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New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp Equalizer Plugins
Old 24th February 2017
  #1
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New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp

So right after Christmas, Chris (who lives 5 minutes from me) calls and says he has a new optical bus comp he wants me to listen to. After getting past the holidays we finally connected a few weeks later and he drops off this awesome 4RU work in progress. I hooked it up and was very intrigued... smooth optical compression with 3 "Style" options offering varying flavors of aggression.

After putting it through it's paces over the next week or so I asked about some sidechain options to target higher frequencies. He took the box back for a few days and came back with a new 3 position knob (now called "Color"). I love it. It makes it even more flexible allowing it to key off of vocals or add some warmth and control to overly bright mixes.

As is often the case with Hendy gear, it's capable of more than it might seem at first. At least that's the case with my Hendy MA for sure.

A client sent a mix revision on a track I had used it on and if I'm completely honest, I had to get creative to mimic what I had done with the Pollock.

If you're wondering where he got the name, Chris is keeping with his theme of using artist's names - in this case modernist painter Jackson Pollock.

I'm attaching some pics. The first version, adding the (then unlabeled) "Color" knob, and a pic he sent of mine being built (with a custom faceplate) -
the official HandyAmps Pollock... Serial No. 1.
Attached Thumbnails
New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp-fullsizerender.jpg   New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp-img_4360.jpg   New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp-img_4719.jpg  

Last edited by Bob Boyd; 25th February 2017 at 07:30 AM..
Old 25th February 2017
  #2
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B Elgin's Avatar
 

Chris mentioned this one to me in email conversation - it seems like a very cool design with a good balance between unexpected versatility and simplicity. The emphasis control is key.

Curious to hear some audio examples.

Yours looks great, Bob!
Old 25th February 2017
  #3
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Want
Old 25th February 2017
  #4
Looks interesting - to be honest, I've never found a compressor without attack and release controls that I've liked for mastering - they all seem to have way too long a release - but if anyone can do "simple but deceptively versatile" it's Chris.
Old 25th February 2017
  #5
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Hey Masterers.........

I am on the Beta team for this unit and it is currently in my rack....

Wow!!

All I can say is this box is not normal and behaves quite differently than any comp out there...

I just remastered a few tracks with it and it kills.....

I love it.....
Its not going back(sorry Dude)

More to come once I get my head around it!
Old 25th February 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post

All I can say is this box is not normal and behaves quite differently than any comp out there...
Completely agree Michael
Old 25th February 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Looks interesting - to be honest, I've never found a compressor without attack and release controls that I've liked for mastering - they all seem to have way too long a release - but if anyone can do "simple but deceptively versatile" it's Chris.
This is what I'm excited about. I was skeptical of Michelangelo's versatility before I got it but Chris rewrote the rules. I am super excited to hear a compressor without really having a pre-conceived idea of what it can do.
Old 25th February 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
Hey Masterers.........

I am on the Beta team for this unit and it is currently in my rack....

Wow!!

All I can say is this box is not normal and behaves quite differently than any comp out there...

I just remastered a few tracks with it and it kills.....

I love it.....
Its not going back(sorry Dude)

More to come once I get my head around it!
Nice! Except a phone call from me one day next week Michael. Would love to get your further impression on the unit as you spend more time with it.....plus it has been awhile man!
Old 26th February 2017
  #9
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price? size? when he will be available?
Old 26th February 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
Nice! Except a phone call from me one day next week Michael. Would love to get your further impression on the unit as you spend more time with it.....plus it has been awhile man!
Yeah Man!

Sorry! Its been busy over here!
Old 26th February 2017
  #11
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
Hey Masterers.........

I am on the Beta team for this unit and it is currently in my rack....

Wow!!

All I can say is this box is not normal and behaves quite differently than any comp out there...

I just remastered a few tracks with it and it kills.....

I love it.....
Its not going back(sorry Dude)

More to come once I get my head around it!
I had a feeling you'd like it!
Old 26th February 2017
  #12
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I love it Dave!

Thanks for the hang!
Old 26th February 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
price? size? when he will be available?
Oh man...cat is out of the bag now...lol

$2,650USD for price (same as MA) and $3,000 for the stepped version, as I want to make sure we stay in the reasonable territory.
It will be a 2u unit like the MA and have Jensens in and out. As well it will have the true bypass switches and calibration knobs like the MA but will run on two 12ax7’s instead of three. The output impedance will be well below 600ohms (LoZ) and input impedance will be 10K. Controls will be ganged and left and right channels will trigger their own compressor circuits (not trigger off left or right only) in order to keep a nice stereo spread.

Right now only the prototype exists, and apparently Nomatic isn't giving it back, so I better finish Bob's and mine quick! While the design is done, it has not moved into the "standardized" category yet, so any Pollock builds I do right now are considered "custom builds".

As soon as possible I'll try and get some samples/video out there of it in action, and maybe Nomatic and Bob can potentially help out with this.

Be warned, this compressor is technically an opto, but it is a whole different kind of animal altogether. If you are expecting a mastering La2 or something like that, this thing is not what you are looking for. I tried to make an "anti-opto, opto bus comp"...lol. I wanted it to be nearly invisible when desired, tame bright mixes naturally when desired, level program material almost like an expander when desired, and act almost like a multiband comp when desired. Oh yeah, and I wanted to be able to get the sound I was looking for in 5 min or less. Needless to say, there has been a lot of "it is hard to explain...you just have to try it to understand what I mean" statements being made about it. I obviously love it, and hope a lot of you guys will as well!

I decided Jackson Pollock was the best painter for this beast as the way he brought his art into existence is the exact same methodology I used during prototyping.
Attached Thumbnails
New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp-pollock-1.jpg  
Old 26th February 2017
  #14
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wow. It's stereo, right? Very interesting.

(edit - clicked off the front page, didn't notice I was in the mastering forum - doh...)
Old 26th February 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antichef View Post
wow. It's stereo, right? Very interesting.
Yes...ganged controls
Old 26th February 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Oh man...cat is out of the bag now...lol

$2,650USD for price (same as MA) and $3,000 for the stepped version, as I want to make sure we stay in the reasonable territory.
It will be a 2u unit like the MA and have Jensens in and out. As well it will have the true bypass switches and calibration knobs like the MA but will run on two 12ax7’s instead of three. The output impedance will be well below 600ohms (LoZ) and input impedance will be 10K. Controls will be ganged and left and right channels will trigger their own compressor circuits (not trigger off left or right only) in order to keep a nice stereo spread.

Right now only the prototype exists, and apparently Nomatic isn't giving it back, so I better finish Bob's and mine quick! While the design is done, it has not moved into the "standardized" category yet, so any Pollock builds I do right now are considered "custom builds".

As soon as possible I'll try and get some samples/video out there of it in action, and maybe Nomatic and Bob can potentially help out with this.

Be warned, this compressor is technically an opto, but it is a whole different kind of animal altogether. If you are expecting a mastering La2 or something like that, this thing is not what you are looking for. I tried to make an "anti-opto, opto bus comp"...lol. I wanted it to be nearly invisible when desired, tame bright mixes naturally when desired, level program material almost like an expander when desired, and act almost like a multiband comp when desired. Oh yeah, and I wanted to be able to get the sound I was looking for in 5 min or less. Needless to say, there has been a lot of "it is hard to explain...you just have to try it to understand what I mean" statements being made about it. I obviously love it, and hope a lot of you guys will as well!

I decided Jackson Pollock was the best painter for this beast as the way he brought his art into existence is the exact same methodology I used during prototyping.
i ordered a stepped version - I'm sure i will love the pollock!
Old 26th February 2017
  #17
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You slut.... looking forward to your review....

I have the fear the pollock might be this one and only compressor I ever might need in my chain... ****.
Old 26th February 2017
  #18
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Sounds like what Danny did at Requisite Audio with his opto compressor many, many years ago.

So I take it because it's opto based the meters will never tell you what's really going on. Ears instead of eyes with most of these designs. I'd be very surprised if that aspect was different.

Looks interesting.
Old 26th February 2017
  #19
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if you just looking for a great mastering-opto, don't forget the airfield laminator with mastering option - i love him, unbelievable musical.
but I'm sure, the pollock will be a different beast...
Old 26th February 2017
  #20
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
if anyone can do "simple but deceptively versatile" it's Chris.
Agreed.

I found the Pollock was great at smooth control - either simply on it's own or used as part of a bigger dynamics chain (depending on what the mix needed). After our conversations about a sidechain function, Chris nailed getting the Color function to smoothly ride things like vocal energy or lend some smoothness to the top end. Depending on how you have it dialed, the flavor of the box can feel hifi and open even with no compression. Looking forward to getting this thing back in the rack.
Old 26th February 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Sounds like what Danny did at Requisite Audio with his opto compressor many, many years ago.

So I take it because it's opto based the meters will never tell you what's really going on. Ears instead of eyes with most of these designs. I'd be very surprised if that aspect was different.

Looks interesting.
I've never used any of Danny's gear so I have no idea how it compares, though I suspect the Pollock is quite different than his gear, which looks fantastic in its own right!

Now you are spot on with the VU meter though. The Pollock is doing an incredible amount of unusual things in the side chain and to the signal, so trying to create a VU circuit that in any way represented what was going on was nearly impossible as compression is applied differently at different frequencies depending on the selection combinations you make with the Color and Style switches, and what is triggering it isn't always what is being compressed (I told you...very different kind of unit).
So when you see the VU meter, it is more of a general guide than a precise representation. As always, your ears are always king.

Maybe a better way to think of it is not that you have one compressor, but 9 compressors in one box (Color and Style have three positions that interact with each other).
Old 26th February 2017
  #22
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sounds like a bargain
Old 27th February 2017
  #23
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I have heard a older requisite box and the Pollock is nothing like that.
I will have a full report when I catch up on some masters.
As with the Michelangelo this unit is like a instrument and has interesting
non linear characteristics that enhance program in a way that fits my esthetic...
I am really digging so far!
More to come
Old 27th February 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
I've never used any of Danny's gear so I have no idea how it compares, though I suspect the Pollock is quite different than his gear, which looks fantastic in its own right!

Now you are spot on with the VU meter though. The Pollock is doing an incredible amount of unusual things in the side chain and to the signal, so trying to create a VU circuit that in any way represented what was going on was nearly impossible as compression is applied differently at different frequencies depending on the selection combinations you make with the Color and Style switches, and what is triggering it isn't always what is being compressed (I told you...very different kind of unit).
So when you see the VU meter, it is more of a general guide than a precise representation. As always, your ears are always king.

Maybe a better way to think of it is not that you have one compressor, but 9 compressors in one box (Color and Style have three positions that interact with each other).
And the inevitable comparison question:

Van Gogh versus Pollack? (the gear not the artists!)

IOW:
Should I get in line for a Pollack now?
Old 27th February 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robobob View Post
And the inevitable comparison question:

Van Gogh versus Pollack? (the gear not the artists!)

IOW:
Should I get in line for a Pollack now?


They are actually extremely different. Van Gogh is a true tracking/mixing dual mono tool that is actually aimed to give more of a traditional optical sound (La2...ish) with compressor 2. Compressor 1 is more like a quicker La3 (obviously Comp 1 and 2 are my own strange version of things so there are large differences from the classic gear referenced), and then Compressor 3 is a limiter/distortion generator. The Pollock is a bus mixing/mastering tool that is on a whole different planet than the Van Gogh (not a bad thing...different tools for different jobs).

In my studio work, my Van Gogh lives on my acoustic and electric guitar tracks (comp 1 and 2) while comp three lives on my drum tracks. Pollock is all about bus duties for me and right now I need about 8 of them for a project I'm working on...if only I had the time.
Old 4th March 2017
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Right now only the prototype exists, and apparently Nomatic isn't giving it back, so I better finish Bob's and mine quick! While the design is done, it has not moved into the "standardized" category yet, so any Pollock builds I do right now are considered "custom builds".
hi chris

do you have a roughly timeframe, when the first serial-units will be ready?
Old 4th March 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
hi chris

do you have a roughly timeframe, when the first serial-units will be ready?
As soon as possible...lol
Still doing some final tweaks to the circuit and when that is finished then it is on to the board layout and such. It will be in the same chassis as the current Michelangelo with the same power supply and transformer arrangement so much of the legwork has already been done there.
I'm guessing we are a few months out from a final serial version.
I'll keep you updated though.
Attached Thumbnails
New HendyAmps "Pollock" Optical Bus Comp-ma-pollock-1.jpg  
Old 5th March 2017
  #28
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Review

All Right Y'all........

Here is my initial review of the Hendy Amps Pollock Bus comp....

This will be a somewhat non technical assessment BTW

Like the Michelangelo this box is like a musical instrument that
makes program more lovely with minimal fuss.

1st. This unit sounds very big just running signal through it..
(I love the amplifiers so much!)(Quite 3D and muscular with beautiful top)
2cd. There is no loss of low frequencies under compression with this design
Even if there is no sidechain...
3rd Time constants are near invisible under normal compression.

Since I switched out my normal mastering comp for the prototype Pollock I want to remaster all my recent projects if that gives you a picture.
I don't fully understand the action of this unit but I will describe by saying it seems to function like a multi band compressor sometimes and other times a automatic fader. Program is wrangled stealthily into shape whilst feeling somehow more dynamically exciting? For instance a weak verse is somehow expanded slightly and the overly loud chorus is clamped down enough so the whole song sounds more deftly crafted.
I actually don't know whats going on in this design except to say it is the Michelangelo of compressors. Like Chris's other stuff the Pollock has something so very right about it. Musical, emotional and helpful to our craft in short order.
I think between the EQ and this comp I could probably do my job with just two pieces in my analogue chain. I don't have time right now to say much about the settings but suffice to say I merely listen and quickly audition all the settings
and am usually where i want to be in a couple minutes.

Highly recommended my Brothers and Sisters....

More to come.......
Old 5th March 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
As soon as possible...lol
Still doing some final tweaks to the circuit and when that is finished then it is on to the board layout and such. It will be in the same chassis as the current Michelangelo with the same power supply and transformer arrangement so much of the legwork has already been done there.
I'm guessing we are a few months out from a final serial version.
I'll keep you updated though.
The faceplate looks more like an angular Mondrian, rather than any Pollock...just sayin'

I bet it sounds marvelous though.
Old 5th March 2017
  #30
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___GLM___'s Avatar


What is this, the chingonizer EQ by hendyamps? Will there be a new EQ? I am very interested...
looks so good, I would by it immediately

Last edited by ___GLM___; 5th March 2017 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: typo
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