The compressor…

January 12, 2011

…is coming along very nicely.

Before I start rambling about that, here’s the updates from me: TL;DR: I went to Ibiza, made some plugins, came back, moved to Brighton (UK), got v1.10 of EQuality out, and hid out and did a lot of work on the compressor.

So, let’s talk about dynamics. Today, the compressor got nicknamed “The Dynamics Laboratory”. Let me explain why…

But first things first, it’s a single-band compressor. There’s plenty of time for multi-band and such, but this is not that time.
I’m entirely sure you’ll find this plugin to be enough of an improvement on whatever compressors you’re using that you’ll be very excited indeed. Reasons why it’s cool:

-) There’s a 3-band sidechain EQ, and it allows you to mix noise in to the sidechain signal. It also supports external sidechains, naturally.
-) There’s a graph, that helps you see what you’re doing, without needing to learn how to read it or anything, it just makes actual sense (that took three months to figure out how to build. *gasp*).
-) There’s a HPF and LPF in the signal path, plus a LPF on the dry feed, and a wet/dry ratio (so you can mix uncompressed bass in, or use it for parallel compression).
-) The sidechain mixes are completely configurable. If you want the Mid to compress the Side, you go right ahead. I approve. That’s a great idea.
-) There’s a built-in gate/expander. Because you deserve one. And bringing up the noise floor with inverse expansion is just great.
-) The controls don’t have needlessly restricted ranges. If you want to make it sound distorted, you can. If you want to make it smooth as silk, no problem.
-) You can configure the compressor topology; you can configure the character of the compressor entirely. With presets too, if you like.
-) You can reshape the dynamics curves.

I’m just going to let that one sit there for a bit.

I mean, it’s not like this compressor allows you to fine-tune how the compressor reshapes your transients.

OH WAIT, it is.

Also, did anyone spot the point before? About changing the compressor’s character? Wonder if that’s as flexible as something like Liquid Mix… Oh, wait, it’s MORE flexible than Liquid Mix? It contains a full taxonomy of compressor topologies and you can just dial your way through? (10 points if you spotted that tweet) So, I could, say, set up a compressor… and then see how a few different bits of kit would sound doing the same job? And THEN fine-tune the transient shaping?

-) Two different styles of compressor knee.
-) Hystheresis AND Hold, for maximal smoothness.
-) Analogue and Digital VCA smoothing models; vintage or superclean.


Ok, so, I’m getting a bit excited about it. You’ll have to forgive me, it’s just that I’ve never heard a compressor that allows you to do that before, and it’s really exciting. It’s like a whole new world of dynamics.

We’re working on the UI at the moment; the idea is that you open it up, and there’s the standard controls, and a big graph.
If you want to go deeper, you can expand the plugin window to view a few extra controls (…currently 73…).
We’re still working on laying things out to be shiny and quick, but you know we will. :)

Lots of late nights, but the DSP is basically there now. There will probably be a handful of tweaks (like coalescing the s/c listen and channel-solo controls, that kinda stuff) yet to come, and if anyone suggests anything life-changing, it’ll go in.
I’m hoping to get it to beta this month, which isn’t /impossible/. Will post screenshots…

So, readers, this is going to be the ultimate single-band mixing/tracking compressor. I’ve listed a few of the features… what else does it need…? GO!

4 Responses to “The compressor…”

  1. I just love to read this :) Very ecxiting news! It seems possible to get also opto and feedback characteristics?

  2. Yep, opto is pretty easy to get; feedback characters too.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Great news actually ! Can’t wait to get the beta.

    By the way, what about the definitive “clipper/maximizer” plugin I asked you about long time ago ? A mastering maximizer with tube-like harmonics enhancements 2nd/3rd, and a high quality clipping stage with different saturation curves optimized for full program material.

    That’s on top of my “dreaming about” plugins list.

    Also, is there any news about the co-branding with Marc Gallo, for mastering tube-based effects ? I’m still dreaming about some Massive Passive-like tube modeled EQ with a silky-smooth sounds and nice parallel filters (really a 1:1 emu or like would kill) and some sort of Shadow Hills-like tube modeled compressor.

    These are the others 2 suspects I’m looking for in software and I’ll be done for my mastering needs.

    I’ve faith in your DSP skills ;-) !

  4. As a feature request I would like to ask about sideband eq with steep shelves and wide bells ? A eq in the audio path is a nice idea.


Leave a Reply