Eventide Omnipressor® 2830Au
In 1973, Eventide Clockworks introduced the Omnipressor, the first studio product to encourage the use of dynamics for special effects. It joined the Instant Phaser and, shortly after, the Instant Flanger in studios worldwide. All were used on countless recordings and are now considered truly classic products. Unlike the Phaser and Flanger, the Omnipressor, with its stillunique dynamic reversal, infinite compression, variable gating, and separate "sidechain," was discontinued a few years later. It had become difficult both to obtain some exclusive parts and even more difficult to explain it to an industry that was much less sophisticated than it is today.
The original Omnipressor was born from an idea Eventide’s founder, Richard Factor, got while talking to Mark Weiss, one of the scientists investigating the "18-minute gap" of the Nixon Watergate scandal. The sidechain idea that emerged enabled feats of compression that would be impossible (and unstable) with the compression architecture of the day, but doable with the more modern hardware of the 1970s. The earlier "white face (Model 2826)" Omnipressor was not just hard to explain, it was hard to use, and it yielded shortly to the "black face (Model 2830)" unit designed by Jon Paul, another ex-colleague of Mark Weiss. This version, after selling another few hundred units, in its turn yielded to the darkness of commercial necessity – what we now call "supply chain" – and so became a legend to collectors and a desideratum to recordists worldwide.
The Legend Returns
In those few years of production, the model 2830 was a success! Engineers and producers discovered what was possible by using dynamics as an effect. Many of the original units are still in operation today. A clamor from those coveting the unique Omnipressor dynamic effects resulted in Factor developing first a hardware emulation using VSIG for the Eventide Orville, and later Eventide’s development team creating an Omnipressor plug-in for Pro Tools. Fatefully, in an episode of the Gear Club podcast, Factor impulsively suggested that Eventide would reintroduce the rack mount classic.
The original handdrawn schematics were in the Eventide archives and the new model is a faithful replica designed with the same circuitry and the same sound as the original 2830. With supply chain issues resolved after 50 years, you can now find the 2830Au for sale and priced about the same as the original.
The new Au model features the ability to link multiple units and is fitted with input and output audio transformers which were a costly option on the original. Other improvements include a universal power supply, and a back-lit meter. More convenient TRS/XLR connectors replace the original terminal strip.
- Dynamics Processing — capable of creating otherworldly sounds
- Dynamic Reversal — the first of its kind, soft signals come out loud and loud signals come out quiet, simulating tape reversal, a unique attribute of this versatile compressor
- Function Control — sets a ratio over a continuous range allowing extreme expansion, to infinite compression, and is even able to push further into dynamic reversal
- Variable Control of attack and release time
- Variable Control of maximum gain and maximum attenuation
- Side Chain allows the level detection of the Omnipressor to be driven by another audio source
- Gating — amplitudes of signals that fall below a set threshold are ‘squooshed’
- Expansion — widen a signal’s dynamic range, louder gets louder, softer gets softer
- Compression offers variable control of compression ratio
- Infinite Compression — if you want everything to come out at the same level, this is the feature for you
- Limiting — a fast, versatile limiter, useful for maintaining a loud sound
- Intuitive Interface — clean and easy to operate
- XLR and 1/4" Line In
- XLR and 1/4" Line Out
- XLR and 1/4" Side Chain In
- XLR and 1/4" Side Chain Out
- 1/4" Link In
- 1/4" Link Out
- EU-type IEC power cord
- Omnipressor poster
- Omnipressor manual
- Eventide sticker
- Eventide guitar pick