Classic feed-forward VCA compressor


In the realm of audio engineering, Dave Harrison, the founder of Harrison Audio, stands out as a pioneer in the development of music production technology. Ironically, Dave Harrison himself was initially skeptical about compressors, a sentiment shared by his friend and legendary music producer and engineer, Bruce Swedien. Both held the belief that music should be captured authentically, without interference. However, the requirement for a compressor arose from the broadcast market's demands, seeking a tool to control dynamics and prevent clipping. To meet this demand, Harrison Audio ventured into the realm of compressors, with the result proving extremely effective. Its transparent 'leveling' capabilities, achieved with just a few dBs of gain reduction, quickly made it indispensable in music production for delicately smoothing signals, particularly on vocals, guitars, and other instruments with wide dynamic range. Over time, this compressor's ability to 'dig in' became apparent, transforming it into a sought-after vibe compressor when higher levels of gain reduction were applied. Dave Harrison's initial skepticism gave birth to a tool that not only met the broadcast market’s demands but also became relied on in the world of music production. Thanks to the Comp module, the distinctive Harrison sound is now accessible in the 500 Series format.



Harrison's secret sauce – put it on everything

The Comp module is a very flexible dynamics processor. From a transparent ‘leveler’ on guitars and vocals, using a 1:2 ratio and fast release, applying 2-3 dB of gain reduction. To a sizzling vibe compressor on drums and bass, slamming the ratio in combination with a slow release. The Comp 500 Series module is a well-crafted, no-nonsense compressor that is your secret production ‘sauce’ – you’ll put it on everything.


Features:

  • The Harrison sound.
  • Extremely flexible compressor; from transparent ‘leveler’ to ‘character’ comp.
  • Classic feed-forward design.
  • THAT 2180 VCA chip for outstanding analog performance.
  • Program-dependant ‘Attack’ time.
  • Continually variable Release time from ‘Fast’ to ‘Slow’.
  • Input overload LED.
  • Compatible with 500 Series format chassis.

Comp design 

The Comp 500 Series module is based on a classic ‘feed-forward’ design, using a THAT 2180 VCA chip for outstanding analog performance. The compressor’s Attack is program-dependent, adapting to the input signal and offering an optimal Attack time depending on the source material. The Release time is continuously variable. These parameters can turn the Comp module from a transparent leveler to a highly saturated, vibe compressor, adding character and excitement to a wide range of sources.

Legacy in analog 

Harrison consoles have helped create some of the most highly regarded and influential music in history. Michael Jackson, ABBA, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Donald Fagan, and many more iconic artists have relied on Harrison production tools to help create their multi-platinum albums. The latest range of 500 series modules from Harrison harnesses the sound and features that engineers like Bruce Swedien, Roger Nichols, and Reinhold Mack trusted to make music that stands the test of time.

User Guide

Harrison Comp 500 Series Module User Guide V3.0

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