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A Designs Nail HM2 Stereo Compressor  From A Designs

A 2-channel, solid state/tube hybrid offering infinite sound-shaping possibilities plus the ability to enhance any signal simply by passing through it.  

A Designs Audio


Retail:  $2,850.00

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What We Think

The A Designs Nail Compressor is a beautiful compressor that can be sonically transparent or colored based on how it is utilized. The Nail is one of the most versatile compressors on the market today, offering some functions that just aren't found on most compressors available. The Nail features controls such as the Mix, Threshold, and Filter that allow you to shape your mix. 


What You Can Change

With the mix knobs you can blend the dry uncompressed signal with the wet compressed signal to perform a trick known as parallel compression. Only a handful of compressors offer this feature. The Nail makes parallel compression simple and easy to do using one box.

The Hard Threshold on the Nail provides an excellent way for sculpting a track and providing the perfect amount of compression to the track. When the Hard Threshold is engaged you can set the point at which the compressor engages. Again making it simple to add compression to your mix with using just one box.


The Filter Control

The Filter control is a constantly variable high pass filter up to 250Hz. When the Filter is engaged the compressor will kick in as normal on everything above the chosen frequency. The Nail will still compress frequencies below the filter setting, but to a lesser extent. This will allow the user to compress material with a hotter kick or bass without the low frequencies triggering the compressor in unwanted ways.


Final Thoughts

The flexibility of the nail makes it one of the best new compressors on the market today. If you have ant questions regarding the Nail give us a call at Sound Pure.

A Designs Nail Stereo Compressor and Hammer Stereo Tube EQ - Mastering Demonstration

This A Designs Nail HM2 Compressor and HM2EQ Hammer Tube EQ demo is a mastering demonstration showing the high-quality capabilities of these two A Designs products. The stereo link switch on the Nail makes both mastering and bus work simple yet effective. As compared to most other surgical parametric EQs, the Hammer allows the user to make wide tonal EQ adjustments making it a perfect contender for the mastering process. The Hammer and Nail are sonically clean and clear while possessing some subtle tube warmth which brings more clarity and life out of this track by Andrew Van Tassel. If you have any questions regarding either of these fantastic A Designs products or about mastering, compression, or equalization, please give the experts at Sound Pure a call anytime. 919.682.5552 or 888.528.9703.

  • Signal Chain
    • A Designs Nail HM2 Stereo Compressor
    • A Designs HM2EQ HAMMER Tube Stereo EQ

Manufacturer's Description from A Designs

Awarded a “Mix Certified Hit” by Mix magazine, the A-Designs Audio HM2 NAIL Compressor/Limiter has three unique features that set it apart from ordinary compressors: Hard Threshold, Filter, and Mix. But that’s not where it ends. The NAIL’s tube circuitry and components were specifically chosen and designed to impart the rich, euphonic sound of analog to digital recording—enabling it to confidently “ride” the 2-bus in a place of prominence. And while the NAIL can add character to any sound, it can also work transparently in the background—all at the engineer’s digression. Not just for the 2-bus, its ability to switch from linked stereo to dual mono makes it a great tracking compressor as well. Better still, on a stereo mix, using dual mono offers the added bonus of making the mix sound wider, as though it extends beyond the left/right boundaries of the speakers.

 Threshold, Hard Threshold and Variable Sidechain Filter:

Upon inspecting the NAIL’s highly attractive custom-milled aluminum knobs and faceplate, you’ll notice the absence of a ratio control. In its place are Threshold and Hard Threshold. With Hard Threshold turned off, Threshold acts much like an LA-2A by increasing gain reduction. Attack and release controls become somewhat irrelevant in this mode and the NAIL becomes a model of simplicity; set its threshold and gain, and let the NAIL work its magic.

For those who like to dig deeper, 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, which is a variable high-pass filter continuously controllable 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. This prevents the greater energy of bass from triggering unwanted compression and ducking the entire mix. Filter also lets you 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.

Put simply, the combination of Threshold, Hard Threshold, and Filter allow you to dial in amount of compression, at what level it will engage, and above which frequencies it will act. Ratio is always self-adjusting in response to program material.

Attack, Release, Gain and Metering:

The HM2 NAIL’s remaining continuously variable controls include Attack, Release, and Gain, which 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 forgiving and musical response than traditional “once size fits all” attack/release circuits. Other functions include compressor In/Out for quick A/B comparison; Stereo Link/Dual Mono; and Gain Reduction/Level for metering, all controlled via toggle switch. Speaking of meters, the NAIL’s LED meter was chosen for it’s ultra fast response and the ability to see it clearly from across a dark-lit control room.

Mix Control:

The HM2 NAIL’s Mix knob offers continuously variable control between direct (dry) and compressed signal. Particularly useful for DAW mixing, Mix enables you to apply parallel compression to a submix without losing two channels of A/D/A for an aux send/return. And of course, you can also use it on an overall mix to add size and depth, or during tracking.

As its name suggests, when it comes to putting the finishing touches on a final mix, the A-Designs HM2 Compressor Nails it!


• 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” by LF energy
• Awarded “Mix Certified Hit” 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 Audio

About Manufacturer

The A Designs objective is to provide effective extraordinary-sounding solutions with solid technology. They are quickly becoming one of the most respected boutique manufacturers of audio and production tools, at a reasonable price. A Designs Audio brings a combined total of over 60 years in engineering, marketing and sales/customer service experience. Now our firm brings you pro audio technology that is among the best in the business at affordable prices. Their product lines are field tested by professionals in "real-world" working environments and are put through rigorous tests. This assures the dependability and reliability you require in installations and working environments. They understand the demands placed upon you when providing installations or giving live performances. The last thing you should worry about is the extremely high costs of conducting business. There are other factors that make your work highly demanding. The bottom line is that A Designs provides the tools you need for a job well done....and within budget!



• 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 Nail Manual

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