Master Compressor


The TOOLM-DYN stereo compressor and limiter is a very sophisticated, analog dynamic processing unit. The two full-featured processing sections offer a very high level of control over all features and functions, and provides the engineer with a set of high performance tools that will perform up to and beyond his/her highest expectations. This master compressor offers extensive possibilities for the complex dynamic treatment of all types of program material. The orderly layout of all controls and functions result in easy operation and make it possible to have fast, effective and outstanding results. In addition, a high resolution peak meter is integrated.

Our more than 25 years of experience in the design and construction of very high quality analog mixing consoles went into the development of these units, a lot of the design features come directly from our 5MT large format console range, and from our INTEGRATOR module range.

In fact, processing modules (equalizers, compressors, mic amps etc.) from our INTEGRATOR series can be used seamlessly with the TOOL modules to build a complete and fully functional mixing console.
More information on the processing modules is available in the INTEGRATOR section.

One of the major features of all the adt-audio TOOL devices is the lack of coloration in their sound; all the units in the series share this feature along with very high headroom and low noise-floor figures. These are some of the design goals that were set very early in the development of the series. With the Multiband EQ not only were these goals met, but also in most cases they were surpassed. Moreover, as always, no compromise was made in the design and manufacture of these units.

Compressor and Limiter Section
The Features
Master Compressor
  • Infinitely variable Ratio, Threshold, Attack, Release, Knee and Gain with wide ranges
  • Precision input, output and gain reduction meters
  • Precision RMS converters
  • Adjustable crest factor allow the unit to operate in peak or RMS mode or a combination of both
  • Adjustable envelope for better compression management of low frequency signals
  • Infinitely adjustable knee mode that allows from very soft to very hard knee modes
  • Selectable auto-gain/drive
  • External side chain input and output

Stereo Limiter

  • Infinitely variable Threshold, Attack and Release
  • Super fast attack
  • Brick-wall operation
  • Precision gain reduction and activity meter

The Stereo Compressor Section

The TOOLMST-DYN compressor unit offers almost total, control of all its features. Apart from being equipped with the standard controls the master compressor is also equipped with additional controls for KNEE, AUTO GAIN/DRIVE, INTEGRATE (INT), CREST and ENVELOPE (ENV). These controls make allow to change the character and behavior of the master compressor and improve its effectiveness for processing different types of program material.

The range of the threshold is from -32dB to +15dB. The range of the Ratio is from 1:1 to 20:1. These ranges cover all areas of application, from a soft peak reduction up to limit operation. The Release range is from 0.05ms to 5 seconds. The attack range is from 0.1ms to 30ms. The gain control ranges from -20dB to +20dB.

The INTEGRATE (INT) control means Long Time Integration Overlay or Interference and is a kind of leveler. A normal leveler makes a long time variation integration of the signal and shifts the output level according to the result of this integration. It's just the same as if you would set the attack control to a value in the range of 0.3 sec to 1 sec and the release control to a value of several seconds. The INT control adds a similar feature to the ToolM-Dyn unit. When the pot is in the 0 position, the operation of the master compressor is normal. Setting the pot all to the right results in a long time integration of the input signal with an attack time constant of 300ms. The release time is also determined by the setting of the INT pot and is in the range of 3 seconds with the pot all to the right. The result is a modification of the gain reduction. The effect is program dependent and will create a little more output level if the signal is not heavily compressed.

The CREST determines the reaction of the ac/dc converter of the master comprseeor unit on signal peaks. This control is used to change the character of the reaction of the compressor from a peak detector type, to an RMS type. The higher the value of the number on the top plate, (e.g. position 8), the better RMS rectification (which means a slower attack and more RMS compression), and the lower the number (e.g. position .2), the more it operates like a peak level detector (which means faster attack and more peak compression).

The ENVELOPE control modifies the treatment of the low frequency band to avoid distortion with higher compression rates.

The Stereo Limiter:

This is one of the fastest, most accurate limiters you will ever use. This is a brick-wall limiter and leveling amplifier rolled into one. It allows smooth predicable limiting or crunchy, extreme loudness. Not only is it fast, it will not allow overshoot, retaining the qualities that define a true limiter.

The control functions of the Limiter (like the master compressor) are VCA regulated. The rule circuit is forward regulated which allows extremely fast, accurate and linear brick-wall operation. Because of its super fast, brick-wall, none shall pass capabilities, the Limiter has different desirable characteristics, and the Threshold, Attack and release controls allow you to exactly dial-in how clean or crunchy and how loud you want it.

The Limiter Threshold ranges from -9dB to +20dB, the Attack ranges from .03 to 6ms, and the release has a range from .05 to 3s.

Peak Meter Section
The Meter:

The high resolution LED peak meter section of the unit has independent inputs and can be used to meter an external stereo signal. It can be used to monitor the level in combination with an existing ToolMst device. If the METER TO switch is pressed, the meter is driven directly from the output of the dynamic section.

The total range of the meter is from + 20 dB to - 40dB, the resolution in the range from + 20 dB to - 20 dB is 1 dB. Attack and release times meet the DIN45405 characteristics. The attack time can be alternatively set to 1 ms. The external inputs of the meter are electronically balance and available on XLR connectors.

Power Supply Unit ToolPwr
Power Supply:

Two versions of the external power supply unit TOOLPWR are available. The standard version can supply up to 4 master compressor units and 2 Multiband EQ's. Toolpwr version 'E' has a higher capacity and can supply up to 4 additional Toolkit channel strip units.