Neve's early compressors were of a "feed-back" design, meaning the leveling circuitry would act upon a signal once it had already passed through the voltage-controlled gain-reduction amplifiers (VCA). Later designs got their control voltage before the VCA, thus the leveling circuitry knew right away that a gain change was required, and there would therefore be an immediate response. Logically, this was known as "feed-forward" compression and is the basis of the URS 1975. Of the two designs, feed-back is more musical and sweeter, but feed-forward provides far greater accuracy over attack and release—something that is ultimately ideal for drums and other highly transient signal material. Indeed, 1975's high-resolution 48-bit "double-precision" processing totally rocks on drums and percussion with an authoritative sound and enormous headroom for gain reduction without clipping. Actually, two versions are included: comp/limiter with sidechain and HP/LP filtering, and compressor-only. Both feature adjustable knee control from hard to soft, while the sidechaining version allows for both hard- and soft-knee compression and limiting independently, as well as brick-wall limiting. Totally variable compression ratios and attack and release times are modern features not found on the vintage units, and because the Gain Makeup control is before the final limiter, it allows you to hit the brick wall really hard. Combined, this gave snares a powerful, woody snap without destroying their body and made toms pop without losing roundness and tone color. It sounded amazing gluing drum subgroups together and sat really well on the mix bus with a warm aggressiveness that always remained musical. The compressor-only version is three times more DSP efficient and acts as a limiter when the ratio is at least at 10:1.
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