Rockett Airchild Six Sixty Compressor - tgt11 - tgt11

Rockett Airchild Six Sixty Compressor

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The famous Fairchild 660 studio compressor is consistently regarded as the best compressor ever
made. An original 660 is now selling for 40k USD or more.

• The Airchild re-creates the specific sonic nature of the original Fairchild 660. It smoothens out the
transients, enhances harmonic richness and adds a hint of "growl"
• This is totally different than e.g. a “typical Dynacomp circuit”, which acts more like a limiter and
“crushes” the entire spectrum of your sound.
• Simplified, guitar-player-friendly operation with just 4 knobs.
• This is a real "Always-On-Pedal”. You simply sound better when engaged…and you just want to play

Product Features

• Recreates sonic nature of a real Fairchild 660 Compressor
• Works like a real studio compressor, not just a limiter
• Straight-forward, guitarist-friendly operation
• Controls: Output, Tone, Blend, Threshold
• Tone knob controls a Tilt-EQ. (Clockwise: Boost High, Cut Low. Counterclockwise: Boost Low, Cut High)
• Blend knob allows for blending the dry and compressed signals.
• Threshold knob controls the degree of compression.
• Enhances harmonic richness and evens out transients without crushing the entire spectrum.
• Top-mounted I/Os.
• Built like a tank.
• Power requirement: 9V DC
• Made in California, USA


The Fairchild 660 studio compressor is consistently regarded as the best compressor ever made. For years, the original Fairchild 660 and 670 (Stereo) compressors have been extensively used in studios. This inspired J. Rockett to offer that sonic signature to the guitar community at a fraction of the $30k+ price tag.
The typical guitar compressor is the “Dynacomp” , which has created iconic tones throughout the history of music, especially in Country music. That said, it's widely acknowledged that there are already countless Dynacomp variants available.

"The 'typical Dynacomp circuit' tends to crush the sound more like a limiter. This characteristic has
cemented its sound into certain genres of music, which some may find desirable. The Team at J. Rockett aimed to provide a compressor that works like a studio compressor, enhancing harmonic richness and evening out transients without crushing the entire spectrum.

The Airchild Six Sixty simply makes you want to play more. It increases sustain without crushing your output, imparts richness to your overall tone, and adds feel to your playing. Our target tones were the slide tones of Lowell George and the singing lead/rhythm tones of Mark Knopfler.

Historic Background of Fairchild 660

The Fairchild 660 Compressor was designed by Rein Narma, who had worked with Les Paul to build a  recording mixer for use with Les Paul's Ampex 8-track. Les Paul asked Narma if he would build a compressor/limiter. Sherman Fairchild, who was friends with Les Paul, learned of the compressor and licensed Narma's compressor design, hiring Narma to be chief engineer at Fairchild Recording Equipment corporation. The first 10 Fairchild 660’s were built by Narma himself. The first unit was sold to Rudy Van Gelder who used it to cut lacquer masters for Blue Note Records and Vox Records. The second unit went to Olmsted Sound Studios in New York City and the third 660 built went to Mary Ford and Les Paul. Notable users: Abbey Road Studios purchased 12 Fairchild 660s after staff engineer Peter Bown heard it
during a visit to Capitol Records in America. They used it on recording sessions for the Beatles, primarily for vocals. Beginning in 1966, Geoff Emerick began using the 660 on Ringo Starr’s drum tracks as well as piano and guitar tracks. As of 2014, Abbey Road still had 8 of the original 660s purchased in the 1960s.
“We put the drum sound through Fairchild 660 valve limiters and compressors. It became the sound of Revolver and Sgt Pepper really. Drums had never been heard like that before." (Geoff Emerick) 

Compressors are probably the most misunderstood effect that also have incredible impact on the delivery of music. There is not a professional recording in history that does not have some sort of compression. Gain is a form of compression, even EQ is a form of compression.A compressor is used to reduce a signal's dynamic range—that is, to reduce the difference in level between the loudest and quietest parts of an audio signal. Compression is commonly used to attenuate loud transient peaks (e.g., when a singer suddenly belts out a high note or a guitar player digs in to a note with muscle) compression helps maintain a consistent level.

Compression essentially causes distortion in a signal, in that it changes the original sound of the signal through its processing. The compressor typically achieves this by emphasizing certain harmonics based on how the compressor is hitting the incoming signal. It’s our job to make that distortion feel transparent and
to use our dynamics to create the best-sounding performance we can. Use your ears!

In compression, the dynamic range becomes narrower — the highest peaks and the quietest parts have fewer dB of level difference between them. In contrast, a compressor can also help support or bring to life soft notes as well. For guitar, compression helps with sustain and feel. Using compression in front of an
amp with gain or a gain pedal essentially just adds more compression and is typically not very audible. A good compressor will help sustain notes without introducing noise or artifacts in an amp or pedal with gain but typically works best in a clean amp to hear the effect. You will typically hear compression on country
guitar, at least as an audible full throttle effect. Most players do not utilize this sound because a squished signal limits dynamics, however, if used correctly it can increase dynamics across the board. One of the best descriptions I have heard about compression is that it is the opposite of reverb. If you think about that it is
true. Compression brings the full dynamic force forward in a balanced manner where Reverb creates space and distance.


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