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Space Heater 500™ Development

When we started working on the 8-channel rack mounted Space Heater™, our goal was to create an analog summing mixer with a serious degree of vintage character. With so many engineers wanting to mix-down their digital tracks in the analog domain, we felt that a mixer with some personality rather than the sterile alternatives would be a wonderful tool. So instead of merely passing the signal through a bunch of resistors, we conjured up some tubes from the 1960s and added a dose of transformers for good measure. Let's face it… what better way is there to add analog warmth than with tubes and transformers!

As we started working on prototypes, controls were added and we discovered just how versatile this beast could be. By adjusting the plate voltage, the distortion produced could be drastically altered. Adjustable input drive added even more tonal possibilities, allowing the tube to provide anything from subtle warmth to extreme distortion. An output level control completed the circuit with make-up gain or to push the output transformer into saturation for maximum analog character.

In testing, we quickly realized how useful (and fun!) the Space Heater was to use on individual tracks. Subtle distortion can work like a compressor, bringing instruments or vocals out front in the mix without losing dynamics. Applying a thick and heavy distortion to a direct bass recording can quickly make it sound like a towering tube amp. The possibilities were endless, and the more we experimented the more we realized we needed to create a single channel version.

And so the Space Heater 500 was born. The 500 series format was the perfect fit, as it was able to provide the power required for the thirsty tube. It also provided the opportunity to add a filter section with variable high cut/low cut controls. Low frequencies can be rolled off from 500Hz down to as low as 5Hz, and high frequencies from 500Hz up to tonal content of the distortion.

High Pass Filter - Low Pass Filter

Finally for those using the Space Heater 500 in a Radial Workhorse™ rack system, the Omniport™ ¼" connector becomes an instrument input. This turns the Space Heater 500 into an instrument preamp, bringing all of the Space Heaters characteristics to your direct recordings or PA system!

High Pass Filter - Low Pass Filter