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The 5043 Duo Compressor/Limiter is a powerful approach to dynamics processing for the Portico Series, designed with both tracking and mixing applications in mind.
The Portico 5043 embodies two independent Compressor-Limiters (Channels A and B) housed within a half rack, 1U module. They can be used independently (on two distinct tracks), linked as a stereo pair, or connected in sequence to provide two separate control slopes. When used as a stereo pair, linking the DC control circuits via the front panel A/B button enables the level of each channel to be held in a constant relationship. Rear panel TRS connections are provided to link multiple 5043s. This linking may also be extended to some of Rupert’s former AMEK CIB and DMCL units. When used in sequence, the Portico 5043 can be configured easily to provide dual slope compression and limiting.
Buss or Line Input Selection
Any number of Portico modules that are equipped with the “TO BUSS” button may be sent to the BUSS input of the 5043 which makes it the ideal choice to form the core of a simple and cost-effective Portico mixing system. The Line input, when selected, provides a dedicated, transformer-balanced 10K impedance bridging input so that the 5043 may be inserted or included in any appropriate part of the signal chain at Console line-up level.
How It Works
To control gain, a V.C.A. or Voltage Controlled Amplifier (or Attenuator) is used. There are many types of voltage control devices, including tubes, discrete and integrated solid state circuits and naturally non-linear devices, each one having its own characteristic behavior that reflects sonically on the final performance, providing a character or signature that can be musically attractive (or not!). The Portico 5043 makes use of a very accurate, low noise, low distortion V.C.A. having essentially no signature of its own.
A part of the audio signal is rectified and smoothed to produce a suitable control voltage for the V.C.A., which has to respond very quickly and have low distortion. If the response is too fast, some of the signal will be unnecessarily gain-controlled. If the response is too slow, the signal will overshoot and the first few cycles will not get compressed. The speed and accuracy of the response – known as the “attack” – and the timeframe that gain remains under the initial control – known as the “release” or “recovery” – each play a large part in the way a compressor sounds.
All Portico modules use input and output transformers and almost entirely discrete component amplifiers. In fact, the Line amplifiers on their own, inserted into the signal chain, are capable of enhancing the sonic quality of many signal sources, especially those of digital origin. These are some of the factors that enable the Portico 5043 to work so unobtrusively within the context of a very high quality audio chain.