Compressor, noisegate and limiter have their own VCA's, their own audio input and output and their own control voltage processing. There are no dynamic processors in the ToolKit channel strip that use the same audio path for more than one function like a compressor-limiter or a compressor-noise-gate does. All combined dynamic units cannot offer the best possible performance for a particular purpose, since such a design is always a compromise between the different functions.
This extensive principle offers many advantages. The input of the gate is fed by the output of the compressor, which means, that the signal that is already compressed, controls the gate with a constant level. In addition, the gate, when it is left in the normal configuration post compressor, also rejects the noise that increases as soon as the signal level drops and the compressor drives up the gain. The limiter that is always installed pre the output driver, controls the real output level and not an undetermined level that results from the settings of the compressor.
Compressor, noise-gate and insert can be routed pre and post the equalizer. The simplified block diagram shows the default configuration of the processing stages and the possible ways to rearrange the order. Click on the graphic to open a high resolution view in a new window.
With no POST and PRE switch pressed, the processing stages are connected in this way:
Filters - Compressor - Noise-Gate - Equalizer - Insert - Limiter
The compressor and the noise-gate have POST switches that insert the particular processor post equalizer. With both POST switches pressed, the stages are arranged in this way:
Filters - Equalizer - Compressor - Noise-Gate - Insert - Limiter
The PRE switch of the insert section routs the entire section from post EQ, pre limiter to post filters. These three switches offer the choice of 7 different arrangements of the processing stages.
It is also possible to reverse compressor and noise gate independently by an external connection of the side-chain insert and the key insert. If the side chain insert output is connected by a short TRS cable with the key input, the key switch of the gate can be used to control compressor and gate differently. The key switch routs the input of the gate's control chain to the side-chain insert output of the compressor that is fed from the compressor's input. This means that the gate is now controlled by the uncompressed signal. This additional function works with all possible settings of the POST switches but NOT if the compressor is post while the gate is still pre EQ. In this case, the gate is controlled by its own output signal, which means that it is permanently closed since there is NEVER a control signal that can open the gate. Please consider this effect if you use this trick to enlarge the routing possibilities of the channel strip.