Author Topic: Oracle Compressor  (Read 2008 times)

Thewintersoldier

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Oracle Compressor
« on: January 10, 2023, 08:58:42 AM »

Welcome friends, in this week's journey to the Roland laboratories we are taking a detour from the main attractions that are modulation, delay and distortion and visiting the confusing, overlooked and often hated land of compression. I'm going to be honest, having heard people say years ago that the boss compressors suck, and the CS-3 inferior to the CS-2, I dismissed it and never gave it a chance. I simply never even bothered to plug into one...until now.
Compression pedals are often touted as noisy. Incorrect, they are doing their job by raising the noise floor in your shitty rig and making you self aware of the noise, static and emf that lives in your walls, your gear and the air around your pickups. The CS-3 is not any noisier than any other comp pedal. So what sets this one apart from other pedals? It's VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) and one of only a few diy VCA based comps. Most people are used to one of three types of comp pedals: the ota based (dyna, Ross), jfet (orange squeezer) or optical (diamond, EQD warden). Unlike many of these, this is a hard knee compressor and is very even in response. It's like the best vanilla pudding you have ever had.
I was surprised by this because everyone says it's noisy, and I did not experience this, but then this project uses quieter opamps and tighter spec lower noise passive components so I guess that helps too. The VCA chip give a nice even response when playing, and while a hard knee gives more of a limiting response the attack knob will preserve the initial transient response. Unlike a lot of other compressors I can get real sustain on a clean tone, and the addition of the tone knob is a feature I wish more comps had. Like any comp it's more about feel than sound. With the four knobs I can really get whatever sound/feel I'm looking for from subtle to full squash.
I went with a matte white tayda enclosure and UV print. For the Oracle name I went with Elizabeth Braddock aka Psylocke for her precognition powers. Overall, a great build that's low cost(I used the coolaudio vca) and low parts count and gave me a pedal I wish I would have tried years ago. If you like comp pedals and wanna try something different than the standard diy fare then I highly recommend this project.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 10:37:18 AM by Thewintersoldier »
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jimilee

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2023, 10:02:54 AM »
Thatís just killer. So many words though.


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Thewintersoldier

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2023, 10:40:03 AM »
Thatís just killer. So many words though.


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sorry Jimi, I feel like one sentence isn't enough, especially when there aren't many build reports. I guess people can just not read it and look at pictures but that's not why I build.
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jessenator

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2023, 10:51:35 AM »
Yes, how dare you do quality work  : P    : P   : P

zombie_rock123

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2023, 10:59:07 AM »
Crackin build report, love the way the white nearly blends into the background on the arty angle shot. Looks like the start of a GOTA marketing campaign!

Completely forgot about FET compressors. But this is probably my favourite comp I've built too  :)
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Thewintersoldier

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2023, 11:23:19 AM »
Crackin build report, love the way the white nearly blends into the background on the arty angle shot. Looks like the start of a GOTA marketing campaign!

Completely forgot about FET compressors. But this is probably my favourite comp I've built too  :)
Definitely one of the better diy comp projects out there. The angle shot is something I stole from @paradox916 gotta give credit where credit is due!
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Paradox916

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2023, 12:18:13 PM »

Nice write up!  If I build another comp I will have to keep this in mind. And as always immaculate work!


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peccary

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2023, 12:29:26 PM »
Beautiful work, dude, as usual.

I also appreciate longer write-ups. I try to do the same, though mine usually use mumbo-jumbo words to describe the sound and how things work. I kind of feel like that's part of the fun of building, is trying to describe what things sound like to other people. It's a good use of trying to meld left-brain/right-brain thinking. At least it is for my tiny brain   ;D

jimilee

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2023, 01:07:17 PM »
Thatís just killer. So many words though.


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sorry Jimi, I feel like one sentence isn't enough, especially when there aren't many build reports. I guess people can just not read it and look at pictures but that's not why I build.
no man, itís all good. Very thorough and informative. You do a really good job with not only the look but the feel also. The building process is extremely informative to those who might be struggling with the build. Sincerely, nicely done.


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Bio77

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2023, 01:52:55 PM »
Killer build, Chris!   8)

gordo

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2023, 04:44:46 PM »
I think I must have written the original off as well because I built up the board on a whim (let's face it...I build anything I can get in my hands on a whim) and really like it.  Superb build and a great sleeper pedal that's a bit off the grid.
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blackhatboojum

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2023, 07:55:28 PM »
Excellent write up and a killer build as usual my man!  I don't know shit about compressors but, I'm researching them now thanks to this.
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brucer

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2023, 08:36:13 PM »
Awesome build and report.  Your review moved the project up in my queue!

Bret608

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2023, 11:39:10 AM »
I think your build reports help me a lot in deciding on projects to try out, actually! Whether I actually get around to doing so is another story, but that's a me problem.

I got a laugh out of Nels Cline saying people made fun of him for using a CS-3. I saw him use it live and I had no complaints--that's someone who knows how to use all of their gear.

BrianS

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Re: Oracle Compressor
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2023, 08:45:15 PM »
Your graphics are off the charts.  I wish I could do that.  Very nice pedal.