Joel Scheuneman (Manhattan Center Studios) teams up with Jimmy Douglass (Timbaland, Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Gang Of Four) to design a stereo compressor built for powerful, adaptable dynamic control.
Joel Scheuneman has always been a tinkerer. As a teenager, he was the type of kid who would fix your busted boombox for fun. Today, he’s a veteran technician at the bustling Manhattan Center Studios – the kind of big-room audio mecca that was supposed to have disappeared from the city decades ago.
This year, Scheuneman has developed a stereo hardware compressor for people who are just as serious about audio as he is; People like his co-designer Jimmy “The Senator” Douglass, a producer/engineer who’s probably best-known for his countless collaborations with Timbaland.
The Senator Compressor, which is takes its name from Douglass, started its life as a handful of IC chips in a cardboard shoebox (Timberland, of course).
This original version of the design dropped jaws despite the fact that it had no user controls, and instead relied on a gain-reduction circuit that could think for itself. But bit-by-bit, Scheuneman and Douglass tested and redesigned the box, adding tweak-points and tailoring The Senator’s response until it evolved into a refined studio workhorse. Still, the heart of Scheuneman’s original circuit remains intact.
“It’s based around what I call a ‘dynamic ratio’,” says Scheuneman. “How steep the ratio is changes dynamically depending on how loud the music you feed it is.” Put simply, the hotter your signal gets, the harder The Senator compresses….