POWAIR - No apparent difference between Attack and Punch controls?

I’m in trial mode for POWAIR, and using a spectrum analyzer to examine POWAIR’s effect on the spectral balance to better understand how the features interact with each other. I’m stumped by the “Punch” control. As far as my ears and spectrum analyzer can discern, there is absolutely no real difference between the Attack and Punch controls in POWAIR. It’s as if the Punch is doing -exactly- the same thing as the Attack.

I’ve tested this scenario with the SCF on and off (and at different filter ranges) , and with the Leveler on and off. Same results every time.

For example, set Attack to 0 ms and Punch to 100% and take a snapshot of the spectral curve. Then set Attack to 100 ms and Punch to 0% and you get an -exact- match to the snapshot, both in the Peak curve and in the Average RMS curve. This indicates -exactly- the same spectral balance between those two different settings (and my ears agree).

Which implies that the “Punch” slider is essentially doing exactly the same thing as the “Attack” slider, and that whichever setting is more extreme will essentially override the other setting. Which makes it much less intuitive and rational to decide where to set either of those settings.

Can you explain in more detail how, exactly, the Punch feature is operating and why it’s different (and should have a slightly different outcome) than the Attack setting? And yes, I’ve read the entire manual and it implied that the Punch control should be acting different than I’m seeing/hearing. The manual and your videos imply that the Punch feature should just be doing independent clipping of the transient peaks, probably with a small degree of oversampling lookahead? (instead of compressing the peak and everything near it).

Hi Devin,

Thanks for your message. While Attack control the time it takes for the compressor to achieve maximum compression per your current settings, Punch controls the level of this time period. For example, if you’re pushing 6dB into the compressor, Attack is set to 50ms, and punch is set to 50%, it will take the compressor 50ms to achieve maximum compression, yet the level of this period will be 50% of level if Punch was set to 100%.
Therefore, Since 0 Attack means that it takes 0 time to achieve maximum compression, Punch will have no impact on your sound.



Thanks, Nir. Your edited, 2nd version of your original reply makes a little more sense, but I wonder if what I’m about to say is even more clear and intuitive to the typical user?

The Punch value scales the amount of the Attack’s gain reduction without changing the time it takes the Attack to achieve full gain reduction. The center value where no scaling occurs in either direction is 50% Punch. As you increase the Punch from 50% towards 100%, the amount of the Attack’s gain reduction is reduced by 50%, resulting in louder transients. As you reduce the punch from 50% towards 0%, the Attack’s gain reduction is increased by 50%, resulting in quieter transients. Finally, very fast Attack times result in a smaller total dynamic range that you can achieve with the Punch control.

Is my above re-phrasing accurate? If so, I’d recommend this as a slightly more intuitive description of the Punch control in the POWAIR user guide.