The gain reduction meter is a very important visual tool for evaluating the operation of the compressor in addition to what your ears tell you. A lot of devices make use of sometimes more, sometimes less precise VU meters. Because of the inertia of the needle these meters are only useful with moderate time parameters.
Another popular form of meter is the LED chain. Unfortunately it has a disadvantage, too: When the standard driver units are used, the change between two values happens abruptly. A single LED in the chain can therefore only show an imprecise value in a defined interval. Hectic flicker indicates that the actual value must be somewhere in between.
The alpha compressor solves these problems by using an analog dynamic variant that combines the benefits of both VU meters and LED chains. This meter is based on LEDs, too, but a special circuit design makes it possible to show intermediate values by modulating the brightness of the LEDs.
This means a true analog way of showing the operation of the compressor: very fast, but with smooth transitions. The user gets an important tool for precise gain reduction monitoring – finally the relationship between acoustic and visual perception feels just right.