Music Store 09/2012
Daniel Škrášek: "The xpressor is something new, something different, something interesting and something fascinating. Many times I found myself experimenting with different settings for hours. Everything sounded good, all of the time, and sometimes the results can only be described as fantastic."
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Producao Audio 06/2012
Miguel Pinheiro Marques: "The xpressor is truly a swiss army knife when it comes to audio compression, because it can handle every type of instruments, groups or mixes in very transparent and musical ways. And the most amazing thing is that elysia made this incredible tool at a very affordable price, which makes it a no-brainer purchase."
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Studio Magazin 10/2011
Fritz Fey: "The xpressor meets the requirements for being used in professional environments in every single aspect, and it outperforms considerably more expensive competitors easily. Never before has such a high level of technology in combination with such a creative concept been offered for so little money. The xpressor defines a new value for money class which stands unequaled today..."
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Professional audio 11/2011
Georg Berger: "The rack version of the elysia's xpressor is a high-flying dynamics processor. Its construction and build quality are absolutely breathtaking. Looking at the qualities of the xpressor, elysia could have sold it for twice the price easily – and because they didn't, the value for money rating must be estimated as phenomenal."
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elysia xpressor

by Tim Schuldt
Keys (Germany) – January 2012

Express yourself – even when it comes to compression. elysia's new compressor has some special tools in board which promise to be helpful in this regard.

The xpressor is not a complete novelty, but until now it only had been available for owners of an API Lunchbox or other 500 series compatible frames. But now elysia is also offering a rack version of this analog stereo compressor which is based on discrete class-A transistor circuitry. The functions and features of both versions are similar to a large extent. By the way, some of the more special features have been taken from elysia's top model, the alpha mastering compressor.

The outer perspective
The looks of the xpressor are dominated by the elysia's typical blue/silver design; the front panel is very clear and well arranged. The aluminum body leaves a sturdy and well-built impression. Compared to many other units, the xpressor is a very light machine, even with it's built-in power supply. The switches and potentiometers are of a high quality and can be accessed easily.

Especially the stepped potentiometers have a very good feel, allowing easy yet precise settings. The status LEDs of the switches and the red LED chain of the gain reduction meter are clear and easy to read as well, even when the unit is placed in a lower position in the rack. It would have been nice if the power switch would have been located on the front panel, though.

In practical use
Already in the first listening sessions the xpressor appears very transparent and punchy. It compacts any kind of signal without much of an effort and provides a nice load of punch without degrading certain frequency ranges. No matter if focusing on the bass or treble region, the original structure and the stereo image of a signal is retained during processing.

The Auto Fast function allows to adapt the attack time automatically in relation to the program material, and this is another plus for achieving good results very fast. The sound seems to become even a little bit more tight and more defined, especially when listening to the transient response. Of course all this is highly dependent on the specific audio material applied. Anyway, this function is a welcome extension to the control options of the unit.

The so called Warm switch changes the transient response and the harmonic distortion, which aims at creating a little bit more dense and warm sound character. The lower mid and bass range seems to get a little accent, and the overall sound seems more compact and colored. This is a nice alternative to the generally transparent basic sound of the xpressor.

The Log switch changes the release curve from a linear to a logarithmic characteristic. When the logarithmic curve is applied, the release times become faster in higher amounts of gain reduction. Short and loud program peaks (for example drums) are reduced with a faster release than the more average-leveled material. During our tests, the influence of this function showed to be more on the subtle side, but it could be used to achieve even better definition, for example on the summing bus.

The Gain Reduction Limiter function – which is not a part of the audio path, but of the control path of the unit – prevents further compression after a certain amount of gain reduction has been applied. This way, louder signal will not get overcompressed – very handy indeed.

The sidechain filter of the xpressor is not set to a fixed frequency like it is the case with many other compressors. Instead, you can set its range from 31 Hz to 1 kHz. That is very useful if the program material below a certain frequency (for example bass) shows a negative influence on the compression process with unwanted results like pumping or audible artifacts. The influence of the problematic frequency range can now be excluded from the compression process, so that the remaining frequencies can be processed more selectively. This way, unwanted jumps in dynamics can be lessened or completely avoided.

One of the features I have enjoyed the most is the mix controller for blending the compressed and the original signal. Offering this kind of parallel compression extends the possibilities of the xpressor even further. When drastic amounts of compression are applied, or when a signal is overcompressed intentionally, this part of the signal can be reduced so that the uncompressed signal dominates the sound again, but still the mix with the heavily compressed signal creates a much more dense character. This will give you great results both on sum and signal signals. If you ask me, this is a feature which should not be missing on any modern compressor.

Finally, there is the possibility of external side chaining, which means that an external control signal (for example a bass drum) is fed into the compressor in order to control its gain reduction process. This technique is used to create these in-sync pumping effects which have become so popular these days, or for other applications like duking as well. The external sidechain feature is only offered by the rack version of the xpressor, by the way.

Result
The xpressor convinces in every aspect. It combines extreme flexibility with premium sound qualities. No matter if used on single, group or sum signals, the results are always positive and versatile. The xpressor masters all the disciplines between subtle and drastic. The sound is more on the transparent side, but the unit does not lack a character of its own.

The set of features is extensive and leaves nothing to be desired. External sidechaining, parallel compression or the possibility to have selected influence on the control behavior or the generation of harmonics... all this extends the usual possibilities of a compressor in very useful and practical ways.

Because of the delivered quality, the price is absolutely ok and results in a very good value for money ratio. And the xpressor does not have to fear the competition of much more expensive units at all.