Mix - December 2011 - (Page 66)
By Kevin Becka
Tech // reviews
LINDELL AUDIO 17X COMPRESSOR/LIMITER
Beefy, FET Gain Controller With Personality Plus
The Lindell 17X gives you onboard parallel mix control.
’m writing this review just a week after AES 2011 in New York City where the underlying theme was “hardware and lots of it.” One of the stand-out pieces of gear at the show was the single-channel, Lindell Audio 17X FET transformer-coupled compressor/limiter. Sweden-based Lindell is best known for its high-end Reference Modular I and II three-way loudspeaker systems, so making a compressor is a new venture. Before AES, I had the 17X in session for some time and had been talking to company owner Tobias Lindell about his product. Since the beginning, I was struck by the unit’s features and sound and Lindell’s enthusiasm for audio: He’s excited about his compressor and for good reason. INSIDE THE UNIT The 17X is elegant in design, both inside and out. There is a beefy toroidal transformer and power supply inside, alongside Alps pots, Wima caps, gold-plated XLRs, Carnhill transformers and an intelligently designed, well-executed circuit board. The back of the unit is simple, sporting an XLR balanced input, direct out (compressed signal only) and output (post-Mix knob). Tweaker-central is on the front of the unit, where four five-way Fender Super Switches are used for setting ratio, attack, release and sidechain highpass filter. The latter was a very handy feature that I first used on the new Retro Channel Strip that I’m reviewing for a later issue. It allows you to de-emphasize the low frequency’s effect on the compressor, letting it pass through the unit while still grabbing the mid and top-end of the signal. The ratio ranges from 4:1 to 100:1, attack and release from slow to fast, and sidechain HPF ranges from off, then 100 to 600 Hz. There are separate input and output gain controls, switchable signal lowpass and highpass filters (6dB per octave at 80 Hz and 12 kHz), switchable in/out/GR meter and a comp in switch. What’s disappointingly missing is a Link option if you wanted to strap two units together.
IT CRUSHED ME I ﬁrst heard the Lindell 17X on a kick drum recorded with a Shure Beta 52 placed inside the front head, about four inches from the beater. I set the unit for a slower attack and fast release, and it gave me that FET compressor grab that I expected, letting the initial attack bloom and then deftly grab the signal, pulling it back then releasing, ready for the next peak. I then set the sidechain HPF at 100 and then 200 Hz, which let the “boom” of the kick come through and grabbed the beater hit, bringing it up in the mix—perfect. Combined with an AKG D-112 placed outside the front head was just the ticket for that exTRY THIS treme chest-thumping kick with a perfect Printing the direct attack that worked well with the bass. (compressed) and The 17X also shined when used on a output (post-Mix knob) simultaneously, snare drum recorded with a Shure SM57 on you can record both top and one on the bottom. I strapped the to your DAW, giving 17X across the insert of the top mic channel you even more control later in the mix. This on an SSL 4000 Series console and set the way, if you love the ratio at the lowest setting (4:1). I was looking compressed out, you for that FET pop on the snare drum, which could hedge your bets by going with a 50:50 the 17X did very well. I was able to fine tune mix taken from the the FET’s effect on the signal by playing with output, providing you the attack and release until I got it where with a fully and halfcompressed signal the compressor wasn’t pumping, but was to mix along with consistently grabbing the signal without your original uncombeing that apparent. In a later session, I used pressed track. Having options later on in a the 17X on the snare bottom mic, allowing project, especially if me to bring the snap of the snare into the you’re adding more blend while leaving the snare-top signal layers later, is a good thing to have when fairly dark and prominent in the midrange. mixing. In this application, I kicked in the 80Hz HPF, which de-accentuated the kick drum
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mix - December 2011
Mix - December 2011
From the Editor
On the Cover
Carole King's Holiday Album
News and Notes
Classic Tracks: George Harrison ''Got My Mind Set on You''
Cheap Trick Do ''Dream Police''
Event Live Expo, ALMA Event
News and Notes
All Access: Mastodon
The Art of Flight in 7.1
New 500 Series Microphone Preamps
Miranda Lambert’s Four the Album
Bon Iver Live
Ask Eddie: Great Education Expectations
Review: Bax EQ
Review: Lindell Audio 17X compressor/limiter
Review: Neumann KH 120A studio monitors
TechTalk: What's In Your Ears?
Mix - December 2011