Introducing The Governor by Gainlab Audio: A Product Review

Gainlab Audio’s The Governor OCR1 Review: Optical Compression Reinvented

Gainlab Audio is back with another innovative addition to their outboard gear family — the OCR1, also known as The Governor. This valve-based compressor not only retains beloved features from previous models but also flaunts some unique traits to kick your sound up a notch. In this review, we’ll explore the features, the pros and cons, and the flexibility of this powerful new dynamics processor.


1. Dual-Slope Operation
The main attraction of The Governor is its dual-slope operation, allowing users to set a second threshold point where a much higher compression ratio with a harder knee is applied. This feature makes it possible for the unit to function as two dynamics processors, resulting in a more aggressive gain reduction as the signal level increases beyond the second threshold. Gainlab ensures that The Governor maintains an enjoyable character, even with extreme settings.

2. Tube Boost Function
Drawing from their Empress EQ model, The Governor also incorporates the Tube Boost function, which enables you to drive the device’s valves harder for effect. To further improve this feature based on user feedback, The Governor offers switchable full-spectrum and high-frequency boost options.

3. Side-Chain Filter Control
Each channel boasts a side-chain filter control, and the rear panel provides a pair of quarter-inch TS sockets for external side-chain signals. For precise visual feedback on the compressor’s behavior, the front panel hosts a comprehensive meter section with a peak hold function.

4. I/O and Power
Inputs and outputs for both channels are provided on XLR connectors, and power is delivered to an internal PSU via a standard IEC mains inlet. The design is crafted for both stereo and dual mono operation, allowing for versatile use.


1. Flexibility
The Governor’s dual-slope operation provides a wide range of compression possibilities. Whether you’re looking for a gentle touch or a more aggressive character, this compressor has you covered.

2. Enhanced Tube Boost
The improvements to the Tube Boost function, including switchable full-spectrum and high-frequency boost options, give you even more control over your sound.

3. Comprehensive Meter Section
The peak hold function in the meter section allows for more accurate visual feedback, helping you monitor and adjust the compressor’s behavior effectively.

4. Versatile I/O
With both XLR connectors and quarter-inch TS sockets, The Governor offers versatile input and output options for a variety of setups.


1. Price
As with most high-end audio equipment, the price tag on The Governor could be a drawback for some users. However, given the impressive features and sound quality, it may be worth the investment for professionals or audiophiles seeking a top-notch compressor.

2. Shipping Dates Unclear
While The Governor is currently available for pre-order, the shipping dates have yet to be confirmed, leaving some potential buyers in the dark regarding when they can expect their purchase.

Final Thoughts:
Gainlab Audio continues to innovate and expand their range of outboard gear with The Governor OCR1. By incorporating dual-slope operation and an upgraded Tube Boost function, this compressor offers a wide range of compression possibilities, maintaining an enjoyable character even with extreme settings. Despite the hefty price tag and uncertain shipping dates, those looking to invest in a high-quality audio compressor should definitely consider The Governor as a worthy option.

Product Information

– Product Name: The Governor OCR1
– Manufacturer: Gainlab Audio
– Pre-order Price: $2500 (US), £2300 including VAT (UK)
– Availability: Pre-order now, shipping dates to be confirmed
– Official Product Link: - Music News, Music Reviews, Music Store, Shop For Great Deals