It has been a while since I bought a new piece of music gear for myself and I’ve been eyeing a couple of things over the past couple months, one of which is on order and the other I picked up today.
This is the Aphex Punch Factory, a floor pedal optical compressor and, man, is it cool. It not only has a sound that rivals some pretty damn decent rack mounted studio compressors, it has a bunch of cool features.
For one, it has a terrific XLR direct out with a pre/post switch – perfect for going to the board without having to go through the amp. It has a ground lift – very handy in noisy clubs with lots of neon – and a passive/active switch.
Two knobs and one big-ass button on the front with a cool little LED readout. The drive sets the compression level and the volume increases or decreases overall gain by quite a bit.
I found, like many of the great reviews it has gotten, the thing to be extremely clean and easy to set up. It is very transparent with only a small degree of alteration to the sound on medium settings, but enough to really make it noticable to me.
It just seems to smooth out everything – rounding off the rough edges. I particularly like that extra little boost in gain I can get out of it making it ideal for a boost control in small club settings.
I set it up tonight at a rehersal and found I just left it on it sounded so good. I plan on using it in Austin tomorrow and from this point forward. Once I get my Ampeg preamp, I’m going to have one kick ass rig!