GS Audio are a Poland-based company who have already developed a decent reputation in that country but, until recently, have been less well known elsewhere.

GS’s range includes several ‘homages’ to some well known (and currently available) processors, for which their approach seems to be to keep costs down where possible (for example, through the use of dual-layer PCBs where the original designs use point-to-point wiring), without compromising on sound quality. IGS claim that there are benefits to using PCBs, not least that it enables them to be consistent in the quality of production, and to much more closely match channels in a multi-channel device.

s well as these ‘heavily inspired by’ designs, though, IGS manufacture some original products. They’re still inspired by good classic analogue designs — there’s nothing ground-breakingly new or novel — but they are nonetheless original IGS designs. Amongst these are their two ‘Tubecore’ vari-mu compressors, one of which is called the ‘Tracking Edition’ and the other, reviewed here, the ‘Mastering Edition’, or Tubecore ME. The difference between them (apart from the price, with the Tracking Edition coming in slightly cheaper) is largely in the controls: on the ME, one set of controls governs both channels, which should make it easier to use for stereo-bus compression and stereo-mastering duties; whereas the tracking version presents with two separately controllable channels, which makes it rather more appropriate for tracking duties, where you’re more likely to want to process two mono sources through it concurrently — or, of course, one mono source through two different stages of compression. See SOS review here

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