The Smart Research C1 & C2 take the infamous SSL Bus compressor and gives it some gentle (and not so gentle) enhancements. Premier for drum bus and loop compression and for other sub-mix bus applications it offering SSL sound ‘punch’ and glue as well as adding a sweet, smooth radio polish on top.

Smart Research was formed by Alan Smart who has worked in the professional audio industry for 20+ years, including working at at SSL's 'Huge' studios in Oxford which led to a position as commissioning and service engineer for many years before going on to form Smart Research. 


This Smart Research C-Series compressor houses two independent mono compressors, providing independent control to also give true stereo operation. The C Series comprises of C1 and C2 models, with C1 being the predecessor of the other. Both provide desirable musicality and are suitable for both gentle applications as well as exaggerated compression effects, making it an extremely versatile unit. 


Often compared to the SSL G Series Bus Compressor in performance and tone shaping, the C1 and C2 have a characteristic sound that arises from the fast response at the onset of compression, and enable transients to still pass when delayed to a medium attack time. This can be used across a mix, or with any dynamic program, adding ‘punch’ and enabling sidechains to breathe around these transients while still being able to control overall levels.  


  • 3 operating modes: Independent/ganged; Stereo linked/Sum; and Stereo Linked/DC 

  • Metering options: Input, Output, (VU) and Gain Reduction (PPM) for L & R Channels 

  • 3 side-chain filters: 65, 130, or 205Hz 

  • Automatic distortion null circuitry 

  • Normal and half-threshold ranges 

  • ‘Soft’ compression curve reshapes a 15dB range 

  • Total of 12 Attack and 12 Release settings 

  • Total of 4 'Auto' settings 

  • Dual, balanced bantam jacks for external side-chain inputs 

  • All settings and circuitry from original C1 Dual/Stereo Compressor 

  • Noise floor: Below -104 dBm (flat 20Hz-20Khz). 

  • Distortion: Below 0.005% (1K/+4 THD 20Hz-20Khz) 

  • Frq. Response: Within 1/2dB from 20Hz to 100Khz. 

  • Depth in rack:258mm. 

  • Main input: Balanced, impedance 1K8 per leg. 

  • Sidechain i/p: Balanced, impedance 10K per leg. 

  • Output: Discrete transistor. Above +26dBm into 600 ohm load. 

  • Threshold: Adjustable -20 to +20dBm. 

  • Make-up gain: Adjustable 0 to +20dBm

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