Prism Sound Maselec MLA-2 Stereo Compressor
The Prism Maselec MLA-2 Stereo Compressor is a stereo or 2-channel compressor with stepped drive (input gain), ratio, attack and release time and output gain controls. For optimum transparency and freedom from noise the MLA-2 employs a non-VCA design.
Top recording and mastering engineers still use some analogue signal processing equipment, finding the familiar correlation between sound and control better to work with. However, most analogue compressors have either continuously variable controls, making precise adjustments difficult, or just a few coarsely-stepped controls. Many fail to meet the standards of audio performance consistent with digital media. The MLA-2 provides fully-stepped controls for precision and repeatability for ALL parameters.
The MLA-2 is extensively used in mastering but also works well on an insertion point in recording or mixing. The MLA-2 has a rear-mounted range control switch that adjusts the threshold range to suit either mastering or recording/mixing applications.
The MLA-2 is a compressor that can provide effective dynamic control with minimal side-effects - it is designed to provide a very transparent signal path.
Pedigree and design philosophy for the Maselec Master Series
The second to appear in the range of Maselec Master Series products, the MLA-2 was developed for Prism Sound by engineer/producer Leif Mases. Leif's work with a diverse range of artists including Abba, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and Black Sabbath as well as co-ownership of the renowned Marcus Studios in London provided the essential experience using the "tools of the trade" needed to define and implement new and improved professional audio components.
Also qualified in electronic design, Leif Mases developed the highly acclaimed Maselec 9001 retrofit equalizer for SSL 4000 mixing consoles used in film sound and recording studios and currently also builds custom consoles and equipment for mastering and other applications.
The combination of Leif Mases' experience with the creative process and Prism Sound's focus on engineering and technical excellence ensure that the Maselec Master Series delivers great-sounding audio in an intuitive and easy-to-use package.
Using the MLA-2
The MLA-2 is a very special Compressor that has been designed to provide effective but subtle compression. It uses the principle of a fixed threshold, with adjustable drive (or input gain). This makes for more intuitive operation than an adjustable threshold - turn the drive control clockwise and increase the compression depth.
The progression into the compression region is gradual and changes as the ratio is increased. Minimal output gain make-up adjustment is needed as the threshold is slightly modified running through different ratio settings. This creates a consistent gain point with about 2-3dB of compression across the ratio range.
Control of release time is always an issue and special attention has been lavished on this feature. The MLA-2 intelligently adjusts its release time based on the front panel setting for the most musical result. In addition, a modified release decay has been used rather than the conventional exponential curve.
The MLA-2 IMAGELINK system provides a stereo side-chain link that allows the gain of the two channels to track so avoiding the risk of stereo image shifting when only one channel is controlled. However, transients that are placed to the extreme right or left can result in a slightly un-natural ducking of the other channel, so the stereo link is controlled to avoid this.
The MLA-2 achieves excellent results with speech and other highly dynamic sources, as well as instruments such as piano, saxophone or drums. It has a distinctive character, discernable both sonically and in the unique shape of its progressive compression curves. It provides the warmth, punch or air you need with a minimum of effort and without compromising the signal path. There's no easy way to describe it though, so contact us now to arrange a demo. Great sounding compression is right behind the controls!
Prism Sound Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor Limiter Features :
* Input Gain control, adjusts compression depth (drive)
* Output Gain control for gain make-up
* Adjustable ratio from gentle compression to limiting
* Adjustable Attack and Release times
* Attack and Release times are also dynamically auto-adjusted to avoid pumping effects
* Switchable gain reduction or program level (VU) metering
* IMAGELINK system for intelligent stereo linking: Short transients on one channel do not duck both.
* Precision stepped controls for accuracy and repeatability; larger controls for often-used adjustments
* Low noise and wide dynamic range
* Electronically balanced XLR inputs and outputs
* Full bypass when the power is turned off
2008 Update : Sticking with the policy "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", the Maselec MLA-2 has had an evolutionary update which carefully guards the transparent sound that the MLA-2 is so highly regarded for. The changes are:
* New exterior design with custom designed metal knobs and thicker front panel
* New output amplifiers with improved high frequency response
* Full bypass when the power is turned off
Prism Sound Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor Limiter Specifications :
Maximum I/O level +29dBu
Output noise <-90dBu
Enclosure 19-inch 2RU, depth: 280mm
Power supply 90-120V, 200-250V, 50/60Hz, 20W