This Baby Breathes Fire!
You can't fix what's not broken, but that doesn't mean you can't put your own spin on it! Slate Pro Audio's Dragon does exactly that, taking the classic FET compressor circuit from the '60s and '70s, and enhancing it up to mastering-grade specs. So, how does Slate Pro Audio push the FET compressor standard with the Dragon? It all starts with a Class A output section based around a custom-made transformer that imparts a rich, warm quality to your audio, but it can turn aggressive if you so desire.
No one wants a 1-trick pony in their rack, and the Dragon uses its three character settings to shape the sound to what you're tracking. The aptly named "Boom" setting adds sub-bass harmonics to make basses and kick drums thicker and fatter than you thought possible. "Bite" is more universal in its application, pushing bass, snare, vocals, and guitars forward in the mix. Looking to add an airy shimmer to your tracks? Engage the "Sheen" setting, which responds much like the classic opto tube compressors and is great for vocals, acoustics, and overheads. Better yet, the Dragon can use all three settings simultaneously!
Slate Pro Audio knows a little something about drum sounds (after all, they're the brains behind Steven Slate Drums!). Push the Dragon's "Vintage" button to transform the sound into a more vintage-y sound, with the perfect blend of harmonics and grit. Perfect for electric guitars and bass, this setting also really shines on drums! And just for more sonic variety, the Dragon has a 3-setting saturation selector. Add anything from subtle harmonics to gritty distortion by varying the setting. A lot of fun to play around with, the saturation selector makes everything sound better!
You know how some compressors overreact to bass content in the source material? The Dragon conquers that with a highpass filter that limits the amount of low end that is fed into the detection circuit. This is helpful on mix bus applications where you want more transparency. And speaking of compressing the mix bus, the Dragon succeeds where most FET compressors have failed (too much color and too much aggression). The Dragon compensates for this with a subtle 2:1 setting that works wonders on full mixes. Here's a hint: use the 2:1 setting with the "Sheen" setting and hear your mixes come alive!
One of the most famous FET compressors was popular for its "All Buttons In" setting. Engage the Dragon's "Squash" setting and hear the classic "All Buttons In" sound being applied to your drums, making drums sound bigger than life while avoiding the harshness that frequently accompanied the original unit. The icing on the Dragon's cake is the Mix knob, which lets you dial in the perfect wet/dry ratio, as well as engage such classic studio tricks as parallel compression.Slate Pro Audio Dragon Dynamics Processor Features at a Glance:
- Classic-style FET compression/limiting
- Use 3 character settings individually or simultaneously for different flavors
- Great for drums, guitars, vocals, bass, and more!
- Covers everything from subtle compression to highly colored squashing
- 1 x TRS and 1 x XLR I/O plus 1/4" TS connection for stereo linking
- Highpass filter limits the amount of low end being fed into the detection circuit