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SPL Charisma 2

CHARISMA is an tube processor designed to improve the power, punch, dynamics as well as the subjective loudness of the signal being processed. CHARISMA also optimizes the headroom exploitation of digital recording systems by helping to prevent overload while recording. Subjectively, CHARISMA introduces tonal warmth and a smooth bottom end into digital recording. CHARISMA is a joint development with Manfred Reckmeyer, whose exceptional knowledge of tube technology, plus his aural imagination, have resulted in some amazing custom designs for tube guitar preamps. Who could better describe the concept of CHARISMA than the developer himself? - we quote from an interview with Production Partner magazine: "Since digital multitrack like ADATs or DA-88 have been around, I have heard from many recording engineers that these are practical and affordable products that represent a real recording alternative. Still, many miss the punch of analogue tape machines, so they decide to record certain instruments on analogue, or they dub the digital multitrack onto an analogue 24-track to breath some life into the tracks. It is very similar with hard disk recording systems. These systems provide incredible editing features, but many engineers miss something in the sound, too." What is described here is familiar to many of us. CHARISMA represents a solution that exceeds by far the mere simulation of tape saturation. CHARISMA's tube saturation characteristic can actually be manipulated. Even so, the concept of operation is kept simple: Each CHARISMA-channel has three potentiometers with which you can drive the tubes (Drive), change the tube saturation characteristic (Charisma) and set the output level (Output).

See SPL's own data sheet & reviews

SPL Charisma two channel valve processor
Drive
The Drive control sets the drive level to the tubes. You have control over the tube's onset of saturation to find the optimum point of processing. The higher the Drive, the more tube harmonics are being generated. At the same time, limiting gets stronger, increasing the density of the tube distortion. Charisma This unique control varies the tube saturation sound and allows you to create varying sound characteristics from 'soft' to 'hard'. Creating different tube sounds results in varying harmonic structures, and adjustments in the soft control range bring in the harmonic distortion and the tube limiting very slowly (you can compare this with the soft-knee characteristic of a compressor). In comparison to the hard control range, the soft effect starts off at relatively low levels. The sound becomes smooth and warm, is a little softer, and contains more harmonic distortion than the hard sound. In the hard control range, CHARISMA operates comparably to the hard-knee characteristic of a compressor. The processing starts with full effect at one point whereupon the signal is sharply limited, and at this point, the sound becomes punchy and crisp. Depending on the selected characteristic and intensities, a readjustment of the Drive control may further emphasize the desired effect.

Output
The Output control sets each channel's output gain to compensate for the level increase when the Drive control has added level to drive the tube circuitry. The bypass switch switches each CHARISMA channel in and out of processing (hard-bypass), and the bypass switch is labeled according to channel number.

Applications
CHARISMA can be used everywhere, where audio signals might benefit from the excellent tube sound. The 8-channel concept is ideal for use in conjunction with digital multitrack or hard-disk recorder systems, but it can equally be used with analogue tape or DASH machines. In the MIDI studio, CHARISMA is ideal for processing single tracks such as keyboard or sampler sounds as well as vocals. In this application, the CHARISMA is inserted into the mixer's channels inserts or directly between the source and the desk. The most flexible way to use CHARISMA in the studio is to wire it into the patchbay. That way you can decide, whether it should be used while recording or later during mixdown or simply inserted into specific channels. Processing subgroups is another interesting application. Using CHARISMA while recording to digital is the most beneficial application as the tube limiting prevents clipping.

Connections
CHARISMA is equipped with high quality Neutrik TRS stereo jacks for balanced operation. The SSM precision input and output stages feature laser trimmed resistors that make possible common mode rejection of better than 87 dB. Mono-jacks may be used for unbalanced operation without level change - a valuable feature as most desks have unbalanced insert points!

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