Monday, October 14, 2013

Smart Research celebrates their 25th anniversary with the C1LA

A lot of engineers/producers will be thrilled to hear that the Smart Research C1 is now available in a dual channel 500 series format called the C1LA. It can be used as a stereo unit or in dual mono. Those familiar with the original SSL G Buss Compressor (or the plugin emulations from Waves and UAD) will recognize the layout immediately.

There are additional controls and settings not available on the original that adds even more sonic possibilities to the C1LA.
Smart Research was founded by Alan Smart who has extensive experience in the audio field and his client list reads like a who's who of recording artists, producers and studios.
From Vintage King's website:
The Smart Research C1LA is a two channel compressor/limiter, released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original C1 Stereo/Dual Mono unit, and the 50th anniversary of North American distributor, Sunset Sound. It is a versatile unit, housed in a two-module wide 500-series format, with three main modes of operation offering a range of possibilities. It can be used for all stereo or single channel signal applications: as a main mix bus compressor; for sub-mixes; or for tracking either mono or stereo sources.

For 25 years Smart Research compressors have been used across many mixes: with artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones to the Three Tenors. The C1LA shares this history by including the same electronics and settings as the original C1, but with several new features.

A Tri-Mode C1
Each channel can either be used independently, or in Stereo mode both are summed into the side-chain to eliminate any image shift. The C1LA also has the ability to DC-Link the side-chain signals in Stereo mode, allowing for more movement, while still preserving the stereo image. And for those who prefer to compress both sides of a mix without linking: when operating independently both channelʼs controls are ganged.

Mix Glue
The essence of the sound is determined by its dynamic performance: the way it reacts around transients creating its signature. In many situations, best results can be from medium-slow attack; and medium-fast release settings: passing transients present in a signal, while the compression law and timings then played out as the side-chain reacts and recovers both controls the overall levels and adds ʻpunchʼ as the transients are shaped. The ʻSOFTʼ mode in the C1LA also adds a new compression curve, acting not just at the threshold knee point, but across a broad input range of about 15dB.

  • 3 operating modes: Independent/ganged; Stereo linked/Sum; and Stereo Linked/DC
  • Metering options: Input, Output, (VU) and Gain Reduction (PPM) for L & R Channels
  • 3 side-chain filters : 65, 130, or 205Hz
  • Automatic distortion null circuitry
  • Normal and half-threshold ranges
  • ʻSoftʼ compression curve reshapes a 15dB range
  • Total of 12 Attack and 12 Release settings
  • Total of 4 ʻAutoʼ settings
  • Dual, balanced bantam jacks for external side-chain inputs
  • All settings and circuitry from original C1 Dual/Stereo Compressor

Sold exclusively at Vintage King Audio for $1750