Independent compression and limiting circuitry for superb performance.
The best thing professional engineers say about the Red 3 Dual Channel Compressor is
“I know we used it but it doesn’t sound like we used it“. The Red 3 is another legendary
Focusrite piece that has a very transparent sound due to its top-of-the-line VCA components
and Class A architecture.
The Red 3 employs an unusual and original single-VCA design to achieve high quality and
truly independent compression and limiting, without the compromise and unnecessary
processing involved in traditional designs. The success of the design is attested to by the
Red 3?s TEC award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the Signal Processing Technology
The VCA used is a proprietary Focusrite design, fully discrete and balanced, offering superb
low noise and distortion, and excellent common-mode rejection. In order to separate compression
and limiting, the side-chain electronics contain three VCAs in series to generate compression
and limiting control voltages which drive the main VCA. The result is true compression followed
by limiting, rather than the more common characteristic of compression that turns into limiting.
The sidechain electronics are class A, ensuring superb transient response. Both compression
and limiting therefore, offer true peak response, not averaging RMS response.
The use of such a high quality audio VCA as the only element between input and output means
a very short signal path, and an ability to retain a natural, unobtrusive sound even when significant
compression is being applied.
Each channel has clear and identical controls, for compressor ratio, threshold, make-up gain, attack
and release, and limiter threshold. A program-dependent auto-release mode is available, and the VU
meters can be switched to show levels in two ranges, or gain change. In stereo mode the lower set
takes control of both channels.
Stereo switch for true stereo operation from a single set of controls
Key inputs with illuminated push-button selection
Illuminated push-button switches for compressor/limiter in/out on each channel
Precision VU metering of signal level or gain change (switched)
Can operate as a discrete channel unit
Input sensitivity: +4dBu
Input Impedance: 10k ohm +/- 15% (20Hz to 20kHz)
Balance: > 60dB
Frequency response: 5Hz to 200kHz (-3dB points)
Noise: Better than -80dB below +4dBu output level
Distortion: 0.02% with input at 0dBu at 1kHz, 0.006% (+10dBu @ 1kHz), 0.004% (+20dBu @ 1kHz)
Output: +24dBm with output loaded, 600 ohm, balanced and floating