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Foote Control Systems P3S Buss Compressor  From Foote

Boutique stereo compression at its finest, the P3S adds that pleasing mix "gel" you've been searching for with its subtle fullness and incredibly natural-sounding compression. It's near impossible to make this box sound bad!

Foote Control Systems

What We Think

The Foote P3S represents stereo boutique compression at it’s finest! 

Commonly thought of as containing the general compression “glue” most engineers seek for their 2 bus, the P3S boasts a slightly warmer and refined tone and a greater sense of depth than the traditional SSL-style bus compressor. The combination of it’s responsive and cohesive compression capabilities with this subtle harmonic coloration seems to add even more unification to the source material, making it a clear favorite of mine for 2 bus and drum buss work, but also fantastic for individual sources and even during tracking. 

While the controls on the left half of the unit fall within your traditional and approachable compression parameters (Attack, Release, Threshold, Ratio, Gain), the controls on the right half provide more nuanced and advanced controls to fine tune the compression for taste. The ability to add a high-pass filter at 100 Hz to the detector path is, in my opinion, a must have for controlling unwanted pumping during 2 bus compression. The option to switch between Feed Forward and Feed Back compression stylings offers the units two distinct voices: modern punch and responsiveness or smoother, more transparent compression. 

Moving to the “T/C” section (Time Constant controls), the P3S offers three separate modes. The “A/R” button, if left unpressed, will disable the the manual Attack and Release controls and turn them into automatic responders. I typically found myself using the manual Attack and Release times for more precise bus compression, however the automatic mode works very well when doing smaller amounts of compression or on more sustained sources. The “N/L” mode changes the compressor to adapt its Attack and Release based on the source material, and is excellent on bass and vocals, but also for adding an fantastic explosive character to drums (especially in Feed Forward mode). Finally, the “RMS” mode also features an adaptive response based on source material, but generally offers a smoother overall compression and a slightly more open tonality. “RMS” combined with the Feed Back mode produced and incredibly smooth, warm, and open tone that added the perfect polish to a more vibey soul mix I ran through it. 

For being just a single rack space, Roger Foote packed an incredible amount of power into the P3S! With it’s ability to cover so many different sources and scenarios, it’s wealth of controls offering both modern punchy sounds and smoother, more vintage sounds, the P3S really can do it all and without sacrificing quality. Of course with any piece of gear offering this amount of control, it make take a few uses of the P3S to fully understand its nuances, however once you understand how to maximize its tonal and performance flexibility, you’ll be able to cover near every compression need you can imagine!


Manufacturer's Description from Foote

P3S Class A Bus Compressor is the standard P3S Bus Compressor that features a switchable Class A, Cinemag steel core transformer output stage that uses FCS custom discrete op amps in the 2520 footprint. Black anodized panel with black Elma wing knobs.


  • Ranges: -30dB to +15 dB threshold
  • 8:1 maximum ratio
  • 20dB maximum makeup gain
  • 10dB GR metering
Foote Control Systems

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