The Artistic Leveler is a single channel opto compressor. If used in Fredenstein Bento 6 or Bento 10 racks, an external side-chain input is available through the Aux input connector, which is a very rare (maybe unique) feature for a 500 series comp. It allows an alternative sound to control the gain which can be used for a number of creative techniques made popular in EDM and rap.
The Leveler features rotary controls for Input Gain, Release Time, Compression Ratio (2:1 to 7.5:1), Make-up Gain and Wet-Dry Mixing (parallel compression). The Artistic Leveler is particulary sweet at low ratios and seems to enhance whatever it is fed. The Attack Time can be set in three steps, and the side-chain low cut filter offers two settings. There is also one toggle switch for Bypass and another for Link. The LED bar-graph meter indicates the gain reduction in the range of 1dB to 16dB.
Like many opto compressors, the Artistic Leveler features a fixed threshold. The compression depth is controlled by changing the Input Gain. And like the Artistic Compressor, the signal path features the discrete Fredenstein OPA2 and American transformer for some classic tone and solid drive capability. One might characterize the opto compressors as generally smooth and gentle compared to FET compressors that can be fast and aggresive, however the control range on each opens a lot of doors and each is quite versatile.
ed value from being processed by the compressor. If the external side-chain input is used, the dynamics of the signal cn be controlled by another source, which allows for more creative sounds.