DEDICATION TO DESIGN
For the Ixion, we’ve chosen an optical element, in shunt formation, with a feedback sidechain. There are a number of design features that set this squeezebox apart from the pack though. The typical arrangement for a feedback sidechain would be to tap it after the make-up gain stage. In our case, the sidechain is tapped directly after the gain control element. A prominent example of this arrangement is the famous LA-2A studio compressor.
The maximum compression available is 6:1, and plenty of beautiful harmonically rich make-up gain is on tap, and available for use as vintage grit if desired. The feel of the compression will adjust to your playing, traditional attack and release parameters will vary as the pedal reacts progressively to your dynamics. THRESH, or the amount of signal needed to trigger compression, can be adjusted independently of the make-up gain. This makes it a simple task to compensate for differing instruments, and signal-chain placements. An extremely useful option included in the sidechain is the CONTOUR knob which controls an A-weighted equal loudness filter implementation derived from IEC 61672:2003 and ISO 226:2003. This emulates the way people hear the relative loudness of different frequencies, and gives the Ixion a unbelievably deep bottomless bass response. Compared to simpler high-pass filters in many compressors, you’ll find the filter here to feel quite different, bassists in particular will rejoice at the ease of maintaining low-end integrity. Finally, the sidechain itself may be accessed on its own, for experimental swelling, and bizarre ducking tones. The sidechain jack is configured as RING-SEND, and TIP-RETURN, opening up very interesting possibilities such as using an expression pedal to control compression, putting other pedals into the sidechain, or even triggering compression remotely with a completely different audio source.