I have never seen an audio toolbox that is complete without a compressor. They have become some of the most important and versatile pieces of gear in the audio world. And their complexity, as well as simplistic functions, makes them very useful. So, what will make your audio stand out in the market? I have a few ideas for you. How about you try out with coloration, dynamic control, and mixed glue?
This is what a compressor plugin is made for, and it creates your music into something admirable. They come with varied circuit designs in analog and compressors that make certain models better than others.
In essence, this means choosing the best compressor plugin may not be as easy as you thought, but necessary. You need to understand what these items can do and why one could be better than the other.
Plugins have been trying to outsmart their real-deal analog counterparts for many years as manufacturers attempt to offer unlimited solutions. But some new innovations have come into play in the world of gain reduction. So, before you buy your next compressor plugin, this guide could start to gain some knowledge. I also what to make it easy for you to choose.
What does a compressor plugin do?
First things first. How much do you know about compressor plugins and what they can do? This is the very first step in making a decision that you will not regret. The world of audio creation has become very demanding today. Consumers are looking for something more than just normal sounds. The pressure flows down to music producers, who are forced to use all means necessary to ensure delivery.
Audio compression comes as one of the most powerful mixing tools. It is an essential tool if you want every mix you make to come out good.
This is why you need to understand compression. Sometimes it feels intimidating to starting learning a huge subject like this one when easy things like controls on your signals are still a problem. Nevertheless, you still have to learn. And it’s not very hard.
Music compression is the process of reducing the dynamic range of a signal. The dynamic range represents the difference between the loudest and softest sections of an audio signal. Most audio signals come with very wide dynamic ranges, which must be reduced to sound natural during a recording. Consider a scream and a whisper in the same audio track, for instance. If they come with the same loudness in real life, it would be very distracting.
Compressor fixes such issues by attenuating the highest sounding parts of your signal and boosting the quieter parts. It is like stretching some sections while pressing the others.
An audio compressor plugin is built for this job. It comes as an essential tool for modern music production, ensuring audio creators don’t have a hard time mixing an audio track.
Which wave compressor is best?
Experience audio engineers always talk about how one audio compressor is better than the others. They base this on the musical results of using the plugins.
This is a very important concept that you need to comprehend. Your dynamics are among the most crucial aspects of making your music stand out. It all begins with choosing the right compressors. They will have a huge positive impact on the performance and make the recording come out great.
Another crucial term to understand when dealing with compression in transients. These are your high-energy moments of a specific sound in your waveform. The bursts send signals to our brain concerning the quality of the sounds. Transients are louder than the rest of the waveform, which is why they are most affected by compressors.
For instance, consider nice cracking snare drum accessories. You will see an initial peak in your waveform as the snare hits. This peak energy at the start of the sounds is your transient.
A good compressor will peak up every little detail and translate it into what you can hear. This then helps you decide how to change the sound for greater output.
Here are some of the best sound compressors on the market today.
How great does it feel when a single compressor comes with everything you need for your compression processes. And it is even better when it’s the most affordable plugin on the market.
This what MJUC “Vari-Tube” Compressor from Klanghelm is all about. These are actually three compressors, all in one. The first one is like an Altec style Vari-Mu, and the second like an STA-level 176, and the last one a unique creation.
The second and third modules are the most functional. It is more popular with most engineers, although I find myself most attracted to the first one.
This is one of the cheapest compressors you may ever have. And yet you will be surprised to use it more often than anything else.
The FabFilter Pro C2 is a low CPU intensive plugin that offers a wide range of functionality. You can use it on every track of your mixing until you get the perfect sounds.
If your needs drive you into a ‘one-in-all’ plugin, then this is what you are looking for. The compressor packs eight compression character styles, lookahead gain reduction, 4x oversampling, and mid/control. You can affect each channel independently if you don’t want to do it as a linked stereo.
Thee eight modes on the compressor enable it to add some coloration to the mixes. Version 2 comes with five new modes.
The FabFilter Pro C2 is generally a functional and versatile plugin. This makes it a great choice for an engineer who is after a lot of features in one package.
One of the best ways of knowing whether a compressor or any other plugin is good is by looking at how many people use it. And there are very many reasons why many engineers use a stereo compressor on their master bus.
Engineers often seek for more ‘glue’ to their mix when doing it into a compressor. A good example is the one from the SSL 4000 G console master section. This emulation brings you the tone of boards for vintage coloration, courtesy of SSL, and Waves. You also get to the ‘glue’ effect of this legendary console.
This plugin is specifically for master bus compression. But it also works great when you need to tighten up drums or piano.
Are you looking for the best compression on the bass or vocals? This plugin may be just the thing you need for the job. The Teletronix LA-2A is one of the few hardware compressors that stand out as studio legends. It is an optical compressor with a tube output stage.
The plugin features slower attack and release times, as well as a vibe to space. It is, therefore, quite popular for its warmth and character that comes on many records.
Universal Audio is the current manufacturers of the products, which has been very keen on innovation. They decided that it was merely enough to rebuild hardware. So, they made it as part of their UAD plugins, taking into account the famous sounds. The compressors are commonly used with instruments that have fever transients and vocals. It offers incredible warmth of the tube output stage
The plugins actually have three compressors. The LA2 comes with the slowest attack and release, whereas the gray and silver versions have medium-fast attack and release.
Note that this is one of the most expensive hardware out there. This makes me wonder whether it is really worth the trouble, considering they don’t have many controls.
PSP Audioware has become a very reputable manufacturer of plugins for audio use. They have built a multi-faceted set of plugins in their VintageWarmer2.
The plugin features three modes of operation and precise emulation of analog equipment. This is a great compressor for mixing and mastering, as it comes with tons of analog saturation.
The first mode is the MicroWarmer, which focuses on speed, drive, low, high, knee, and output controls. The second mode is an immediate successor to the classic
VintageWarmer, aiming to keep low latency while increasing brick wall limiting, multi-band compression, frequency selection for EQ shelves, and many other cool functions. The third one features the FAT mode, which allows the plugin to double incoming sample audio for a better analog sound.
The plugin is mostly popular for its behavior when overloaded. It exhibits tape-like qualities when experiencing an overload.
Softube officially launched the virtual version of the Tube-Tech’s incredible CL 1B hardware. This plugin is a more contemporary take on the Teletronix LA-2A.
The design of this plugin serves up a very responsive yet musical character. It offers to attach times from 0.5-300ms, release from 0.05 to 10s, and the Fixed/Manual envelope mode.
This enables an input-dependent auto-release character. The Softube CL 1B is among the most analog-sounding software you will ever hear. It is all about making your audio life seem and sound professional.
This is another incredible plugin that has been making rounds among many users. It may not be up there yet with the top players offering ‘under-the-hood’ tweakability, but u-he’s analog-type compression and saturation tools come with a fair share of knobs and buttons. This ensures proper adjustment of such technicalities as detection circuit topology, knee shape, gain reduction non-linearbility, RMS window, and internal/external sidechain mix.
This seems like a lot to handle for many users. But it comes with six simplified alternative interfaces that boil the visible controls required for special tasks. You can always use these features for more enjoyment.
Here is another plugin that promises great functionality. Eventide’s Omnipressor is not a very ‘very obvious’ product. It is not a very subtle plugin.
It can sometimes be when used in a certain manner, but that is not its intention. The function control goes all the way from the left to the right.
With these features, it first acts as a gate, then an expander. It then lands in bypass right in the middle, then a typical compressor, then a limiter, and finally a dynamic-reversal control. The input yield is actually below the threshold.
You can use this plugin to compress drums to get super boomy and fun drums. The dynamic-reversal track comes out the such a sweet boom and clarity.
What is the best delay plugin?
Delay and reverb are a result of a repeated audio signal. Reverb comes extremely fast, while delay effects come from more controlled, separated timings.
Some people think ‘echo’ is also a delay in sound, which makes this concept a crucial part of understanding audio production. Delay time is the time interval between each audio signal repetition, while feedback is the number of times a sound is repeated.
Producers use delay VTS plugins to create these effects. There are both free and paid delay plugins out there, which come with a decent selection of features. The best delay VTS plugin is one that meets your needs. And in this, you will probably have to get a paid product.
And there is a wide range of choices. My best plugin is the D16 Group’s Repeater. The plugin is for producers who need a powerful, highly versatile delay tool that cover a range of vintage sounds while still getting great results across the board. It comes with 23 unique delays and two separate delay lines, among other features. EchoBoy by Soundtoys is another great option for those who need the best sounding in delay plugins on the market and have the money for it. It includes 30 of the best echo boxes on the market.
What VST plugins do professionals use?
FabFilter Pro-3 is my favorite VTS plugins. It comes with a fantastic EQ that is very easy to use and offers an innovative way to approach your mixing needs for individual tracks. This, and Waves API 550A & 550B are very to use plugins. They are some of the most preferred products among many professionals.
The technological advancement in the audio production industry is quite impressive. With the best compressor plugins mentioned above, you can be sure to create a good audio track with ease.