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Antelope Audio adds vintage compressors to FPGA library

Dave Robinson 2 June 2017
Antelope Audio adds vintage compressors to FPGA library

Antelope Audio has added six new vintage compressors to its growing library of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) vintage hardware-based effects.

The new additions enable owners of the company’s Thunderbolt and HDX audio interfaces to access unique hardware models of some highly desirable vintage effects with real-time performance without relying on DSP or native processing.

Of those six new vintage compressors, VCA160, TUBE176, X903, and Gyraf GYRATEC X are already available for Antelope Audio’s Orion Studio, Orion Studio Rev. 2017, Zen Tour, Orion32 HD, Goliath HD, and Orion Studio HD audio interfaces.

Antelope Audio ’s VCA160 is a powerful dynamics processor suited to both ‘brick wall’ and also subtle peak taming. Fast and firm, it works well with controlling vocals, bass guitar, or individual drums with its rapid response time.

The straightforward input and output gain control-led interface and fast compression characteristics of TUBE176 can also be applied to anything from vocals, guitar solos, bass lines and drums, to full mixes.

X903 is a compressor with smart RMS detection and straightforward controls. Hard-hitting compression tames peaks while the X903’s negative ratio settings allow for dynamic inversions, pulling back the transient peaks for a unique-sounding tugging type of special effect.

Antelope Audio is the first company to model Danish developer Gyraf Audio’s hand-built hardware with Gyraf GYRATEC X. Speed is a determining factor in the original unit’s appeal, as is its highly-musical Vari-Mu compression technology — itself inspired by early limiter designs. Gyraf GYRATEC X performs well on mixes across a wide range of genres with its smooth high-pass filtering; more moderate compression settings are subtle enough to process jazz and acoustic guitars, while dialling up the compression conjures up the Gyratec X’s character.

STAY-LEVIN captures the spirit of its historic hardware namesake that shaped the special sound of a slew of Sixties Stateside classics. It’s simplistic set of controls yield varying compression styles suited to enhancing vocals, acoustic guitars, and synth leads, while drums and bass benefit from treatment to sound both bigger and more aggressive.

Lastly, ALT-436C is a single-channel, variable-mu tube compressor with fixed attack attributes. ALT-436C includes the RELEASE TIME and THRESHOLD controls that endeared it to producers in the Beatles era — useful when working with bass guitars, vocals, and string instruments — as an initially inexpensive (but increasingly sought-after) unit.

Antelope’s audio interfaces can support up to 32 instances of vintage compressors and 40 EQs. The company is also extending its EQ reach with the VEQ-55b, which features four disparate bands with bell curve or shelving switching and up to 12dB of cut or boost with proportional Q ranging between gently sloping at more subtle levels and a more aggressive shape at higher levels.

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