Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Focusrite Bass Factory: This is a rare bass-specific version of their Platinum Tone Factory, a rackmount channel strip featuring a preamp, compressor, many different EQ/tone functions, and a gate. I have to apologize to you--really I should have gotten the regular Tone Factory to review, since very few Bass Factories were ever made, and I have no idea how they differ. But I had the bass one in my hands for a while, some years ago, and wrote this very short review of it:
 
The compressor part is really quite good. It is an optical design with a useful (but not overwhelming) range of controls, and an unusual "feel" or action. It can act as an effective limiter, or it can be used for gentle squeeze, or added sustain. There is no loss of highs or lows, and the tone is clear and modern. The lows are tightened up and the highs and upper mids really jump out very clearly, so this is a great tool for somebody who wants a bright, articulate crisp tone without losing the low end. The tradeoff is that the lows are not as fat or boomy as some people might like.
 
The action is smooth at all settings, and the noise level is pretty low. The other functions of the channel strip are very good as well: the gate is effective, and not too obnoxious, and the filters and EQ provide a wide range of control. Note that the comp section doesn't have separate in/outputs, so the only way to use it is to use the whole channel strip. The bypass switch is not "true bypass", but it is very clean. The construction quality is middle-of-the-road, better than Behringer but not the greatest, and I have heard that the buttons on these Platinum series units don't last very long.
 
Price in USD: The regular Tone Factory is $100-$200 used, no longer available new.
 

 

 
 
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