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dbx 560A Limiter/Compressor 500 Series Module

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Mix Magazine "Compression And Compressors"

dbx 560A Limiter/Compressor 500 Series Module
 dbx 560A Limiter/Compressor 500 Series Module 
One of Harman's five new 500 Series Modules released recently is the dbx 560A, a 500 Series version of the company's massively successful VCA-based 1U dbx 160A Compressor/Limiter. Those familiar with the dbx 160X, 160XT, and 160A variants will notice all the same controls and switches here as the original--even the switch between OverEasy® (dbx's version of a soft knee compression curve) and hard knee compression curves.

I found the same parameter values including the "Infinity" compression ratio and negative compression ratios. The 560A has improved distortion, dynamic range and noise specs than the older model and it uses dbx's laser-trimmed V2B VCA chip to change gain. Without transformers, both the input and output use electronically-balanced line receivers and drivers.

I tried both of the dbx 560As in my daily music mix routine. They worked well as utility compressors for keeping things steady such as individual electric guitar tracks, stereo Fender Rhodes® pianos, or for bass guitars using low 2:1 or 1.5:1 compression ratios.

dbx 560A Limiter/Compressor 500 Series Module
 Inside The dbx 560A Limiter/Compressor 500 Series Module 
I parallel processed a snare drum track by duplicating it in Pro Tools and using a dbx 560A set to "stun" inserted on the paralleled track. This was a popular use with the original dbx 160X/XT units and it works well here again. I used a higher 10:1 ratio, a low threshold (-20dB for my snare drum), hard knee position and with around 10dB of Output gain (makeup gain). With the 560A you can slowly adjust and vary the Ratio control past the infinity:1 ratio and then into negative ratios.

For a parallel processed individual track mixed with the original source, this offers a wide range of modern sounding VCA-based dynamic effects that sound great. In this case, blending the super-squashed version of the snare drum with the original allows for careful control of the attack portion of the snare drum hits.

Like the dbx 160X, 160XT and 160A models, attack and release times do not have front panel controls but attack time is program-dependent and usually around 15ms for 10dB. Release is also program-dependent and fairly fast at 8ms for a 1dB change.

A couple of great little jewels in my 500 rack now, the dbx 560A Compressor/Limiters are solid workhorses and will make it into every mix from now on around here.

They sell for $299.95 each. There is much more at:

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