The UBK Fatso Dual-Channel Character Compressor from UBK Fatso offers one-knob control over any one of seven radically different preset compressors, plus it provides saturation, harmonic distortion, and warmth controls. At its heart, the UBK Fatso contains four powerful, discrete processing stages: saturation & harmonic overdrive, FET compression, warmth (high-frequency limiting), and transformer. The serial nature of the UBK Fatso's internal architecture means that everything that happens in one stage depends on what came before it, and the sound at the output is the result of a cumulative series of treatments that interact and stack up in ways that can be anything from subtle to over-the-top.
Stage One: Saturation and Harmonic Overdrive
- At modest input levels the UBK Fatso soft-clips transients and adds a subtle amount of harmonic overdrive.
- At more aggressive input levels the UBK Fatso hard-clips transients and adds a significant amount of harmonic distortions.
- By default, the saturation circuit and the compressor section act as one. More input means more saturation and more compression. But you can obtain independent control of the saturation circuit by inserting a simple gain control in the UBK Fatso's rear panel insert jack.
Stage Two: Compression
- The UBK Fatso has seven compression presets per channel. Four of the compression presets have names (Splat, Smooth, Glue, and Spank) and their own LED indicator, whereas three are unnamed and are indicated by combinations of LEDs.
- The compressor section can be left inactive whenever you want to use the UBK Fatso just for saturation, warmth, and/or transformer coloration.
Stage Three: Warmth Circuit
- Warmth is a lightning-fast, high-frequency limiter designed to transparently soften and mellow the edgy, harsh-top end that is common in the world of digital recording. The idea behind the Warmth circuit is to emulate the peculiar top-end response of analog tape.
- The Warmth circuit offers seven discrete threshold levels with LED indication. Each press of the Warmth button lowers the threshold and raises the corner frequency which the limiter responds to.
- While it has its own threshold, Warmth interacts with the Saturation and Compressor sections. The more level you feed it, the more it reacts to the HF energy and transients in the program.
- Warmth not only limits the high frequencies, it attenuates them as well. The lower the threshold you select, the more it attenuates and darkens the tone.
Stage Four: Transformer Coloration
- One-touch operation tightens the low end and adds low-mid density, midrange presence, and high-frequency sparkle.
- Pressing the Trafo button cycles the UBK Fatso between transformer-less operation, transformer active, and hardwire bypass.
- When both channels are linked, use channel-one's Trafo button to control the state of both channels.