R/E/P > The Acid Test

Buzz SOC 1.1 Stereo Optical Compressor


charlie francis:
Caveat : the following is not a very technical review!

I have owned this unit for probably about 5 years and like the Magnolia growing outside my kitchen window it has taken a while to display it's full glory. Or maybe I've just been slow to appreciate it fully.

I initially bought it on the understanding that Tim Farrant liked LA3A's as much as I do and wanted to create a similar unit with linkable stereo channels and more control parameters than that venerable creation.

I think in many ways he outdid himself - it possibly doesn't have the character of an LA3A but in fact that is one of it's virtues. In an age when people are making more and more 'flavoursome' equipment, something that simply gets on with the job without feeling the need to impose itself can be a real help.

Similarly to an LA3A it's a 'set and forget' device. Most of the time the meters are registering a very modest amount of gain reduction as I typically use it, but the net effect is always musical and pleasing. As other people I have worked with have noticed, just passing audio through it can be an improvement.

There is of course a character but it's very subtle. Running a whole mix through it gives it a sense of cohesion ( glue? ) and a hint of silkiness. Vocals and guitars of all kinds respond very well to it's gentle ministrations. Of course it's possible to crank stuff through it, like a grouped set of drum mics, but even when it's working hard and audibly, it never sounds like it's going to fold in on itself or get crunchy.

I own a number of the other currently fashionable compressors, but can honestly say that if I was to duplicate any of them, it would be this one.

I hope this has been informative.


I've not had mine for that long, maybe 2 years but couldn't agree more.  Acc guitars and double bass shine as do vox when appropriate. I dare say on the right source it adds that magic we all allude to.    

I can't get that thing out of my bass and lead vocal channels ...  
amazing piece


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