1. You’ll need to reduce the dynamic range of most signals you record so that both the loud and quiet moments are equally audible in the mix. 4. A pacesetter in its own right, the Pro-C 2 by FabFilter is a good bet for your money … Creating compression with vacuum tube circuitry alone is possible, but it’s considered much more difficult and expensive than other methods. That’s why true tube compressors (sometimes called “delta-mu” compressors) are large, bulky and expensive. I’m cheating a bit here since this is a built-in DAW plugin. You’ll have access to three different plugins, including the MicroWarmer. The sound of analog hardware has an enduring appeal for most engineers. Get the ideas, tools and tips you need to grow your sound straight to your inbox. It offers a clear and classy sound that enhances punch and impact while providing the “glue” factor that makes a mix sound cohesive and integrated. This means that you can be up and running right away on your studio setup with the minimum of waiting around. There’s tons of options to help shape your sound in a number of different ways. The concept seems simple, but there are different ways to implement compression that have different sounds and uses in a mix. This will help you determine what impact the incoming signal will have on the compressor’s algorithm. This handy FET compressor packs all the snappy attack and analog warmth of the hardware and sounds great anywhere you might use an 1176. The smart:comp gives you a user-friendly interface and won’t overwhelm your CPU. Now that you know some different types of compression and what they’re good for, get back to your DAW and squash some signals. With extremely detailed control over nearly every possible aspect of the sound, the sheer flexibility of this compressor makes it a top pick to showcase the power of digital. The PSP VintageWarmer 2 stands out among their VST plugins because of how authentically it mimics analog equipment. If your goal is colored compression, you’ll have to look elsewhere. A compressor is an audio processor that’s used in mixing to reduce the dynamic range of audio signals. With extremely detailed control over nearly every possible aspect of the sound, the sheer flexibility of this compressor makes it a top pick to showcase the power of digital. Even so, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s primarily a mastering compressor, so this means you’ll have extra tools than what you would find on a standard compressor. This will help you to mix efficiently while maintaining your perspective. It also won’t take up a lot of CPU. Softube’s recreation is spot on and this pro compressor plugin offers all the weight, heft and tube warmth of the original. One cool feature is the three-position Beef switch, which gives you the ability to adjust how the compressor responds to the input signal. If you’re looking for an incredibly versatile compressor, check out the FabFilter Pro-C 2. Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight. FabFilter has updated their I/O metering and gain reduction capabilities to ensure that your mixes adhere to loudness standards. Many independent developers are turning to new methods of distributing their software. This is an ideal option for beginners as it’s super user-friendly and ideal for adding compression and saturation to individual tracks. The stand-out in the collection is the Tube-Tech CL 1B, a classic compressor emulation that mixing engineers are drawn to. Cytomic’s The Glue is another great take on the SSL Bus compressor design. These classics are so rare and expensive (authentic units have sold for over $100K) that most producers will never even see one, let alone hear it on their tracks. Where To Start? document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "aeb933437795e4e348a17cb1b54dde83" );document.getElementById("jbf96ce9a2").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Softube has copied the features found in the original hardware, and they’ve also included some additional parameters. These include release, threshold, gain, ratio, and attack parameters in addition to a parallel compression parameter. Both options offer modeled pre-amp distortion, fast attack times, and an awesome All-In mode if you want to take your compression to the extreme. You’ll be happy with how fast the compressor works without overwhelming your CPU. This top quality compressor plugin sounds gorgeous and features a user interface that makes even advanced compression features simple to use. Get the best of our production tips and news, weekly in your inbox. 3. TDR Feedback Compressor's the most transparent plugin I know of. Rating: 5 out of 5. These include mid-side processing, look-ahead times, and advanced metering. You’ll find six different compression types, which you can switch between seamlessly without changing the settings. Most of the compressor plug-ins in this arena will give you sticker shock, but this option is surprisingly affordable. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Who this plugin is … With such a key part of the music production process, you need to have tools you can rely on. If you’re looking for an affordable software compressor that can give you wideband dynamic control, the TDR Kotelnikov from Tokyo Dawn Labs is perfect for you. It’s up to you, but I’m positive this’ll…, In this tutorial I will show you how you can create 1Touch – Jealous type of noisy, fat & wide…, I spent some time on sound designing. But choosing the right compressor plugin isn’t easy. VCA compressors came on the scene in the 70s with the introduction of integrated circuits (ICs) that could perform gain reduction cheaply and with more predictable results than earlier methods. You can also subscribe without commenting. Optical compressors use photosensitive light cells to control the compression. FabFilter Pro-C 2. It’s a lightweight plugin that will give you that classic VCA gain reduction without choking your CPU. There are lots of tube compressors out there, but like the LA-2A, not all of them create their gain reduction effect using the tubes themselves. With additional controls for attack release and threshold, Levelling Tool isn’t exactly a direct clone, but the sonic inspiration is clear. var plc291816 = window.plc291816 || 0; Here are some great options based on the optical sound of the LA-2A. Waves collaborated with Chris Lord-Alge, a top mixing engineer in the rock industry, to give you access to some of the best sounding compressors in music history. At just $29 USD (at the time of this writing) Plugin Alliance’s digital recreation of the popular Lindell 7X-500 series module is a charmingly inexpensive way to get started with FET compression. The Manic Compressor features authentic parallel compression so that you can achieve a modern compressed tone. I have spent countless of hours reviewing and testing different plugins. It’s one of the earliest methods of controlling gain reduction that’s often found in classic early units. If you’re an indecisive mix engineer, the McDSP 6030 is a great set of compressors for you. Tube compressors sound fantastic in many situations, especially any time you want to enhance the source material with pleasing colouration and saturation. Its precise algorithms are comparable to pricier compressor plugins you can buy today. This plugin stands out because it doesn’t try to copy any particular type of compressor. Compression and EQ are the two most essential tools in mixing. It’s hard to imagine that a mixing tool this useful and musical could be available completely free…. You can choose from nine distinct AI processing types to meet all your compression goals. The CLA-2A is modeled after the LA-2A optical compressor. Those classic sounds are still in high demand today. Boz Digital Labs has outdone themselves with the Manic Compressor. This technology gave rise to classic units like the DBX 160 and SSL Bus Compressor. This is the most basic of the three with all the standard compression controls. The 1176 has a long and illustrious history and is still used by virtually every professional studio to this day. The control scheme is user-friendly with a basic, intuitive interface. The benefit of course is that many of these digital plugins are available right away with convenient download options. These all get their inspiration from classic hardware pieces that are still utilized in professional studios worldwide. I'm specifically referring to version I. It stands for “field effect transistor” and it’s the mechanism used in the all-time classic UREI 1176 compressor. In this guide I’ll go through each style of compressor, recommend a smart choice for every budget and show the best ways to use them in your mix. You can also take advantage of its sidechain low cut switch. ADHD Levelling tool is a handy freeware compressor that will bring LA-2A style optical compression into your sessions without breaking the bank.