Pollock is an stereo optical compressor that might be better described as 18 compressors in one. It’s signal chain is all tube (12ax7’s), has transformers in and out, has stereo controls, a large VU meter, and is unlike any optical compressor you have ever used!
Pollock has the ability to operate in a number of different modes, with compression, side chain, and box tone all able to be manipulated. Pollock also has true bypass switches (no buffered bypass or any relays or transformers to color the bypassed signal), Left and Right Calibration controls, and makeup gain.
The AGGRESSION switch will change Pollock’s compression characteristics from quick and bold to subtle and incredibly smooth. Aggressive mode is best thought of as a more traditional opto sound, though a bit quicker in response than typical, and Smooth mode is really nothing like normal opto compressors. In Smooth mode Pollock can be downright invisible with the time constants difficult to discern as it seemingly self regulates according to the source material.
The STYLE control is a three position switch that alters Pollock’s box tone. The combinations, along with the interactivity from the other controls, allow for everything from a neutral box tone, to a light boost in the highs, to even a light boost in the highs and lows. Because of this control, the Pollock doubles as a line enhancement box, greatly useful even when its compression may not be needed on a particular source. But there is actually another function in this control as well - It changes the side chain as well! In positions one and two, the side chain is full range, however in position three, the side chain cuts out the lows, allowing the compression to trigger from the mids and highs predominantly (gentle high pass slope).
The COLOR control is also a three position switch that determines how the compression is applied to the signal. In position one, the compression is applied full range. In position two, the compression only affects the upper mids and highs, and in position three the compression is limited to only the highs, allowing for some helpful de-essing applications within a mixing/mastering context.
The SMOOTH/AGGRESSIVE gives the option to choose from two very different compression approaches. The smooth mode focuses on an invisible style of compression that has the ability to level out a mix with minimal effort. Aggressive focuses on a much more abrupt and drastic style of compression that will react strongly to dynamic sources.
The WET/DRY knob allows the user to dial in the precise amount of compression to be applied to the signal, but in an unusual way. Instead of being a traditional "wet/dry" mix, this control allows the compressor to work as normal, but limits the amount of compression that is applied past a certain threshold. As this compression dips below the set threshold, the level of compression applied to the signal will hold at that point and only release when the compression level again rises above the chosen threshold, thus changing the release speed constantly in conjunction with the signal itself. This may sound confusing, but it allows the user to dial in compression in a way that is unique and downright inspiring! (Please see the demo video for a more thorough explanation and example)
OUTPUT is the all tube gain makeup stage, and COMPRESSION is a simple single control that adds compression as the knob is turned up.
The VU Meter provides a general reference for the total compression being experienced in the circuit, but the application of this compression to the signal is dependent upon the settings used for the Color, Style, and Aggression controls. Thus, the VU meter is very helpful, but intended to be used more as a general guide than an absolute reference.
There are three options available for each Pollock build - Stepped, Output and Topology.
The STEPPED version of the Pollock includes 24 step rotary switches for COMPRESSION, WET/DRY, and OUTPUT. As well, standard configuration for the stepped output control puts unity at zero on the output dial instead of at 50% like on the normal controls.
The OUTPUT option allows for the choice between two transformer and transformerless output. The transformer based outputs offer a little more color to the signal path with a light bump in the lows (option 1) or a flatter response that is driven a little harder (option 2), whereas the transformerless output provides a cleaner output with a little more precise response. Both output options sound amazing and are extremely useful in a variety of situations.
The TOPOLOGY option allows for the choice between tubes and high voltage mosfets. Tubes (12ax7) will provide a more lush and harmonically complex sound and the mosfets will provide a more precise and punchy response. Both options sound stunning...it just depends on what type of stunning you want!
- XLR In and Out
- Ganged controls
- Three Position Style Switch
- Three Position Color Switch
- Aggressive/Smooth Switch
- Compression Control
- Gain Makeup Control
- Stepped Option
- Large VU Meter
- Optical Compression
- 18 Different potential combinations of operating modes
- True Bypass Switches
- Left and Right Calibration Controls
Oversized power supply
- Transformer balanced in
- Transformer balanced out or transformerless balanced out option
- Tube or high voltage Mosfet option
- Rugged, etched metal faceplate
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