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zarven kara 18th April 2017 12:44 AM

Sebatron SMAC
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This is a linkable, class A, stereo optical compressor.

I purchased the SMAC after dealing directly with Sebastian from Sebatron in Australia. After having a few experiences with audio equipment that despite the price tag feels a little "cheap" for loss of a better word, I was nicely surprised to see this product doesn't fit into this category. My first impression were it was well built and everything felt solid, as it should for something in its price range.

In use the SMAC is easy to get a grip with a fairly simplistic design with all the typical controls you would expect to use from a stereo compressor.

It has 3 main setting, 2 are linked "dual mono" and "stereo link" and the third setting functions as 2 independent controlled channels. I found the stereo link to be the most useful setting for master bus duties and it does a great job on that. Clean and transparent as you would expect from an opt compressor and retains the image quite nicely.

It does have a few other controls which are not so common but can be quite practical in some applications. These are the "pump" settings, which can be used when you really want to squash a signal at higher ratios, perhaps drum room mic's or any type of parallel compression. I'm guessing its Sebatron's take on the "all buttons in" mode on the 1176. Also for accessing faster and slower release times the SMAC also has a "tight" and "swim" functions. The "swim function" works nicely on smoothing out drum overheads at slower tempo's.

Standard side chain inputs are accessed from the rear of the unit.

All in all a very well built and useful tool for any studio looking for a well built transparent opto compressor. I found it to really shine compressing a stereo acoustic guitar signal using a slow attack and fast release with the ratio at 3:1 with a maximum of 2db of gain reduction. It does a great job on that tightening up the a picked guitar pattern and seems to do something nice to the stereo image as well.

So if your looking for a clean transparent compressor this might be a good choice. Looking forward to seeing what else this Australian audio designer has to offer....

I also have a sample video of the SMAC in action here:

Norman Lindsey 21st December 2017 02:15 PM

I already own a couple of Sebatron preamps ( two VMP4000e ) so when I decided that I needed another stereo compressor to compliment my existing setup the Sebatron SMAC was the first one that came to mind.
The quality of the products that this company makes is impeccable. I've had the SMAC for at least a couple of years now and am seriously considering getting another one because it's so good.

The Sebatron SMAC is a two channel linkable optical compressor that can go from being highly transparent and subtle to completely brutal and pumping.
I've used it on countless occasions for individual instruments and vocals when tracking and it has always performed flawlessly.
Acoustic and electric guitars benefit from the gentle optical compressing action giving signals consistancy and vibe.
For Bass it's my goto compressor due to its innate ability to handle the very low end and provide reliable 'audio leveling' with massive amounts of headroom.
On a mix it can make any material sound slick and produced without the loss of any detail or clarity.
I prefer it to my SSL style comp and my 1176 due to these factors and also because it's easy to link the two channels quickly by the flick of the link switch.
On drums it is a killer. The variable ratio allows me to fine tune the amount of reduction I require and with a fast attack it's very easy to squash beats without losing any definition or scope.

I love love love the 'Swim' switch on the attack and release settings , it gives a glossy rippleless compression that leaves my Avalon AD2044 for dead.In fact I haven't used the Avalon much at all since I purchased the SMAC and will probably sell it to fund my second SMAC compressor.

I highly recommend the Sebatron SMAC whether it be for tracking , mixing or mastering purposes.

There is no other compressor on the market that I know of that can influence a signal as much as the SMAC while maintaining its integrity and dimensional presence.