Black Rooster Audio has released a brand-new compressor plug-in – SC-5. The SC-5 is modelled after the Blackface version of a “classic and sought-after VCA compressor” – most probably the Ashly SC-50. This unit is said to sound fairly similar to the DBX 160, a revered model among studio gearheads that you can read more about here.
So, what can the SC-50 do for you that other compressors won’t? Well, it can easily go from subtle compression for sweetening things up all the way to smashing a drum bus into shreds. The Blackface SC-5 is said to sound a little “darker” than the Blueface version, and also has the option to feed external sidechain signals.
The Blackface SC-5 is also a feedback compressor design, which means feeding an external sidechain input into the existing feed-back loop circuit results in atypical compression behaviour. To overcome this problem, the external sidechain input is treated just like the normal audio signal, while the resulting control voltage is fed into a mirror VCA that modulates the audio signal. This way, feed-back operation can be retained in both the normal and external sidechain modes.
The Blackface SC-5 is the type of compressor with a fixed threshold. Thus, the amount of compression gets dialed in by increasing the input gain. In the process, your signal’s volume gets a boost. To aleviate that, drag the input gain knob while holding the right mouse button and the output gain gets adjusted so the perceived output level will remain approximately the same.
Black Rooster Audio claims every crucial part of the circuit, including the custom VCA design, the dual time-constant detector circuit, the feedback compressor loop, and the audio path have been faithfully modelled. Moreover, aliasing artefacts are subdued with a low-latency linear phase and oversampling is auto adjusted to your session‘s sample rate so as much precious CPU power as possible is saved while keeping the sound clean.
We have no reason to mistrust BRA, for they have amassed a respectable collection of vintage gear emulations already. The plug-in is available in VST, AU or AAX formats and costs $50. Head over to Black Rooster Audio for more information.