Thursday, December 12, 2013

You won't mind having this Hippo in your studio.

Alta Moda's Hippo is a VCA based 500 series stereo compressor with some additional touches. I first heard about this unit a few years ago but never had the opportunity to use it.

"The Alta Moda Audio Hippo is a high-performance bus compressor designed for the 500-series compatible rack systems. The Hippo is based on a VCA topology made popular in highly successful recording consoles of the 1980's, but includes many modern features not found on typical bus compressors."

It seems like a solidly built unit and from the online feedback the sonics match the appearance. I think it would be great not only for mixing purposes but tracking as well.

Here are excerpts from an article by Russ Long in  Pro Audio Review Magazine:
"The Alta Moda HIPPO is a fantastic two-mix compressor that works well on virtually any audio source."
"After several months of use I came to the conclusion that there isn't anything this wonder module doesn't sound good on. The box performs flawlessly on bus compression duties. I think this is its true strength.
When tracking drums.... it performed well in every instance. It performed brilliantly on piano and acoustic guitar...... I found the Soft Link mode indispensable.... It also does a stellar job with bass and lead vocals...."


  • The Hippo features extended attack, release and ratio settings for wider control ranges. Selected controls are continuously-variable for enhanced resolution and versatility.
  • Six-position High Pass Filter on side chain for better control of bass-heavy material.
  • Six-position Warmth control adds rich harmonic distortion to fatten tracks.
  • Unique channel linking options allow for better control of stereo imaging, including the ability to run the channel detectors independently of one another (Dual mode).
  • Dual, 20-segment gain-reduction meters monitor both detectors with 1dB resolution.
  • Blend control allows varying the output between dry and compressed signal for more subtle compression effects.
  • Gold-contact relays completely remove unit from signal path when bypassed.

Price $1250 at Little Fish Audio