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We all had to start somewhere! Has its own unique sound that nothing else comes close to. It also runs hotter than the Sun thanks to the 8 tubes housed inside. We've got those too - click here to see an ever-growing list of community-voted "top ten" lists. "Mu" is tube-speak for gain, and Variable Mu® is our registered trademark for this limiter compressor. Actually, I thought he said that he just got in the first (175b) transformers from Sowter that are designed to replace the originals? Vari-mu are the old school compressors. If you don’t have this control on your pedal, there’s a good chance the circuit is using “auto makeup”. Auto release automatically adjusts release time based on how much attenuation is taking place in order to keep things as transparent as possible. Lots of people use the Manley vari-mu or a Pendulum. From what I gather, it takes a DC current and uses an opposite AC current against itself in a balanced loop to to bias a signal using a 6v6 push pull tube config. Fairchild 670, RCA BA6A, UA-175, etc ..the old stuff, all vari-mu. Still need the PCB/opto, enclosure, and transformers. This control simply allows you to turn up the output in order to offset the amount of gain reduction you are incurring. Because it grabs transients so slow people tend to describe a VARI-MU compressor as one that handles transients ‘musically’. Nah, forget the fast/slow thing. Fast. A gold standard among mixing and mastering engineers, the Variable Mu adds clarity and cohesion to stereo buses or your entire mix. I guess maybe it would be like the 'soft knee response writ large' in a way, in that it ramps up the ratio across the whole dynamic range, not just below the threshold? This type of compression is known for adding a certain “smack” or “snap” to the sound. In low gain overdrives you will usually want to preserve the effect of hard-picked notes getting more drive than quieter ones. With enough practice, compression will come as easy as turning up the knob for more reverb. So it would start ramping up lightly early and ramping up more and more as the signal comes up. Lovely on 2 buss, lovely on drum rooms and OH, lovely on accoustic guitar. So what does compression actually do? Compression performs better after any wah pedals, but try it both before and after a volume pedal. It works by using the "remote cut-off" or re-biasing of a vacuum tube to achieve compression. Very expensive but beautiful sounding. It can thicken and add body to tone, and it can also be used to help add sustain. A vacuum tube compressor that uses a special tube that is able to vary its output dependent upon its input. Love that gear! The vari-mu compressor is commonly used on the mix bus. A vacuum tube compressor that uses a special tube that is able to vary its output dependent upon its input. Therefore, they aren't usually placed after delays or reverbs, as they will alter the fading out of these effects and won’t sound natural. Though Vari-Mu compressors offer faster attack and release times than optos, they are not as fast as VCA designs, and therefore they’re not as effective at handling peaks as VCA-based units. To make good use of this though, we first need to understand a few terms about compression: The point above which the signal will start to be affected by the compressor. VCA compressors are exceptionally useful due to a wide range of attack/release times and great controllability which allows them to simulate the sounds of a slow, smooth optical compressor and a super fast, snappy FET compressor. The big difference as I understand them is that they basically are dynamically variable ratio compressors, i.e. I explain how each compressor works and what settings to use to achieve different textures. I hate using buzzwords, but I think kinda 'pillowy'. I'm seriously considering doing one of those next. Supposedly, if you draw around the outside of the Revolver album with a green magic marker and sit it on top of your compressor, it improves the compression characteristics. "Limiters" are almost exactly the same as compressors, but with a ratio of 10:1 or more. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned pro, please don't hesitate to jump in and offer your experience and wisdom. Vari-mu employs tubes to control the gain-reduction stage. While this makes them fairly useless at squashing transients, it can make … All Rights Reserved. Think of it as a helper. This is beneficial for both stage use (keeping a good mix with a band) and bedroom practice (to hear what you’re playing without waking the neighbors). A vacuum tube compressor that uses a special tube that is able to vary its output dependent upon its input. I'm not sure if the CD or the vinyl works better though. Very expensive but beautiful sounding. Compressors are designed to hold dynamics within a certain range. Signal level that is louder than this point will be turned down, while signals below this point will remain unaffected. Vari-mu compressors are quite sluggish compared to more modern designs. Then I bought one. This means that the compressor is automatically turning up the output based on its current settings and how much gain reduction it is expecting to do. I haven't checked the inside but the outside looks and feels very professional. Pulse Width Modulation compressors uses a high-frequency oscillator to sample the input signal into slices it uses to control compression. Vari-mu limiter uses the tube itself to limit. It can be very transparent and forgiving with slow attack and release times, while faster settings can add a sort of “bloom” to notes and keep chord strumming smooth and even, without certain notes or chords sticking out more than others. Compression is one of the hardest effects to understand how to use proficiently. The Drip stuff, if you use good but not stupidly expensive components, comes in quite reasonably. While the above are the most common types of compressors available to guitarists in stompbox form, you may find yourself someday using rack gear that gives you access to a lot more types of compression. Due to some intricate detail in the design, the compression works a bit different in this compressor than in most other compressors I've heard. They don't sound exactly the same as the ES-8 though by spending the time, I was able to get a close match to what it was compressing. That voltage tells the VCA when to turn up or down. Let’s dig in and unmask some of its secrets. That would be pretty different from any other types of compressors, I think, with have a fixed ratio (for the most part, see the other big compressor thread.) Heh, boy you guys are something else. This class of compressor includes many of the most revered compressors in existence. Compressors may not be as noticeably “cool” as a wah, an overdrive or delay, but they are the best friends a player can have. I realize this isn't the low end forum but there is a cheap Vari-mu compressor out there as well (the ART Pro Channel). The time it takes the compressor to turn back up to the original volume (called "unity gain") after signal input falls below the threshold. The LA-2A I'm doing will hit about $825'ish. If you want a fancy schmancy case, it'll be a couple hundred more.


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