The ultimate elysia compressor guide

The ultimate elysia compressor guide

Which elysia compressor fits my musical applications? 

Is an elysia compressor VCA or FET? 

What is the difference between the mpressor and xpressor? 

Let me bring light into darkness

alpha compressor – the ultimate mastering tool

Rack Series | alpha compressor state of the art compressor

Our noble – compressor! When it comes to mastering, the alpha compressor is the first choice for you. With its extensive possibilities and features set, the alpha compressor is perfectly equipped for all your mastering tasks. The alpha compressor is just waiting to be fed by you to give you the best dynamic results you ever wished for but could not describe until now.

Do you want subtle or intensive changes in the sound experience? The soft knee curve of the alpha compressor always controls discreet and elegant. Especially the M/S matrix allows you detailed editing and a very transparent and spatial sound image.

With the Sidechain Filter, you can adjust the control behavior perfectly and the Audio Filter allows you to make subtle tonal adjustments. The integrated Soft Clipper feature is the perfect function to protect your A/D converter from unwanted transients. The alpha compressor is a real musical all-rounder and you can use it for all kinds of music, from acoustic to modern. With this compressor, you will be able to unleash the expression and emotions of your music. 

Despite its many complex feature set, you can still achieve perfect sound results very quick and easy. Last but not least, the alpha compressor impresses with its special design and is also a pure visual treat in every studio.

mpressor – a strong character with creativeness

mpressor from elysia | side

Would you like something special? Then the mpressor is just right for you. 

On one hand, the mpressor can compress many standard signals like speech, vocals, bass, guitars, brass and drums, and on the other hand, thanks to its hard knee characteristic, it is an absolute multi-talent when it comes to danceable beats for hip-hop, trap, electro, house, techno, and rock – this is exactly where the mpressor can work with true audible wonders, both when mastering and mixing. 

Due to its sensitively reacting time constants you will very quick and safely find the right settings to make your groove tangible. Further creative functions such as the gain reduction limiter, the anti-logarithmic release curves, and the negative ratios make the mpressor a great tool for unimagined dynamic manipulations. 

You will soon realize that it is a real specialist and workhorse, especially for creative drum sample editing. You can use the audio filter to influence the overall character of your signal, and the switchable external sidechain input is available for the typical and popular techno and house ducking sounds.

xpressor (19″ and 500 Series version) – The all-rounder

xpressor 19" | sideview white
xpressor 500 by elysia

The xpressor is a true all-rounder with special features and control ranges that give you control over the dynamic spectrum for all kinds of music and signals. 

As a soft knee compressor, the discrete VCA controls very cleanly and inconspicuously – even at very high-level reductions.

We designed the xpressor as a stereo compressor so that you can use it as a bus and mastering compressor. The switchable auto functions allow you to compress even difficult signals like electric basses, piano, and sum signals very unobtrusively. The Sidechain Filter gives you precise control over the bass response, while the Gain Reduction Limiter gives you perfect control over the compression. 

The so-called Warm Mode allows you to quickly adjust the basic sound characteristics. As a true summing compressor, it also has a mix control for parallel compression on board. In the 19″ version, the xpressor even offers an external sidechain input for frequency-selective processing and ducking.

mpressor 500 – Flexible and affordable

mpressor 500 | the compressor from the future | side view

You are looking for maximum dynamic range processing for little money? 

Then the mpressor 500 is the right choice for you. A lot of punch for the bucks! 

The mpressor 500 is a completely discrete Class-A compressor with our typical clear and transparent sound philosophy combined with maximum functionality.

Perfect for your recording or mixing, the mpressor 500 offers you all the important features of its bigger brother. You can use it perfectly for speech, vocals, guitars, basses, and all drum signals. With fast time constants, a hard knee curve, a gain reduction limiter and extensive autofast functions, it offers you a rich bandwidth – from subtle changes to drastic sound design. 

A special feature is the THD Boost function, which allows you to distort the input stage even more. The fast and accurate LED display gives you precise visual feedback of your control behavior. Even in complex mixes, it’s clear, punchy and powerful sound will stand out. Our compressor from the future.

For a complete overview of the elysia compressors, please visit our compressor comparison page

We have done a comprehensive overview of the whole topic graphically to help you to make the right decision when buying an elysia compressor.  Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

If you like the blog post, feel free to share it, or just leave a comment below. I am looking forward to a lively conversation.

Yours, Ruben Tilgner

We have some short elysia compressor FAQ overview for you:

What is a elysia compressor?

All elysia compressors like alpha compressor, mpressor, xpressor are discrete class-A hardware compressors based on VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier). All our compressors are working in a different way:
alpha compressor is working with a so called PCA (Passive Current Attenuator) This circuit transforms the incoming signal into a current which is then reduced controlled by voltage. The triggering can be compared to that of a VCA with a predictable characteristic curve. The core consists of sixteen discrete transistors which are kept at a defined temperature by an exclusive heating system, avoiding unwanted fluctuations.

xpressor is working with a discrete VCA Technology.
The mpressor Series are using Transductance Amplifiers A differential pair of transistors that uses a modulated current source to affect the amount of amplification builds the core of this module. A few extra transistors were added in order to further decrease noise and unwanted influences of the control voltage. Most of our compressors are also available as Plugins for your DAW and are a nice reproductions of our original hardware.

What elysia compressor can i use for Hip-Hop, Trap and Urban Production?

The elysia xpressor is the perfect match for you when you like to have a very affordable “value for price“ compressor. The xpressor has a transparent and punchy sound and is very versatile.
The mpressor is perfect for creative drum sample editing and vocal processing.  The alpha compressor is the perfect solution for mastering.

What elysia compressor can i use for Electronic, EBM, Techno and House Production?

The elysia xpressor is the perfect match for you when you like to have a very affordable “value for price“ compressor. The xpressor has a transparent and punchy sound and is very versatile.
The mpressor  is perfect for creative drum sample editing and vocal processing. 
The alpha compressor can be used perfectly for all mastering compressing task and can handle nearly all types of musical styles. 

Can i use the elysia xpressor as a de-esser via sidechain filter?

Yes, of course you can! It is possible to realize an De-Esser with the xpressor if the sidechain filter is set to about 1 kHz.
It is important to compress the signal before. Otherwise, only the loud S sounds will be processed.

What does discrete class-A technology mean?

The discrete class-A technology describes how the analog amplifiers are constructed. In contrast to Integrated Circuits (IC’s) the circuits are built from single transistors. The class-A mode ensures that a current always flows through the transistor and thus avoids transition distortions.

Does the elysia xpressor 500 has external sidechain capabilities?

No, the xpressor 500 doesn’t have any external sidechain functionalities like his bigger brother xpressor Rack. The xpressor 19″ Rack Version has an EXT Jack with Sidechain Send and Return.

elysia on tour

elysia on tour in the United States

Our fine elysia 500 Series audio processors touring from Germany to conquer the United States of America.

Fasten your seatbelts and put your seats in the upright position.

Back in the late summer of 2018 we had a crazy idea. This idea led to a 1,5 years long tour all over the United States and nearly 30 visited mixing&mastering engineers, producers and musicians. But who or better to say what was exactly on tour? Let’s dive in!

elysia on tour case with 500 series analog modules

If you’re reading this – you most likely are in love with analog gear, right? Just like we do!

It doesn’t matter if your studio has several racks loaded with analog jewels or you got a small home recording studio with one beloved mix bus compressor – whenever you get your fingers on analog gear it’s always a happy time. Because we at elysia love what we do, we’re always happy to see you using our gear. We want to see as many people get in touch with it and learn what special things it can do for their music. But what are the options to get this in-depth experience with the gear, maybe even in your own trusty environment? That’s why we decided – let’s send our gear on tour!

We loaded nearly all of our 500-series gear into a Neve R10 rack, to be precise – a pair of our at that time just released preamp elysia skulpter 500, our stereo equalizer xfilter 500, compressor xpressor 500, our transient designer nvelope 500 and our saturation module karacter 500. Each module on its own is a treat, but all of them at once as a channel strip – that’s something you should not forget too fast!

So how much should this hands-on experience cost you? Of course nothing!

We decided to cover all shipping costs. The only investment the participants should make was their precious time.  Honestly, we knew it’s something no-one else did before and that it’s a special offer but would the people react to it the way we hoped they would? Hell, they did! We reached out to so many guys and soon realized it was a mistake. Simply everyone was super excited about it and within two weeks the list was longer than we ever expected.

How did we choose who would get it?

While we all know these big names, the engineers we all look up to and who of course we also wished-for to host our rack – there are so many extremely talented guys climbing up the Olymp but yet maybe not having the resources to get the gear worth of $7000 to try out just like that. So we wanted to make this thing different. We care about everyone – a Grammy-winning engineer and a bedroom producer. That’s when the real work started. We asked ourselves how to ship it, how to make the user experience as easy as possible. How to ease the learning curve of our gear? Because it’s far away from being a one-trick-pony. How to make sure it can be plugged in without missing a cable? How much time should be enough for an unforgettable experience? Many questions and we needed answers.

The best experience for you!

We had this idea of a perfect experience – you get the rack, you plug it in and start immediately enjoying it. So we even soldered our own custom cables, any cable that you’d need, including TT-Phone jacks. We made them durable so they last the tour for sure. How inhuman would it be to plug in the rack that you waited several months for just to realize that one of the cables is broken and you haven’t a spare one? No one wants to live through that – haha!

We made a short video starring our CEO Ruben Tilgner explaining each module and put it on a USB stick. Probably the worst video production of all times but all guys loved it as it really helped to directly dive into the rack. By the way – we should’ve known better – the stick got lost pretty fast along the way. Maybe, it’s still on the desk of one of the guys, maybe even of the one reading this blog.

elysia 500 series rack

We found the right case for shipping, TSA-locks to pass the customs, and even made ourselves a beautiful custom wood box for the cables and accessories. Analog gear and wood – nothing looks better together, right? That’s when we realized that we wanted to do one more really special thing!

elysia uses a state-of-the-art milling machine to build custom parts for its gear. Why shouldn’t we manufacture something really important? A custom coaster!

You can imagine how sad this day is, when the gear has to move. We wanted to give at least something which can stay forever. All the guys couldn’t believe their eyes to see their names engraved in this little but meaningful gifts and we still see many of them actually use it. 

Handmade Custom Coaster as a gift with the names

One last special we’ve added to the case was a little notebook. We kindly asked the guys to write down some words for us. Yes, it’s sentimental but the whole thing was so personal. Each participant would’ve held this notebook in his hands and as it turned out – there were many!

We were simply overwhelmed by getting the rack back to our headquarters and reading all the beautiful messages the guys wrote down for us. No other company has such a book. It’s just us. And we’re proud of it!

With all that said, you know now everything about the development of the tour so let’s dive in and see what the guys thought about it.

Rick King

Rick Kings Notebook entry 1

The first lucky soul was Rick King, a producer, and mixing engineer at his beautiful studio in Paducah, Kentucky. Rick wrote an intriguing introduction to the brand new notebook! Who’s up for an adventure?

“To whomever finds this, you will surely notice a page missing from this book. On it is a map that leads to the elysia gear that I have buried. Find it, and it is yours! – RK”

Rick King

As you can see the first page is really missing. If you ever find this map, let us know! Rick even shared a suggestion for an amazing piece of analog gear that will make any mix better! Thanks for your useful input!

Rick Kings second Notebook entry
Product Idea Rick King

“Elysia. Thank you again for your hospitality and kindness in letting me be a part of this elysia tour. Your gear has been on my radar for a long time, but being able to test it in my own space made all the difference. I can’t wait to put some pieces in my rack permanently! Loved twisting these knobs! – Rick King King Sound”

Rick King

It was a real pleasure to have you as our first host, Rick! Where did you bury our gear?! 

Jack Daniels

The second guy was Jack Daniels, we guess it won’t be hard to memorize his name for most of you musicians out there. ;) By the way, Jack is Rick’s best studio friend. Unfortunately, Jack forgot to sign the notebook but he made this beautiful shot of the rack and we love it! 

Welcome to Nashville

When it comes to music, there are not many places that can compete with Nashville. Though it’s not a huge city, its musical community is one of a kind. There is probably no other place where you’ll find so many music studios so close to each other. And that’s for a reason. It will be hard to find another place with so many musicians, audio engineers and producers so close to each other. So Nashville is simply the right place to continue with, right?

Nashville Map by google
© Google Maps 2020

We visited exiting and talented engineers and producers whose names you probably already saw many times on social media: 

Travis Ball, Colt Capperrune, Kyle Monroe, Michael Frasinelli, Josh Bonanno, Josh Colby, Marc Frigo. 

We really hope we didn’t forget anyone! Because Everyone got the rack for two full weeks so the rack stood in Nashville for over 3,5 months. This is what the guys wrote down for us:

Travis Ball 

“Ruben + Aleg,

Thank you very much for putting this rack together! I have been keen to try some of the offerings from elysia for some time now, very impressed with how everything sounds and put together! Wish I could have spent more time with it! I guess this means I should buy something eventually, haha! Cheers Travis Ball”

Travis Ball

You’re very welcome, Travis! We’ll gladly watch your carrier prosper! And thanks for the beautiful pictures!  

Colt Capperrune

elysia on tour notebook entry Colt Capperrune

“The week gone by far too fast, I will never forget you dear elysia. May your silky smooth goodness bless many waveforms, and tame all the peaks you meet. Until we meet again, Colt Capperrune” 

Colt Capperrune

This is the most musical message we could wish for, Colt! Thank you so much! 

Kyle Monroe “Tiny Tape Room”

elysia on tour | Rack at Kyle Monroe | Tiny Tape Room

“What a wonderful treat to be a part of this elysia tour. I am very excited to pick up some of these EQ’s in the future! Cheers, Kyle TTR”

Kyle Monroe

Our equalizer will fit amazingly in your newly built studio, Kyle!

Such heart-warming comments! And this is just the beginning!

Michael Frasinelli 

elysia on tour | Michael Frasinelli's Notebook entry
elysia on tour | Michael Frasinelli handmade gift

“Well before these 2 weeks I thought I got to hold off on buying an additional 500 series chassis for a while… I  thought wrong.

I demo a lot of gear, but it is rare that I end the demo wanting to buy every single unit that I don’t already own ASAP. Thanks… I think? As always, fantastic work elysia team. Plus, now you can see why I type and rarely handwrite.”

Michael Frasinell

It is all about the message, and we love it, Michael!

Josh Bonanno

elysia on tour | rack at Josh Bonanno

“Can’t say thank you enough for including me in this tour. Incredible gear. Truly enjoyed my time with it and look forward to adding a few to my collection in the future.”  

Josh Bonanno

[layerslider id=”10″]

We’re very happy to be now a part of your setup, Josh! The video you made while using the rack was definitely one of the most special things from the tour!

Marc Frigo

“Thank you so much for letting me try out this wonderful gear. Really appreciate it! Love what you’re doing, keep up the great work!”

Marc Frigo

It was our pleasure to have you onboard, Marc! 

Last but not least – check out the gear in action and see what Travis Ball did with it while mastering a cool pop track! Very nice!


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I hope you guys liked this blog post.

Meanwhile, it would be great if you leave a comment, tell me if you like this touring idea. And if so, please share this blogpost on social media. Thank you.

Cheers, Aleg

Update on elysia qube series

qube series

Analog to Go. Everywhere. Now available!

Here’s an update on the long awaited release of the elysia qube series. As you may already know,  the qube series is a super portable and lightweight analog soundprocessing solution based on our highly acclaimed 500 Series – completely stackable and they fit on every desk right next to your DAW or monitor for super easy operation.  We had a lot of positive Feedback on our social media channels the last weeks and months in regards to this new concept and we’re amazed, honored about this fact. So thank you a lot for your love.  In the last weeks and months we have done a lot of refining work on our qubes and know we’re preparing marketing and PR assets for the release of this nice product range. It turned out that, because of it’s form-factor, the qube series will fit very easily and comfortable on any tiny desktop space but can be easy transported in a backpack or suitcase for traveling. The aluminium housing of this product makes it easy to take it with you where ever you go! You will never walk without your qube anymore, so – analog to go! everywhere.

6 Flavors of elysia

The qube will be available in the following combinations

We have some requests from customers who are asking, if the qube case will be sold separately. Well, due some specifications of Modules from other manufacturers there is no standard in terms of the PCBs depth. So in most cases they’re not compatible with the qube aluminum case. Therefore, we decided not not to sell the qube cases separately. We will ask for your understanding.


You will find all informations and a list of elysia qube dealers in the United States here:

xfilter Mastering Edition

The xfilter Mastering Edition

We introduce the new version of our 4-Band Stereo Equalizer

Today we have announced that the extended version of our popular xfilter 4-band stereo equalizer is now available as a Mastering Edition.

The elysia xfilter Mastering Edition is a very sophisticated, handcrafted analog 4-band stereo equalizer, with both channels linked for stereo operation. All four bands provide a precise control range of +/-5dB. The xfilter Mastering Edition produces the high-end sound of a Class A equalizer at an amazing value for the money. This fine analog 4-band stereo equalizer produces an absolutely precise stereo image. This is based on the use of computer-selected components with extremely low tolerances.

The new and special features

A special feature of this analog equalizer shines through its double flexibility! It offers high- and low shelf bands which can be switched to high and low pass filters with resonance control. Two bell filters with narrow and wide Q for the mid frequencies as well as additional passive LC stages with shielded coils to refine the treble frequencies. The extraordinarily open sound, the direct transient reproduction, the solid punch as well as the balanced output stage with up to +27dBu makes the xfilter Mastering Edition the perfect companion in the mastering studio.

4-Band Stereo Equalizer
4 band stereo mastering equalizer
4 band stereo mastering equalizer - back

The xfilter Mastering Edition Highlights

  • 4-band stereo analog equalizer with real stereo link
  • Precise control range for all four bands of +/-5dB
  • A balanced output stage with up to +27dBu
  • High-quality and light construction in aluminium housing | Made in Germany
  • Class-A Topology • Stepped potentiometers (computer selected)
  • High and Low Shelf Bands • Hi- and Low Pass Filter with Resonance
  • Two parametric Mids with switchable Q-Faktor
  • Additional passive high-band

“We are proud that we have been able to continue developing and optimizing our xfilter for optimal studio and mastering usage,” said Ruben Tilgner, chief developer, founder and CEO of elysia GmbH. He adds: “Especially the new and precise control range of all 4 bands from +/-5dB as well as the newly designed output stage are a blast in the studio!“