Staying true to their motto, “analogue cure for digital disease”, Poland’s IGS Audio have produced a trio of modules recalling the golden age of analogue recording, designed to fit the industry-standard API 500-series ‘Lunchbox’ format. Comprising a mic/line preamp, an 1176-inspired FET compressor and a passive, Pultec-style EQ, together these three moderately priced modules make up a vintage-style mono channel strip.
The Vanad 500 preamp features XLR mic/line and quarter-inch, high-impedance instrument inputs. The stepped input and output level controls (in 3dB steps from 0 to +30dB in each case) on the front panel are joined by a 20-segment LED level meter and switches for input selection, phantom power, phase reverse and the 6dB-per-octave high-pass filter. Like the input, the balanced output employs a Carnhill transformer.
The Alter 500 FET compressor would seem to promise characterful Urei 1176-style compression in a compact Lunchbox format. Stepped input and output gain controls sit above a ratio switch offering the familiar 1176 settings (4:1, 8:1, 12:1 and 20:1) plus two more — 2:1 and 1:1, the latter effectively turning the module into a line-level amp. The Slam switch replicates the famous ‘all buttons in’ mode, while the attack and release times can be set to fast, medium or slow. A fourth switch bypasses the compressor and a 20-segment meter shows gain reduction.
Completing the trio is the Rubber Bands 500, a passive EQ that, like IGS’ full-sized Rubber Bands rackmount stereo EQ, takes its cues from the Pultec EQP1A. Like the other IGS modules, its balanced input and output employ Carnhill transformers. Controls for bass boost and cut, with a common stepped frequency control, are joined by high cut and boost knobs with independent frequency controls and, in the case of the high boost, a Q knob. We can’t wait to find out whether IGS have succeeded in distilling the character of yesteryear’s bulky outboard processors into these compact modules.
Head to www.igsaudio.pl to find out more information about the three Lunchbox modules and IGS's other products.