The 5045 Primary Source Enhancer is a two channel device that is exceptionally useful at reducing feedback, effectively increasing the level a microphone can be raised before feedback occurs in a live sound environment by up to 20dB, without negatively impacting the sonic integrity of the source signal. With controls that are very simply laid out and generally require minimal adjustment, the 5045 is an invaluable tool for churches, stadiums, performance halls, or any venue where feedback is problematic.
The 5045 shares some traits with conventional “noise gates”, but operates with a different principle. One common aspect is that both reduce the gain during the absence of signal – or more specifically, both begin to attenuate when the level of a signal falls below a certain user-defined threshold. The 5045 senses when someone is speaking or singing into the mic and allows the signal to pass through, and senses when the person has stopped talking or singing and reduces the gain appropriately, which helps reduce the tendency of a system to feed back. Most importantly, the 5045 does not require filtering and digital processing to achieve significant benefits.
The Time Constant Control
The “TIME CONSTANT” control is designed to help prevent choppiness in some situations and stop feedback in other situations. It mostly sets how quickly the attenuation occurs in the quiet sections between words or sentences. “A” is the fastest and “F” is the slowest. “A” will quickly soften the level which can be advantageous when the singer is consistent and feedback howl is challenging. “F” is the safest in terms of slowly fading down, but might be a bit slow fading up again, and might be a bit slow for controlling some pesky feedback situations. “C” and “D” are moderate settings that should fit many situations and generally fade down slow enough so that the ends of words are not affected, yet fast enough to control feedback.
The RMS/PEAK Switch
Similarly, the “RMS/PEAK” button allows some finessing of the timing of the 5045. With the “PEAK” button pushed in, the 5045 will return to normal level from attenuation very rapidly. This may help prevent the beginnings of some words from being cut off. (It also opens the door for some creative dynamics-shaping if one uses the 5045 on musical instruments.)