ToolMod Pro Audio
VCA Compressor TM112b

The versatile, all-purpose VCA-Compressor with build-in parallel compression and special features for pump free operation, low distortion, and high loudness gain.

The TM112b is an universal mono vca compressor that - in addition to the integrated parallel compression - includes a set of uncommon features to adapt the characteristic to the signal and the purpose in the best possible way. The Crest selector determines the basic character of the compression, while the Envelope control can reduce low frequency distortion with fast, pump-free release time settings. Side chain insert, Soft Knee, parallel Compression, Autogain and an additional gain control complete the feature set of this compressor.
  • VCA Compressor
  • parallel Compression integrated
  • Auto Release Function
  • Crest Factor Switch
  • Threshold
    +15 to -32 dB
  • Envelope:
    Distortion-free Compression with short Release Times
  • Soft Knee with up
    to 12 dB Range
  • Attack 0.1 to 30 ms
  • Release 0.05 to 3 s
  • Ratio 1:1 to 20:1
  • deactivatable Autogain
  • Output Gain 20 dB
    independent of Autogain
  • Gain-Reduction Display with 5 LEDs
  • fully balanced
  • Headroom + 30 dBu
  • Dynamic Range
    125 dBA/122 dBRMS
Compressor Compressor TM112

At a glance, most of the Features of the TM112b are identical to the TM112 Compressor; however, there are certain differences. Like the TM112 the 'b' version has a long tradition as dynamics section of input modules of large format consoles like the MAGNUM V3 by adt-audio.

The regulation characteristic, huge control ranges, and the extensive feature set make it possible to set up the TM112b from acting like an aggressive FET compressor to a slow and cozy opto compressor and anything in between. The module can replace many 'one purpose' devices and - like a versatile dynamics section in a console channel is supposed to - can cover many applications of a compressor.

Additional Features
Apart from handpicked ac/dc converters and faster response in the PEAK setting of the Crest switch as well a longer integration time of the RMS setting, the VCA compressor adds parallel compression in the module and the Auto-Release function to the feature set of the TM112.

In addition to many standard settings, the TM112b vca compressor can achieve a loudness gain of 10 to 15 dB without loosing transients and natural sound performance. By the extended range of the attack control, settings are possible that let the peaks pass thru without regulation, while the 'breakdown' after the peak is compressed effectively by a very short release time and deep regulation.

Crest Factor Settings
The TM112b is a feedforward VCA Compressor with a variable AC/DC converter. The Crest switch modifies the characteristic of the converter that determines the basic characteristic of the compression. The Peak position selects operation as an extremely fast peak rectifier; in the RMS position the RMS value of the input signal is calculated by an analog computation circuit and used as control signal for the vca. With the peak setting, the compressor regulation is controlled by the peak levels in the signal while in RMS mode the loudness of the signal controls the compressor. In position M the control signal combines the best of the two worlds; neither the hard response of peak mode nor the slow reaction of the RMS setting are used but a well designed balance in between.
Threshold, Ratio, Attack, and Release
Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release are controlled independently. The Threshold control that determines the begin of the regulation has a range from -32 dB to + 15 dB. The Ratio control ranges from 1:1 to 20:1. At 20:1 the compressor operates as a Limiter. The control range of the Attack Time reaches from 0.1 to 30 ms; the Release can be adjusted in the range from 50 ms to 3 sec.
Envelope for better Bass Compression
The Envelope control makes it possible to compress low frequency signals with short release times that avoid pumping. This is achieved by a special filter in the side chain combined with dynamic modulation of the release time. Envelope reduces the problem of low frequency distortion with short, pump-free release time settings that limit the maximum compression.
Parallel Compression with SMOOTH and Soft Knee with SOFT
Both features are controlled by a single pot. The center position OFF disables both functions. The Soft Knee range of the pot determines the range of the transition around the threshold. Without Soft Knee, the compressor applies the same regulation characteristic to all levels above threshold while with a setting all to the left the regulation starts with a small ratio at the threshold level and increases the ratio to the setting of the ratio pot over a range of 12 dB. While the effect of soft knee setting is low with small ratio settings, soft knee makes possible to achieve higher compression with less side effects when using high ratio settings.

The SMOOTH range of the pot adds the uncompressed input signal to the compressed output. With high compression, the transients get more and more 'damaged' which can be covered very well by adding the uncompressed - and therefore undamaged - input signal. However, too much input signal reduces the loudness gain. All to right the pot adds - 4 dB input level to the output. In most cases, a range from -20 to -8 dB is the best choice.
Auto Release
Auto Release selects the automatic adaption of the release time to the density of the program. The push-pull switch of the release pot controls this feature. Auto release operates based on the release time setting and increases the release with high density signals.
Autogain and Gain
Autogain is an analog computation circuit that determines the gain reduction caused by the actual settings of threshold, ratio and attack and adjusts the output gain to achieve constant output levels, independent of the compressor's setting. The compensation is active if the theshold is below the internally adjusted autogain zero level. The factory standard setting is + 6 dBu / + 4 dBV. This value can be changed to your needs.

Autogain operates with less than 1 dB accuracy with fast attack times. With longer attack times, the output level depends on the structure of the signal. Since peaks pass thru the compressor without causing regulation with long attack time settings, the peaks determine the output level, which cannot be calculated without establishing another dynamic regulation parameter. The attack compensation is adjusted to an experimentally ascertained value that results in a very good compensation with almost all signals. Autogain can be switched off by the push-pull switch of the ratio control. In addition, there is a manual gain control pot with +/-
Side Chain Insert
The switched Side-Chain Insert allows using external equalizers and filters in the regulation loop of the compressor. The push pull switch of the threshold pot activates the insert input. The signal is always available on the insert output. Insert input and output are balanced and can handle levels of + 30 dBu.

Since the TM112b as a feedforward controlled compressor, the side chain insert input can also be used to control the compression by another signal. Feeding the side chain insert input with the input signal of an equalizer that is installed pre the compressor makes possible to use the side-chain function to switch between 'regulation post eq' and 'regulation pre eq'.
Gain Reduction Display
The gain reduction display is a LED chain with 5 LEDs and a display range for 20 dB. The first LED shows a gain reduction of 1 dB, followed by 3 dB, 5 dB and 10 dB.

The TM112 Compressor is a 2U ToolMod unit that fits into all ToolMod Frames. Horizontal and vertical versions are available.
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Price: € 475.00
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Test Reports
-h: horizontal
-v: vertical
technical Specifications
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ToolMod Manual

...Compressor turned out to be an extremely flexible tool for the dynamic treatment of single tracks. Using appropriate settings for the attack and release time, even radical modifications of the signal's envelope are possible - for instance if it is necessary to punch up the click of a snare drum or a kick drum.

...massive level reductions of up to 15 dB are possible without disturbing side effects..

- Quotes from Test Report
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Like the TM105 Equalizer, the VCA Compressor TM112b has been used in many slightly different versions as dynamics unit in input modules of the adt-audio large format mixing consoles. Almost exactly the same feature set is installed in the Magnum V3 production console.

The regulation characteristics, the control ranges and the special features have been improved and optimized for 25 years.