In today’s video I am going to be doing a demo of the wonderful Heritage Audio Successor! This is a stereo compressor, and looks like a great piece of hardware so I am very excited to try it out!
With the Successor, you will “feel how your separate tracks interact and blend together in a way not possible when master bus compression duties are relegated to the mastering stage.” The Heritage Audio Successor brings incredible features to the table, including the following: a fully Carnhill transformer coupled input and output unit, making the new Successor a true diode-bridge based bus compressor with advanced sidechain filtering and built-in processing capabilities, sharing the class A ’73 type output stage that Heritage Audio is famous for.
Right off the bat, I saw that the Successor has a SSL style meter, which I love. Going across the front, I’ll go through the different knobs that are on this beautiful piece of hardware. I see we have Dynamics in and out first, threshold, which is clickable so it will be easy to recall, ratios from 1.5 up until full limit, variable Attack and Release times, a Sidechain Filter, which is always wondrous when it comes to letting low frequencies breathe, the makeup control, external sidechain enable, and then a blend control. That blend control is really nice; you could use it on drum parallels, or even in a mix, and then annihilate the mix and then blend it back in, which is always a good function!
When I began using it, I noticed that it was immediately doing something, even at the default settings, which is fantastic. After adjusting a few settings, I cranked the gain up, so now I am going to put the blend on. I’m going to start with it on dry and bring in the compressor. This is really smart and is what it’s all about for me. I believe this is something plugins have done. They’ve forced manufacturers to think in the same way the creators of plugins do. In the past, plugins have had mixed knobs coming out years before hardware does, now hardware has caught up and everything has these wonderful features. With this knob, the Successor becomes a parallel compressor, because you can immediately blend the dry and the compressor. You could set up two sets inside your DAW – one with the dry and one that was just the compression – and then blend the two, but I like having it on the front of the unit.
I think that having hardware compression at your fingertips and being able to patch into it is a great thing to have. Because the moment we’re completely in-the-box, we’re just using our Audient IO to get in and out of this. If this was your only piece of hardware, you could really have fun with this and you could do all these kinds of things! You can print the drums, annihilated through this, and then blend it back in afterwards in-the-box. You can go through a vocal, you can go through guitars, and everything and give it that little extra compression edge that you want. When use the tools and features of both hardware and software together, you can make crazy things happen!
The Successor is a really great shaping tool. The sidechain filter is worth its weight in gold because it allows that bottom end to breathe and then you can compress everything above it. It seems to be an all-in-one unit! It’s got the ability to do parallel compression by having the blend knob, and serves every purpose!
Watch the full video below to see a demo of all the great features the Heritage Audio Successor has to offer.