Even in this digital world we see new analogue hardware compressors released all the time. The reason is probably because an analogue compressor might be one of the first places you turn for a piece of select hardware. We’ve seen a lot of new variants of existing models and a handful of manufacturers producing ‘clones’ of classic gear. This is all great news, often lowering the price of hardware that would otherwise be out of reach for many. Maag Audio however, have gone with an entirely different approach. This new MAGNUM-K compressor is a new offering which can’t be compared to anything else currently available.
Maag Audio MAGNUM-K compressor
I love what this product has to offer, something new and not yet seen before. Maag Audio have taken their experience of building an analogue hardware EQ and released their first compressor. However, this isn’t just any compressor, as there appears to be a lot of processing in a single unit. Essentially there are two compressors, the MAGNUM COMP and K COMP running in parallel with Maag’s own LMF and Airband EQ.
Each section however has some unique features. For example, there is a selection for feed-back or feed-forward modes on the MAGNUM COMP. That’s something which is often hidden from the user. The K COMP is quite simple, as it compresses the 2.5-3k region separately, a little bit like a De-esser. The concept is to remove any harshness from a vocal or lead instrument. I can see both mastering engineers and live sound mixers keen to use the unit for this feature alone. Finally, the parallel EQ section is there to add some unique colour to your sound. The EQ only boosts and only for the low-end, or very high-end with their ‘Airband’ EQ. This is an EQ which goes all the way up to 40kHz.
On a first viewing of the marketing materials available, this looks like a stunning product, demonstrating there are still new and exciting ways analogue gear can influence production. Perhaps overly complicated for some and not suitable for every record, but a great piece of professional kit. I really look forward to trying one. I wonder if someone will release a plug-in version?!
To learn more about the MAGNUM-K compressor, visit the Maag Audio webpage. The recommended retail price is expected to be 2395 USD for a single mono channel. That might sound a lot, especially if you opt for a stereo pair, but there’s a lot of processing on offer here.
Here’s a video from NAMM on the Sound On Sound YouTube channel, which gives a great insight into what this compressor has to offer.