In the latest of our Hardware Focus features we shine the spotlight on a boutique German compressor.
Rockruepel’s Comp.One is a true beast. Capable of elegantly destroying a synth, bass or [especially] a drum track, this unit is clearly not a shy one. “In German, the word ‘Ruepel’ means wild boar and often refers to someone being rude,” Greg explains. Although it is essentially a stereo vari-mu compressor with a similar design to a Fairchild 670 or Manley’s Vari Mu, the Comp.One shines when pushed hard as well as being capable of soft and subtle sounds. Greg mentions that “it can add lovely tube and transformer harmonics and can also achieve an extremely fast attack time compared to other vari-mu compressors, although the real trick up its sleeve is the Ruepel mode”.
Imagine pushing in all the buttons on an 1176 and then add an extra row of the same buttons – this would be the closest comparison to what this rather ‘rude’ compressor can sound like in Ruepel mode. “The tube distortion is kicked up a notch and playing with attack and release causes strange sucking and pumping noises. There’s really nothing else like it, and it can be a really cool way to beautifully destroy a drum part or a synth,” adds Greg.
While it can certainly kick its way through any bit of audio thrown at it, the Comp.One can also be used as a bus compressor capable of adding an ‘expensive’ sound to a mix. For electronic music, Greg tells us “it can be a great way to add classy analogue flavour to a mix and glue it together at the same time. The Ruepel mode can also add some ear-tickling effects to bass, synth, drums, or anything that might take to some creative destruction”.
Greg’s Rockruepel Comp.One is also a special one – originally, the company only made 50 units, which were sold out by the time he realised he wanted one for himself. “On a whim, I contacted Rockruepel and was surprised to learn that one unit was returned to them for financial reasons. They did not want to bother with going through the wait list, so they offered it to me. I jumped at the chance for this unique and very special compressor!”