A Compressor with History
It started out in 1993 as Ted’s idea to liven up some soundtracks for a video. That turned into the SC2 stereo compressor; the first of its kind, a magical tool for bringing drums to life and adding ‘fairy dust’ to finished tracks. Later in 2003, Ted introduced the P38; a re-design but with the roots of his original optical compression.
The EX version added smart facilities like ‘parallel compression’ and variable width control, and now the MK2 adds a smart power supply operating from any mains voltage and more added ‘weight’ to the compressed sound. The “v7” version of the P38EX MK2 has revised internal layout, improved power supply (any voltage) and illuminated push buttons.
The P38EX Mk2 works all the way from a super-quality ‘Levelling Amplifier’ with the sparkle of a well-designed opto compressor, up to an aggressive tool to add drama to a stereo drum track.
The compression is switched in after 6 seconds. Ratio about 3:1 with medium attack and release, ‘Greenbox’ selected, the difference is changes to tightness of the sound, it’s quite subtle.
More obvious, P38EX MK2 switched in after about 8 seconds. Ratio about 8:1 medium attack and release, ‘VCA’ selected. There is a 3dB gain increase and the P38EX MK2 changes the effect of the tenor.
A simple drum figure, first 8-bars dry, then 8-bars compressed in ‘VCA’ mode, then a short dry section again then switched to ‘Greenbox’ mode. Followed by a short piece of ‘Spinning Wheel’ recorded at Pye studios by John Schroeder in 1972, first as recorded, then with TFPRO P38EX Mk2 applied in ‘Greenbox’ mode, demonstrating extreme 1960s Joe Meek compression.
SB – Studio owner –
Holy **** – this is a complete beast! Been A/B ing with the Neve. Much punchier and tighter; the stereo width function is great. I’m sold😊.
Ted Fletcher –
The Neve, the SSL and others (and all the digital plug-ins) are still treating compression like a physics performance problem; it’s so much more than that! The flavours and the colours are the result of years of work and an element of luck; I put in the work and got lucky!