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Modeled after one of the most unique and complex compressor/limiter designs of the 20th century – the Gain Brain. This original unit has the heavy transient-grabbing abilities of aggressive limiters yet it remains musical and undetectable due to its unique proprietary gain reduction element.

In use

Many consider Vari-Mu designs to be the ultimate tube compressors due to their ability to apply massive amounts of gain reduction yet remain musical and undetectable. In that same respect, the Gain Brain offers those very same qualities but in the realm of VCA designs.

The benefits of being a VCA-based circuit include an attack and release times faster than any tube compressor can offer. The VP BRAINIAC II is ideal for fast transient grabbing of dynamic vocals, drums, and other acoustic & percussive instruments.

Lineage & circuitry

First introduced in 1971 by Allison Research, the Gain Brain was a revolutionary development in FET variable-ratio-limiter technologies. Later the design was reconstructed around the Valley TA101 VCA, which gave birth to the Valley People Gain Brain II.

The Gain Brain II was a solution to a common problem in dynamic processors at the time of its creation – applying enormous fast-grabbing compression but remaining musical. This was achieved by a proprietary gain reduction design for a program-dependent response. This unique limiter uses the principles of linear integration to analyze the complexity of incoming waveforms and vary the response of its gain reduction.

The true genius of this design is that all this complexity is controlled by the same well-recognized controls of standard compressors – Gain, Ratio, Attack, Release, and Threshold. That allows it to be easily integrated in the system of any modern engineer/producer.

How we did it

We found one of these well-preserved analog pieces and carefully emulated every single component to create the perfect synergy of analog sound and digital functionality. We accurately recreated its unique Release Mode switch, which changes the response of the Release between “Linear” & “Logarithmic” for more musical results.

One of the unique hidden functions of the Gain Brain II is its peak reversion correction circuitry, which compensates for the loss of low-end during heavy compression. We carefully emulated every single aspect of this circuit and included it in our VP BRAINIAC II – a true digital representation of the Gain Brain II.

New side-chaining functionality

We can now offer external side-chaining functionality for real-time effects in the Synergy Core library. To enable side-chaining with VP BRAINIAC II switch to “key mode” and select the key input source you want to chain the effect with.


The VP BRAINIAC II was developed by Antelope Audio based on proprietary modeling methods and technologies. 

Valley People – manufacturer of the original Gain Brain II unit – has not endorsed nor sponsored the VP BRAINIAC II in any manner, nor licensed any intellectual property for use in this product.