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Pendulum Audio OCL-500 Compressor
Pendulum Audio OCL-500 Compressor


 
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Pendulum Audio OCL-500 Compressor

Pendulum’s OCL compression with proprietary optical cell for the 500-series format

Expressly built for the 500-series format, the Pendulum Audio OCL-500 has the same compression circuit as the rackmount Pendulum OCl-2 opto-compressor. The only difference is that the OCL-500 compressor module uses a transformerless, Class-A solid-state gain makeup circuit in place of the tube stage found in the OCL-2. The result is clean, transparent compression that can be used to shape the dynamics of any sound source while meticulously preserving its tone. Like the OCL-2, the Pendulum OCL-500 compressor has a wide variety of time constants and dynamic control to optimize compression characteristics. To prevent low-frequency energy from triggering the OCL-500’s compression prematurely, Pendulum Audio thoughtfully including a sidechain high-pass filter. Like it’s older sibling, the Pendulum Audio OCL-500 is poised to become a modern 500-series classic.

Pendulum Audio OCL-500 Compressor unique features:

  • OCL-2 compression profile with Pendulum’s proprietary opto cell
  • Six time constants with fast, RMS, multi-slope, and average

Pendulum Audio OCL-500 Compressor key features:

  • Class A solid state (no tubes)
  • Sidechain high-pass filter
  • Single-space 500 series rack format

Don’t forget to check out RSPE’s Rack Revolution, a virtual 500-series rack builder that lets you custom-configure the perfect 500-series lunchbox for your studio, DAW, or mobile recording rig. RSPE carries every 500-series module imaginable, including mic preamps, compressor-limiters, equalizers, and 500 power racks.


INSIDE THE BOX — OCL-500 Compressor

Since its introduction in 1998, the Pendulum OCL-2 Compressor/Limiter has become a modern classic. In fact, the OCL-2 changed the way users think about opto compression. Pendulum Audio’s custom opto cell provides fast, invisible compression without the artifacts and sluggish response inherent in vintage designs. The OCL-500 shares the same compression circuit, only differing insofar as the OCL-500 uses transformerless, Class-A, Solid-state gain makeup instead of a tube stage. The result is ultra transparent compression.

The Pendulum OCL-500 has 20k-ohm balanced input impedance; less than 50-ohm output impedance; and a maximum output level of +27dBu, balanced. The OCL-500’s maximum gain reduction is 27dB. It also has an impressive frequency response of ±1dB from 10Hz to 95kHz; noise level better than 78dB below +4dBu, 0-30kHz; and THD (total harmonic distortion) that’s less than 0.01% with no compression.

OUTSIDE THE BOX — OCL-500 Compressor

The distinctive blue front panel of the Pendulum OCL-500 is simplicity itself. It features a classically styled VU meter to show gain reduction, plus controls for threshold, attack, output level, and a time-constant rotary select switch. The OCL-500 is fully compatible with the API VPR Alliance 500-series format.

OCL-500 Compressor front-panel controls and specs

  • Meter: VU
  • Threshold: ff to 20dB of gain reduction at +4dBu
  • Ratio: 1.5:1 to 15:1 soft knee
  • Output: Off to +20dB of makeup gain
  • Time Constant: F, A, V1, V2, M1, M2
  • High-pass filter in
  • Bypass In/Out

OCL-500 Compressor Time Constants

Position Type Description
F Fast Peak-averaged by the opto cell
A Average RMS response
V1 Vintage 1 Three-stage multi-slope (auto)
V2 Vintage 2 Slower three-stage multi-slope (auto)
M1 Manual 1 Medium attack, medium release
M2 Manual 2 Slower attack, slower release


Average and Vintage 1 are the presets in the Pendulum Quartet. Vintage 2 is the Vintage preset in the Pendulum Quartet II. M1 and M2 are manual attack and release settings often used in the OCL-2.

About Pendulum Audio

Pendulum Audio’s Greg Gualtieri has been involved in music-related activities for more than 30 years as a musician, recording engineer, and record producer. His technical background includes studio equipment design and modification, recording engineering, guitar amp modification and repair, and sound reinforcement. His knowledge of audio electronics is largely self-taught, starting with the design and construction of vacuum tube mic preamps, tube compressors, power amplifiers and mixers in the mid-sixties. However, in Greg’s case, “self-taught” comes with more than just a hobbyist’s casual background. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Physics from Columbia University, and a Master of Science in Engineering degree (MSE) in Electronic Materials and Devices from Princeton University. During college, he worked at a number of recording studios in New York as a recording engineer and technical consultant.

From 1978-1988, Gualtieri was a Member of the Technical Staff in research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, where he conducted fundamental studies of the physics of III-V semiconductors. In 1988 he started Pendulum Audio, which specializes in the amplification of acoustic instruments and vacuum tube recording products. Pendulum Audio was the first company to market a rack-mounted acoustic instrument preamp, the HZ-10, back in 1988. He also continues to engineer and produce records, mostly solo or small ensemble projects involving acoustic stringed instruments. In 1995, he produced and engineered Kindred Spirits, by Manhattan Transfer’s Wayne Johnson, a solo nylon-string jazz recording that reached the final nominating ballot for a Grammy award.

The OCL-500 brings Pendulum’s modern-classic OCL-2 compression characteristics to the 500-series format. For more information, call or chat with an RSPE representative today.



This product is also available as part of the RSPE Demo 4 Free & Rental Program, click here to see the rental product page.

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