CompIQ TWAIN Dual Band / Stacked Compressor for Bass and Guitar
The CompIQ TWAIN is a precision tool for dynamic audio processing of bass and guitar signals (but not only) which gives tremendous control over compression parameters, and then some. This is a sophisticated device. A good understanding of compression is normally required to optimally set it up for live performance or studio recording.
It features adaptive auto-attack & release timing presets and independent compression controls for knee, threshold, ratio, and make-up gain – on each band. It can work as a dual-band compressor/limiter with variable crossover point, or as a stacked compressor with separate controls for each analog engine – at the flick of a switch. In either mode, harmonic saturation can be injected on each of the dry line band’s, and then be mixed to taste with the wet compressed line for perfect tonal balance. Separate gain reduction displays make the compression effect visible, so you can always know how hard or soft the lows and highs are processed.
Designed around the highest performance Analog Engines® from THAT Corp., the CompIQ TWAIN provides compression controls only found in studio gear. Beside dual-band processing, the two independent analog engines can be fully stacked (in series), achieving the compression warmth particular to slower optical compressors – a feature rarely seen in a pedal, and never before available with this level of tweaking.
If you feel like your stompbox compressor doesn’t give you enough control, this could be the answer to your prayers and then some. The Twain is more like a multi-band mastering compressor than the units most guitarists will be familiar with. It’s ideally suited to the twin challenges of wider frequency and dynamic range presented by active basses. A remarkably versatile compressor pedal with a low noise floor and pristine audio quality.
The CompIQ TWAIN goes beyond just compression and steps into EQ/Preamp territory by enhancing the instrument’s tone without the need for a dedicated EQ. Slightly unbalancing the level of processing on each frequency band means you can either enhance or tame Lows or Highs. And because you can do this on the Dry-line as well – by using the Cut filters or Boost levels of the Saturation section -, you can separately blend Lows and/or Highs over the compressed Wet-line. The result of this processing adds a dynamic coloring to the tone, but careful balancing can also preserve the original voicing of the instrument. This feature is especially useful in Stacked processing mode, where you may trade some frequencies for the elastic compression feel. These can be easily restored by only mixing back what is missing.
A preamp section allows the trimming of the input signal’s level. This can be used to control how hard the compressors are pushed up front. Strong signals can sometime activate compression too early, so down to -9dB of padding is available. Weaker instrument signals can be doubled in amplitude with up to +6dB of gain. The preamp affects both the Wet and Dry line, and here the saturation engines are also responding to trimming. Sometimes, the trimmer can be used as a one-knob balancer when switching from one instrument to another.
A Side-Chain Filter with three presets is available for Lows processing only. This helps to recover punchy transients that are lost during higher compression, but it can also be used as a stand-alone blooming audio effect. By slightly delaying compression on the low-frequency spectrum – which is still being touched by the make-up gain -, the audio becomes fuller-sounding and more percussive. In Low (L) mode, the side chain’s first-order filter introduces a progressive attenuation into the control signal with the lowest point of -12dB@90Hz. This is more than enough to free up the momentary strokes on a bass instrument, or for percussive playing in general. If even more of attenuation is needed in the side-chain, the Deep (D) filter dives to -12dB@200Hz, making this setting more usable for guitar or for bright basses.
Independent band-controls for Hard/Soft Knee selection, 50dB of Threshold range to accommodate not only instruments but also line-level sources, up-to-limiting continuous Ratio selection, and +20dB of Make-up Gain make the CompIQ TWAIN incredibly powerful and versatile. The Dynamic Auto Timing (Fast / Slower presets) also available for both bands reduces the setup complexity and provides a musical response, suitable for virtually any musical application.
Hear the sound on bass
It’s amazing how many options Becos FX has put in these boxes. I am not aware of any analog devices that offer a similar range of functions and, despite the numerous possibilities, they can be set quite intuitively.
If you are into compression, the Becos CompIQ Twain Pro Compressor is in a league of its own. The ability to run it in dual band mode or a stacked mode is killer. Though the Twain is a VCA based device, stacked mode makes the device feel and react more like an optical compressor, which it does well.
For any player that wants absolute precise control over their compression, this pedal should be perfect. In line with its predecessors in the CompIQ range, the face of the TWAIN is jam-packed with controls to manage your dynamics.
The new CompIQ TWAIN takes things further. I dare say it may be a little much for some – but it has some amazing possibilities that I’ve not seen in another pedal format. If you are into compression – then this will give you more control than any other comparable pedal-based unit. Becos have steadily been building up a stellar reputation in this field.
Pristine audio processing
The CompIQ series of compressors is not gonna alter the magic voice of your instrument. They preserve the original guitar or bass tone while providing unobstructed, pristine audio compression. The high dynamic range of these compressors allows for natural-sounding clean tones and low noise, artifact-free audio processing without the distortions usually introduced by optical compressors.
- Dual-Band or Stacked compressor
- Input Preamp with trimming for -9dB of attenuation and up to +6dB of gain
- PEAK level indicator for signals above +0dBu
- Two independent 4320 THAT Analog Engines® with RMS-level sensors coupled with high-performance Blackmer® VCA’s
- Variable 70Hz to 1KHz Linkwitz–Riley Crossover
- Independent Ratio, Threshold, and Make-up Gain
- Independent Compression Knee (Soft/Hard)
- Side Chain Frequency Compensation for balancing the triggering potential of Lows & Highs – equivalent to a frequency-based progressive threshold
- Side Chain Filter (Normal / Low / Deep) on Lows engine
- Independent Dynamic Auto Timing presets (Auto Fast / Auto Slower)
- Dry / Wet Mix knob for parallel compression in either of the working modes
- Tape–Saturation analog circuitry with band-independent Saturation, Cut Filter (HPF on Lows, LPF on Highs) and Level controls to add harmonic distortions to the Dry Line, which then can be mixed with the compressed Wet Line
- 6-LED gain reduction display on each processing engine
- True Bypass on/off footswitch
- 9-18V DC external power operation (power supply not included)
- Road-ready, durable, black-powdered aluminum enclosure
|Dimensions||12 × 10.5 × 5.4 cm|
Input impedance: > 1MΩ
Blog post: The 101 of the CompIQ line of compressors