Gamechanger Audio Plasma Rack Distortion Module

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Gamechanger Audio's Plasma Rack Distortion Unit features non-linear harmonic saturated distortion, effects achieved with a Xenon Plasma tube, & a unique gating effect for sputtery tones
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Product Highlights

Product Description

The PLASMA RACK is a 1U sized high-end audio effects unit designed for professional and studio use. By using a High voltage step-up flyback transformer, PLASMA RACK turns your instrument & signal into a rapid series of electric discharges in a Xenon-filled tube. These powerful discharges (up to 5500 Volts) then get picked up by a specially designed electromagnetic receiver and turned back into audio-level signal. This process results in a large amount of punishingly heavy distortion, and also saturates the sound with a wide range of harmonics and overtones. The PLASMA distortion together with added effects, sophisticated I/O and full MIDI implementation makes for a powerful post-production and post-destruction machine.

Distortion Characteristics

The harmonic artifacts, created as a byproduct of the high-voltage discharge are uncommon in traditional signal amplification, and therefore PLASMA distortion is unlike anything you have heard before. The PLASMA Rack produces large amount of non-linear harmonic saturation that causes extremely rich and responsive attacks, and brings out screeching sharp overtones and harmonics. The way the PLASMA tube reacts with different instruments and sound sources simply cannot be recreated with any other analog machine, plug-in or by digital modeling. The scope of distortion intensity goes from sputtery broken sounds to full saturation and sustain all the way to totally oversaturated tones. The level of distortion is controlled with INPUT GAIN and VOLTAGE knobs. The OVERSATURE mode overpowers the PLASMA tube and enhances upper harmonics and overtones.

Natural Noise Gate and CLEAN GATE

When input level drops below the PLASMA lamps voltage threshold the electrical discharge within the gas-filled tube is interrupted. This creates a gating effect which is unique to the PLASMA distortion and is a huge part of the flavor of this distortion. The extremely fast gate creates the sputtering sounds with each attack and decay/release of a sound. It creates strong contrasts between sounds so it works really well with beats and drum tracks. The gating effects interacts with the INPUT GAIN and VOLTAGE. The SUSTAIN mode allows to prolong the sustain when using low VOLTAGE (high gate threshold) settings.

CLEAN GATE applies the special PLASMA gating to the dry signal even if the distorted wet signal is not mixed in. This allows to apply the same sputtering gate sounds as a texture without distorting the signal. This effect has a wide range of applications, such as - crushing drums, removing sustain from cymbals, or adding a flickering quality to melodic lines.

Tremolo and ring modulation

The PLASMA RACK features a diverse TREMOLO section that affects both the DRY and the WET signals in or out of phase. The tremolo is achieved by modulating the PLASMA tube. The tremolo speed goes into ring modulation territory. The tremolo rate and ring modulation frequency can be controlled with MIDI CC message and an expression pedal. The effect also has an envelope follower which allows to control the tremolo and ring modulation depth with the input level. Finally, the tremolo section interacts with the CLEAN GATE effect allowing to add the flickering PLASMA gate to the clean sound at the rate of the tremolo.

Signal routing

The PLASMA Rack has a balance and unbalanced i/O. It works with both instrument and line level signals. It is a mono unit, however it is designed to work in master/slave configuration for stereo signal processing. There are 3 effect loops in different parts of the signal chain that also work both with instrument and line level signals

Gamechanger Audio Plasma Rack Distortion Module Features

  • High end audio effects rack unit version of their famed Plasma Pedal
  • Xenon tube used to achieve punishingly saturated distortion tones
  • Creates unique harmonic artifacts unlike any other distortion unit
  • Extremely fast gating effects provide unique sputtering tones with each attack
  • Tremolo achieved through the Plasma Tube and can be controlled with an expression pedal
  • Balanced and Unbalanced i/o routing options with 3 FX loops
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Helpful Info about the Manufacturer
Phone:  202 407 9741 Warranty:  Lifetime warranty for all guitar pedals and a 5 year warranty and lifetime service for all other products.

Product Specifications

Gamechanger Audio Plasma Rack Distortion Module Specifications

  • Unbalanced Input Connector: Tip-Sleeve 1/4” Jack
  • Impedance: 1 MΩ -Maximum Input Level: + 11 dBu
  • Maximum Undistorted Input Level: 0 dBu (Gain setting at minimum)
  • Type of Unbalanced Inputs: Instrument input, RF filtered, true bypass to unbalanced output
  • Balanced Input Connector: Female XLR and Tip-Ring-Sleeve 1/4” (Pin 2 and Tip hot)
  • Impedance: 4.38 kΩ, 1.5 kΩ (PAD switch on)
  • Maximum Input Level: +17 dBu (Clamped by protection on devices), +37 dBu (PAD switch on, clamped by protection on devices)
  • Maximum Undistorted Input level: +2dBu (Gain se ng at minimum), +22 dBu (PAD switch on, Gain setting at min)
  • Type of Balanced Input: Mic/Line input, RF filtered, true bypass to balanced output
  • Unbalanced Output Connector: Tip-Sleeve ¼” Jack
  • Impedance: 220Ω
  • Maximum Output Level: +7 dBu
  • Balanced Output Connector: Male XLR (Pin 2 Hot)
  • Impedance: 200 Ω
  • Maximum Output Level: + 10 dBu
  • FX Loop Send (1-3) Connector: Tip-Sleeve 1/4” Jack
  • Impedance: 100 Ω
  • Maximum Output Level: +12 dBu (Line level), -6 dBu (Instrument level)
  • FX Loop Return (1-3) Connector: Tip-Sleeve 1/4” Jack
  • Impedance: 1 MΩ
  • Maximum Input Level: +14 dBu
  • MIDI In/Out/Through Connector: 5-pin DIN (180 degree)
  • Type: Optically isolated input, RF filtered
  • Expression Pedal Connector: Tip-Ring-Sleeve 1/4” (Wiper p, CCW ring, CW sleeve)
  • Type Designed For: Potentiometer-based expression pedals, RF filtered
  • Preamp Gain Range: -26 to +12 dB
  • Unbalanced Input: recommended level for 0dB gain se ng: -15 dBu
  • Balanced Input (PAD switch off): recommended level for 0dB gain setting: -9 dBu
  • Balanced Input (PAD switch on): recommended level for 0dB gain setting: +11 dBu
  • FX loop Level (Line): +4 dBu at recommended input level
  • FX Loop Level (Instrument): -15 dBu at recommended input level
  • Volume Control Gain: -80 to +12 dB
  • PAD Attenuation: -20 dB, applies for balanced input only
  • EQ:
    • Low Frequency: 10 Hz, -20 to 20 dB Low-pass shelving filter
    • Mid Frequency: 600 Hz, -6 to 6 dB
    • High Frequency: 20 kHz, -10 to 10 dB, High-pass shelving filter
  • Type of EQ: Baxandall, MIDI controllable
  • Tremolo Rate Range: 0.85 to 2600 Hz
  • Tremolo Depth Control: 0 – 100%, in (positive range) or out (negative range) of phase between clean and distorted signals
  • Tube: Gas Xenon
  • Discharge Voltage: 5.5 kV
  • System Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 20 kHz (±3 dB)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 69 dB clean channel (A weighted); 78 dB drive channel (A weighted);
  • Operating Temperature: 0º to 40º C
  • Power Supply: Universal, switch – mode
  • Operating Voltage: 90 – 245 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 60 W
  • Physical Dimensions: 440mm (W) x 255mm (D) x 40mm (H)
  • Shipping Box Dimensions: 540mm (W) x 380mm (D) x 100mm (H)
  • Weight: 4.1 kg
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 kV

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