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Pro-C 2

Dynamics (Compressor / Limiter) Plugin by FabFilter
Pro-C 2
Favorite Dynamics - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023Favorite Dynamics Virtual Effect Processor - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2021Favorite Dynamics Virtual Effect Processor - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2019
Pro-C 2 by FabFilter is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an AAX Plugin and a CLAP Plugin.
32-bit: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP
64-bit: Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista (x64)
VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
macOS 10.12 or higher (64-bit only)
AU or VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
Intel or Apple Silicon processor
Copy Protection
Serial Number
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
829 KVR members have added Pro-C 2 to 484 My KVR groups 1001 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+484 in private groups

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FabFilter Pro-C 2 is a major update to the FabFilter Pro-C compressor plug-in. Five brand-new compression styles make Pro-C 2 even easier to set up and more effective in common scenarios such as vocal processing, mastering or EDM pumping. It's like getting five new compressors. Together with an abundance of new features, such as lookahead, range, hold, side-chain EQ, oversampling, and a fully redesigned user interface, FabFilter Pro-C 2 surpasses its predecessor in every way while respecting the original's transparency and elegance.

Compress with style

FabFilter Pro-C 2 introduces five new, carefully designed compressor algorithms, each with a unique character and feel. Using the Vocal style, getting a lead vocal upfront in your mix is as easy as choosing the right threshold. The Mastering style is designed to be as transparent as possible, while still being able to catch those fast transients. To add a pleasant 'glue' to drums or mix buses, the Bus style will work wonders. Finally, the Punch style delivers traditional, analog-like compression behavior, which sounds good on anything, while the Pumping algorithm offers deep and over-the-top pumping — great for drum processing or EDM.

All you need

A rich set of new features offers more control over the compressor's sound and character. The knee is now freely adjustable from 0 dB up to 72 dB, and the range setting lets you easily limit the maximum amount of gain change. The smooth lookahead (up to 20 ms) and hold settings help you to catch any peak while minimizing distortion. The optional high-quality oversampling (up to 4x) further ensures the most transparent results possible by reducing aliasing. Last but not least, advanced side-chain EQ'ing and M/S processing is easier than ever thanks to Pro-C 2's dedicated side-chain section.

Redesigned interface

The well laid-out, fully-redesigned Retina interface offers insightful metering with real-time displays that will greatly improve workflow. The large animated level/knee display visualizes exactly when, why and how compression is applied to incoming audio. Accurate level meters show the exact peak and loudness values, while the circular side-chain input meter turns finding the perfect threshold setting into a trivial task. In short, FabFilter Pro-C 2 wraps superb sound quality and an extensive feature set in a polished, time-saving user interface.

Key features:

  • Eight different compression styles, of which five are new in version 2: Vocal, Mastering, Bus, Punch and Pumping.
  • Remarkable Retina interface, with (optional) animated level knee displays and accurate peak/loudness metering.
  • Side-chain EQ section, with customizable HP and LP filters, plus an additional freely adjustable filter.
  • Program-dependent attack and release curves.
  • Smooth Lookahead (up to 20 ms), which can be enabled/disabled to ensure zero-latency processing.
  • Intelligent Auto Gain.
  • Hold (up to 500 ms).
  • Custom Knee, variable from hard knee to a 72 dB soft knee (to enable saturation-like effects).
  • Auto Release.
  • Up to 4x Oversampling.
  • Variable stereo linking and mid/side processing, with mid-only, side-only, M > S and S > M processing.
  • Audition Triggering option, which enables users to hear on which parts of the audio Pro-C 2 is triggering and how much compression is being applied.
  • Multiple interface sizes (Small, Medium and Large), plus Full Screen mode, offering a large level display and side-chain EQ controller.
  • Range setting, which limits the maximum applied gain change.
  • Mix setting, which scales the gain change from 0% to 200%.
  • Accurate, large level and gain meters, with peak and loudness level visualization (which complies with the Momentary mode of the EBU R128 / ITU-R 1770 standards).
  • Retina support on OS X and High DPI support on Windows.
  • External side-chain triggering.
  • GPU-powered graphics acceleration.
  • Optional MIDI triggering.
  • Supports common Pro Tools hardware control surfaces.

{See video at top of page}



Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 2 reviews
Pro-C 2

Reviewed By oskroskroskr [all]
April 14th, 2014
Version reviewed: 1.23 32b on Mac

Ok, so I've just been messing around with the FF Pro-C and thought you should be subjected to a whole lot of my ideas and opinions.

*It's got a graph!!! Yep that's right a graph that shows gain reduction over time as well as the input and output waveforms. I believe the Pro-C was the first ever compressor to do something like this. If you're a total compressor noob you can use this to get your head around concepts like attack and release. However the implementation is not great. The GR is pale pink, the input is pale white and the output is pale yellow. It's a horrible choice of colours. To make matters worse, when you click "expert", the graph slides away to the left and becomes mostly obscured. Not exactly a clever design. Compare this to the huge, very legible graphs you get on the Pro-L and Pro-G. (These were produced subseqently to the Pro-C so I guess they learned from their mistakes).

*FF make a big deal about this being "program dependent". What does that mean? Well it means that rather than responding to a fixed value, the attack and release times vary somewhat depending on other variables such as frequency and duration. Maybe I'm not nerdy enough to care about any of this. I switched back and forth between the clean, feedback and opto modes to examine the differences (using drum loops). At normal GR (ie -5db) they all sounded the same to me. You also have the option of using an "automatic" release, but again I don't really see the point.

*The wet/dry option is implemented as two separate volume knobs. This makes it slow and clumsy to do parallel compression. You can however pan the dry signal to the left, right, mid, sides, etc. I tried it out and it does sound interesting in some situations.

*The sidechain option suffers from a similar problem. Instead of having a single pan and gain you get two pans and two gains. I really can't imagine ever needing this, and if I did I could employ it directly in the daw.

*The attack starts at 0.5ms and the release at 50ms. This makes the Pro-C slow compared to other compressors and totally inadequate for some applications. It might be well suited to long accoustic tracks where the volume wanders considerably.

*I think the Pro-C bears more than a small resemblance to the native ableton compressor. They both aim for transparency and do opto and feedback emulations. And from Ableton 9 they both have graphs. Is Ableton copying Fab Filter?

*It would be nice to have a clean bypass button on the gui.

Conclusion: This one could be a good choice for vocals or accoustic recordings with a meandering volume. Maybe try it on jazz or classical. There's nothing special here for EDM producers.

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Pro-C 2

Reviewed By bduffy [all]
March 2nd, 2008
Version reviewed: 1.10 on Windows

I'm quite surprised there aren't more reviews of this yet; I'm a little honoured to be the first, as I feel this is arguably one of the best software compressors available right now.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when FabFilter announced they had released a compressor. Now at this point I already had my fair share of compressors, but I was curious to see what a company with a reputation for ultra-high quality plug-ins would put out, so I downloaded the demo and got to it.

First, the GUI is striking both in its beauty and simplicity (much like their other offerings!): the colour choices complement each other and provide plenty of contrast, and the over-sized dials beckon to be tweaked. But what is really interesting here is the variety of ways the user can witness realtime feedback of the compression transfer curve, peak reduction and sidechaining. While we've all seen the transfer curve before, and I can think of one or two older plugins that attempt to show the effect on the peaks via a waveform display, I had never seen a display that shows the compressor "dipping down" over the peaks, showing you when and how it's compressing; you will see little dips on the top flatline when gain reduction occurs, and if you increase the attack, you can see how the GR happens more slowly, i.e. the dip indents to the right. This makes it valuable both for experienced tweakers and beginners, who may benefit from the extra visual representation (compression is often one of the hardest concepts to learn!).

Next I noticed an "Expert" button; click this, and amazingly the whole waveform display animates and slides "underneath" the transfer curve, revealing sidechaining options and sliders for the pass filter. Again: clear and clever graphical representation, with plenty of options, which we'll get back to.

The larger knobs above are all familiar paramaters: Attack; Release; Threshold; Ration, etc; plus a soft/hard knee switch, three types of compression characteristics and even a dry/wet knob, which I love. With all these options, I couldn't wait to hear it, so let's go!

Even with the default setting, I notice a pleasing response on my drum loop; the transients are punching through, the decay has been extended a bit and the peaks are under control. The more I experiment with more dramatic ratios and settings, the more I like it; this unit reaks of quality, and I know I'm getting hooked by the second! I try the different characteristics, and I can hear differences between them ("Classic" seems to have a softer attack, for instance), but I can't decide which I like best! Everyone wins!

And with the Dry/Wet knob, you can smash the hell out of the signal, but use the mix knob to dial the dry signal back in, New York-style! I found driving the input wasn't that great for this, relying on the threshold and ratio gave better crushed results. ;)

(Another great note about the interface: when you pause over any element, a rather adorable little word ballon will appear and explain the object in question; again, extremely useful, especially for beginners and people looking for further explanation of the Pro-C ethos.)

I then poked around with the presets, of which there are many - categorized by style (nice!) - and I even noticed "bM" after most of the presets; I wondered: is that our "bManic"!?! Sure enough, it was. He was a beta-tester and preset-maker, and could explain why this plugin felt like it was made for the KVR crowd; I really felt like someone was listening to me (like that time you were at the AC/DC show, and you felt like they were playing for YOU..yeah, you KNOW what I'm talkin' about!), and that's reflected in Pro-C; it's made by a discerning small company for the discerning few (although I think everyone should have one, of course!). My point is: the presets are excellent starting points, and very useful for slobs like me who don't spend a lot of time with things like M/S processing; and the presets help demonstrate the strengths of FabFilter's design.

The Help file is perfectly well-written and laid out, I'm glad they used a cfm-style Help, I prefer that to launching a page. Not that I've had to use the Help File much, if at all; the interface is all there, and having direct access to bManic and the developers makes it almost uncessary. But it's there for those who need it.

Support has been friendly and excellent. I submitted a request for A/B, and not only was it met with enthusiasm, it's there now in the 1.1 release, along with (!) Undo/Redo. Amazing.

Now, this compressor is not cheap. At $199, it's near the top of VST compressors, but I must be clear that it's near the top in terms of sound, quality, GUI & support. This is a full package, the "real deal"; and I did not hesitate to pull out my credit card for this. I would warn anyone who is serious about compressors to check this out immediately; one my proudest purchases. :D
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Comments & Discussion for FabFilter Pro-C 2

Discussion: Active



11 January 2017 at 5:44am

I just came back here to check out my review of the Pro-C. Come on - only 3 out of 8 people found that useful?

I've recently been messing around with the Pro-C2. I have to say it is a BIG improvement on the predecessor. There is a peak hold, a range, a lookahead, oversampling, a wet/dry knob, a much improved sidechain section, and a much improved graph. There's also a little button that allows you to gate the audio below the threshold and allows you to only hear what is therefore triggering the compressor (I haven't seen a function like this anywhere before).

I'm still of the feeling that there are probably too many styles that potentially sound identical - ie the opto/ bus/punch/pump/clean modes all sound pretty darn similar when operating in a normal range.

Also I think the mid/side switch in the sidechain section is a vast improvement. If you push that little bar over to the mid (etc) button you will only compress the mid channel. Great but you can't boost the mid volume only without messing with some other knobs in a different area of the gui. Essentially there's three different knobby things in different areas of the gui that control the wet/dry/mid/side. Maybe this could all somehow be bundled up together into one easy knobby thing. Or maybe there's no easy way of doing it.

Thanks and good work FF. :-)

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