Akai C2M Hexacomp

Controls

  • Output
  • Input

Mix Level

  • Band 1
  • Band 2
  • Band 3
  • Band 4
  • Band 5
  • Band 6

Compression

  • Band 1
  • Band 2
  • Band 3
  • Band 4
  • Band 5
  • Band 6

Various

Akai (2004)

HEXACOMP is a new pedal suitable for both guitarists and bassists featuring six compressors in one rugged pedal. The input is split into 6 bands according to frequency and then fed to the individual compressors. Each compressor operates completely independently, with dedicated control of input gain and compression ratio for each band. The separate bands are then mixed and sent to the output gain control.

Conventional single-band compressors act on the entire input signal. So if you hold a sustained note on a low string while you really hit a high string hard, the compressor lowers the combined volume of both-and you lose the bottom end. With the HEXACOMP, however, compression is selectively applied to the separate frequency bands and this means you can compress that popping high note while leaving the sustained bottom end untouched.

Compressors are a great tool for levelling out volume, but they have one big drawback: they lose a lot of the player's dynamics. This is especially true with guitar which has a big peak in the midrange area. As soon as this midrange peak triggers a conventional single-band compressor, the entire volume is lowered, losing much of the dynamics of the highs and lows. The answer is the HEXACOMP.

By applying compression only to the midrange, the highs and lows which are below the compressor's threshold remain unaffected and this maintains the player's dynamics at the same time as making the volume more uniform, a trick that's impossible with a conventional single-band compressor.

However, the HEXACOMP is also capable of producing effects not possible on conventional compressors. For example, varying the compression ratios of the separate compressors attenuates the 6 frequency bands individually, resulting in unique phase effects when the signals are recombined. The effect depends on the amount of compression applied to each band and is completely different from the periodic-type phasing produced by phase-shifters adding extra personality to the HEXACOMP's sound.

The HEXACOMP also lets you create sounds beyond the reach of a graphic equalizer. For example, if you want to increase the low frequency content when you're playing high up the neck of a bass. You could simply boost the low end with an equalizer, but when you move to a lower position on the neck the bottom end gets boomy and unsatisfying. The HEXACOMP avoids the problem by letting you raise the input gain of the low frequencies. When you play high, the lower components of the sound are boosted for a satisfyingly solid sound. And when you move down the neck, the increased low frequencies trigger the compressor to attenuate the bottom end and avoid unpleasant boominess.

The HEXACOMP can be used equally with guitar or bass - it can also be used with keyboards and is particularly effective on vintage electric pianos, clavinet, etc..

As with the G-DRIVE distortion pedal, the HEXACOMP's rugged construction means that it will withstand a battering on the road and its 'true bypass' footswitch means that when it is not being used, the HEXACOMP's circuitry will have no side effects on the straight sound.

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