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The Main Event
75 posts since 19 Jul, 2012

Postby The Main Event; Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:16 am List of the best compressors

Hey guys,
inspired by the thread "which 1176?" i wanted to start a kind of collection of the best compressor plugin (free and commercial) sorted by their circuit type or the hardware "idol". I'm really interested what you think about all kinds of types and what instruments you use it for.

So, i start with the 1176 models from the thread i mentioned before:

Waves CLA76
Softube FET
Ik Black76
UAD 1176 (v2)
fxpansion DCAM ChannelComp
Stillwell the rocket

670 Emulations:
IK Multimedia T-Rack 670 Model
Waves Puigchild 660, 670
UAD Fairchild 670
Variety of Sounds Density mkIII
Avid Pro Tools Fairchild 670
Slate Digital Virtual Bus Compressors

Brainworx VSC-2
Vertigo Sound VSC

SSL Emulations:
Waves SSL G-Master Buss
Cytomic The Glue
SSL Duende Bus Comp

dbx 165A:
de la Mancha sixty-five
Stillwell's Major Tom

ArtsAcoustic CL1
IK White 2A
Variety of Sounds ThrillseekerLA
Softube TLA-100A (emulation of Summit-Audio TLA-100A)

Something else? Which more do you know that are Opto, 670 Emulations,...?
Last edited by The Main Event on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:39 am, edited 7 times in total.
Still no Signature
478 posts since 15 Jan, 2009

Postby AudioGuy720; Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:00 am


Variety of Sound's Density MKIII (it's supposed to kind of sound like a Fairchild from what I read). It's great regardless and free.

Variety of Sound's ThrillseekerLA is also great. It's a leveling amp design so it's similiar to an Opto-Comp/LA-2A clone. It has a lot more features/buttons than an LA-2A clone though so it's more along the lines of IK Multimedia's Opto compressor but without at zero cost.

IK Multimedia's White 2A under Opto. Sounds good on vocals/bass guitar just like the LA-2A.

Waves' API 2500 is great.

de la Mancha sixty-five is a good dbx 165A clone and it's cheap.
Stillwell's Major Tom is a dbx 160 clone/inspired and is also cheap.

ReaComp can go from clean to dirty. It's a very versatile compressor and it's free.

LoudMax is technically a limiter plug-in but I use it all the time on acoustic guitars and bass.

Wavs RVox is my go-to vocal compressor.

And last but certainly not least Cytomic's The Glue. It's main job as a buss compressor serves it well but it can be used on every track thanks to the Range control. Based on a Solid State Logic mix buss compressor. Eats Waves G Buss Compressor alive!
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6919 posts since 3 Jul, 2012, from Canada

Postby V0RT3X; Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:13 am

For creative compression Id check out Elysias offerings such as their fine Mpressor plugin.


Following Information taken from the site above.

"The mpressor plugin is the as close as it can get emulation of our famous creative compressor. Its all discrete circuitry and its special character have been translated into software in all the painstaking details by the specialists from Brainworx. The result is an outstanding universal compressor as well as an inspiring dynamic effects machine which will significantly enhance the potentials of your host software.

The plugin has all the great functions of the hardware which can be combined in many ways: Auto Fast for attack makes life easy even on longer attack settings. The Anti Log function offers an alternative release curve that can be engaged for instant pumping effects. In addition to standard ratios, the mpressor also provides negative values. Combine this with its extremely fast attack times, and you will be able to create completely new signal envelopes.

The Gain Reduction Limiter regulates the virtual control voltage and keeps even the most extreme settings under control - completely independent from the threshold and ratio settings. The additional filter is a perfect fit for changing the compressed signal in its sound character. The possibility to control the mpressor by an external sidechain input to get things grooving makes for further flexibility.

The mpressor plugin is available for PC and Mac in 32 and 64 bits. The following formats are supported: AAX, RTAS, AS, TDM, VST2.4, VST3, AU and VENUE."
Ah Xoc Kin
348 posts since 28 Dec, 2009

Postby Ah Xoc Kin; Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:19 am

Vertigo VSC-2
Elysia Alpha
Elysia mpressor
Kush UBK-1
McDSP 6030
McDSP CompressorBank
Softube TLA-100A

I don't believe in best.
I don't care much for emulations.
I use whatever sounds good and facilitates my workflow, and hopefully is not too CPU intensive.
esoundz name: Helio
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1841 posts since 9 Dec, 2011, from falling

Postby billcarroll; Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:22 am

The Glue, amazing SSL emulation

Vintage Compressors from Native Instruments made by Softube: the VC76 (Urei 1176), VC2A (Teletronix LA2A), and VC160 (Dbx 160)

DMG Compassion, which can emulate darn near anything as far as I can tell
261 posts since 4 Jun, 2011

Postby ClubHo; Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:26 am

I only need one.

Compressor 260

http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vs ... strip.html

And EQ 601 is the only one I use also. Extremely clean and keeps the sound open.
The Main Event
75 posts since 19 Jul, 2012

Postby The Main Event; Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:35 am

Cool thanks for all the Input and the overview but can you name me also what emulation it is? Would be nice.
Still no Signature
505 posts since 20 Jun, 2012

Postby B.A.Tech.; Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:43 am

TDR Feedback Compressor is awesome.I don't know that's which compressor's emulation but it's really great!
653 posts since 25 Sep, 2010

Postby bbaggins; Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:56 am

I once collected compressors like Imelda Marcos collected shoes, but they've all been retired. I came to the realization that it's better to start with one truly versatile compressor and then learn its every nuance until you know exactly how to make it sing and dance.

The idea that you need different compressors for different applications is a holdover from hardware days, when the classic models - great though they were - could not come close to the versatility of modern digital processors. The best DSP plugins don't bother trying to emulate anything, as that would only impose unnecessary restrictions in functionality.

For me, it's FabFilter Pro-C that handles any and all compression tasks (except master bus limiting). Is it "the best"? I don't know. It does lack a few features (no ultra-fast attack times, no oversampling, no lookahead). All I know is it hasn't let me down yet and takes very little tweaking to dial it in.
The Main Event
75 posts since 19 Jul, 2012

Postby The Main Event; Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:18 am

Exactly, Pro-C is one of the best, but what type is it?
BTW: The Native Instruments Vintage Compressors (by Softube) can only be used in Guitar Rig.
Still no Signature
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3507 posts since 17 Jul, 2002

Postby discoDSP; Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:21 am

NightShine Alesis 3630 modeled compressor got some very positive reviews.


discoDSP Plug-Ins | Synths | Sampler | Effects
478 posts since 15 Jan, 2009

Postby AudioGuy720; Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:26 pm

B.A.Tech. wrote:TDR Feedback Compressor is awesome.I don't know that's which compressor's emulation but it's really great!

+1 TDR is a great substitute for the API 2500.

Here's another great free compressor plug-in, mostly used for buss purposes:


It's called the Molot and it likens itself to the Neve 33609, Tube-Tech CL1B and Fairchild 670. It's a little intimidating to use but it has a nicely written manual that helps out a lot and is a good introduction to compressors.
1549 posts since 29 Jul, 2007

Postby vata44; Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:39 pm

+1 FabFilter C
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3398 posts since 28 Jun, 2009, from Wherever I lay my hat

Postby ariston; Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:50 pm

This might just turn into a list of all software compressors available, if we're not careful. :hihi:

I had about 10-15 compressors which were all seeing some use or other. Now, I've whittled it down to three: the fabulous-sounding and versatile Klanghelm DC8C, the compressor/gate included in Alloy 2, and The Glue, which just does what it says on the tin. The first two don't "model" any hardware compressors that I'm aware of, which is just fine with me because they simply do what they're supposed to and do it well.
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4063 posts since 26 Apr, 2007, from Noosphere

Postby Igro; Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:10 pm

I don't know if 112db Blue Compressor is meant to imitate any particular analog comps, but it's def doesn't sound like any other digital stuff (software). The Drive knob is so powerful. My best comp so far.

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