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Vertigo VSC2 | Media

VCA Compressor By Hannes Bieger
Published November 2012

The audio files on this page accompany Hannes Bieger's review of the Vertigo VCS-2 VCA compressor, which appered in SOS November 2012.

Full Mix

This audio example demonstrates the punch the Vertigo VSC-2 can add to a full mix. The program has been compressed with a relatively moderate ratio of 2:1 at 3dB gain reduction. The key to this sound are the time constant values — a slow 30 ms attack emphasizes the transients and a fast 100ms release ensures the compressor does not react too slowly to the groove.

A second pass adds the side-chain filter at 90 Hz: Please note how the bass gets bigger and the perceived volume increases.

Drum Room

In this example the VSC-2 is literally crushing a stereo drum room mic signal. The 'Brick' ratio (40:1), and the fast release (100ms) are responsible for the thick sounding result at 10 dB gain reduction. The attack time is only moderately fast (3ms). A faster value would have clamped down the transients even more, which could be useful in a parallel compression setup. But in this case some of the transient energy should be preserved.


At 8:1, attack 10ms, release 100ms and 4dB gain reduction, this bass line gets punchier and a little louder at the same time. A second version, again, brings the side-chain high-pass filter into play (90Hz): The signal gets even bigger.

Upright Bass

This example shows how the VSC-2 does not only make the signal thicker and more even, but also increases the RMS level, while retaining all the punch of the original. This recording of an upright bass gets compressed with a 4:1 ratio, 1ms attack, 100ms release for a maximum of 5dB gain reduction. Effectively, the Vertigo compressor does not only act as an envelope shaper here, it also makes the signal louder. Please also have a look at the waveforms, as they provide a good visual reference for the positive effect of the compression.