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Foote Control Systems P3S Mastering Edition Compressor Review
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#331
2nd April 2012
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Some of the early reviews said things like "you can order one w/o the xfrmr, but why would you?", didn't they? I'd bet more mixing folks would use it than mastering, but the mastering guy looking to shape a sterile mix may use them.

I took a few mixes to mastering last year that I processed with both P3S transformerless, and P4 DMS, identical settings. The P4 DMS with xfrmr in/out was the mastering engineers preference every time. How's that for throwing in a wrench?
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#332
2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerFoote View Post
I have seen a couple of folks respond that they do not need the transformers in the output section of the P3S ME... People who like them are somewhat less in number.

That has me wondering if I should include them at all in this particular product.

What say ye?

All the best,
Roger
Keep them included. Similar to what others have said I also now find myself leaving them out most of the time. However on the right material having them engaged is just the thing. I love having the option to turn the transformers on or off. Options are good.
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#333
2nd April 2012
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that said, I'm going to do the jumper option to make the xformer even more "effect-y"
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#334
2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
that said, I'm going to do the jumper option to make the xformer even more "effect-y"
What's the 'jumper option'?

Thanks,
Peter.
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3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschelfh View Post
What's the 'jumper option'?

Thanks,
Peter.
Roger posted about the jumper option a few posts up but for some bizarre reason it was deleted...

Luckily I inquired with Roger about the jumper option before via email and here is what he had to say:

"There is a hidden feature in the P3S ME compressors, jumpers on the mainboard that allow you to enable or disable 2 things:

1- The Zobel anti-ringing network across each output transformer secondary.
2- The 604 Ohm load across each output transformer secondary.

They are shipped with the Zobel enabled and the 604 Ohm load resistor disabled. This gives the most transparent performance.

If you disable the Zobel, the transformers will ring, adding some interesting zing/color.

Enabling the 604 Ohm loads makes the transformers work harder, becoming slightly darker... More "stressed""


I hope that is helpful to you!

P.S. My 1500 post! It's been great sharing thoughts, opinions and information with all of you fellow GS members over the years!
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#336
3rd April 2012
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Has anyone performed the "jumper option"?
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3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbreak Music View Post
Has anyone performed the "jumper option"?

If they did they probably didn't live to tell about it.

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#338
3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbreak Music View Post
Has anyone performed the "jumper option"?
It's being taken apart as we speak.
#339
3rd April 2012
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I am not sure it would be cool to post the info here, but give me a couple of days or so to collect some drawings for the different board revs and I will make it available to you all. It's bonehead simple stuff and it isn't like it's going to make huge differences, but it's at least technically interesting.

Thanks!
rf
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#340
3rd April 2012
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i just died changing the jumpers.

thank god i saved the game before i tried
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3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
i just died changing the jumpers.

thank god i saved the game before i tried
wtf happened?
#342
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I think John installed jumpers across the big green power resistors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twerk View Post
wtf happened?
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#343
3rd April 2012
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Hmmm darker trannies. Now you're talking.
#344
3rd April 2012
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Here's the images of several of the revisions out there for the ME...
The oldest, #208 does not have jumper blocks so you need to clip out 2 resistors to defeat the Zobel network.

Some have complained about my posts on this thread, so mods, if innapropriate delete this post...

I am not intentionally trying to bump the thread as has been said to me, but I thought we could do this here for simplicity.

Again, not trying to spam here.... If you knew what has been going on here, you would know that!
Attached Files
File Type: zip P3S_ME_OT_Jumpers.zip (108.8 KB, 81 views)
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3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
i use the xformer 1 out of every 100 tracks.
Me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
that said, I'm going to do the jumper option to make the xformer even more "effect-y"
Me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
i just died changing the jumpers.

thank god i saved the game before i tried
This was a triumph.

...what are your first impressions?
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#346
3rd April 2012
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still lots of headroom before any saturation..

hopefully have some time this week to play more
#347
3rd April 2012
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Question about the use of this compressor; Is it best used on a 2 bus to control things and add punch, or best used like a Pend, Manley, and Avalon compressor where you just hit about up to -2db on the master bus to just gel things and add a little character to the mix? If you say it can be used in both situations fine, but which one do you use it for more?

Obviously a SSL, Nail or standard Portico compressor is best suited for a 2 bus. Then the comp's for gentle finishing touches are the comps listed above.
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#348
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
Question about the use of this compressor; Is it best used on a 2 bus to control things and add punch, or best used like a Pend, Manley, and Avalon compressor where you just hit about up to -2db on the master bus to just gel things and add a little character to the mix? If you say it can be used in both situations fine, but which one do you use it for more?

Obviously a SSL, Nail or standard Portico compressor is best suited for a 2 bus. Then the comp's for gentle finishing touches are the comps listed above.
I imagine because of its versatility, it would be happy in either place but as a mastering engineer, I'm using the mastering version which has ratios better suited for subtlety. This particular thread is about the mastering version, which really does excel as a clean final compressor. If you were more interested in using it for mix duties, which I hear it's fantastic at, you'd want to take a look at the regular version which is much more suited to the task.
#349
4th April 2012
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Thanks for the info Roger, very happy P3S ME owner that almost always uses the transformers engaged and NL mode
#350
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonmeister View Post
Thanks for the info Roger, very happy P3S ME owner that almost always uses the transformers engaged and NL mode

Hi Tonmeister,
NL mode eh? Doug Williams (Emrr) was helping us during various decision making steps. He was a big NL proponent, and responsible for keeping that mode in the design. Being a vintage gear afficianado, he also helped by auditioning transformers and advising on those....

Good to hear that NL is getting used so much! By so much, I mean you, tonmeister using it a lot of course, but I hear all the time about lots of others using it occasionally. When it works, it works!

Big thanks to Aletoric for this thread. He put a lot of time into this review, and I hope he knows how much it is appreciated!

Thanks all for your support and posts!
Roger
#351
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
Question about the use of this compressor; Is it best used on a 2 bus to control things and add punch, or best used like a Pend, Manley, and Avalon compressor where you just hit about up to -2db on the master bus to just gel things and add a little character to the mix? If you say it can be used in both situations fine, but which one do you use it for more?

Obviously a SSL, Nail or standard Portico compressor is best suited for a 2 bus. Then the comp's for gentle finishing touches are the comps listed above.

For most things in a mix I'm on a low ratio in RMS, hitting anything 1-4 dB. That suits most of what comes through the door here, but when I get a heavy guitar band I might go to NL and hit it 6 dB. Usually I'm looking for 'gel', 'tightening', and 'framing', without smashing anything, leaving things relatively open.

I have run two FCS in series before (on a session requiring a live mix as final), one set low ratio RMS for light tightening, and the second run 12:1 NL as a peak eraser. I found no objectionable artifacts in that case, and was able to deliver a high level live mix with finished sounding presence, and no worries about the FCS chain sounding like I'd done too much in the quest for one-shot loudness.

I use FCS pieces during tracking, and they tend to be my first choice, after 4 years of using them. They consistently deliver good results, with no processing accidents if pushed harder than expected. I can set them to be invisible, or as obvious peak erasers that almost invert the envelope.

I have experimented with any and all of the extremes of FCS devices, and found it's very hard to get it to misbehave. You could forget to look at the meters, and run a mix at 4:1 RMS hitting -12 dB into compression, and not find it falling apart.

There are a ton of processing samples based around the same drum loop in the FCS P4 DMS thread link below, every extreme of the device. While not the same device, still fairly representative of the range of the P3S family.

FCS P4 Dual Mono / Stereo Compressor
#352
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twerk View Post
I imagine because of its versatility, it would be happy in either place but as a mastering engineer, I'm using the mastering version which has ratios better suited for subtlety. This particular thread is about the mastering version, which really does excel as a clean final compressor. If you were more interested in using it for mix duties, which I hear it's fantastic at, you'd want to take a look at the regular version which is much more suited to the task.
Thanks for your reply. I use the Portico comp as a 2 bus compressor which I am very happy with. Depending on the music, feed/forward or back can be chosen.

For the final stage, I generally prefer an opto compressor as I like the character it offers. I have only heard the youtube example of the P3S, and it was like, ok it made it a little more even sounding, but I was not blown away by it or very impresssed. It was like, ok it did it's job just like many other compressors. Granted I know you can't rely on a youtube video and you really have to try it out in your studio to fully appreciate it.
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4th April 2012
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I just set the jumpers to no zobel network and left the 600 ohm load at standard. So both jumpers off basically.
A quick check-up didn't show any difference but i have to see in practice what it does. Having the option is at least nice.

@roger: nicely build i must say! It was the first time for me to see the inside.
Great idea with the relays in ic socket.. never thought of that before.
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#354
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
Thanks for your reply. I use the Portico comp as a 2 bus compressor which I am very happy with. Depending on the music, feed/forward or back can be chosen.

For the final stage, I generally prefer an opto compressor as I like the character it offers. I have only heard the youtube example of the P3S, and it was like, ok it made it a little more even sounding, but I was not blown away by it or very impresssed. It was like, ok it did it's job just like many other compressors. Granted I know you can't rely on a youtube video and you really have to try it out in your studio to fully appreciate it.
Hi Tubeworld,
You definately must hear it to really draw any conclusions... Posting audio samples is cool and all that, but no two individuals have the same sensibilities when it comes to audio processing. Add to that the fact that encoding risks washing out the "huge" sound that the P3S ME is known for.

Note that the P3S ME has switchable feedback/feedforward.

Many times, I have counseled people to buy compressors other than the FCS if it seemed they wanted something different than what my design offers.
We are more interested in happy customers than brute force sales.
Our happy customers speak volumes for the product, nuff said.

The good thing about this abundant technology is that we have a plethora of choice... Do what is right for you and yor workflow!

I think there is a demo unit making the rounds in Nashville right now, at least if someone hasn't snagged it for their own... I wonder if you could hook up with it.

Best
Roger
#355
4th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da goose View Post
I just set the jumpers to no zobel network and left the 600 ohm load at standard. So both jumpers off basically.
A quick check-up didn't show any difference but i have to see in practice what it does. Having the option is at least nice.

@roger: nicely build i must say! It was the first time for me to see the inside.
Great idea with the relays in ic socket.. never thought of that before.
Thanks Jeffrey!

Like I said, it won't be a night and day difference, but you will see a 2-3 dB rise at around 30kHz from ringing in the transformer without the Zobel network enabled.

Zobel+Load enabled gives the most subdued response.

Again, this is a very high level transformer, so you don't see extreme coloration until you push it much harder. This being a mastering compressor, that transformer choice seems to make the most sense.

Best
Roger
#356
12th April 2012
Old 12th April 2012
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I'm living in Turkey now, but I may find someone to buy from US and bring it here.
Where to buy ? can someone give information about it ?
#357
12th April 2012
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Hi anticipation,

Just PM me, we can discuss it by email.

Best regards
Roger Foote
#358
12th April 2012
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Mine arrived yesterday afternoon, ready to cable it up and live the dream. Thank you Santa . . . I mean Roger!

Best,
Dan
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#359
12th April 2012
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2 little sample

4 samples P3S ME on Caprice Music

EDIT/// MY PREVIOUS SAMPLE WERE MONO! ThE NEW UPDATE IS here

https://download.yousendit.com/TEhVclVFMVhxRTJxV2NUQw

Attack 6
Release 3,5
GR 0,5 / 0,75 db
Peak: P3S works on Peak
RMS: P3S works on RMS

+Rockruepel is with Rockruepel comp one with allmost no GR
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Last edited by priko; 23rd April 2012 at 05:24 PM.. Reason: New stereo sample uploaded
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12th April 2012
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Thank you Santa . . . I mean Roger!
You mean they are not one and the same!?!
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