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Scheps Omni Channel Compressor adds interesting color

Last night I found the answer as to why I love the compressor in Omni Channel so much:

It’s a coloring compressor. It adds harmonics to your signal depending on which type of compressor you choose: VCA, FET, or OPTO.

If you run a 1khz sine wav through the compressor and look at the result in a good spectrum analyzer, you’ll see some interesting behavior:

The VCA is the most subtle of the three, at least until you drive it, but FET and OPTO will add harmonics to your signal even before pulling down the threshold & adding compression. You get harmonics just by turning it on! This is separate and different from the saturation optionally added in the preamp section.

This makes the Omni Channel compressor considerably more interesting than expected and I think a lot of people don’t realize it has this functionality.

There’s more going on under the hood in this plugin than most people realize. Clearly, a lot of design & engineering went into it.

From the manual:

The Compressor module is made up of three different compressor units, each with very different characteristics.
• VCA is a very fast, transparent, linear compressor.
• FET is a slightly slower compressor. It has more distortion and color than the VCA, and it’s smoother.
• OPT (opto) is slow and very smooth, so transients are maintained.
Changing the compressor type does not alter the parameter settings, so you can efficiently compare the impact of
each compressor type on the signal.

PS. I don’t think many people use Scheps Omni Channel as a mix bus processor, but try it! I particularly love using the OPTO compressor on a full mix. It has similar harmonic addition as FET, but the response is slower and smoother, like the manual says.

I imagine “smoother” in the FET translates to a softer style of knee than the VCA, but not as soft as the Opt would be.

I’ve heard Scheps discuss in more recent times that he is starting to use is Rear Buss lessened less. He’s thinking that it might be a sign of the times and he’s starting to get bored with it.

Although, I have herd him state in other interviews that he he does use this plugin a lot and does indeed give the compressor a try “because its there”. I imaging that using this Moreland more would equate to him needing the rear buss less and less.

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Oh, thanks for pointing out the KNEE as a potential source of difference. That seems obvious now but I had not considered it! That makes a lot of sense.

I watch every Scheps video I can get my hands on, and I heard the same re: Schep’s use of rear bus compression… But I also heard a video recorded after, and he mentioned it again - but I couldn’t tell in context whether he was speaking historically or currently. It’s probably weird to obsess about, but I will anyway. =)

Maybe at this point it’s just another potential tool and not an “always use” kind of thing for him… That’s probably the best way to think of any tool! :smiley:

Well the FET would introduce some harmonics too, it won’t be as clean as the VCA which seems almost surgical.

From what I recall the FET is loosely based on the 1176 which has a semi-soft knee, but gets progressively harder the higher the ratio. Actually the BSS DPR is a bit like that and I’m pretty sure the SSL Bus Comp is as well.

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