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Elysia Xpressor 500

elysia xpressor 500

4.15 4.15 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

A smart, modern, stereo compressor for the 500 series format.

9th March 2012

elysia xpressor 500 by disjunction

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Elysia Xpressor 500

For some time i have been distantly interested in the 500 series format but it wasn't until Elysia's Xpressor 500 was released, that I saw a tool that would fit my workflow and budget. With this, i went out an bought myself an API Luchbox 6b and a Xpressor 500 to install into it.

The Elysia Xpressor is a stereo dynamics processor in API's 500 series format. The processor boasts a wide range of useful controls that are tastefully squeezed onto the front of dual slot 500 series unit. The unit employs the same smart design aesthetic as Elysia's other products but the similarity doesn't stop there. The unit implements a number of features from Elysia's Mpressor and Alpha processors as well as unique feature of it's own.

'Auto Fast', When engaged is a circuit that will automatically shorten a programmed attack setting when loud transients hit the threshold. this allows you to set along set and still catch those transients. pretty handy on complex signals like the 2buss. Limiting not enough for you these days ? Elysia have included the addition of the ability to effect the gain of the compressor into negative ratios, effectively lowering the output signal depending on how loud the input signal raises over thee threshold. Not just compressing but turning it down. This is fairly useful in extreme effect style processing. The unit sports an analogue dynamic LED meter. It's essentially a clever way to display additional gain reduction information with a limited number of LEDs. The brighter they are the closer they are to the marked value.

Some features exclusive to the xpressor 500 (and xpressor 19") model are the Gain Reduction Limiter. This feature provides the opportunity to compress material deep in the mix while still allowing louder material to pass without incurring additional compression. Again this is handy on complex stereo material. A tuneable internal side chain filter (low cut) is available for limiting what material from 31hz-1Khz influences the compression This great for maintaining bass in material that needs some serious squashing. A switched slew rate limiter is available in the form of 'Warm' mode I found this to be quite subtle on all except very aggressively processed material. Unlike the elder siblings of the Xpressor, Only the Audio path is class A. A good compromise on size and cost i would say.

With the modern feature set mentioned above, the Elysia Xpressor 500 shapes up as one of the versatile stereo processors to grace the 500 series. There is certainly plenty of scope for dialling in something that matched ones needs. This is essentially the strength of the Xpressor 500.

We all know that no amount of bells and whistles will fool us when it comes down to sound. So how does it sound?
The Elysia Xpressor 500 is essentially a clean sounding compressor. While warm mode can successfully impart some colour so to speak. This is not where it's power lays. It doesn't have a particular colour that could be considered as it's 'claim to fame'. Where it excels is in it's ability to perform all kinds of dynamic tricks that most 500 series stereo buss compressors can only imagine. More importantly the user can be creative and make the Xpressor 500 work for them. So in that sense it sounds great. I've happily run Synthesisers, Bass, Drums and final stereo mixes through it and have had no issues making it work for me in those situations. I have processed lightly and aggressively and find good results either way. Having said that Drum buss processing is where I really enjoy using it. It's fast and bites hard when it's needed. Overall a good and somewhat surprising start in my 500 series Journey.

26th January 2016

elysia xpressor 500 by Riku

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Elysia Xpressor 500

The xpressor 500 is a stereo, 2 slot 500 series module.
It features all the usual compressor controls (threshold, etc) along with some cool extras.
The best (in my opinion) is the GRL control. This is a Gain Reduction Limiter (at least I think that's what it's called). This allows you to limit the amount of gain reduction. For example it lets you limited the amount of reduction to 3 dB. This will allow you to smash things into it whilst controlling the overall attenuation. It's a very cool feature that gives you that extra bit of control over what's happening.

The Warm button is a very nice addition. The normally clean compressor suddenly gets a bit of iron-esque warmth it.

Overall, it's a very excellent compressor.

28th January 2016

elysia xpressor 500 by pencilextremist

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Elysia Xpressor 500

I have owned this since summer 2015 and can honestly say it's irreplaceable.

Let's start with the features that makes this unique:

GRL (Gain Reduction Limiter)
Negative Ratio's
Auto Fast
Warm Mode

and the usual Attack, Ratio, Threshold and Release, Side Chain Filter and Mix knob for parallel compression sounds.

You can use auto fast the grab fast transients, it works well on drums, especially snare drum, very punchy and juicy sounding, adjusting the attack, I tend to use this on things that need to be clamped down, it's great for vocals and it sounds more obvious and coloured to me.

I often switch between linear and logarithmic mode for the release, and warm mode when I need to add more weight to the sound, warm mode is INCREDIBLE on bass guitar, it has a nack of bringing out the harmonics and tone of the instrument.

I've used this comp on pretty much everything you can imagine and it's an absolute workhorse, there is nothing it can't do in my opinion.

This is my first hardware compressor and I'm happy I chose this over many others, it is also a bargain for the features you get and it looks awesome.

19th February 2016

elysia xpressor 500 by Deleted User

Elysia Xpressor 500

I will keep this review short and sweet.

Today, with digital recording being the dominant platform for music production, many engineers look to 'smear the lines' and recreate the 'analog dimensionality' using hardware emulations, or actual hardware via hybrid mixing techniques. Many emulations are very good, but there is nothing to replace a great piece of hardware, especially on the mixbuss. The 500 series format is becoming dominant as well, and I'm assuming that many novice engineers who only have the funds for one nice piece of mixdown hardware are going to eye the Elysia Xpressior. Well... I would advise you to look elsewhere! There is almost no color, vibe, personality... anything in this compressor. I actually find it to sound more like digital compressors than many of it's analog peers. If you are looking for that elusive analog mojo, just save your time and money and look elsewhere.

That aside, this is a very well made unit. It accomplishes clean compression with ease. It is very flexible... having the ability to 'squash a mix without it sounding squashed'. If you are looking for surgical precision and no analog character, this might be your ticket! No disrespect to Elysia... I actually think they did a good job... but just don't go into it expecting a classically analog sound....


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