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Based around the MLA-3 multiband compressor, the MLA-4 offers expansion on all bands too, with ratios from 6:1 compression to 1:2 expansion. The link circuits are separate, which means that you can link compression from one frequency band whilst the expansion from the other band is also linked. This unique linking feature makes it possible to create a compression from the bass on the whole program and at the same time expand the mid range or the highs to get a groove with added punch. Hence you can have both compression and expansion simultaneously in a frequency band. This is clearly indicated on the high visibility metering for each band.
Over compressed program can be opened up with selected frequency expansion. This has traditionally been difficult because expanders have mainly worked on the full frequency range so with the MLA-4 fine tuning of the material can be achieved and a little can go a long way to salvaging a crushed mix.
The unit is incredibly accurate and easy to recall as all the controls are rotary switches, no potentiometers to be found! This also helps the left and right channels track perfectly, even under heavy processing. Noise, distortion and dynamic range figures are outstanding.
The Phoenix SB is now the standard production version of the Phoenix compressor. Alongside the now classic circuit design of the original Phoenix, it incorporates the side chain filter controls from the previous standard Phoenix SC model with the new addition of an HT standby switch.
The additional HT Standby switch allows the user to put the Phoenix into a low power standby mode that is designed to increase the life of the unit's valves and capacitors. When first switching on, or if the unit's not in use for a while, have the Standby on. Switch off Standby and it will instantly come back to full life.
We have also placed the meter zero controls on the front panel for much easier access. Both meters should read "0" when the Phoenix is off standby and not compressing. They can be adjusted easily by any user without harm to the unit.
The side chain filters can be used to cut the Phoenix's compression response to bass frequencies. The filter operates below either 150Hz or 300Hz on each channel and when stereo link is engaged the filters operate at the average of the two sides. This enables the user to choose from 5 filter frequencies when in stereo operation.
The Phoenix is well known for its smooth "soft knee" compression characteristic and excellent specifications. This means that it can be used as a compressor that will not harm your signal quality, whilst subtly controlling dynamic range. It is also possible to drive the unit harder to produce harmonic distortion and higher ratio compression if desired. Many users have found these features bring life to mixes or individual instruments, and control vocals, with a natural "warm" quality.
Contrary to the above, users have found that if the unit is operated in standby mode (it still passes audio) a "symmetrical" distortion occurs, not unlike that produced by overloading analogue tape. Perhaps this fact alongside an exaggerated compression curve lends to the Phoenix in standby mode another dimension.
|Input Impedance||100 kohm|
|Maximum input level||+29dBu (0dBu = 0.775V)|
|Thresholds (0dB input gain)||-10dBu to +20dBu|
|Typical THD (ratio 1:1)||<-90dB|
|Frequency Response||within 0.05dB 20Hz to 20kHz|
|Bandwidth||greater than 1Hz to 500kHz|
|Maximum Output level||+28dBu|
|Output impedance||33 ohm|