DS1 compressor, limiter, de-esser

Weiss DS1-MK3, the reference when it comes to digital mastering Compressors and De-Essers. An extremely versatile single band limiter/compressor with M/S mode and Parallel Compression facilities.

The Weiss 102 Series split band De-Esser was one of the mastering industry’s most highly praised digital product. With the DS1-MK3 the Weiss engineers have taken their de-esser design and combined it with the best features of the time proven 102 Series Dynamics Processors. The result is a stand alone digital Dynamics Processor with unparalleled performance and sonic integrity.

 

In de-esser mode the compression band is selectable as a lowpass, bandpass or highpass and extends the functionality beyond de-essing. The crossover filters are linear phase for the highest sonic quality. The full band dynamics processor with soft knee compressor and hard limiter is ideal for program loudness control.

“The sound of the DS1-MK3 is impeccable. It is the most transparent, refined, flexible and least ‘digital sounding’ dynamics processor I have ever used. It is indispensable; I use it on over 90 percent of my mastering projects.”

Bob Katz, Digital Domain, USA

Main Features 

Controls, display

There are a total of twelve knobs in order to almost have a “one knob per parameter” operation. The knobs are touch sensitive to switch the LCD to display the associated parameters. The LCD shows a graphical representation of the transfer function, input and output level meters and gain reduction meters. In addition there is a graphical indication of the split band characteristic. All parameters are shown in numerical format as well.

 

Snapshots, MIDI, metering

Other basic features are an A/B compare memory, a 128 position snapshot bank with two additional banks for back-up (can also be dumped/recovered via MIDI), over indicators, MIDI control for each parameter, an overall bypass switch and an overall gain control, a channel ganging switch.

 

Signal processing, connectivitiy

The internal processing is done at 88.2 or 96 kHz in a 40 Bit floating-point format. 44.1 or 48 kHz input signals are up- and down-sampled accordingly. The side chain is up-sampled for more precise peak detection. The output can be POW-R dithered to 16, 20 or 24 Bits. The DS1-MK3 can be set such that the unit is Bit transparent as long as there is no gain-reduction happening. This is the case even if the split-band filter is enabled. The digital input/output are in AES/EBU format on XLR connectors.

 

Split band filter

The split band filter is a linear phase design and can be switched to lowpass, bandpass, highpass or bypass characteristic. The center frequency of the filter can be set to very low frequencies as well, allowing to process bass instruments.

Threshold, ratio

The threshold parameter covers a huge range, which is useful for settings with small ratio values and very low threshold values for subtle compression over the whole level range. The ratio parameter can be set to values below one to up about 1000. Thus the DS1-MK3 can be used for upward expansion as well. The soft knee parameter allows to soften the transition between the linear and non-linear portions of the transfer curve.

 

Timing

Plenty of timing parameters allow for a wide range of applications. Attack, release and release delay parameters are there. The release portion can be set to a semi-automatic mode with three timing parameters controlling it. The preview delay controls the look-ahead time for the side-chain and finally the overall delay of the whole DS1-MK3 unit can be specified in seconds and also in video frames at various frame rates.

 

M/S mode, parallel compression

The DS1-MK3 can be switched to M/S mode which is especially useful for e.g. de-essing the voice of a singer. Thus the two channels can be set completely independent from each other, a feature which usually is required in M/S mode, but can also be useful in L/R mode when the two channels need different treatment. The side-chains can be linked or un-linked as required. A very useful feature is the so-called parallel compression which adds the input signal to the output signal. The effect is that lower levels are raised while higher levels are left alone. This makes for the least intrusive treatment with the least artifacts.

Level detection, peak limiter

The level detection in the side-chain can be switched between peak detection and RMS detection. After the main compressor section of the DS1-MK3 there is an additional peak limiter inserted. This limiter is meant to catch occasional peaks. It can be switched on/off and the audio level into that peak limiter can be set, allowing for just the right amount of additional limiting.

 

Gains

Gains in the DS1-MK3 include an overall output gain at the very end of the processing chain. Then a gain just ahead of the safety limiter for driving the limiter as mentioned above. The make-up gain can be set to automatic for the highest output level with any setting or can be changed manually.

 

Split-band filter monitor

The Monitor key allows to listen to the portion filtered by the split-band filter. A useful feature e.g. for zooming in on sibilances for de-essing.

 

Factory presets

The DS1-MK3 comes with several factory presets for various typical tasks. Most of the factory presets have been programmed by Mr. Bob Katz of Digital Domain Mastering.

Awards 

The DS1 won the “Technical Excellence & Creativity TEC Award” for the year 1998 in the Outstanding Technical Achievement category.

 

 

 

 

Reviews and user feedback 

Professional Mastering Engineers

“… the worldʼs best De-Esser …”

Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering, USA

 

“The sound of the DS1-MK3 is impeccable. It is the most transparent, refined, flexible and least ‘digital sounding’ dynamics processor I have ever used. It is indispensable; I use it on over 90 percent of my mastering projects.”

Bob Katz, Digital Domain, USA

 

“… the DS1-MK3 sounds amazing! Iʼm blown away. Itʼs a major improvement. Great work guys!”

Steve Hall, Future Disc Mastering, USA

 

“For ‘Neutral Digital’, the only word in my opinion is Weiss. A VERY powerful box. I use two of them together. One for low compression ratios, and the second as a peak limiter. Very musical and powerful.”

Glenn Meadows, Masterfonics, USA

 

“The DS1 is very smooth and transparent. It has none of the ‘edge’ that seems to plague all other dynamics processors.” 
Ken Lee, Ken Lee Mastering, USA

“Weiss is the best of all the digital compressors I’ve heard, nothing else comes close sonically.”


Roger Seibel, SAE Mastering, USA

 

“I am happy to say that my facility Glenn Schick Mastering has released thousands of CD’s mastered with the DS1. I LOVE this unit.”


Glenn Schick, Glenn Schick Mastering, USA

 

“The DS1 is already installed and already used for a week now and all I can say is that it is truly a piece of fine art and technology. Simply put: my customers love it and I enjoy the improvement in sound and flexibility I already have.”


Carlos de Andrade, Visom Digital, Brasilia

 

“We own 21 different high end analog and digital compressors. They all work very differently. It seems like after spending some time with each you can eventually find what you are looking for. For ease of operation and getting something cool quickly it’s hard to beat the Weiss for digital or the Vari-Mu for analog.”

Bernie Becker, Bernie Becker Recording, USA

 

“The Weiss DS-1 is the best de-esser I’ve ever heard. It’s digital, of course, but at 24/96, the output is pretty close to the input.”


Brad Blackwood, Ardent Mastering, USA

 

“The soft limiter setting of the Weiss DS-1 is just exceptionally good indeed. I use a much shorter release than the preset though. Really outstandingly good.”

Goran Finnberg, The Mastering Room AB, Sweden

“I am completely delighted by this machine and do intend to buy other products from Weiss in the future.”

Robert Fix, Mastering Engineer, Italy

 

“The DS1-MK2 is extraordinary. The sound has a richness and ease of listening that is not approached by any other device in my experience.”


Alan Silverman, Arf! Digital, USA

 

“… well I’ve had the DS1 for just over a week and am totally amazed !!! I read the manual (even though engineers aren’t supposed to read manuals) and found the information there very helpful. Manual aside, the DS1 is very intuitive and within minutes of instillation I was able to navigate easily and get great results. I’m not sure how I ever worked without it.”


Doug Milton, Cyberella Studios, USA

 

“If you’re looking for ‘invisible’, this mode of the Weiss is the place. As a parallel compressor (underline ‘in parallel compressor’ mode) the Weiss is virtually colorless. It is the MOST transparent compressor I’ve ever heard. I guess you could say that it has ‘no color’, so don’t come here if you looking for color. It is designed to subtly and transparently boost low level signals. In many cases it does this better, easier, and more efficiently than any human being with a fader can do. An amazing box. I’ve devoted about three pages of my book to how to do parallel compression as invisibly as possible and the Weiss has the most flexibility to do this well, plus with its 40 Bit-float Sharc chip, it does it with incredible precision and purity of tone.”


Bob Katz, Digital Domain, USA

 

“Right now I use the Weiss DS1-MK2 compressor. Once you go Weiss, you never go back.”


Michael Fossenkemper, TurtleTone Studio, USA

 

“We recently bought a used DS1 and have upgraded it to MK2, and as with all of your designs, it’s a stellar piece of gear. Not only does it sound amazing and do amazing things, but the consideration for the user interface is equally amazing. Doug was showing me the automatic ranging of the display so that the full range of action of the piece is always visible in just the right amount of detail. It’s that kind of thought that makes the difference between greatness and ‘just another box’. Thanks for upholding that level of quality.”


Clete Baker, Studio B, USA

 

“This box is the best upward expander, the best de-esser, and the best parallel compressor. Anything else I have in its place is audibly inferior for one reason or another.”


Bob Katz, Digital Domain, USA

Technical Data 

Dimensions (cm)

Power

  • Mains voltage: 115 V or 230 V with voltage selector
  • Fuse rating: 500 mA slow blow
  • Power consumption: 40 VA max.

 

Size

  • Depth: 30 cm  
  • Width: 43,3 cm (19") 
  • Height: 8,8 cm (2HU)

 

AES/EBU Input

  • Sampling frequencies: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz
  • Maximum input word-length: 24 Bits
  • Channel Status Data: Input accepts professional or consumer format
  • Channel Status Data Bits forwarded to AES/EBU output: see table below
  • Connector: XLR female

 

AES/EBU Output

  • Sampling frequencies: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz (always the same as the input) 
  • Output word-length: 24 Bits
  • Connector: XLR male

 

AES/EBU Channel Status Data
The DS1 allows to convert the incoming Channel Status Data as follows:

  • From Consumer to Professional
  • From Professional to Consumer
  • Transparent mode, i.e. Channel Status Data is fed forward to the output without any conversion (one exception, see below)

 

The following tables describe how the output Channel Status Data Bits are generated in the various conversion modes.

 

Output selected: Consumer format, Input: Consumer format:
All Bits fed forward (transparent), except for Byte 1:

  • Bits 0…6: 0000000 (category code general)
  • Bit 7: 1 (original)

 

Output selected: Consumer format, Input: Professional format:
Byte 0:

  • Bit 0: 0 (consumer)
  • Bit 1: 0 (audio)
  • Bit 2: 1 (copy allowed)
  • Bits 3, 4: Pre-emphasis according to input 
  • Bit 5: 0 (two channel mode)
  • Bits 6, 7: 00 (Mode 0)

 

Byte 1:

  • Bits 0…6: 0000000 (category code general)
  • Bit 7: 1 (original)

 

Byte 2:

  • Bits 0, 1, 2, 3: Sampling frequency according to input
  • Bits 4, 5: 00 (accuracy grade II)
  • Bits 6, 7: 00

 

Bytes 3…23: Reserved bytes

 

Output selected: Professional format, Input: Professional format:
All bits fed forward (transparent), except for Byte 2:

  • Bits 0, 1, 2: 001 (max. sample length = 24 Bit)
  • Bits 3, 4, 5: 101 (24 Bit word-length) 
  • Bits 6, 7: 00

 

Output selected: Professional format, Input: Consumer format:
Byte 0:

  • Bit 0: 1 (professional)
  • Bit 1: 0 (audio)
  • Bits 2, 3, 4: Pre-emphasis according to input
  • Bit 5: 0 (source fs locked)
  • Bits 6, 7: Sampling frequency according to input

 

Byte 1:

  • Bits 0, 1, 2, 3: 0001 (two channel mode)
  • Bits 4, 5, 6, 7: 0000 (no user Bit encoding)

 

Byte 2:

  • Bits 0, 1, 2: 001 (max. sample length = 24 Bit)
  • Bits 3, 4, 5: 101 (24 Bit word-length)
  • Bits 6, 7: 00

 

Bytes 3…12: All bits 0
Byte 23: CRCC byte

 

Output selected: Transparent, Input: Any format:
All Bits fed forward (transparent), except if EQ not bypassed for Byte 2:

  • Bits 0, 1, 2: 001 (max. sample length = 24 Bit)
  • Bits 3, 4, 5: 101 (24 Bit word-length)
  • Bits 6, 7: 00

Overload
Number of consecutive over-samples to cause “over” display: 1…16 selectable

 

Peak Meters
Peak meters timing for compressor input and output stage adhere to AES recommendations.

 

Parameter Tables
Overall Gain (dB):
−∞, −80.0, −75.0, −70.0, −65.0, −60.0, −55.0. −50.0, −45.0, −40.0, −35.0, −30.0, −28.0, −26.0, −24.0, −22.0, −20.0, −18.0, −16.0, −14.0, −12.0, −10.0, −9.5, −9.0, −8.5, −8.0, −7.5, −7.0, −6.5, −6.0, −5.8, −5.6, −5.4, − 5.2, −5.0, −4.8, −4.6, −4.4, −4.2, −4.0, −3.8, −3.6, −3.4, −3.2, −3.0, −2.9, −2.8, −2.7, −2.6, −2.5, −2.4, −2.3, − 2.2, −2.1, −2.0, −1.9, −1.8, −1.7, −1.6, −1.5, −1.4, −1.3, −1.2, −1.1, −1.0, −0.9, −0.8, −0.7, −0.6, −0.5, −0.4, − 0.3, −0.2, −0.1, 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.6, 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6, 5.8, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, 10.0

 

Bandwidth (fractions of octaves):
1/6, 1/3, 1⁄2, 2/3, 5/6, 1, 11/6, 1 1/3, 1 1⁄2, 1 2/3, 1 5/6, 2, 2 1/6, 2 1/3, 2 1⁄2, 2 2/3, 2 5/6, 3, 3 1/6, 3 1/3, 3 1⁄2, 3 2/3, 3 5/6, 4, 4 1/6, 4 1/3, 4 1⁄2, 4 2/3, 4 5/6, 5, 5 1/6, 5 1/3, 5 1⁄2, 5 2/3, 5 5/6, 6, 6 1/6, 6 1/3, 6 1⁄2, 6 2/3, 6 5/6, 7, 7 1/6, 7 1/3, 7 1⁄2, 7 2/3, 7 5/6, 8

 

Frequency, center or cut-off (Hz):
41, 44, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 65, 69, 73, 78, 82, 87, 92, 98, 104, 110, 117, 123, 131, 139, 147, 156, 165, 175, 185, 196, 208, 220, 277, 294, 311, 330, 349, 370, 392, 415, 440, 466, 494, 523, 554, 587, 622, 659, 698, 740, 784, 831, 880, 932, 988, 1050, 1110, 1170, 1240, 1320, 1400, 1480, 1570, 1660, 1760, 1860, 1980, 2090, 2220, 2350, 2490, 2640, 2790, 2960, 3140, 3320, 3520, 3730, 3950, 4190, 4430, 4700, 4980, 5270, 5590, 5920, 6270, 6640, 7040, 7460, 7900, 8370, 8870, 9400, 9960, 10500, 11200, 11800, 12500, 13300, 14100, 14900, 15800, 16700, 17700

 

Attack, Release Delay, Release Fast & Slow, Average, RMS, Preview when applicable (s):
20μ, 40μ, 60μ, 80μ, 100μ, 125μ, 160μ, 200μ, 250μ, 315μ, 400μ, 500μ, 630μ, 800μ, 1m, 1.25m, 1.60m, 2.00m, 2.50m, 3.15m, 4.00m, 5.00m, 6.30m, 8.00m, 10.0m, 12.5m, 16.0m, 20.0m, 25.0m, 31.5m, 40.0m, 50.0m, 63.0m, 80.0m, 100m, 125m, 160m, 200m, 250m, 315m, 400m, 500m, 630m, 800m, 1, 1.25, 1.60, 2.00, 2.50, 3.15, 4.00, 5.00, 6.30, 8.00

 

Soft-knee:
0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0

 

Threshold (dB):
0, −1, −2, −3, −4, −5, −6, −7, −8, −9, −10, −11, −12, −13, −14, −15, −16, −17, −18, −19, −20, −21, −22, −23, − 24, −25, −26, −27, −28, −29, −30, −31, −32, −33, −34, −35, −36, −37, −38, −39, −40, −41, −42, −43, −44, −45, −46, −47, −48, −49, −50, −51, −52, −53, −54, −55, −56, −57, −58, −59, −60

 

Ratio:
1:5.00, 1:4.95, 1:4.90, 1:4.85, 1:4.80, 1:4.75, 1:4.70, 1:4.65, 1:4.60, 1:4.55, 1:4.50, 1:4.45, 1:4.40, 1:4.35, 1:4.30, 1:4.25, 1:4.20, 1:4.15, 1:4.10, 1:4.05, 1:4.00, 1:3.95, 1:3.90, 1:3.85, 1:3.80, 1:3.75, 1:3.70, 1:3.65, 1:3.60, 1:3.55, 1:3.50, 1:3.45, 1:3.40, 1:3.35, 1:3.30, 1:3.25, 1:3.20, 1:3.15, 1:3.10, 1:3.05, 1:3.00, 1:2.95, 1:2.90, 1:2.85, 1:2.80, 1:2.75, 1:2.70, 1:2.65, 1:2.60, 1:2.55, 1:2.50, 1:2.45, 1:2.40, 1:2.35, 1:2.30, 1:2.25, 1:2.20, 1:2.15, 1:2.10, 1:2.05, 1:2.00, 1:1.95, 1:1.90, 1:1.85, 1:1.80, 1:1.75, 1:1.70, 1:1.65, 1:1.60, 1:1.55, 1:1.50, 1:1.45, 1:1.40, 1:1.35, 1:1.30, 1:1.29, 1:1.28, 1:1.27, 1:1.26, 1:1.25, 1:1.24, 1:1.23, 1:1.22, 1:1.21, 1:1.20, 1:1.19, 1:1.18, 1:1.17, 1:1.16, 1:1.15, 1:1.14, 1:1.13, 1:1.12, 1:1.11, 1:1.10, 1:1.09, 1:1.08, 1:1.07, 1:1.06, 1:1.05, 1:1.04, 1:1.03, 1:1.02, 1:1.01, 1 : 1, 1.05:1, 1.11:1, 1.17:1, 1.25:1, 1.33:1, 1.43:1, 1.54:1, 1.67:1, 1.81:1, 2.00:1, 2.22:1, 2.50:1, 2.86:1, 3.33:1, 4.00:1, 5.00:1, 6.66:1, 10.0:1, 20.0:1, 1000:1

 

Gain Makeup (dB):
(The scale is symmetrical around 0.0, only positive values listed)
0.0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.6, 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6, 5.8, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 10.5, 11.0, 12.0, 13.0, 14.0, 15.0, 16.0, 17.0, 18.0, 19.0, 20.0, 22.0, 24.0, 26.0, 28.0, 30.0, 32.0, 34.0, 36.0, 38.0, 40.0, 45.0, 50.0, 55.0, 60.0, off, maximum

 

RMS time (s):
40μ, 60μ, 80μ, 100μ, 125μ, 160μ, 200μ, 250μ, 315μ, 400μ, 500μ, 630μ, 800μ, 1m, 1.25m, 1.60m, 2.00m, 2.50m, 3.15m, 4.00m, 5.00m, 6.30m, 8.00m, 10.0m, 12.5m, 16.0m, 20.0m, 25.0m, 31.5m, 40.0m, 50.0m, 63.0m, 80.0m, 100m, 125m, 160m, 200m, 250m, 315m, 400m, 500m

Dither:
Dithering algorithms are implemented using the POW-R set of algorithms, i.e. POW-R #1, POW-R #2, POW-R #3

 

MIDI Remote Control Protocol

All parameters are remote controllable. Each parameter has its corresponding MIDI controller number. According to the different parameters, the controllers are limited in their range. Invalid values are replaced by the maximum allowable values. Details can be found in the DS1-MK3 manual.

Applications 

The DS1-MK3 can be inserted into any digital audio chain with sampling rates between 44.1 and 96 kHz. The synchronization is done via the AES/EBU input signal.

The DS1-MK3 is used for many different tasks, starting with full band stereo compression/limiting, split band mode processing, namely de-essing or bass compression, M/S mode processing, e.g. for reverberation treatment or de-essing, parallel compression for subtle, non-intrusive compression, independent processing between left and right to correct for balancing problems and much more.

An extremely versatile unit indeed. The timing parameters like attack, release, release delay, preview delay cover wide ranges and thus allow for “exotic” settings for even the most challenging compression tasks. The auto-release mode reduces potential pumping problems with difficult signals.

FAQ 

For Frequently Asked Questions and discussions about this and other products our new Forum will be available soon.

 

Thank you for your patience.

 

 

 

 

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