Die Safe Sound 500 Series Toolbox ist einer unser Lieblingstipps. Schließlich ist soviel Funktionalität in einem Kompressor und noch dazu M/S Bearbeitung einzigartig im API Lunchbox Format. Die Kollegen von Sound on Sound sind ähnlicher Meinung, hier ein Auschnitt aus dem Review:

“After the trivial matter of slotting the device into an API lunchbox, I patched the Stereo Toolbox in to a pair of DAW inputs and outputs and switched it on. I tested it on a range of material, and used it both to balanced stems and to process the main stereo buss, first in conventional L/R stereo mode, and later in M/S. The first thing to report is that in all scenarios it was easy to achieve nice, clean-sounding compression. I then kicked in the high pass filter, and on the drum and master bus this enabled me to achieve the desired balance of dynamics and solidity very easily, without any audible pumping. For these points alone, I’d say this is a lovely unit that’s well worth the asking price. But it does so much more…”

“The controls are laid out in a neat logical fashion, and the dials are detented to allow precise matching between channels and accurate recall. At the top, there’s a central ‘width’ control, which is flanked on either side by two ratio controls, one for each of the two channels. The ratio goes all the way from 1:1 (off) to 30:1 (limiting). Despite the detents, you’re still able to achieve very fine degrees of adjustment. The ratio controls, for example, use eight clicks from 3:1 to 5:1 (inclusive), and the dial action is lovely and smooth, too.”

“I like the separate control it affords over all those important elements that are smack in the middle of the stereo field, and of the more ambient, and often less critical information to left and right. It was thus a pleasant change to have the facility available in a single unit, and all the more to have the option to switch back to conventional L/R compression [from M/S]. It’s just so convenient.”

“The harmonic distortion, the M/S mode, and the high pass filter, make the Stereo Toolbox so much more than a run-of-the mill processor. As far as I’m aware, the switchable L/R and M/S compression is unique amongst 500-series modules, just as Safe Sound claim. I can also appreciate their argument that there’s more stem mixing going on these days, whether it’s by the mastering or the mix engineer, and for that, this [unit] should work very well…”


“I really liked the Stereo Toolbox, particularly for providing ‘mixing glue’. It does exactly what it sets out to do, effortlessly, and it’s versatile too. If you’ve not used M/S bus compression, this is a great way to try it out, because if you don’t like it, you still get a very nice conventional stereo compressor into the bargain.”

Interessant auch der Abschlußkommentar, in dem Matt Houghton vorschlägt, vier Dynamic Toolboxes mit einem Radial Workhorse Rack zu kombinieren, um einen Analogen Summierer mit Dynamikbearbeitung zu bekommen. Das klingt traumhaft in meinen Ohren!

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