Slate Pro Audio Dragon Dynamics Processor
Slate Pro Audio Dragon Dynamics Processor
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon is unlike any dynamic audio processor you've heard before. Simply put, the Slate Pro Audio Dragon was created to be the most versatile compressor, limiter, and sound shaping tool that the pro audio industry has ever seen.
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon starts with a classic FET compressor circuit, reminiscent of vintage units from the 60's and 70's. But the Slate Pro Audio engineers enhanced the circuitry of the unit with a mastering grade signal path, including a CLASS A output section based around a custom-made transformer. The result is a compression quality that is rich and warm, but is also capable of sharp and aggressive tones. But this is only the start of what the Slate Pro Audio Dragon can do.
Add Some Character
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon includes three character settings that change the way the unit sounds and responds. The first setting is BOOM. This setting adds sub bass harmonics in a unique way that when combined with some compression, can make basses sound massive and kick drums pound like you've never heard before. The second setting is BITE, which adds a gentle forward character that makes the source more defined and clear. BITE is superb on bass, snare, vocals, and guitars. Last, is SHEEN. This character setting adds an airy gloss to the source, reminiscent of classic opto tube compressors. This setting is absolutely stunning on vocals, acoustics, and overheads. All character settings can be used simultaneously!
The DRAGON contains a button called 'VINTAGE'. This button enables circuitry which emulates a more vintage sound from a classic age of compression. The result is more harmonics, a bit of 'grit', and an overall more aggressive sound that is amazing on electric guitars, bass, and a must-hear on drums.
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon has a three setting saturation selector. This saturation can add subtle harmonics or even gritty distortion to the source. On setting 1, it can add just the right of "life" to a dull vocal. On setting 2, it can add presence and warmth to a bass. On setting 3, it can add some rich harmonics to a snare to bring out the sustain.
Wait, There's MORE
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon includes a hi pass filter so you have the option to control the amount of low end that feeds the compressor detection. This is useful when stereo linking two DragonS together for transparent mixbuss compression, or for grouped drum compression where you don't want the drums to 'pump'.
FET Your Mixbuss
Classic FET compressors have not been common mixbuss choices due to their excessive color and aggressive nature. However, the Slate Pro Audio Dragon includes a gentle 2:1 setting that sounds amazing on full mixes. With the character, vintage, and saturate options disabled, the signal path is quiet and clean with just the write amount of rich tone. Of course if you need more color or saturation on your buss, it's just a button or switch away. With settings 2:1, character SHEEN, Saturate 1, and slow attack and fast release, your mix will come alive in an incredible way.
The DRAGON is one of the finest drum compressors to ever hit the analog market, and is complete with the famous overcompression "all buttons in" mode called 'Squash'. This setting is simply stunning on drum room mics, or any other source that you want to explode out of the mix. Due to its extremely hifi signal path, the Slate Pro Audio Dragon's 'Squash' setting can create that larger then life effect without causing a harsh or brittle high end.
Mix It Up
Last and certainly not least, the Slate Pro Audio Dragon includes a 'Mix' knob to control the wet/dry ratio of the source. This amazing feature allows you to add some heavy compression, and then back it off gently until it creates the perfect balance for your mix. The 'Mix' knob also allows you to parallel compress sources, such as drum busses, without having to mult or buss the drums to additional faders! You'll find the 'mix' knob to be one of the most useful tools in modern analog compression.
The Slate Pro Audio Dragon's faceplate comes with a beautiful tribal mural designed by world renowned tattoo artist Davey Suicide, and will add a unique beauty to your rack. The striking look matches its remarkable sound.
Normally compressors don't need presets, but with so many options (there is literally thousands of combinations), the Slate Pro Audio Dragon ships with a huge listing of presets made by Steven Slate and some of the world's top producers, mixers, and even mastering engineers. But once you experience the many possibilities and sounds of the Slate Pro Audio Dragon, you'll soon enjoy making your own!
Slate Pro Audio Dragon Dynamics Processor Features
- Classic-style FET compression/limiting
- Use 3 character settings individually or simultaneously for different flavors
- Great for drums, guitars, vocals, bass, and more!
- Covers everything from subtle compression to highly colored squashing
- High-pass filter limits the amount of low end being fed into the detection circuit
- Made 100% in the US, by Studio Electronics
2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
For what I'm doing, EDM, the Dragon is a perfect fit. It has all the mojo that a Distressor has, but it sounds clearer to me, and offers more tonal variety. I listened to the Dragon side by side with an 1176 and a Distressor, and it was my top choice because it really is a chameleon with all its sound shaping options. I felt like it bested the 1176 with its sheen and saturation settings on. A different time, I ran a weak lead synth patch from Sylenth1 through it and it turned it into a monster. It's hard to compare the Dragon with most other compressors simply by the fact that it has a wet/dry mix knob. This is incredibly useful, not only for getting tons of sound variety from the unit, but also because an outboard loop incurs a bit of latency, so with a compressor without a mix knob, trying to mix the compressed track with the original in the DAW and line them up is a hassle.
I wanted to hate this thing because of the hot-topic faceplate and the insane amount of marketing on the forums, but when I decided to get a hardware compressor, the features just leaped out at me. Now that I've been using it a few weeks, I can say it lives up to expectations. The design is pretty subtle in the rack, and the sound is fantastic. I've been using it for mild coloration on almost everything I'm tracking and major coloration on a few things. One of the best hidden features is the manual of presets. I'm an experienced engineer and they still had some approaches that I loved to learn from. Very happy with the purchase.