Focusrite Blue 230 Stereo Mastering Compressor.
Unit tested and overall condition is Good
The Blue 230 is a Class A VCA-based dual mono / stereo compressor and limiter with separate controls for the compressor and limiter functions, PPM metering and a true stereo mode.
If you are familiar with the Blue 230 you know it is similiar to the Red 3 but with stepped attenuation for precise recall. The Blue Range is Focusrite's world-class analog mastering range of products. All Blue products are designed to perform to the very high standards established by Focusrite's legendary analog processors, and provide unparalleled fidelity in mastering, transfer and recording work.
Blue Range products do not normally feature transformers, since all transformers introduce a slight coloration in the signal path that is usually not desired at the mastering stage. In many cases, however, mastering facilities desire input and output transformers, so they are available as optional modifications on the Blue products. Blue signal processors also feature a high percentage of stepped controls to allow exact channel matching and repeatability.
Blue 230 Dual Mono / Stereo Compressor & Limiters Features:
The controls of both of these Dual / Stereo Compressor and Limiter modules are identical for each of the two channels and are simple to use, and are described from left to right along the front panel:
Mains switch - this is an illuminated push switch, the indicator is an LED cluster, lit when On.
In switch - an illuminated push switch, the indicator is an LED and lit when the compressor stages are in circuit.
Key switch - an illuminated push switch, the indicator is an Led and lit when the side chain is being fed from the key input and not the main signal input.
Make-up Gain control - a variable control which allows gain to be applied to the signal via the VCA element.
Ratio control - providing a switched range of ratios for the compressor action.
Threshold control - switched.
Attack control - a continuously variable attack speed from Fast to Slow.
Release control - another continuously variable control for release timing. This control may be overridden by selecting the Auto Release function using the illuminated push switch, where-upon the release timing is programme level dependant.
The controls mentioned above, Ratio, Threshold, Attack and Release all affect the compressor function only, having no effect upon the limiter function which has its own controls to the right hand side of the module.
Next are two VU meters one for each channel which normally display input signal level. There is a single switch marked Gain Change, when the LED is illuminated the meters display the gain changes of the Compressors. With no Compressor gain change the meter will read 0VU. Any gain change will be displayed directly in dB, thus 6dB of compressor action will result in a meter reading of -6dB. Please note that the meters do not display the action of the Limiter, there is a separate LED for the Limiter action.
The Stereo switch - an illuminated push switch which changes the module from a dual to a true stereo comp/limiter
Limit On switch - an illuminated push switch which activates the limiter function. The LED indicator to the right of this switch will glow when the limiter is actually affecting the signal.
Threshold - Is a switched control on the limiter threshold.
Please note that when the Limiter and the Compressor are selected together the compressor action is performed upon the signal first, followed by the limiter action if then required dependant on the Limiter Threshold setting and the already compressed signal level. This arrangement is unusual for compressor / limiters, but we believe it to be superior in performance and the combined action of the Focusrite Compressor / Limiter to be less intrusive on the audio. There are,however, two unusual conditions that can arise from this arrangement:
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