The MIDAS 552 compressor/limiter brings state of the industry dynamics control to a compact 500 Series format processor that is good enough to wear the MIDAS name. When used in conjunction with the LEGEND L10, L6, or other standard 500 Series rackmount chassis, the 522 provides the ideal solution for users seeking the legendary MIDAS sound in a modular format that boasts upgraded, premium-quality performance. Additionally, the 522’s dynamic Presence control enables operators to add “air” to vocals without the unwanted noise or pumping effects found in competing products – and reduces the risk of feedback occurrence during live performance.
Importance of Dynamics
Dynamics play a major role in music; they help to convey emotion, whether it’s a sultry blues guitar solo, a vocalist belting out his/ her message – or the punchy impact of a bass guitar or kick drum. Those dynamics are the essence of a natural sounding performance; it is what makes music interesting. But out of control dynamics can instantly mar an otherwise perfect performance. That is where compression comes to the rescue – softening loud sounds and boosting low signal levels that can often get lost in the mix. The resulting compressed signal creates a much more dense, impactful sound with richness and room for subtle nuances to come through.
Variable Dynamics & “Air”
The range of mid-high audio frequencies (centered around 5 kHz) can be boosted to increase the sense of presence of vocals and solo instruments. As 522’s Presence control is adjusted above minimum, those mid-high frequencies are increasingly boosted during compression, allowing a sound or instrument to cut through or seem more present in the mix. This variable presence function enables the 522 to effectively operate with two different ratios, one for low frequencies (LF) and the other for mid-high frequencies (reduced ratio). The primary effects are: heavy compression and dynamic control can be applied without sounding unnatural, and the reduced compression in the human ear’s most sensitive range makes the material sound brighter. However, since high frequency (HF) make up gain is not required, unwanted noise, pumping, and howl-round during quiet passages are all greatly reduced.