The latest Lunchbox-format audio processing module from 500-series specialists Bereich03 Audio is the Filterbank. This double-width module combines three distinct processing blocks — a filter, a compressor and a clipper — and is designed for fast and creative audio shaping. Each block can be individually bypassed, adding up to plenty of versatility in a very small package.
One of the more genuinely ‘boutique’ boutique manufacturers, Bereich03 is the outlet for the work of designer Michael Heilrath. All his modules are hand-built in Germany and have previously won praise in these pages for their impressive performance and ease of use. Heilrath is also a mastering engineer and it shows – his designs generally have a professional, no-nonsense feel to them and the new Filterbank is no different.
Starting from the top, there are six bandpass filters set at frequencies ranging from 80Hz to 7.9kHz. Each fader adjusts the amount of cut at the relevant frequency, from 0dB to total silence. Next, there’s a soft-knee VCA compressor with only two controls, for threshold and make-up gain. The attack time is set at around 1 millisecond and the ratio is controlled by an RMS detector, starting gently but quickly rising to 20:1. There’s a five-LED gain reduction meter and Bereich03 say the compressor is designed for classic squashing. Finally, the diode clipper section can add generous amounts of harmonic distortion, once again with only threshold and make-up gain controls to worry about. The Filterbank is available to order direct from Bereich03 Audio. It’s priced at 450 Euros excluding tax, giving a total cost of around £476.50 including tax and shipping to the UK, giving a total cost of around $550 including shipping to the US.