A Designs HM2 Nail Compressor
A Designs HM2Comp Nail Compressor, The A Designs HM2 Compressor Nail is one of those rare new pieces of recording equipment that has come to the market that is ahead of its time.
A Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter Details
The A-Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter is one of the most musical yet transparent compressors ever manufactured. Housing hand selected tube circuitry and top-shelf components specifically chosen to best compliment and enrich the extended bandwidth of state of the art recording and mixing tools, the Nail is completely at home strapped across the main outs of hardware mixers or breathing analog warmth into DAW setups. While it has the ability to add character to any sound, it can also control dynamics very subtly in the background; and, unlike most compressors, the NAIL can be hit really hard without having the top end dragging down. Being able to switch from linked stereo to dual mono makes it a perfect tracking compressor as well; or, on a stereo mix, using dual mono with different settings on each side can have the effect of making the mix sound wider.
The NAIL‚??s unique combination of Threshold, Hard Threshold, and Filter allow precise control over the amount of compression, the level at which it will engage, and the frequencies above which it will act. There is no need for a Ratio control ‚?" it is continuously self-adjusting in response to program material. With Hard Threshold disengaged, Threshold increases gain reduction (like an LA2A), the attack and release controls don‚??t do much, and the NAIL becomes a model of simplicity - set its threshold and gain, and let the NAIL work its magic. For finer control, Hard Threshold opens up a world of compression-/envelope-shaping possibilities. Like the hard knee of a traditional compressor, Hard Threshold works in conjunction with the Filter - a variable HPF continuously tunable from 8Hz to 250Hz. Once the Hard Threshold is crossed, the NAIL will apply desired compression above the selected frequency and less to the frequencies below, preventing higher energy bass frequencies from triggering unwanted compression and ducking the entire mix. The Filter can also be used to enhance bottom end for bass-heavy music without throwing the mix‚??s entire frequency spectrum out of whack, as a multi- band compressor often does.
The HM2‚??s remaining continuously variable controls - Attack, Release, and Gain - function as expected; however, Attack and Release are dependent on the settings of the Hard Threshold and also respond dynamically to program material, making for a more flexible and musical performance than traditional ‚??once size fits all‚?Ě attack/release circuits. Other "toggle-able" functions include In/Out for quick A/B comparison; Stereo Link On/Off; and the ability to switch the NAIL‚??s LED dual metering ladder (chosen for it‚??s ultra fast response and the ability to see it clearly from across a dark-lit control room) from Gain Reduction to Level.
Another one of the NAIL‚??s incredibly cool features is its Mix knob, which provides continuously variable control between direct (dry) and compressed signal, enabling you to apply parallel compression to a sub-mix without losing two aux send/return or mixer channels. Having the capacity to easily reduce the amount of compression being applied without changing the settings or sound of the compressor is unbelievably useful ‚?" it‚??s a mystery why more compressors don‚??t have it.
As its name suggests - whether it‚??s transparently controlling dynamics while getting tracks into your DAW or hardware recorder, squashing sounds to give them more character, or putting the finishing touches on a final mix‚?¶.the A-Designs HM2 Compressor Nails it!
A Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter Controls
- MIX - This feature is a powerful tool of the Nail‚??s design. This is what we would consider a highly valuable function. The Mix feature allows for endless combinations of mixing the sound of the Nail‚??s compression with your audio signal path. You can go from your signal (Dry) to full on compression, depending upon your need or taste.This means you can perform the maximum compression on a signal, such as drums, then blend it into the audio path. Where as with most compressors, you do not have this option and you will find yourself fighting this in a mix. The Nail takes all that away and makes it easy to blend just the right amount into your audio signal path. This is also referred to as Parallel Compression.
- FILTER - The Nail offers another feature, the Filter. The Filter is a Variable High Pass Filter on the side chain so that selected frequencies below are not triggered by the gain reduction. This feature, in combination with the Hard Threshold and Threshold, allows you to select the frequency or frequencies you wish to compress. This is by no means a ‚??multi-band compressor‚?Ě where you can isolate and compress, but it works somewhat along those lines. For example, if you would like to compress everything above 50HZ, but you do not want to drag down the frequencies below that, then simply select the right frequency you wish to apply compression to. Then, you will be compressing all frequencies above your selected choice. The frequencies below 50HZ will be hit by the Nail‚??s compression, but they will NOT be dragged down, the way most compressors will do. Again, this will not isolate the assigned frequency, such as a multi-band, but it will allow you to be very flexible without fully compressing the lower frequencies. This function becomes extremely useful with recordings that are Kick Drum-forward or Bass-forward. But, the Nail has much more to offer with numerous other applications.
- METERS - A great deal of thought and consideration went into the decision to use an LED array as opposed to the traditional VU meters you would most likely see on a compressor. Aesthetics and personal taste are involved and we chose a combination of ‚??Old School and Modern Look.‚?Ě But, plain old work environment dictates that the LEDs can be seen from across a dark studio much easier than a backlit VU meter and in some cases with more accuracy.
- 2 BUSS AND TRACKING - The NAIL was designed with the 2 Buss in mind. It is with this that the feature of a Stereo Link Switch was developed. All the functions on both channels in Stereo Link Mode will be controlled via channel 1 (with the exception of Gain and Mix) The NAIL is not limited to this application alone! It works very well as a tracking compressor too.
- MOJO, VIBE, COLOR - All equipment brings something unique to the table. The NAIL is no different in that respect. It has it‚??s own sonic flavor, for lack of a better term, but it can be ‚??neutral,‚?Ě clean or colored, as well. The tubes in the NAIL (12AT7) were selected because they will allow for more on-demand control.
- SWITCHES - The NAIL has six functional switches that aid in the operational use of the compressor. There is a main power switch, a stereo link switch and two gain reduction/level switches to change your metering, one for each channel. There are also two in/out switches, one for each channel, that allows you to hard bypass the compressor channel, as needed.
- CONNECTORS - The NAIL has four XLR connectors on the rear panel, two male balanced and two female balanced for easy standard integration for any studio.
- POTENTIOMETERS - The potentiometers, or pots, are a conductive plastic. The conductive plastic pots are found to be most reliable and have an above-average life-span. There is a lesser chance of getting that ‚??scratchy-ness‚?Ě when compared to a carbon based pot. Custom-milled aluminum knobs, and milled-aluminum face plate add just the right touch to compliment this unit.
A Designs Audio Inc. considers the HM2 COMPRESSOR ‚??NAIL‚?Ě to be the last product to complete their signal chain, which ranges from the MP-2A, Tube Microphone Pre Amplifier, Pacifica, Solid State Pre Amplifier, and HM2EQ ‚??HAMMER‚?Ě Hybrid 3 Band Dual Mono EQ. All in a 19 inch rack mountable gear for both the Professional and Non Professional. And, as always, all A Designs products are Beta Tested to the max and then field tested.
Front End Audio and A Designs feel you will find the NAIL to be a great addition to your studio‚??s working environment and will help enhance your audio signal. The more you use the NAIL the more you will understand the unique functions and greater possibilities this unit has to offer. You will no longer be controlled by compression. You will have the control.
A Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter Features
- Solid state/tube hybrid design combines high performance with rich sound
- Dual channel with switchable stereo link or dual mono modes
- Mix control lets you blend wet/dry signal for parallel compression
- Hard Threshold and Filter let you select amount of compression and frequency (to 250Hz) to prevent mix from being ‚??dragged down‚?Ě by LF energy
- Awarded ‚??Mix Certified Hit‚?Ě by Mix magazine
- Custom-milled aluminum knobs
- Custom-milled aluminum faceplate
- LED Indicators switchable to stereo
- Gain-reduction switch for meters
- 2U rackmount
- Balanced XLR outputs
- Carling toggle power switch
- Red jewel power indicator
- In/out switch
A Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter Specifications
- Frequency response: 3Hz ‚?" 50Khz
- Noise: -89dbu
- Balanced Input: XLR
- Balanced Output: XLR
- Clipping: +20dbu
- Filter: Off ‚?" 8Hz (starting point) ‚?" 250Hz
- Channel Isolation @1kHz: 90dB
- Variable Ratio: Self adjusting
- Mix (direct/compression): Complete bypass to complete compression
- Power Requirements: 120/230VAC ‚?" 23 Watts
- Dimensions: 19" x 3-1/2" x 10" (W-H-D)
- Weight: 10 lb.
- Shipping weight: 12 lb
A Designs HM2-NAIL Compressor Limiter Downloads
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