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AVA Spectral Compressor

Compressor by Harrison Consoles

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AVA Spectral Compressor

The AVA Spectral Compressor (AVA-SC) is a dynamics processor that allows you to apply compression selectively across 18 frequency bands. These compression bands can either be spread out across the full range of the spectrum, or focused on a specific frequency range for more precise control.

The AVA Spectral Compressor includes the following features:

  • Master Threshold control
  • Frequency Range selection
  • Band Depth controls
  • Gain Reduction graph
  • Compressor Knee
  • Output Trim

Overview

The Depth sliders below the graph control the maximum amount of gain reduction that can be applied to the corresponding frequency bands determined by the current Range setting. The Range can be set to focus on specific areas along the frequency spectrum (Low, Mid, High, etc.), or it can be set to Full Range mode to allow control over the entire spectrum. The Threshold sets the input signal level where the overall compression begins to take effect. Additional controls include compressor Knee and output Trim.

Controls

  • Threshold - The slider attached to the input meter on the left is the Threshold control. The Threshold sets the input signal level where the overall compression begins to take effect. The Threshold can be set anywhere between -60 and 0 dB.
  • Frequency Range - The Frequency Range section allows you to select the specific frequency range that gets processed by the compressor. The 18 compressor bands will be distributed across whatever range is selected. For example, with Mid selected, all 18 bands will be focused on the Mid-range, allowing for more precise control over the frequencies within that range.

The available Frequency Range options are as follows:

  • Full Range - 16 Hz - 20 kHz
  • High - 3 kHz - 20 kHz
  • High Mid - 200 Hz - 18 kHz
  • Mid - 180 Hz - 7 kHz
  • Low Mid - 12 Hz - 8 kHz
  • Low - 15 Hz - 500 Hz

Depth Controls

The 6 sliders below the graph set the Depth for their corresponding bands. The 18 compressor bands are divided among the 6 sliders so that each slider controls the Depth for 3 of those bands. 

The range of frequencies affected is shown below each slider. 

  • Depth - The Depth determines the maximum amount of Gain Reduction that can be applied within each slider’s control range. Possible Depth values range from -24 to 0 dB. Setting a Depth slider to 0 dB will prevent any attenuation from occurring within that slider’s control range.
  • Knee - The Knee value determines how far the input signal must exceed the threshold in a given band, to incur the full depth for that band. Possible Knee values range from 1 to 30. With a low Knee value (Hard Knee), the compression will activate more abruptly as the signal passes over the Threshold. A high Knee value (Soft Knee) will apply the gain reduction more gradually as the signal passes the threshold.
  • Output Trim - The Output Trim adjusts the level of the compressor’s output signal anywhere from -10 dB to +10 dB. It can be used to increase or decrease the output level as needed for gain compensation.

Gain Reduction Graph

The Gain Reduction Graph provides a visual representation of Gain Reduction across the frequency spectrum. The Reduction curve (red) is displayed above the Input curve (orange-yellow) indicating the amount of Gain Reduction applied and its location along the spectrum. The red line inside the Input curve indicates the level of the compressed signal relative to the input signal.

Additional Features

At the top-right corner of the plugin window are the Momentary Byass and Settings buttons.

  • Momentary Bypass - The Momentary Bypass button bypasses the plugin for as long as it's held. This is useful for auditioning A/B comparisons quickly. 
  • Settings - The Settings button reveals a pop-up menu where the window size and theme can be adjusted. It also contains a link to the plugin manual and version info at the bottom.
  • Vintage Theme - The Vintage theme replicates the UI seen in Harrison’s large-format console software.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.7 or newer required (macOS 10.10 or newer suggested)
  • Windows 7 or newer required

Plugin Specifications

  • Supported Formats -  AAX, VST, VST3, AU

Host DAW Support:

  • ProTools 10.3.5 or newer required (enable AAX format during installation)
  • Logic (enable the AU format during installation)
  • Cubase (enable the VST and/or VST3 format during installation)
  • Most other DAW's (enable the VST format during installation)

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