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Foote Control Systems P3S Compressor
Old 26th March 2011
  #1
Foote Control Systems P3S Compressor

Dear world, I am a proud owner of the Roger Foote/FCS P3S Stereo Compressor. This baby is smooth. I've demoed an SSL G-Bus compressor: great tone and depth, but the sound was too specific. I demoed the API 2500: hated it in the mastering line up, too colored, too harsh sounding, nice tone, but not broad enough.

Then there's the FCS P3S. The RMS setting is absolutely fabulous, smooth and easily places you in the pocket, great for mastering. The A/R peak mode has a lot of bite to it, great if that's what you need. Surprisingly, the N/L mode makes every bit of sense. If you don't know how to compressor, the N/L mode kinda does it for you. Of course the unit is source dependent and the genre of music is relative. But N/L can almost get you there at the correct threshold (perfecting your compression skill is better than just slapping on the N/L mode, but it's a start).

I own the stereo compressor, so the attack, release, and ratio are not stepped. But a recall sheet, and careful hands can get the job done as Roger Foote provides you 2:1 ratio to 1.05:1 ratio starting from noon to CCW.

The stereo field doesn't widen, but remains consistent to the source material. The sonic difference with the transformer engaged is noticeable (a good thing if you're looking for the color). The HPF does what a HPF is suppose to do. Along with a solid built, the knobs are smooth and finger friendly.

The unit doesn't have an "amazing sound", your mix should be amazing, but it has a correct sound, an analog sound that causes me not to drive the TAPE setting on the Cranesong Hedd too hard. This unit competes very well with the established API 2500 and in some ways out performs it with it's more versatile settings.

Bleen, thank you for the recommendation. Roger, thank you for the unit.
Old 26th March 2011
  #2
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I've been meaning to demo one of these units as they get nothing but love around here. I'll be the first to admit it's not the most attractive looking unit, but what it does inside is a lot more important than how it looks aesthetically

I'm looking forward to trying one out!
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #3
jdg
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make sure you get the "Mastering Edition" one.

its four million times more useful for mastering this way
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #4
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I'd like to de-lurk for a moment and say that I really like the P3S-ME for many of the same reasons that the OP stated. I'll second Herr McCaig's recommendation: get the mastering version. It's such an inexpensive upgrade and very well worth it, especially for the increased threshold resolution. This compressor holds it's own...if it was $4K and had a blue front panel, people wouldn't be so uhh, 'skeptical'.

Roger is amazing to work with; patient, generous and very helpful.

JDG (himself a good dood) turned me onto this thing and I'm very grateful!

Graemme
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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I've been meaning to comment as well. I got the mastering version a couple months ago and I'm in love with it. It has not replaced my 2500 but it's often the perfect tool when the 2500 is not quite right. Very versatile and complimentary to my other compression options.

I usually run it in RMS mode but the N/L mode has saved my butt a few times. It's a keeper!


GR
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What are the distinguishing characteristics of the mastering version?

I've been interested in the the FCS P4.

- c
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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Hi all

Thanks for posting this Sophroneo!

The distinguishing differences between the P3S ME and P3S are as follows,

1- Threshold range
P3S- -50dB to +15dB
P3S ME- -8dB to +15dB in 1 dB steps

2- Ratio range
P3S- 1:1 through 12:1
P3S ME- 1:1 through 4:1

3- Gain range
P3S- 20dB through +20dB
P3S ME- 0dB through +11.5dB in 1/2dB steps

4- Threshold, Ratio and Makeup are Goldpoint/Elma 24 step hand built rotary controls instead of conductive plastic potentiometers.

5- Price... The P3S ME requires far more labor both in assembly and development leading to it's release, hence significantly more expensive.

Similarities,

1- Both use the same circuit board and components.
2- Both come stock with Carnhill output transformers
3- Both have the signature FCS sound, sweet and natural.

The P4DMS is quite a bit different in that it uses different topology in the circuit design. The design philosophy is similar, but the different components have an impact making it sound markedly different than a P3S... Less transparent, more color and attitude.

The P4DMS uses 4 top of the line VCAs per channel for lower noise and wider dynamic range, but more importantly is the input balancing which is accomplished using an expensive Carnhill input transformer instead of an IC balancing circuit.

Then, in the output stage, we have a custom discrete op amp directly driving the Carnhill output transformer...

On the P4DMS, none of the transformers can be bypassed, they are integral parts of the circuit.
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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Shawn Hatfield's Avatar
 
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Thanks for the explanation, Roger. What is the current price for a P3S ME?
Old 26th March 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I've been interested in the the FCS P4.

- c
You and I both.
Old 27th March 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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Sunbreak Music's Avatar
 
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Another happy camper here.
Old 27th March 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
make sure you get the "Mastering Edition" one.

its four million times more useful for mastering this way
Where could I find specific info on this one?
Old 27th March 2011 | Show parent
  #12
jdg
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read rogers post (post number 7)


also, its about 25% more $ then the standard version
Old 27th March 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
read rogers post (post number 7)


also, its about 25% more $ then the standard version
Doh !

How did I miss that
Old 27th March 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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DominicWyeth's Avatar
 
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it really is the best comp i've used...love it
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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aleatoric's Avatar
 
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I am in love with my FCS P3S ME. Absolutely amazing sounding mastering compressor. RMS mode gets used a lot here but as also stated above the N/L mode can really save your ass. I did an album last week where every track was mixed with the drums to up front. The album was mixed by the drummer (go figure) and a remix was not a possibility. N/L mode on the P3S ME was just the trick to tame the drums transients in a very natural way. The P3S sounds great and is super flexible. I can't recommend it enough.
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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nomatic's Avatar
 
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I will soon be in the club..

Ya'll are killing me.....My ME edition is burning in at Rogers as we speak!
Custom Red faceplate with Silver knobs I might add....
I can't wait to hear what this thing sounds like on mixes!
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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2 Reviews written
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I seem to be in the minority, but I think the stock color is beautiful in every permutation/angle. Well chosen, Roger!
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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engmix's Avatar
i noticed there is a transformerless option. has anyone tried both and can chime in. i wonder for mastering it would be more useful to have a transformerless version.
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #19
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You can switch the transformers in or out I believe.

Considering it here, but between the Summit, API and MLA-3 I'm well covered compression wise. Hmmm....
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
Ya'll are killing me.....My ME edition is burning in at Rogers as we speak!
Custom Red faceplate with Silver knobs I might add....
I can't wait to hear what this thing sounds like on mixes!
Be sure to give us pics when you get it!
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #21
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nomatic's Avatar
 
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I will post some pics when I get it...
As to the original color.....
It is groovy but I just like Red!
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #22
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Mr Nomatic's is coming out of the burn in rack sometime today...
If all goes as planned, it will ship tomorrow or the next.

The red panel and silver knobs do look good!

For our stock P3S ME units, after the 3 or 4 that we have left in "Mittle Bronze" (brown), we are going to make the panels black with white markings.

We are offering other colors for $25 extra on an order by order basis...
It will add 2 weeks to the order however since it takes 1 week to get the panel and 1 week to burn it in after assembly.

Available colors are gold, brown, red, blue, green, natural and black.

Thanks all!
Roger
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #23
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nomatic's Avatar
 
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[QUOTE=RogerFoote;6479970]Mr Nomatic's is coming out of the burn in rack sometime today...

Can't wait!!!!!
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
You can switch the transformers in or out I believe
Yep. The output transformers are switchable via a switch on the front panel. Best of both worlds.
Old 28th March 2011 | Show parent
  #25
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Strobian's Avatar
 
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Would love to try one!
Old 28th March 2011
  #26
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Where's the eq roger?
Old 31st March 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DominicWyeth View Post
Where's the eq roger?

Great question! And the 16 channel summing.
Old 31st March 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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The EQ is underway!

rf
Old 6th May 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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Mr. Light's Avatar
 
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PS3 users chime in!

There's a great thread regarding the API 2500 and favorite settings. I believe it's titled "API users chime in". Loads of great insight. I think we should start the same here.....or possibly another thread?
Old 6th May 2011 | Show parent
  #30
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Table Of Tone's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerFoote View Post
The EQ is underway!

rf
2U or 3U?
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