Retro Instruments' Doublewide compressor is a single-channel tube compressor built in a two-slot 500 series module. Doublewide uses four NOS 6BJ6 pentode tubes in two gain stages and uses Cinemag input and output transformers.
Like Retro’s much more expensive Sta-Level and 176 compressors, Doublewide offers two sets of attack and recovery (release) time ranges called Single and Double selectable by a front panel toggle switch. In addition for further refinement, there are continuously variable front panel controls for both Attack and Recovery.
For mixing and recording in my Pro Tools sessions, I find Doublewide in Single mode perfect for vocals and bass guitars to increase their “density” and make them more consistent in level. Doublewide exerts solid dynamic control with up to 30dB of gain reduction if required but without sounding overly “squashed” and “clamped.” For loudness enhancement and/or stricter, tighter dynamic control, I use the Double mode.
Retro Instruments Doublewide single-channel compressor sells for $995 MSRP and makes a fine addition to any 500 series rack. It’s a great way to get into the warm, huge sound of tube compression in your studio.
BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contribut- ing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com