Discrete Tube Preamp
The Frontliner is a hybrid preamplifier consisting of a discrete semiconductor stage and a tube stage. The hybrid construction of the preamplifier combines the advantages of semiconductors (high dynamics with low distortion, low noise) with the musical qualities of tube sound (pleasant high/overtone spectrum, beautiful three-dimensionality).
– The microphone preamplifier is completely discretely constructed from single transistors. It features 48 V phantom power, polarity inversion, padding and an LF cut filter.
– The line input has a precision balancing stage for connecting additional studio equipment.
– The also discrete and low-noise instrument input is easily accessible on the front panel.
The De-Esser removes annoying S sounds without affecting the natural sound. In contrast to conventional compressor techniques, the S-frequencies are detected and phase-cancelled in a very narrow band, whereby the S-sounds are deleted very unobtrusively.
The De-Esser works in the Auto-Threshold mode. This ensures constant processing even if the distance to the microphone fluctuates.
Operation is reduced to just one knob that sets the desired S-reduction.
Compressor / Limiter
The special feature of the compressor is our Double-VCA-Drive circuitry that achieves outstanding noise and distortion characteristics. By splitting the compressor activity on two VCA’s compression itself has a lesser tendency to side effects like pumping.
The attack and release controls can be automated depending on the signal. The control activity is thus permanently and precisely adjusted to musical requirements. However, it is still possible to manually influence the characteristics of the automatic control, so that the boundaries between purely manual and automated control merge seamlessly.
Equalizer & Tube Saturation
The EQ section provides two semi-parametric filters for low and mid band as well as an Air-Band filter delivering a silky and smooth top end. The EQ especially optimized to process vocals, acoustic and electronic instruments allowing for both corrective adjustments and sound design.
The sound effects from saturating a tube can be used to fatten an audio signal or make it better cut through the mix. The sound results resemble tape saturation effects and increase the density and perceived energy in a very pleasant way.
The large VU meter displays the output level as VU value (energy) and peak value (peak level).
To visualize levels above +5 dB, the sensitivity can be reduced by -10 dB.
The VU meter can be switched to display the gain reduction of the compressor.
Each Frontliner module has its own balanced inputs and outputs. Thanks to a sophisticated circuit logic, you can integrate all elements of the Frontliner like single devices into a studio environment. However, you can also group them as you wish or define insertion points at each interface.
If you think of the respective Frontliner modules as analog plugins, the added value becomes clear, which makes the Frontliner a versatile analog processing station in addition to the classic recording channel: DAW-based studios in particular are enriched with a first-class recording front-end and can also access high-end analog processors for the essential signal processing during mixing.