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Reviewed By Rankinator [read all by] on December 9th, 2022
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Mac

Ok, not sure why the previous review received negative 3 thumbs lol, but I assume it was because it was very lacking in details. So here's my in-depth opinion on the compressor.

As you can see I gave it 5 stars. I never review plugins, in fact, this is my first one. No plugin has been so under appreciated or unknown as this gem. This is my go to "stock" compressor plugin. I use it for literally everything. The way it contours vocals is unbelievable. It's extremely transparent when you want it to be and also very shaping and hard. Can be used for rock vocals, acoustic guitars, anything you can think of. I have many compressor plugins, but this one takes the cake for the versatility.

Some of the ways I use it. Set an attack time around 12-20ms and release around 250-350ms for an extremely transparent compressor that really brings up the low level signal without completely squashing the sound. I usually use this in combination with the tube saturation/distortion circuits to really bring mojo and vibe to whatever source I'm working with. For background vocals, I love to distort them a little and really compress them. I'll go with a 0ms attack and a somewhat longer release like 200-300ms compressing around 5-10dB and probably the default 4:1 ratio.

There are two elements to this compressor that make it the best compressor for everyday use. The first is the Mix knob. This isn't like a normal Mix knob, you have -100 which means you hear ONLY what the compressor is actually doing to the signal. This can be handy in multiple ways. First is to actually monitor what the compressor is grabbing onto and what's triggering it. The second is to use it as somewhat of a gate only letting certain sounds above the threshold be audible. In combination with the second best part of the plugin (coming in a second) this -100 Mix feature is indispensable.

The second most brilliant feature of this plugin is the "ADAPTIVE" compression mode. This is the best one I've seen. In fact, it's the only plugin I have that does this correctly. For the longest time I've wanted to compress a signal at ALL levels, not just when it's reaching a threshold. So when the vocal gets quiet, I still want it to be compressing the same number of dB as when it's louder. This keeps the signal more evenly sounding and also preserves dynamics because you're now just setting how many dB the signal is being compressed no matter how loud the signal gets. It's unreal how easy this is to do and how effective it is. You literally just turn on ADAPTIVE and then go into the ADVANCED tab to see the two main controls for this. The GAIN and AMOUNT which to my understanding is like a way of choosing how much of the lower level signal is being treated the same as the louder level signal. Maybe that's not exactly accurate, but when you play with those two settings, you get a very clean and polished sound without having to do hardly anything else except get out of the Advanced tab and readjust your threshold to make sure it's not compressing too much now that it's in Adaptive mode. I use this feature on everything now. It's crazy how good it is and simple to use.

There are actually features in this plugin I still don't fully understand how to use yet because this is a very in-depth compressor if you want it to be and yet extremely simple to get the basics. It's a marvelous plugin and definitely my go to.

THE ONLY ISSUE I have with this plugin is so small it doesn't even really matter. When using it as a VST3 in Studio One, I notice that it resets to the default settings every time you close your session and bring it back up. Annoying, but they also have the AU version which is identical to the VST3, with the exception that it DOESN'T have this flaw which makes it perfect to use. So if you have a Mac, don't use the VST3, at least in Studio One. Use AU. I emailed the developer and they may be fixing it as I received a reply that they were testing it.

Thanks to the team at Maple Syrup Studio for developing such a great plugin. I now want to possibly purchase the WoodenGate plugin. It's on my list of next plugins to buy.