SMOOTHIE PLUS (SMOOTHIE+)
After a few messages from folks saying that they liked our super-simple one-knob compressor SMOOTHIE, but sometimes found themselves wishing it was a bit more “tweakable", we decided to make SMOOTHIE+.
SMOOTHIE+ can be used in situations when you want a CPU-friendly compressor that’s reasonably smooth and transparent, but rest assured, it can get very squashy when pushed to the max!
SMOOTHIE+ is a stereo in / out module and applies compression based on the average level received at both inputs. When either input is used on its own, it will be routed to both outputs.
ON button toggles SMOOTHIE+ between active and bypass mode.
THRESHOLD sets the point at which compression is applied to the input signal(s) in the range of -24dB to 0dB. In theory, no compression should occur when THRESHOLD is set to the maximum of 0dB. Note that decreasing the THRESHOLD, increases the compression effect.
RATIO varies the amount of gain reduction applied once the signal is over the THRESHOLD value. The range is 2 to 8. So for example, at the default setting of 4, anything over the threshold will typically be reduced to the threshold level + 25% (1/4) of the amount over the threshold.
The LED above the THRESHOLD / RATIO knobs will be lit when the average input signal exceeds the compression threshold, i.e. the signal is being compressed.
ATTACK varies the time it takes for SMOOTHIE+ to take effect and respond to incoming gain changes in the range of 10-100ms. A fast attack time will result in SMOOTHIE+ “clamping down” on loud transients quickly, with a more noticeable “squashing” effect. A slow attack time allows some of the initial part of the signal to get through unchanged which can result in a more natural / transparent compression effect.
RELEASE sets the recovery time for the compression effect from 25-1000ms. A fast release time is useful for rhythmic material with transients occurring fast and furiously! A longer release time can be more suitable for solo instruments, especially guitar, giving a smoother overall compression effect.
BLEND reintroduces a variable amount of the original “dry” signal into the output mix. At zero, you will hear the compressed signal only. At maximum, you will hear the compressed signal, plus the original dry signal.
For certain sounds, dialling-in the BLEND control allows the initial attack of a note to briefly exceed the level of the compressed signal, which is very desirable when used with electric guitars for example, and helps retain a dynamic feel.
LEVEL varies the overall mix output from +12dB boost to -96dB reduction, i.e. practically total silence at the minimum setting. The centre / default position is zero gain adjustment.
MAKEUP when turned on, will apply additional gain automatically based on the threshold and compression ratio to compensate for the overall reduction in level due to compression. When MAKEUP is enabled, we recommend that the LEVEL control is at the default centre position or less, otherwise distortion / clipping could occur.
PLEASE NOTE: SMOOTHIE+ is designed to handle a wide range of audio signals and because of a final brick wall limiter stage, should never present output levels greater than +/-5.0V. However, depending on the nature and level of the input audio and BLEND control, limiting may occur internally, indicated by the LED above the BLEND / LEVEL knobs. If this occurs, back off the LEVEL control until the clipping LED stops flashing, or allow a little bit of limiting to take place if you think that suits the occasion!
We hope you enjoy SMOOTHIE+ with added vitamins!