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AES 2015: SKnote RawPro series (Video)

Affordable desktop hardware compressors

We reported on SKnote’s range of tiny desktop compressor/mic preamp units back in the News section of August issue of SOS, but we got a much closer look at this week’s AES show in New York. Watch our video for more from their maker, Quinto Sardo of SKnote.

The tiny desktop RawPro boxes promise professional performance from a very small footprint, with a very low price to boot. Encompassing FET, VCA and optical compression, the single-channel RawPro units can be linked for stereo operation and all feature a phantom-powered XLR input alongside a balanced line input and output.

The RP6 is an 1176-style FET compressor with continuous attack and release time controls and five different compression ratio settings, including an “all buttons” mode. Inspired by the Dbx 165A Over East Compressor/Limiter, the SKnote RP165A is a VCA compressor with auto and manual modes, six ratio settings and a built-in limiter. Finally, the RP2A is an optocoupler compressor/limiter inspired by the Teletronix LA2A. However, SKnote have taken things a step further with a custom optocoupler design that combines a high-voltage electroluminescent panel (as opposed to LEDs) with three different light-dependent resistors. This assembly enables the RP2A to offer a total of six different optocoupler settings, each with its own sonic character and knee characteristics.

All three RawPro units feature LED gain reduction metering plus bypass and phantom power switches. They’re available direct from SKnote, priced at 250 Euros each. Power is provided by the separate RP-Power unit (100 Euros), which can supply up to eight units at once, though SKnote will also provide instructions on using your own 2 x 24V AC power transformer if you wish.

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