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On the lookout for a good track compressor

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msnickybee
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On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby msnickybee » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:31 am

hi folks

I'm not lacking in brilliant (IMHO) mix/master compressors/limiters: Limiter no.6, TDR Koletnikov, Unlimited, TB_Barricade(CM), Frontier(D16).

But for tracks...bit of peak limiting, or add some character, I find the Kjaerhus or VTC-1 Vacuum Tube harsh.
(and let's not mention the "Broadcast Multiband" one), so have been using HoRNet FAT FET a *lot*. I really like it, and that warmth and fast attack. OK, it lacks some features, but...
Even Molot is worth a go sometimes I find, but is rarely subtle (but fabulously configurable). Shout-out also to Klanghelm's MJUCjr and DC1A.

Any suggestions? I refuse to spend* any money on VST's, or download these massive installer "hubs". Never have, never will, I use all Freeware. MC ProStudio is worth every penny/cent obviously.

Thanks guys!!!

*any spare (other than mortgage) would go on guitars, better mics, and some outboard (and maybe cake)
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby chibear » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:38 am

Try 5orcery and see how that works for you.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Starship Krupa » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:14 am

What is a "massive installer hub?"

My favorite freeware track compressors are Audio Damage's Rough Rider for character (throw that on your drum overheads and stand back), and Meldaproduction's MCompressor for just compression.

There's also the Dead Duck package, Areena, Density MkIII, jsCompShaper, mscc, FETISH, dlMSixtyfiveA, ThrillSeelerVBL, since you've delved into Sonic Anomaly far enough to pick up Unlimited, have you checked out SLAX?

Vice One Free is an interesting one, not linked to on KVR and the usual repositories. Has a switch to go between tube modeling and clean digital.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Mark Bliss » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:18 am

What is a "massive installer hub?"

I'd guess that's a bit of a swipe at Waves. 8)

Theres too much to write and too little time ATM.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby msnickybee » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:45 pm

Thanks for these suggestions guys!!!
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby msnickybee » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:47 am

Does anyone actually use any of the MC built-in compressors?

Why does MC8 not have a simple general purpose compressor that meets the following??

(1) clearly labelled simple controls carefully numbered ie threshold, attack, ratio, knee, release, makeup gain
(2) in, out, gain reduction meters preferably with a visual graph
(3) 32 *and* 64 bit versions
(4) sidechaining

Basically, like the Protools built-in.

Starship Krupa wrote:Meldaproduction's MCompressor for just compression
this comes VERY close doesn't it, why does MC8 not have similar?

Kjaerhus fails on 2 or more of these, VTC-1 and DTC-1 (both I think ProStudio) have some strange names ("special makeup gain") and strange metering. Most don't have 64 bit versions. The Acoustica ones look like your grandad's compressors. There's nothing stopping me using a separate meter before and after of course, but whilst the top-right of VST screen new MC8 meter display is *very* welcome, it's small.
The DTC-1 Compressor is the closest I'd say, and is quite featured.

I've used a ton of freeware ones too...but can never settle on anything for tracking.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Starship Krupa » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:54 pm

msnickybee wrote:Does anyone actually use any of the MC built-in compressors?


I don't because of the 32-bit wrapper thing and because I like a good gain reduction meter. What I do in the absence of a GR meter is set the makeup for the amount of GR I want and then switch the compressor in and out until I can't hear a difference in level. Crude, but it kind of works.

I've used a ton of freeware ones too...but can never settle on anything for tracking.


It's tough, isn't it? Finding the ideal compressor(s), especially when I see all these ads and forum posts with these producer types saying how they use this and that compressor for this or that kind of source material. Or they say that they use such and such on "every track."

I finally just had to pick a couple of them and concentrate on getting good with those. MCompressor on the tracks and Sonic Anomaly's HBC-2 for "glue" on the buses. Sonic Anomaly's Unlimited for master limiter.

At this point, I've spent a few dollars on Ozone Elements and MModernCompressor, but if I had just the ones listed above to work with, I'd have no trouble mixing a song. Wouldn't feel restricted at all.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Mark Bliss » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:25 am

msnickybee wrote:(1) clearly labelled simple controls carefully numbered ie threshold, attack, ratio, knee, release, makeup gain
(2) in, out, gain reduction meters preferably with a visual graph
(3) 32 *and* 64 bit versions
(4) sidechaining

Starship Krupa wrote:Meldaproduction's MCompressor for just compression
this comes VERY close doesn't it, why does MC8 not have similar?


I'd have to agree and hope this is seen as a feature request.
(1) is a mess with so many of the available options.

(2) Yes, I think especially when learning about compression and training the ear, a GR meter is a critical inclusion.
People talk about just using your ear, but even if that's so, you need guidance while training your ear. And even then, perhaps some people don't "work that way"?

(3) Yes more 64 bit options are overdue.

(4) ......
You know, its funny. A few years ago I thought side chained compression was something I would seldom if ever use.
Now after learning far more, I have discovered its certainly not just for ducking drum and bass or throbbing NY style Hip-Hop production, but indeed a very useful tool for more advanced mixing.
For me, I would like to hear what others are using that are 64 bit and specifically include GR metering and sidechain support. MCompressor? I tried it long ago and forget. Same with the ReaComp, which I know fails on (1) but sounded very good. I forget so many things.......

I think maybe we could begin compiling a list of current options!
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Starship Krupa » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:54 pm

Mark Bliss wrote:
I think maybe we could begin compiling a list of current options!


I thought I did! :-)

Most of the ones I mentioned have all of those features, maybe minus the knee control, but they at least all have GR metering right up front.

Thrillseeker, FETish and SLAX are emulations of old hardware compressors that didn't have all of those features, but all of the rest have them or I wouldn't bother with them.

Molot is pretty cool, too, but in the end I found the silly GUI off-putting. I really prefer the no-nonsense type like Meldaproduction stuff that doesn't try to emulate old brushed aluminum studio gear or look like a Soviet tank dashboard or whatever.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:34 am

Well, of the recommendations scattered in the thread so far, I am not sure about some.... And it looks from some of the descriptions and research, I would have to download, install and evaluate a few to see if they had the features requested.... Some don't really say, others say they have side chain HP filters, but don't appear to always support external side-chaining.

Areena is a reverb from what I see....

I have multiple paid options that fit all the criteria. But freeware to recommend, I am not so sure.
I have MCompressor https://www.meldaproduction.com/MFreeFXBundle and its a winner IMO. I had to go dig it out from under a pile of accumulated rubble since I last tried it back before Mixcraft supported native side-chaining. I had forgotten about it over time.
I also have Cakewalk CA2A, which was offered as a free promo previously and fits the bill for opto style compression. It will sidechain but it takes a little somewhat unintuitive trick to make it work. Be glad to explain it if anyone has it and wishes to figure it out. Its still avail, not free and with the demise of Cakewalk, that ones likely to become obsolete.

All these others.... Not sure.
The Dead Duck compressor (and other tools) looks like it might be worth checking out.

The few of the others mentioned that I have used, are simply because I installed them so I could run other peoples Mixcraft projects. I generally dont use them and have never become overly familiar with most.

5orcery is an interesting twist on multiband, but I am not sure about any side chaining and while it serves a purpose its a bit complex for common compression tasks IMO.

S.LA.X looks like a simple approach. Sidechaining? Dunno.
I have MJUCjr, similarly- no sidechain support, and I believe 32 bit only.
I like much about the TDR Koletnikov, but no sidechaining.
Limiter6, I just cant seem to get it to fly......

Have to look at some of these others as time allows.
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby msnickybee » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:28 am

A list would be good...kind of to have a standard?
Even just for myself!
Otherwise literally every new project I go hunting for a good track compressor.
I agree Mark, MCompressor might be the one...a bit ugly...I kind of like those Russian ones! lol
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:21 pm

One source that hasn't been mentioned is Tone Boosters. The free compressor and bus compressor both pass the criteria for all but side chained control.
https://www.toneboosters.com/download.html
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SteveW
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby SteveW » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:45 am

The ToneBoosters plugins aren't free, but they are very good value.

The Compressor is part of the TrackEssentials bundle (€20) and the BusCompressor is part of the BusTools bundle (€40).

https://www.toneboosters.com/plugins.html

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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby msnickybee » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:52 am

I *do* like the Toneboosters stuff, but am all about the free... :-(
Nicky
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Re: On the lookout for a good track compressor

Postby Mark Bliss » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:39 am

Ah!
I have run the free pack in demo mode, and I must admit I forgot about some of the fine print.
Demo mode doesn't save user settings, which I can work with- if I remember..... :roll:
But the real trouble is that SOME of the plug ins mix down or render ignoring user settings, which is a really frustrating thing to forget.
Thanks for making me go review that....... 8)
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