ratio control decides how much the signal over the threshold will get attenuated. A real specialty of the xpressor compressor is that it also offers negative ratios. In other words - everything over the threshold will not only get attenuated right to the threshold (a 1:infinity ratio) but folded down below it! Not exactly a master bus favorite, but this can be a cool creative tool on percussive stereo sources to induce some “bouncing” and “pumping”.
Xpressor right side controls
SCF - Sidechain filter
The Sidechain filter allows you to cut the low frequencies from the signal that decides the compression. In practice, this allows you to avoid too much pumping on kick drum hits or other elements with lots of low-end content.
GRL - Gain reduction limit
Another unique feature of the xpressor is the Gain reduction limit setting. It limits the maximum gain reduction that the compressor is allowed to apply to the signal, so you can use that to avoid “nasty surprises” at the few loud passages of the song.
The standard make-up gain that’s found on most every compressor including the xpressor. Use it to bring the volume of the compressed signal back to the original level and thus enable equal-loudness assessment of the processing.
The Mix knob controls the parallel mix of the processed and the original dry signal. Use parallel compression if you want to bring out the low-level detail like reverbs without severely altering the shape of the transients.
Xpressor center section buttons
The Hit it! button is a true bypass switch.
The Warm Mode is technically a slew-rate limiter in the output driver stage. If that doesn’t tell you much, don’t worry. Here’s the human-readable version:
The Warm Mode very gently changes the frequency response and introduces some harmonic distortion to the signal path. This tames the sharpest “clicky” transients and adds some, well, warmth to the track :) Think of it like a “vintage” mode.
Log Release changes the characteristic of the release from linear to logarithmic. In practice, this means that the time constant shortens when the amount of gain reduction increases.
The advantage of this behavior is that short and loud peaks (e.g. drums) have a fast release time, while the remaining material is processed with a slower release. This makes the Log Release especially useful for stereo bus compression.
To some extent, The Auto Fast xpressor feature can solve the common dilemma of a good attack time setting:
If I set it fast, the compressor will catch the peaks but also suck the life out of the track. And if you set it slow, the percussive elements will sound more natural but the sharp peaks will get through unattenuated. Which one to choose?
You can have both with Auto Fast! This function will automatically shorten the attack time if a fast, sharp transient is detected and leave it at the knob setting for the rest of the time!
The Elysia xpressor is available at mix:analog right now! It will be completely FREE of charge for 30 minutes of use each day during the promotion period! Simply make a reservation and try it out on your own material!
Until next time, bye!