A-Designs HM2 Nail Compressor
The A-Designs HM2 Nail is a stereo compressor known for its flexibility. It is a state of the art unit featuring hand-selected tube and high quality components, that can add character to any sound or control dynamics in a very transparent way.
The Nail’s unique combination of Threshold, Hard Threshold, and Filter allow precise control over the amount of compression, the level at which it will engage and the frequencies above which it will act. There is no need for a Ratio control – it is continuously self-adjusting in response to program material. With Hard Threshold disengaged, Threshold increases gain reduction (like an LA2A), the attack and release controls don’t do much, and the Nail becomes a model of simplicity.
For finer control, Hard Threshold opens up a world of compression/envelope-shaping possibilities. Like the hard knee of a traditional compressor, Hard Threshold works in conjunction with the Filter - a variable HPF continuously tunable from 8Hz to 250Hz. Once the Hard Threshold is crossed, the Nail will apply desired compression above the selected frequency and less to the frequencies below, preventing higher-energy bass frequencies from triggering unwanted compression and ducking the entire mix. The Filter can also be used to enhance bottom end for bass-heavy music without throwing the mix’s entire frequency spectrum out of whack, as a multi-band compressor often does.
Attack and Release settings are dependent on the settings of the Hard Threshold and also respond dynamically to program material, making for a more flexible and musical performance than traditional “one size fits all” attack/release circuits. Other toggleable functions include In/Out for quick A/B comparison; Stereo Link On/Off; and the ability to switch the Nail’s LED ultra fast response dual metering ladder from Gain Reduction to Level. Another one of the Nail’s incredibly cool features is its Mix knob, which provides continuously variable control between direct (dry) and compressed signal, enabling you to apply parallel compression to a sub-mix without losing two aux send/return or mixer channels.