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MultiDynamics [read all reviews]
Reviewed By jontornblom [read all by] on 16th February 2010
Version reviewed: 5.49 on Mac.
Last edited by jontornblom on 16th February 2010.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Multidynamics 5 is a joy to use.

It has all the features I could want in a multiband dynamics processor.

There are a few options for people wishing to find a multiband dynamics processor, and I seriously looked into as many as I could. After working with many extensively, I can say with confidence that WaveArts' contribution has never left me wanting, or wishing that I had x plugin as well.

Pros:

-Extremely easy to use. The GUI is laid out in a most efficient manner. It even accomodates different approaches to adjusting the dynamic response of the bands (knobs, dB vs Hz graph, and dB vs dB graph in top right).

-Great sound! Unlike many MB processors, I have actually never ever felt like I needed to fight with this plugin to get what I want. I just dial it in. The first try is usually exactly sounds like what I was expecting.
Even with 6 bands engaged, the sound is clean. Not 100% transparent, but very nice.

-More than enough features. The minimum attack time being greater than 0, and maximum ratio of 50:1 may make people feel as if it could not be used for multiband limiting, but remember that if you set the lookahead to 1 ms, then set your attack to 1 ms, it's essentially a 0ms attack time(not exactly, but it works well enough to use it in this way). It should not be confused with a multiband brickwall limiter, but it is decent for multiband traditional limiting.

-Crossover slope, and knee options are sensible (if predefined) and very handy for finding the sound you are looking for.

-Rock Solid in terms of stability.

-Vintage/Clean mode are both very nice sounding, very useful, and very well suited to the material that I've used them on.

-Expansion is crucial to the versatility of this plugin, and it is present.

-Hi gain and lo gain is actually preferable IMO to makeup gain and maximum gain reduction controls.

-Ability to add/subtract bands. Consequently, functions quite well as a single band compressor. Use two bands to emulate sidechain filtering.

-GUI does not take up much space, but is not cramped or difficult to read.

-Very efficient CPU consumption.

Cons:

-Lack of a makeup gain may be confusing at first.

-Threshold graph seems a bit clunky.

-Does not feature mid/side decoding/encoding.

Summary:
Love this plugin. Great sound, very well featured, more than worth the money, simple to use, stable. Drawbacks are minimal and disappear with one to two hours of use. If it incorporated mid/side functionality, I would truly feel spoiled.
NYCompressor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By jontornblom [read all by] on 28th January 2010
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Mac.
Last edited by jontornblom on 25th August 2010.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I love checking out plugins. Especially Compressors. The attack and release characteristics of compressors vary a lot from comp to comp, so it's good to know how a wide variety of compressors sound in a variety of situations. I run Snow Leopard, so this review is for the mac AU format.

I stumbled across DDMF and saw that they were 'pay what you want' for the license. Right away this sends alarm bells in you head saying 'it's probably not that good.' Nonetheless, I decided to check it out!

Good thing I did! NYCompressor is great! It yields the best results with the ratio somewhere between 1.10:1 and 2:1, but I've used it on guitars, drums and bass with higher ratios and got nice results as well. I really like how fine you can tune the knobs. At lower settings you can adjust it by 0.01 increments. Very nice!

It's not transparent, but it's got nice character. I wouldn't say it's dirty, but it almost is. That's the best way I can say it. This makes it enjoyable to use on drums or guitar. (I have yet to keep it on a vocal track, though)

The name lets you know right off the bat that it's able to do parallel compression (aka New York Compression). This is really useful to have built into a compressor, and I notice more and more plugins featuring it. Great!

The side chaining is handy and gives you a variety of options for filtering.

On instruments I couldn't be happier. Using it as a bus compressor is pretty good too. The default ratio is 1.56:1, which is a great starting point for this application. I find this compressor works the best with between 1 and 3 db of gain reduction as a bus compressor. After that, you can really tell that it's on the track. But then again, bus compressors should only really be used as lightly as possible anyway.

I actually find the parallel compression of this plugin on the bus to just be alright. Not the best parallel comp for bus compression, but quite decent.

The availability of very fast attack time is nice if you want to do some compressor style limiting. Again, in this field, it was very good, but not great.

One thing that is unique to this compressor, as far as I can tell, is its attack curve. It's very laid back. Most compressors jump down really fast, then gently bring the gain down for 2nd half of the specified attack time. NYComp gently brings the gain down evenly, so transients come through very nicely, and don't feel jumpy.

There are a couple of downsides however.

First, the meters often freeze, which is frustrating at times.

Second, there is no indication on the website (and no reply by email) about what is technically happening inside the plugin. For instance, oversampling is especially important in preventing aliasing distortion in compressor plugins. There is no option for this, and I don't know if it happens automatically. Also, we have no idea what the internal resolution of the plugin is. These are things that would probably prevent someone from wanting to use this plugin in a very important project.

Third, you can't click the GUI to bring it's window to the front. Weird. Probably not that big of a deal, but when you're working hard, it kind of interrupts the workflow.

Fourth, no lookahead feature. This could be implemented with the sidechain, but I find that to be a headache at best. If I want lookahead, I usually use another compressor with the feature already built in.

Other than that, I would like to say that I use NYCompressor often. I have a UAD card, and I use the compressors on that a lot, but still go to NYCompressor a lot. That should speak for itself.

Bottom Line: Great as a track compressor, would be within the first 3 I try as a submix/bus compressor. Parallel compression is easy to do. Fast attack times are handy. Not the best, but pretty darn good. Slightly unsettling lack of statement on internal resolution.

The Real Bottom Line: Almost for sure better than your DAW's stock compressor. At least it's different. At $20, you can't go wrong.

SO:

EDIT: NYCompressor is now $20. Unbelievable deal! Don't be a snob and not buy it just because it's cheap.

EDIT: I have analyzed NYComp using a FFT spectum analyzer, using typical sine wave manipulation techniques. There doesn't appear to be any harmonic distortion due to low processing resolution. Also, the character seems to come from diminishing even order harmonic generation during heavy compression. Since this only happens to a very slight degree (~ -60db of 2nd harmonic in 4 db of compression) it does create a nice, musical thickening of the sound. Comparing this to much more expensive plugins, I have determined little difference in terms of aliasing distortion or excessive harmonic generation during heavy compression.

If you would like to see what a terrible compressor looks like, try putting a sine wave through the AUDynamicsProcessor to about 4 db compression with an FFT...you'll see what I mean. ;) Do the same with any 'expensive' plugin. Then Try NYC