Speaking of vocals, how does one keep ones vocals at a consistent level? One would use a compressor. A compressor is a signal processor, often referred to as a dynamic signal processor, that reduces the dynamic range of a signal passing through it. In layman terms, a compressor averages out audio, making the softer passages and the louder passage equal in volume level. It’s like having someone constantly adjusting your volume knob. In addition to leveling audio signal, many manufactures include other types of signal processing, such as noise gates or an expander, and sometimes even an enhancer in the same unit. In the past, however, this was very expensive. But through economies of scale and a thriving economy, some manufactures are able to produce such a unit affordably. Who could do this?
Enter the Interactive World of Behringer. Just like their awesome mixer line, Behringer gives you an affordable solution in the Autocom. The Autocom is a dual channel, solid state, fully adjustable compressor. Control knobs found on the unit are: Threshold (which indicates at what volume, in terms of decibels, when compression kicks in), Ratio (which tells the unit how much volume to output relative to input), Attack (which in terms of time, tells the unit how quickly to compress), Release (which also in terms of time, tells the unit how quickly to stop compressing),and finally, Output (which gives additional volume after the compression). Other knobs found are: Expander (which, according to the manual, eliminates hiss and 50-60 cycle hum), and Enhancer (which, according to the manual, restores high-end presence). The unit also features an internal power supply.
The Behringer Autocom is amazingly simple to use. Decibel for decibel, the unit flawlessly leveled out a barrage of different audio sources. The Autocom evened out all the uneven spots on a “P-Style” bass. The snares seemed punchy and consistent. Vocals were naturally level, with the Enhancer circuit restoring that sparkle lost by compressing the signal. The Expander was very natural removing pre-amp hiss, background noise, and self-noise generated from the condenser mic. Expansion was very gradual, with no introduction of artifacts or chatter found by units using noise gates.
The Behringer Autocom did everything that the manual boasted it would do, and transparently passed audio with no signal coloration. Retail price for the unit is $189.99, but can be seen for low as $159.99. In addition to being affordable, the Autocom is backed by an astounding 5-year warranty. The Behringer Autocom puts the highs in your eyes and the bass in your face!