This is the compressor I used to really learn how to use a compressor, and it is still a go-to years later.
What makes it such a great compressor for learning and everyday use?
First, the graphic display is a really good depiction of what the compressor is doing, making it easy to visualize the settings as the user dials them in. And when first learning to use a compressor, despite the bleats of "use your ears, man" from the p-nis gallery, I found it very helpful to use the other senses I have available.
Compression can be a subtle thing at first, until one tunes one's ears to be able to hear what it's doing, the actual effect of attack and release times, ratio, threshold, all that. The graphic on MCompressor shows you just what it's doing.
There's also a time graph you can access, but I rarely use it.
The thing's also incredibly versatile, and I'm not even going to qualify that with "for a freebie," because it's way more versatile than most other compressor plug-ins on the market. You can set the RMS length of the detector all the way to peak, set the knee to hard, soft, or linear, and in soft mode, set just how much knee you get.
With such versatile settings of the detector, you can imitate the response of an opto, VCA, FET, etc.
It's great for side-chaining from another channel.
After using it for years and not using it for side-chaining I also discovered that when I pressed "Enable" on the Side-Chain bar, it also enabled high-pass and low-pass pre-filters for the detector, which is great for when you're using it on a drum bus and don't want every kick hit and cymbal crash to pump the compressor.
If I were restricted to using no compressor plug-in but MCompressor (and no EQ but MEqualizer), I could do a respectable job of mixing a song. It might take longer, and it might not sound as slick as it would if I could use my whole goodie bag, but I could get it done.
Download the Free Bundle, use it for free, register it for $49.00 or wait for Meldaproduction to put it on sale for $25.00. It's a bargain at any of those prices. MCompressor alone is a $50 plug-in. To get to use it for free is just nuts.
This is probably the ugliest compressor ever produced but it's the sound that matters right? The big attraction with this plug is that you can draw the compression on a graph. I'd strongly recommend this to anyone who is new to dynamics. It's a good tool for learning.
As usual Melda provide almost no instructions. To get the graph feature to work click "custom shape". This disables several other knobs on the display, namely threshold, ratio, knee and knee shape, so don't bother turning any of these and disregard their values. Note that you can't maximize to 0db either when using the custom shape.
Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you're new to this - depending on your attack time quite a bit of your transient could be escaping before the graph begins to effect the signal.
The line bouncing back and forth horizontally on the graph represents the input level (post the gain knob). The first bar beneath the graph is volume reduction that occurs during compression. The second bar is output level (post the output gain).
This is also a really good plug for doing expansion or other non standard compression.