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British Audio Engineering Ships New 10DC Compressor/Limiter

Faithful to the original Class A discrete audio circuit designs of the 1960s and '70s

By PSW Staff August 14, 2012

Dual BAE 10DC compressor/limiters (larger image below)

British Audio Engineering (BAE) is now shipping the new 10DC compressor/limiter, a complement to the company’s line of Class A series outboard gear. 

BAE is known for its line of classic microphone pre-amps, faithful to the original Class A discrete audio circuit designs of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Fully Class A, the 10DC features a transformer coupled, all-discrete circuitry that is sonically familiar to the BAE Class A line of gear, ideal for achieving the classic analog sound favorable in today’s digital recording. 

Gold-plated stepped Elma rotary switches for every control, a reverse UK-style analogue meter, and the trademark Marconi knobs facilitate ease of use and repeatability. 

Independent circuitry for compressor and limiter allows use of one or both for greater control.

Also featured is a true bypass and the units are stereo linkable as two single-channel units.

The 10DC is housed in a steel chassis using the same remote supply as other BAE units, and is completely hand-built, including the circuit board that uses no computer surface-mount components.

It offers a purely discrete Class A amplifier, yielding desirable sonic coloration.  Whereas vintage designs were primarily built for analog tape machines with +4 to +8 dBu range, the 10DC provides greater headroom and increased gain to accommodate today’s high dBu levels, typically in the +15 dBu range.

When dealing with digital levels, comparable compressor/limiters are already compressing at the initial threshold level. Rather than starting at +10 dBu, the 10DC starts at +16 dBu, making it ideal for tracking of vocals and instruments going into (Avid) Pro Tools.

All switches are on the front panel and are stepped in clickable detents for easy recall of settings. Conversely, the 10DC’s elevated headroom makes it ideal in the mixdown mode coming out of Pro Tools.

In addition, the 10DC features a variable attack time, unlike comparable compressor limiters. Fast attack times can vary from 2 to 4 milliseconds, but can be slowed down to 80 milliseconds. As an example, the 10DC gets that snap of the snare drum while allowing the drums to breathe.

British Audio Engineering (BAE)


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