Looking for a transparent compressor pedal that really fixes the signal levels? Let us introduce you to our Optimus – our own optical compressor that doesn’t colour your sound. You won’t notice it when it’s engaged, but I’m sure you’re gonna miss the guy when it’s bypassed.
What’s the whole “optical compressor” stuff anyway? I’m sure you’ve heard lots about compressor pedals running on operational amplifiers (usually known as VCA – Voltage Controlled Amplifier). Well an optical compressor uses a LED-LDR (Light Depended Resistor) element for controlling the circuit gain. The main difference between a VCA and our Optimus is the response time. Optimus has a slightly slower response compared to VCA therefore the compressed signal doesn’t become over compressed and “squishy”. It sounds more transparent, natural and a bit gentler. If you turn the knobs up you can still achieve highly compressed sounds for those funky riffs. When the inner LED runs on higher voltages, it glows brighter which gives a lot more compression and less dynamics. Therefore we put a Light Intensity switch on the pedal. Optical compressors seem to sound a bit more natural. That’s why you’ve most probably seen one in studios while recording your new songs. For example the LA-2A is a legend in optical studio compressors.
And how does our Optimus work? The Threshold controls the signal level point where the pedal starts to apply compression. If the control is all the way down, compression is always present. Sensitivity acts like “Ration” control on studio compressors. It controls the amount of compressed and clean signal above the threshold point. For example the 5:1 ratio means that the clean signals amplitude is 5 dB higher than the threshold level. Therefore the compressed signal will be 1 dB higher. At higher ratios (let’s say 60:1 or even more) the compressor acts like a limiter. Both, the Threshold and Sensitivity controls are very interactive and work great in pairs. The Volume control compensates the overall loudness. The pedal can act like a booster if you turn this control up.
Settings and controls:
TRESHOLD: signal reduction point settings
controls the amount of compressed and clean signal above the threshold point
LIGHT INTENSITY: controls the LED brightness – more or less compression; faster or slower attack
- Input impedance: 1 MOhm
- True bypass switching
- "center negative" supply, 2,1mm power jack
- Supply voltage: 9 V
- Current draw: 65 mA
- Size: 112 mm x 61 mm x 31 mm
- Aluminium faceplate, hand built
More custom options::
If you want a custom designed faceplate (the handmade aluminium plate on top of the effect), we can make it for you as well. The price depends on the faceplate complexity.
Additional payment: from 10 - 30 €