Explore the Warm Audio BUS-COMP

Warm Audio Presents: BUS-COMP Compressor

From providing subtle mix-glue to smashing a drum buss, the classic sound of VCA compressors has been heard on countless hit records throughout the years. With the BUS-COMP, Warm Audio offers the legendary sound of analog VCAs (along with a few extra tricks) at an attractive price.

While the BUS-COMP was designed to handle full mixes, don’t let the name fool you – it’s equally capable of providing that same magic to piano, keys, guitars, and almost any other source!

Why Choose BUS-COMP?

Warm Audio sought to create a VCA bus compressor that recreated the same sound and control of classic console compressors, with more options, more clarity, more tone, and more depth.  Warm also worked to integrate USA-made components into their product, including the custom CineMag transformers that can be inserted into the audio path for extra mojo. 

From their designs came the BUS-COMP, a bus compressor that serves vintage analog flavor modern build quality and high-quality components. At a price point that makes it available to a wider audience, and with a set up that’s virtually seamless, the BUS-COMP manages to provide unparalleled VCA compression for nearly every scenario. Though designed for stereo sources, individual mono sources can be accommodated and enriched as well, making this a truly versatile piece of studio equipment.

Beginners and professionals alike will appreciate what the Warm Audio BUS-COMP is capable of providing for a variety of sources, with plenty of room for imagination and experimentation.

Premium Quality, Affordable Pricepoint

At the core of the BUS-COMP is hand-made construction from premium components, including custom CineMag USA transformers and THAT Corporation VCAs. At face value, it’s a simple enough machine to understand, with six labeled knobs for Threshold, Attack, Ratio, Release, Highpass Filter, and Makeup Gain. Together, these components and knobs form an all-analog two-channel compressor with a wide range of dynamic control and smooth overall tone for stereo, drum, instrumental, and vocal mixes.

Hands On Control

Each knob is clearly measured with levels, and the analog dB meter on the front panel clearly displays the level of compression applied to the audio signal. The adjustable Threshold knob lets you set the level at which compression will kick in, while the Attack knob controls how quickly the compressor reacts once the signal crosses the Threshold level. The Ratio helps control how many dB are compressed, with settings from as low as 1.5:1 to higher settings, like 10:1. The Release function allows you to tailor how quickly the compressor “lets go” of the signal, with a range of 0.3 seconds, through 1.2 seconds, along with the intelligent Auto setting. Finally, the Makeup Gain selector ranges from 0 to +20, increasing the overall audio level after compression.

New Features for the Modern Studio

The Warm Audio BUS-COMP captures the classic sound of VCA Buss Compression while adding a few new features along the way. USA made CineMag transformers can be added directly to the signal path for extra color and depth, while an External Sidechain source allows you to fine-tune compression for transparent “glue” or unique pumping effects.

Compressor, External Sidechain, and Engage Transformers buttons light up when activated, allowing for quick and simple comparisons between effects and compression.

From light masters to heavy, experimental compression sounds, the BUS-COMP can add the classic “silky” tones heard on countless records. The fully adjustable threshold setting prevents over-compression, while the flexible attack control provides enough range for any source.

Voltage Controlled Amplifiers, or VCAs, are favored for their high levels of control and wide range of applications, meaning they can cover a lot of sonic territory without the need to use multiple pieces of equipment. As a result, the Warm Audio BUS-COMP is an excellent choice for space-conscious studios and venues, as well as budget-aware musicians and engineers.

Full Specifications

A quick snapshot of the BUS-COMP reveals a machine that’s easy to decipher, simple to use, and effortlessly integrates into your audio set up.  The six dials and three buttons on the front face of the BUS-COMP make it easy for engineers of any experience level find the settings to transform nearly any mix into a masterpiece.  Each BUS-COMP from Warm Audio features:

  • All Analog, Two-channel stereo voltage-controlled amplifier controls dynamics regardless of source
  • Analog dB meter displays compression
  • 0.3 to 30-millisecond attack setting
  • 5 ratio settings from 1.5:1 through 10:1
  • Release times selections range from 0.3 seconds to 1.2 seconds, with auto-release capabilities
  • Highpass filter selects from 30Hz to 185Hz
  • External sidechain input
  • Fully adjustable makeup gain stage
  • Compressor button lights up when engaged for easy A/B comparisons
  • Insert transformer to manipulate color, depth, and warmth
  • Noise level of less than -90DBU
  • Frequency response of 18Hz to 22KHz
XLR and ¼” TRS balanced inputs and outputs are located on the rear panel, along with the IEC power input. 
While the specs make this compressor seem straightforward, the sonic options are almost endless.

About Warm Audio

Bryce Young may consider Warm Audio a “garage” effort, but since founding the company in 2011, he and his team of audio experts have created an empire of sound that balances quality and price. From microphones, preamps, equalizers, and compressors such as the BUS-COMP, the “Warm Formula” works to create professional, studio-quality products that are affordable and available to musicians and engineers at all stages of their careers.

Whether used in a home studio, a commercial recording facility, or a live venue, Warm Audio products deliver high-quality sound through innovative design. With hand-built designs and high-quality components sourced from some of the most respected manufacturers, including CineMag USA Transformers, JJ Tubes, and Keneteck Opto Attenuators, Warm Audio offers great takes on studio classics at a price that won’t break the bank.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to say which feature is more appealing: the user-friendly interface, the budget-friendly price point, or the carefully-designed, hand-constructed, quality-engineered VCA compressor capabilities of the Warm Audio BUS-COMP.  Warm Audio’s dedication to musicians around the world means that this is a high-quality piece of equipment, earning high accolades for its ability to provide a magic vibe on all sorts of audio recordings.  Whether you’re balancing vocals, experimenting with a vintage orchestral sound, or capturing single-source and acoustic audio, there’s a place for the BUS-COMP in most any studio. 

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