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Phoenix Audio N90-DRC/500 Compressor and Gate  From Phoenix

VCA style Compressor/Gate designed by the legendary David Rees. This compressor/gate is the definition of a flexible dynamics processor - excellent on virtually every studio application, from vocals to guitars, to drums and bass.   

Phoenix Audio


Retail:  $899.00

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What We Think

"Ultra-flexible" and "Workhorse" are thrown around a lot nowadays when describing versatile recording equipment, though typically that comes along with some corners cut along the way. The N90-DRC is proof that you no longer need to compromise at all on sound quality for a multi-source, workhorse compressor that'll perform incredibly well on just about any studio application you throw its way. 
Think of it as a warm channel compressor you'd find on a quality recording console. It features just enough control flexibility to push out both smoother leveling and more aggressive compression, while still remaining very intuitive and easy to use. It is absolutely perfect for tracking. It's forgiving enough that you don't have to tweak for long to get compression that manages the channel without feeling clamped down on, but it's still fast enough to react to quick transients from drums or erradic singers. It's easy to dial in, and you can count on it doing the job and staying out of the way.
The Gate section really impressed me upon first use. Normally I try and avoid gating, especially plugin gating, as I find there's almost always some "life" pulled out of the signal in the process. That said, the N90 is proof that a quality analog gate can really enhance and isolate an instrument without any degradation. On kick and snare, the N90's gate preserved every nuance of the drum while removing bleed and additional noise - it truly was incredible, and definitely caused me to rethink what a quality gate is capable of.
The final element of the N90-DRC's circuitry is Phoenix's unique transformer-balanced Class A output stage, which can provide a wonderful gloss of saturation and warmth, and even a little grit if driven hard enough. Identical to all Phoenix Audio gear, we've been hard-pressed to find a single application where the additional warmth didn't enhance the source material in a positive way. Even genre-wise, from modern metal to vintage soul, indie-folk to jazz, the Phoenix output stage adds depth and excitement that simply makes things "pop". 

Phoenix Audio N90-DRC/500 Compressor and Gate on Vocals and Clean Electric Guitar

The Phoenix Audio N90-DRC/500 is an incredibly musical VCA style compressor/gate that's proving to be one of the most versatile 500 series processors in our rack. In this video we use a clean electric guitar and vocal track to showcase the N90's smooth compressor circuit, incredibly fast 1ms attack time, and auto release functions. The N90-DRC also features the venerable Phoenix Class A transformer balanced output which adds a pleasing final layer of harmonic saturation, resulting in a warmer and more exciting sound that compliments nearly every recording application. Be sure and request the hi-res audio files by emailing us at proaudio@soundpure.com to hear all the subtle nuances of this fantastic dynamics processor. If you'd like to demo the Phoenix N90-DRC in your studio with your gear give the Sound Pure Pro Audio team a call at 919-682-5552 for more information. Additionally if you have any questions about the N90 or other dynamics processors and recording gear don't hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a ring at anytime. Thanks for watching!

Manufacturer's Description from Phoenix

The Phoenix N90-DRC/500 compressor/gate is designed around a VCA control with Class A discrete input and Class A transformer balanced output. The N90-DRC/500 is intended to be driven ‘by ear' .There are no optimum settings that would cover all situations. It is intended to be very musical and smooth and has quite a wide ranging effect. Musically the progressive curves are very kind - there is no sudden change on passing the threshold and audio processing is virtually "seamless". Technically the progressive curves are achieved using linear detection combined with logarithmic attenuation inside a closed control loop. "Limiter sound" is still provided by the higher ratios and there is a choice of attack times. The gate is more conventional but it's release time is composite with a hold time followed by a fade time. This makes the gate very versatile in that as well as basic noise reduction it can also provide quite subtle changes to ambience or background.

Phoenix Audio

About Manufacturer

Phoenix Audio was founded in 1996 by Shaun Leveque to provide a British service for owners of pre-1980 Neve recording consoles. Their technicians, metal-workers, and design engineers are original ex-Neve workers, so they have the inside scoop, and they operate from a fully-equipped, modern, independent workshop. They design and build products, wired in-house by professional wiremen and engineers with many years experience that take great pride in the quality of their craftsmanship. Phoenix Audio products are unique and original and carefully designed to combine the advantages of years of audio experience with current manufacturing technology and components. Sound Pure has been very impressed by all of the new products and technologies they continue to release.


API 500 series compatible rack unit:
Class A (DSOP2) Output specs . Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz +- 0.5dB,
Maximum Output gain = +15dBu @ 1kHz, Noise = -90dB @ 20Hz to 20kHz, maximum output from unit is +26db.
Input connections: XLR input on rear of API compatible rack
Phoenix Audio’s unique Class A, transformer-less, True electronically balanced buffer amp input stage.
Compressor Section Rotary Controls:
Threshold Settings: From +10db to -30db
Ratio Settings: From 2 to 8
Release Settings: Release time of 0.1 seconds to 3 seconds
Compressor Section Switches
Bypass : engages or bypasses compressor section
Fast : Fast or slow release times
Auto : Auto release of compression
Gate Section Rotary Controls:
Threshold Settings: From 0db to -40db
Range Settings: From 40 to 10
Release Settings: Release time of 0.1 seconds to 2 seconds
Gate Section Switches:
Link: Ability to link multiple modules (up to 8).
Key: External input for gate section, connector is a TT Bantam connector
Gate: Switches the Gate in and out
Compression Meter: LED Metering. (Green = -3dbu, -6dbu -10dbu & -14dBu, Red=
-20dBu and doubles as the Gate Active LED)
Typical Max Headroom: +26dB on output stage