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Blockfish is a versatile compressor with countless ways to shape the incoming audio. Unlike many other digital compressors, Blockfish has 'soul'. It likes to bite, but it can be tamed easily once you've learned how to use its potential.
You can remove the front plate and make further adjustments on the circuit board. Everything is possible: clean, transparent, loud, punchy, silky, subtle, fat. But still with a unique sonic character.
Reviewed By kritikon
January 27, 2004
Features - very simple on the front panel - two huge knobs for compression and speed - it really couldn't be any easier than that. You don't have to know what threshold attacks and releases etc do - if you want that level of control then use a different comp, basically. You simply twiddle those 2 knobs until your sound is what you want. There's a stereo button (works in mono if not lit), locut and air (go on...have a guess what they do!), VCA or opto (VCA being a little more severe than opto, and quicker), a "complex" button (more of which later) and a switch to get to the inside panel for more detailed controls.
Documentation - separate d/ls that are an excellent read - well recommended.
Presets - covers all the main bases - guitars, basses, vocals, drums etc - all good presets well programmed to work with the instruments.
Stability - rock solid.
VFM - free. And still competes with expensive commercial comps.
Sound. A character comp - not crystal clear (although can be made to be pretty subtle). It's one that you'd use if you like to impart a distinct flavour to your compressed channel - much closer to analogue comps than most VST dynamics FX out there. With the speed on quickest and on VCA it doesn't let any transients through at all - obviously not how you'd always set up a comp, but good to know it will tame those difficult signals - and with high compression and quick speed, you'll hear more obviously the character of the comp - warm and ever-so-slightly grainy.
The real bonuses are the locut and air buttons - with heavy compression you might get too much bass - locut chops it out nicely, and air adds a great sparkle to those lost high frequencies (which if you didn't know - good h/w comps often lose highs - so it's not a fault - it's the nature of compression) Air is great for bringing accoustic guitars back to life after compression, and using both locut and air definitely helps with drumtracks - it means you can compress more heavily than you naturally might without ruining the nature of the channel.
Inside the panel is the real detail - you can alter the frequencies of the locut and air filters, and many details of the compressor itself to quite drastically alter the nature of the compression - or you can just subtly tweak it to get into some fine perfectionist detail. Often you won't need it, but it makes it very well-spec'ed.
"Complex" - changes it into a dual compressor linked in series. Useful if you want to use it more for groups or even as a master comp - a more subtle compression for each module that lets you compress more heavily with less audible pumping you'd get with just one compressor at the same compression level.
Not a do-everything comp - great for most situations though, full of character and alot more flexible than it first looks.Read more