WesAudio has announced the ngBusComp at NAMM 2020. The analogue VCA bus compressor pairs with a DAW plug-in. This lets you automate and recall its settings like any other plug-in, while the audio is processed in the analogue realm.
The WesAudio ngBusComp (‘ng’ is for next generation) is a VCA bus compressor with four THAT 2181 VCAs in the signal chain, and two more in the sidechain detectors for each channel. Its two channels operate in dual mono, stereo or M/S modes. It offers relative channel linking, which lets you adjust each channel individually and then link them together for simultaneous control, while maintaining the differences.
Both channels have controls for threshold, attack and release, with five switchable ratio settings (1.5:1, 2:1, 4:1, 10:1 and infinite). The ngBusComp offers 20 dB of makeup gain, and WesAudio says that headroom is +27 dBu. Each channel also has a mix knob for parallel compression, an external sidechain input and a sidechain filter with five settings (60, 90 and 150 Hz HPF and two tilt filters).
The ngBusComp offers a THD knob on each channel, which lets you dial in Total Harmonic Distortion for saturation and what WesAudio calls ‘beautiful analog color’. There’s also an ‘Iron Mode’, which switches the output stage from electronically balanced to transformer balanced and allows you to drive the Carnhill transformers. This comes with an adjustable, passive attenuator (‘Iron Pad’) with up to 15 dB of attenuation.
So far, so good. But it’s the USB and Ethernet ports at the back where things get really interesting. Continuing the concept of the WesAudio Titan, the ngBusComp pairs with a control plug-in in your DAW, which gives you digital control over the analogue compression. You can connect the compressor directly via USB, or through an Ethernet network. Besides enabling total recall, this allows you to automate the compressor settings in your DAW, like turning up the mix knob to crank up the compression for the chorus. According to WesAudio, the hardware offers four touch sensitive encoders for recording automation. The plug-in is available in VST2, VST3, AU, AAX Native and AAX DSP formats. As of now, the plug-in is dual-channel, but WesAudio says that a mono plug-in for connecting to each channel independently will follow in the near future.
Price and availability
According to WesAudio, the ngBusComp will be available in April 2020 for EUR 2799 + VAT or USD 2999 + tax.