Buzz Audio Essence
A very versatile optical compressor for 500 series frames with unique features including our famous opto sound.
audio path quality
The input is coupled directly to our proprietary light dependant resistor gain reduction element via a Lundahl LL1540 input transformer. This is followed by a discrete signal path using our class-a BE40 amplifier for gain make up and the BE50 high current line driver to excite the Lundahl LL1517 output transformer. All this creates a very warm low end sound along with extended top end clarity.
The essence is the only 500 series compressor (that we know of) to feature a side chain insert point so you can apply equalisation to the compression characteristic to control certain parts of the audio spectrum. The insert can also be used to "key" the compressor from another sound for all sorts of creative pumping effects. In addition, there is on board side chain eq allowing you to quickly adjust the compressor sensitivity at high and low frequencies.
The essence attack & release settings have been carefully selected for a varied dynamic palette and the intelligent auto modes allow for really good "set and forget" operation. The soft knee opto action is particuly excellent for tracking vocals and bass guitar.
controls and functions
GAIN - sets the output gain from 0dB to +15dB.
DRIVE - sets the amount of compression applied to the signal, clockwise rotation means more compression.
ATTACK - 4 position switch with attack time settings of 1mS, 15mS, 70mS and our excellent Auto mode.
RELEASE - 6 position switch with recovery time settings of 100mS, 200mS, 400mS, 800mS, 1600mS and the intelligent Auto mode..
RATIO - 4 position switch sets the depth of compression from light to heavy, 2:1, 5:1, 10:1, 20:1 all with the soft knee action.
METER - can be switched to read input level, output level and gain reduction. A jumper on the pcb is used to set the peak level reference from +4dBu or +14dBu.
BYPASS - toggle switch used to hard wire bypass the essence.
S/C MON - allows you to hear the side chain signal (the side chain eq) and the side chain insert return signal.
S/C HI EQ - applies 8dB at 10kHz of boost or cut to the side chain signal and therefore to the compression.
S/C LO EQ - applies 8dB at 100Hz of boost or cut to the side chain signal and therefore to the compression.
LINK - using the 500 frame link system, two essences can be linked for stereo operation.
S/C INS - this switch engages the side chain insert point which are the input/output connectors associated witht the second slot the essence uses.
Note, for critical stereo operation we strongly suggest you order a factory matched pair.
Buzz Audio guarantees the Product to be free of defective materials and/or workmanship for a period of 1 year (12 months) from the date of sale, and will replace defective parts and repair malfunctioning Products under this warranty when the defect occurs under normal installation and use - provided the unit is returned to our factory (or duly authorised service centre) via prepaid transportation with a copy of the proof of purchase, ie, sales receipt. This warranty provides that examination of the returned Product must indicate, in our judgement, a manufacturing defect. This warranty does not extend to any Product that has been subjected to misuse, neglect, accident, improper installation, or where the date code has been removed or defaced. The standard warranty is not transferable to a new owner should the Product change hands during the 1 year period.
product warranty extension
The Standard Product Warranty may be extended to a period of 2 years (24 months) from date of sale provided the Product is registered with us within 4 weeks (28 days) from the purchase date. The extended warranty is transferable to a new owner should the product change hands within the 2 year period.
Posted by Mark S. on Jun 22nd 2022
The Buzz Essence is desert island compressor. Sounds fantastic on any source. I bought it mainly for vocals but seriously, it kills on everything! Personally, I love the 5:1 ratio for vocals. Built like a tank. Oh, and I bought a second one for a stereo pair ;) I guess you could say I’m a fan.
Clean and Powerful
Posted by Jake Rye on Oct 22nd 2021
I've been looking for a really great Opto compressor that is clean and gives me some good options for control. This box does exactly what I want. I just did a vocal session all day yesterday with this paired with a Retro500 Pre and the results were exactly what I wanted. So happy with this comp. I tried 6 different products before I landed on this one.
Posted by Alec.K. on Jun 7th 2019
The illusive "magic" has been found. Excellent 500 series vocal compressor.