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EarthQuaker Devices The Warden | Optical Compressor
Always-On Tone Enhancer
Hey boss, thanks for taking a visit from The Warden! The Warden is an optical compressor with a feature set usually reserved for studio grade units.
Built with high grade components and internally powered by 18v, The Warden has loads of gain and sustain on tap. With complete control over attack, release, sustain and ratio, The Warden will allow everything from a heavy squash with fast attack and release to 'barely there' subtle compression. Optical compression has a reputation for having more character than a VCA- or FET-based compression and The Warden is no exception.
- Tone - This pedal was designed to slightly colour your tone and the coloration can be dialled-in to your taste. Counterclockwise is treble cut, clockwise is treble boost. The tone is nearly flat around 11 o'clock.
- Level - This controls the overall output and is affected by the Sustain and Ratio settings. There is no specific unity setting; adjust to taste when you find your perfect compression setting.
- Sustain - This is the heart of The Warden. It controls how hot the signal is, which changes the dynamics of the compression. The Warden is a feedbackstyle compressor; the hotter the signal, the more active the compression. Very little Sustain equals very little compression, less active Attack and Release and a cooler signal. Max sustain equals heavy compression, longer Sustain, hotter signal and more lively Attack and Release.
- Ratio - This determines how much the gain reduction affects the signal. All the way up is full compression and the compression is reduced as you turn this counterclockwise which allows more of the boosted, less compressed, signal to come through. There are no defined ratios here.
- Attack - This controls how quickly the compressor reacts and starts levelling the signal. All the way counterclockwise is a fast, nearly immediate reaction. Turning the Attack clockwise slows the reaction time.
- Release - This controls how long it takes the signal to raise back up to the level determined by the Sustain & Ratio settings. All the way counterclockwise is a fast release and the release time slows as you turn it clockwise.