Dangerous Music releases new compressor

The brand new Dangerous Music ‘Dangerous Compressor’ is a dual-mono/stereo compressor for tracking, mixing, and mastering designed by mastering guru Chris Muth.

The Compressor was field-tested and tweaked for almost two years before being previewed at the 2013 New York AES show and has received kudos from engineers such as Sterling Sound mastering engineer Greg Calbi (Tame Impala, The National, Sarah Bareilles) and producer and mix engineer Rob Chiarelli (Charlie Wilson, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin), among others.

The Dangerous Compressor’s ‘Smart Dynamics’ feature employs two independent slopes in the detection circuit. One stage of the detector controls the average level. The other handles only rapid transients. Normally a spike would shove down the entire track, creating an audible faux-pas moment. Instead, with the Dangerous Compressor, the normal slope stage handles the smoothing of the entire content and the other deals with the spikes. This results in a higher average level relative to peak, without the stereo image collapsing.

By default, the unit is set to ‘Auto Attack / Release’ mode which uses time constants carefully selected for versatility. Engaging the ‘Manual Attack/Release’ button allows the manual use of the attack and release knobs.

The Dangerous Compressor may be operated in either ‘Stereo’ or ‘Dual Mono’ mode. Dual Mono has two completely independent paths; for example, kick drum in one channel and snare in the other. Stereo Mode may be applied to stereo instruments, stems or complete mixes. Many stereo compressors sum the left and right channel audio and feed that signal to one detector, resulting in any out of phase material will either not get compressed or will be under compressed.

This will over-represent mono (content in the middle of the mix) and under represent panned instruments to the VCAs, making normal single-detector compressors potentially overreact to kicks, snares, and the lead vocal while ignoring the panned toms, guitars and keys. The stereo button on the Dangerous Compressor still uses both its detector circuits to drive each channel’s VCA for a more musical result.

The audiophile ‘Sidechain’ circuit offers both Bass Cut – sensitivity reduction to low frequency energy to keep the compressor from ‘dunking’ with loud bass or kick drum levels-and Sibilance Boost, which increases sensitivity to high frequency energy causing the compressor to react more to the top end, taming the harshness without resorting to EQ changes. Users can control sibilance by reducing "S" sounds from a singer or gently tame the harshness from cymbals recorded with cheap condenser mics or poorly sampled loops.

Because of its transparency and audiophile sidechain and detector circuitry the Dangerous Compressor performs like an automated fader for riding vocals meaning theres no more need to manually draw volume as it automatically creates a natural, transparent vocal sound.