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Rough Rider is a modern compressor with a bit of "vintage"-style bite and a uniquely warm sound. Perfect for adding compression effects to your drum buss, it also sounds great with synth bass, clean guitar, and backing vocals. Definitely not an all-purpose compressor, Rough Rider is at its best when used to add pump to rhythmic tracks. Of course, you can use it however you'd like. The Compressor Police aren't gonna come to your house and give you a citation. Slap it on a track and crank some knobs.
The front panel layout is done the same as many hardware compressors, so it will be immediately obvious how to use it. A brief overview of the controls:
Rough Rider is miles away from being a "clean" compressor that you want to use on every project. It's more like an "experimental" compressor suitable for "mashing shit up".
So here's some stuff you were dying to know:
* It has a really sexy GUI. Seriously, this is one of the best-looking GUI's I've ever seen on a compressor. I wish this was something I wanted to use a lot because it sure is hot.
* Not sure if it's on purpose but the plug rolls off frequencies above 10hz. Even when it's not compressing at all. If you were even remotely thinking about using this in any "normal" way you may as well stop now.
* I would prefer numbers. Does that mean I'm not hardcore? Ratio is 1 to 1000 logarithmic. Attack sounds like it goes right down to microseconds. Release seems to have a pretty standard range (1ms-1s?) Sensitivity aka threshold goes down to -60db. Of course you don't really need to know what anything does at all. Just turn the knobs. Audio gets mashed.
* The GR gauge isn't the best ever but it strikes me as fairly accurate. The range is 30db so each one of those thin lines is 1db.
* There's a hardclip on the output at 0db. Generally not something you want in a compressor. But it helps to create some crunchy effects.
* The "active" switch is actually a wet/dry variable that you can alter within your daw. This is one of the most useful parameters. Why can't I change it on the GUI? Seems like a bad decision to hide it behind a switch.
*The dry signal bypasses the makeup and the hardclip. I find this a good arrangement. Unfortunately the gauge measures the gain reduction across the wet/dry. I find this counterintuitive and atypical for compressors.
In conclusion: It would be a big mistake to try and use Rough Rider all over your tracks like a "normal" compressor. In fact I'm not sure it belongs in the compressor category at all. It might sit more comfortably alongside distortion plugs. Also I don't think Rough Rider is really a great example of what Audio Damage do. If you don't like this plug you should check out some of their others regardless.Read Review