|Type / Tags||Dynamics (Compressor / Limiter)Mastering|
- Two independent frequency bands (low and high frequency processing).
- Switchable stereo or M/S mode operation.
- Two basic compressor designs:
- Modern VCA mode with soft-knee characteristics and manual time constants. This mode provides an instant response behaviour and deep compression, using a feed-forward circuit.
- Vintage-style opto (photo resistor) mode, modeled after ancient opto-electrical compressors. The time constants stay manually set, but they are also affected by the signal's energy. This mode has the typical opto-style 'overshoot' on quick transients, this is one of the most gentle compressors you may find. Classical feed-back detector circuit.
- Adjustable high-level output stage with analog-style saturation.
- Global 'de-comp/sat' section. It's you who decides how the unit reacts to large amounts of gain reduction as well as when and how to saturate.
- Maximum output: -0.1dBFS. This is very helpful when using the plugin as the last stage before burning the CD.
Reviewed By kritikon
January 27, 2004
I'll be the first, then.
GUI - straightforward and obvious what you're doing. I like it.
Features - lots of them. VCA or opto compression - I rarely use the opto compression, but it definitely has a different flavour to VCA - slower and less obvious but good. VCA compression can tame most severe peaks without noticeable artifacts etc. and it seems to be pretty quick when the attack is minimal. M/S mode - again I rarely use it but no doubt has its uses. A brick wall limiter tacked onto the end with -0.1 dB max output so you can use it either as a comp alone/ comp + limiter/ limiter alone. Saturation circuit that can be used alone or in conjunction with the 3 previous options. All the usual a,r,threshold and gain controls. An output AND input booster. Switching for the high/low sections. Pretty well every function you could want in a comp.
Documentation - Absolutley outstanding! Sascha has a separately downloadable tutorial that is over 1.5MB - well worth reading even if you don't use Endorphin. If you're new to compression etc this is an invaluable help.
Presets - not many (5?) but it gives you enough of an idea as to what it can do. Put it as a master insert then load up preset "Loud and Punchy". It may be heavy-handed but you can't fail to be impressed at what it does to your mix - instant gratification and a many-fold increase in quality of any of even your crappier mixes.
Support - Sascha is working commercially now, so there'll be no more updates, but he used to be very available and supportive. Doesn't really need updates as they're good as is.
VFM Absolutely free and several steps above the standard of the usual freebie. Compares well against expensive commercial offerings.
Stability - Never had a crash. Uses around 5-10% CPU on an Athlon 1.1G 512RAM system. Not a particularly small hit for a comp, but when you hear the quality it more than makes up for it.
Sound - the best bit last. A real stunner. The saturation circuit is very subtle (not one of those overdriven grungy affairs) which adds character but doesn't lose any perceived sound quality - it adds that sparkle and warmth that is felt rather than heard. The compression is what I'd call character rather than clinically clean - possibly you may not like its character, but it's difficult to hate. Not one for absolute crystal clarity if that's what you want. Probably the best single band limiter I've heard - you can push it ridiculously hard and it still sounds clean with no nasty clipping heard, and the bonus is you can switch it in or out. The two comp bands are well chosen - my only wish would be to have adjustable x-over - but it's preset. It's chosen to sit well over an entire mix, and it works very well - you can also boost or cut both bands individual output.
Ideal use - a stunning master comp/limiter, that can also work on channels.
My only essential plugin on EVERY track - competes with several 100s$ mastering suites!Read more