I own lots of compressor plugins. Vintage emulations, modern "transparent" compressors, you name it. Some of them are extremely expensive. This is my favorite.
It's my favorite because I can almost always get it to do exactly what I want (where "what I want" is everything from smooth, invisible bus compression to transient shaping). You can tweak it to death. You can set the big four and forget it. You can run it clean. You can give it some analog vibe. You can abuse your CPU with it. You can run it efficiently. If you are insisting on the sound of some particular piece of gear, it's probably not the right thing, but on the other hand, if you know what you're doing, you can probably get it to sound like anything. In terms of parameters, expert mode is up in the same stratosphere as other "build your own compressor" plugs like U-he's Presswerk and (almost) DMG Compassion, but for way less money.
It's really a kind of DSP masterpiece, and it's insanely cheap. But don't be fooled. It is not good "for the money." It is an outstanding piece of software, full stop.
Here's a quick review of the big Klanghelm compressor (aka the DC8C2).
First thing you'll notice is the GUI is darn huge. Even in easy mode the GUI fills up most of a laptop screen. Not sure why the knobs are so big and the meters are so small.
The GR meter is ok but the input and output meters are VU. I don't like VU much. Feels like something out of the dark ages. There's a calibration knob which helps a little but essentially I found the input and output meters a complete waste of space. I'd like to see them removed and replaced with one big GR meter.
There's four "basic" modes and one "expert" mode. The basic modes sound REAL NICE. My favourite was the "punch" mode. The "smack" mode was also good. The crush mode uses A LOT of cpu. Even without the expert mode I think this would still be a great compressor.
The expert mode provides access to a lot of parameters that are normally deeply buried in the circuits of other plugs. What I found most fun to play with were the "program dependency" and "hold" knobs which alter the attack and release shapes (etc). The program dependency knobs seem to turn in opposite directions to each other (ie somewhat counterintuitive). There's also a channel separation in a box marked "detection". The channel separation allows the compressor to run as anything up to dual mono (ie doesn't merely affect the detection).
The expert mode also features a saturation on the input gain. I thought it was pretty subtle. On the maximum setting I would like to really hear a crunch. You should further note that the input gain is routed inside the wet dry switch, perhaps in order to facillitate saturating only the wet channel. You can create some unusual shapes with the knee parameters, haven't seen this on other compressors. Interesting. Another unique feature is the option to vary the amount of signal feedback.
In the ratio section you get a range knob and something that smooths the reduction. I also like the "tilt" filter on the sc. Haven't seen that before and it strikes me as preferable to the standard HP many compressors have.
There's also a bunch of other unique variables I didn't mention which may be remarkable but on a quick trial didn't strike me as that interesting. If you click the meters you get a clean bypass. There's no A/B option or anything similiar. Something this complex could possibly benefit from that type of thing as there is A LOT you can change and within a few knobs you can have a really different sound.
All up a really great plug. Lots of fun to play around with. Great sound. Pity the meters are not so well implemented (in my opinion). Watch the CPU use if you decide to oversample or use "crush".
I really love this compressor for its versatility and its vintage sound and feel can sound ugly as hell or just smooth and clean. I really just like the look the feel and the way I can really just dial in perfect settings.
it sounds great looks cool performs really well nothing much to say I love it. I got it about a month after it first came out last version i noticed a weird click on limiter mode but that is gone on this update so yea on that nice job. and the Vu meter he has is dope i use it all the time gives me a quick nice way to see how my music is feeling since I tend to mix at a low level.
I've demo'd many freeware compressors, a few commercial offerings, and a few payware compressor VSTs. It should also be noted that I'm not typically one of the average impulse buyers who falls for every blurb of hype that surrounds any new release, upgrade item, etc.. That being said, I will state right off the top, that thanks to the good sense often shared by my KVR friends, I've acquired a couple of new VST plugins that I am very, very thankful for. The first, was the excellent TB Barricade brickwall limiter. It is now THE ONLY limiter that I use.
Next, I also bought TB ReelBus. I haven't as much use for that one, but still, it's very good and I do use it tastefully on a few channels. (*hint* - it does wonders for horn/brass sections). However, I'm an ardent admirer of Bootsy's plugins and I really like Bootsy's FerridTDS for effecting a nice, believable "analogue" vibe on a track.
Now then, the topic at hand is Klanghelm's recently released DC8C. In a word, this compression plugin is terrific! Its clear, clean, sound quality, attractive interface, and efficient programming all point this excellent plugin all the way to the top of my home studio's "GO TO" shelf. The transparent, manageable compression settings are an absolute pleasure to work with.
If I may, I'd like to describe this compressor's transparency quality as "invisible". Simply describing this highest-quality compressor as 'transparent' is actually an understatement. There will surely be many other forum members who can more aptly detail the character-shaping capabilities of this plugin, but I am extremely impressed with its ability to remain "invisible" and incredibly "clean". The oversampling capabilities of this plugin really help to keep your tracks at an optimum level of quality.
Very acceptable CPU consumption is another nice benefit of using this high quality compressor plugin. Even at 4x oversampling, my Intel i3 2330 only uses 1 or 2% more CPU. At 2x, which is still a great quality improvement over a non-oversampling setting, the CPU consumption is negligible.
I record and perform Gospel music and thus clean sound is really important. Folks involved with jazz and country are often especially concerned about keeping crystalline vocal tracks intact too. I keep some 'grit' on electric guitars, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, and Hammond sounds, but I like to keep vocals, bass and acoustic instruments super-clean and transparent. DC8C does this exceptionally well. I can honestly say that I have never heard a 'cleaner' compressor. Enabling the "smooth" function and the "S Curve" for even more subtle transient control is nothing short of stellar. The "amber" colored (lite) Saturation setting really adds a wonderful sonically-rich, classic FET compressor feel. This compressor "glues" my vocal tracks into the mix better than any other software compressor that I have ever used.
*Bro. Charles Quick Tip*
"In your vocal track's signal chain, follow the DC8C with Sonimus SonEQ or OverTone's PCT-2A. Oh yeah, classic 'analogue' sonic beauty to be heard, baby!"
I can't recommend this beautiful piece of software highly enough. It is well worth your next week's coffee money.
I really enjoy supporting independent developers who produce quality products and conduct their 'business' with honor and integrity. I've observed these qualities with ToneBoosters and now Klanghelm.
Some of my favorite developers providing affordable (or free) products at very affordable prices and very high quality.
i agree it's a bit of an odd company but what quality devices....i mean this stuff is top-notch and for the money (?) it's absolutely crazy. some of the best-looking gear also...if that means anything...and hell yes it does.