What's your favourite non-mainstream compressor plug-in?

Most people turn to all the usual UAD, Waves, Slate etc well known compressors, do you have a secret favourite that you just can’t live without?

Mine is Native Instruments Supercharger GT, it’s just brilliant on the Drum Buss or on bass and good for adding grit to vocals - as colourful as you like and it just sounds great. I use it on practically every mix - despite having the choice of many more established options including high-end favourites like UAD’s Fatso and EL8 distressor which are made for exactly the type of processing I use Supercharger GT for, it adds tonnes of attitude and yet always sits in the mix. It’s great for smashing stuff New York style too. I still use PSP Vintagewarmer 2 on every mix too, but then that’s everyone’s secret plug in! :laughing:

Ultrafunk sonitus compressor
Sonnox compressor
Devilloc deluxe

Outside of 1176 emulations, those are my most used software ones. It’s a shame the ultra funk will probably never be released in vst3 format. The entire ultrafunk collection that was bought by Cakewalk, I think, is my most used set of plug-ins actually, outside from my small uad collection.

I’ve only been using the Cubase compressors. The standard compressor does what I think it’s supposed to do, and has the controls I need to get just the right compression for say, a snare (I want to be able to adjust the attack precisely, without coloration, and then adjust the level based on the input signal and the compression I am seeing on the meters). I’ve also used the Vintage Compressor, which doesn’t have all the knobs, but I used it anyway. I suspect the ideal compressor is easy to code, so it’s all about coloration, which I wasn’t looking for. I think in the 70’s they would have killed for a compressor that worked like a digital compressor, but they didn’t have that, and now all the oldie favorite recordings have the artifacts of that.

I guess I must have the Supercharger from NI somewhere and I never tried it, so thanks for that tip!

Tokoyo Dawn :smiley:




PSP Vintage Warmer

PSP Old Timer

TDR stuff is very impressive, their slick EQ is very good.

Fuse Audio Labs’ VCL-4 (based on the LA-4 compressor - yes the younger brother of the LA-2A).

This one is just a GREAT opto compressor plugin :slight_smile:

i second fuse audio, fantastic product but not for all sources.

Best non mainstream compressor hands down (for me and this is only my opinion of course) is blue cat dynamics V4.

it can do absolutely everything from downwards and upwards compression to ditto with expansion. it can tame transients too which many plugins can’t cause the fast attacks aren’t right. Also, zero latency and it sounds fantastic once you know how to use it properly (certainly not an immediately inviting easy to use plugin)… It’s the swiss army knife of dynamics and for some reason whenever i bring it up over the years at various boards, it doesn’t get much talk. SO underrated.

Another one I love and use is ProC2 from FabFilter

I do not like the broadband steinberg ones much sorry to say, although the multiband comp and expander are quite useful.

Absolutely nothing from waves except the PIE bus comp, the DPR402 which is one of the very best emulations they have ever done and not a common plugin emulation, and their DBX which they pretty much nailed. I was amazed lol that waves did a great compressor emu.

Used to use Logic’s compressor all the time when i used Logic as my main DAW… in fact it’s inbuilt fx plugins were first call for almost everything (the only thing I miss about Logic at all, best tape delay of all time, and it’s modulation fx destroy the terrible steinberg ones which only sync up to 1 bar, i have been asking for that to be expanded for 10 years to no avail).

Voxengo Marquis is great also, as is sonnox dynamics (just wish it had a wet/dry and still can’t understand why they didn’t add it in the recent overhaul)

These are the ones I use other than the typical analog emulation ones…if i use those I generally go to UAD or softube. Uad fairchild MKII is epic.

New distressor from UAD and SLATE are both fantastic…

We have plenty of in the box quality comp plugins to day… just know there are equally as many poor ones, so always demo thoroughly and spend wisely :slight_smile:

TurboCompressor, Melda.

Audio Damage Rough Rider (Free) / Rough Rider Pro

SoundToys Devil-Loc / Devil-Loc Deluxe

And, if you consider NI “non-mainstream” I’ll throw in IK Multimedia’s Black 76 and Bus Comp.

i used to sometimes use the IK bus comp but unfortunately, updating T Racks ruined it for me… as the option to disable oversampling and have a zero latency version during composition stage, and simply enabling oversampling for rendering, is gone. It is now always in oversampled mode, therefore i can no longer use it on the master outs when composing, as it adds latency… Sigh… They totally ruined it for me… Lucky I didn’t sell my copy of the glue… i can use that in zero latency to mix into whilst composing. So for ssl bus comp, the glue is the one i recommend for native… it gets it right in every way as well as very smart OS options…The other one that is very nice also is called the PSP bus compressor. Their take on “ssl ISH” bus comp… but quite unique flavour to it IMO.

Ahhh, yes I have that compressor - went mad for it for a while then forgot about it when I bought my UAD gear - must revisit it - it sounded great.

And how did I forget about this !?

So simple and so juicy.

I use the never ew and comp mixed with cubase stock. I love the basic comp in cubase.

Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with the stock compressor - does a good job - but as you can imagine from my list, I like “colour” compressors. I like my mixes to f@rt and squelch a bit! :laughing: