Which is the best mastering compressor plugin ?
Old 21st February 2012
Gear nut
Retrospekta's Avatar

Originally Posted by sergei_ilyayev View Post
There is a great quote:

"Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality."

In this case the error is in not the path to your knowledge, but the road down to which conclusions you have gathered may make sense on a surface level to you and without regard in researching that of the greater opinion.

And sadly, neither would be the greater opinion as the compressor plugin is not really a compressor. It is more like a transient modulator without an expression of the transients on the opposite side, therefore really negating the secondary purpose of the plugin which can often be more useful than the first in the digital realm.

Thus, you may want to look at a hardware compressor, but only of great quality, now that considerable time has passed and the opportunity to learn from any mistakes on your or other's road can become as evident as before they even existed.
Whew... I am speechless about this level of profoundness within reach of all the lesser beings on here
Old 22nd February 2012
Gear interested

Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
They're very close to the hardware IMO.
Sorry... but IMHO not in the slightest...especially the 2500 IMHO

Soft comp plugs for mastering....
+1 for Softube VCA comp
Old 24th February 2012
Gear interested

Originally Posted by JTGeek View Post
Sorry... but IMHO not in the slightest...especially the 2500 IMHO

Soft comp plugs for mastering....
+1 for Softube VCA comp
Yep, Softube sounds great!
Old 25th February 2012
Registered User

Dear Belgium, that's like answering what's the best move for the retar@ed european leaders to get out of the $hit they're in! Priceless!
Old 25th February 2012
I use the Elysia Alpha master quite often, it`s been my go-to mastering comp for quite some time now.

PSP Oldtimer ME and Vertigo VSC-2 is really good plugs to.
Old 25th February 2012
Lives for gear
ciro's Avatar

Originally Posted by Miboline View Post
I use the Elysia Alpha master quite often, it`s been my go-to mastering comp for quite some time now
I used Elysia Alpha (demo) on an entire project last month as mastering comp and it worked very well (as Veritgo for stems). But I don´t have problems using my "go to" compressors in parallel: DLM 65 , DLM Sidearm or DDMF NY depending of song . Arts Acoustic CL1 is one of the best I tried. Not for everything, of couse.
Old 27th February 2012
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KIDBILL's Avatar

Originally Posted by Thor View Post
I don't know when it will be available, but George Massenburg demonstrated his new multichannel aware compressor at a conference here recently, and it was truly amazing.

Maybe it's just around the corner, maybe it will be another year of tweaking....

Ah! That thing seems to be waited since 2003! Would be nice to discover it now!
Old 13th March 2012
Gear interested
jools100's Avatar

Depends on what I'm mastering but I tend to use Fab Filter Pro-C which is great for adding a bit of punch on the clean / classic settings and then followed by the PSP Vintage Warmer2 just for a bit more overall gentle compression or colour if I require it.
I recently did a blind test on quite a few compressors using the same track, the same amount of compression and at the same perceived level. I realise this is subjective and totally depends on the attack / release times etc but I just did it to see if I was missing out on some great 'vintage' sounding compressor.
I tested a few of the Waves plug ins ie R Comp, V Comp, SSL G series, Fab Filter Pro C, Vintage Warmer2, T Racks Fairchild 670 etc... and what I found was that I don't actually like the sound of a lot of the old style compressors. As a side note - it kind of amuses me that you have these lovely looking vintage style interfaces with bits of paint missing and loads of old style knobs and switches containing descriptions like 'Vintage', 'warm', 'saturation', 'analog' 'valves' all words along with the interfaces that trick you into believing you love the sound, and when you are using them you believe that you do! It’s only when you do a proper comparisson you realise that even though you thought it was adding eveything you wanted to your track it doesn’t actually sound that great IMHO…as also discussed in the first few minutes of the vid here:

Anyway…I have found that I much prefer transparent / clean sounding compressors that I can do what I want with such as the Fab filter, and even the Vintage Warmer2 - which luckily despite it's name still sounds good and if I want to add a bit of colour to the sound I can do this with the multiband / eq settings.
So I was pleased that the Fab Filter and V.Warmer came out top. The T Racks 670 also sounded good if you played with the attack release times - strangely enough on the Warm 670 preset! but I didn't think the default setting sounded that great.
Anyway I realise it's all subjective but there is my input...annoyingly I wanted to test the PSP Old timer again as I didn't think it was that great when I tried it a while back, but because the demo had expired PSP wouldn't let me, which I thought was a bit out of order seeing as I would have actually purchased it had it been nice.
Old 14th March 2012
Gear Nut
12th & Vine's Avatar

DMG Audio's Compassion deserves to be favorably mentioned.

Dave Gamble definitely knows what he's doing.

Good luck!
Old 14th March 2012
Gear interested
jools100's Avatar

Yes, the DMG's compassion looks quite interesting...
Old 3rd May 2012
Gear interested
jools100's Avatar

This is good - check it out and a bargain price also!
DC8C Overview
Old 4th May 2012
Lives for gear
dotl's Avatar

Sonoris Mastering Compressor
Slate Digital FG-X
Old 5th May 2012
Gear maniac
tomasrangel's Avatar

Algorithmix Splitcomp can be a good choice as well. I dont have it, but i heard good things about.
Old 6th May 2012
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
Algorithmix Splitcomp can be a good choice as well. I dont have it, but i heard good things about.
Good choice at that price?
Old 7th May 2012
Gear maniac
tomasrangel's Avatar

I do not know his budget really.
Old 8th May 2012
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Slug1's Avatar
I guess there is mastering and then there is the two buss. Some mixers hate compression on the two buss. I don't think smashing on the two buss is a good thing, but there are some compressors that add flavor on the two buss that to me is pleasing. At first I liked the SSL buss compressor, but the more I use the 2500 the more I like it. Once I learned to balance tilt, knee, attack, and release, I love it. I'm doing mainly hiphop, which needs big bottom and air. the tilt allows me to keep the high end in check without killing the air, but also lets the lows through. And getting the knee, attack, and release together really allows the kick to hit hard. I love this. But at mastering, this mix down will go through my vari mu to add weight without doing a whole lot of other stuff. It also rounds the transients, but again, without killing the air. Those hi hats have to tick, and any crackle in a sample needs to pop. Just my method. May not work for others, but my clients seem to like the combination.
Old 10th May 2012
Gear maniac
mildav's Avatar

+ 1 api 2500
Old 12th May 2012
Gear Head
dreamachine's Avatar

I use sonoris mastering compressor , psp oldtimer is a good alternative.
Old 13th May 2012
Gear nut

brainworx vertigo/api2500/elysia alphacomp
Old 13th May 2012
Gear addict
RedBaaron's Avatar
Originally Posted by Red Mastering View Post
interesting that nobody mention PSP MASTERCOMP
in mastering suite, as a most transparent device Mastercomp
is my choice number one
That's probably my favorite too, although they each have their strengths. PSP is 'transparent', but adds a certain punch that sounds good on almost any source. The same is true of their Vintage Warmer and Xenon Limiter.

Some other contenders for best mastering comp:

Sonalksis 315 (with sidechain) - probably the softest vst comp out there.

Waves SSL - good to add a little high-end definition, very subtle.

KjerHaus Golden Comp - really more of a tracking compressor, but with a soft knee slow attack setting and a moderate ratio, it can be used in the Master chain to great effect. Is the most versatile and overall useful of the bunch, IMO. Also the cheapest.

FabFilterC - Another soft one, and one of the few that is really good at bringing the peaks down (instead of raising the quiet parts up) without introducing distortion.

Waves LinearMb - great for tightening up boomy lows and taming uncontrolled peaks. Should be used sparingly.

Waves API 2500 - can pump and be grabby like a vintage comp, colors the source in a pleasant way, but is very particular about settings.

Waves VComp - The loudest software compressor I've heard. Good for adding a litte mid-forwardness on. Input has to be turned down and Output turned up for this one to be useful.

Voxengo Marquis - big, punchy, versatile, has a sidechain.

Samplitude's Multiband Dynamics - awesome comp, totally different character than the Waves.

Sonnox Dynamics--all of the Sonnox plugs--are very transparent as well. You really don't hear it working at all at moderate settings. Dynamics has a range of features that many comps, especially those modeled after vintage gear, don't have. Their transient modulator is also a nice tool for shaping transients. Can't say that I can even hear what the Oxford Inflator does, after matching pre and post volumes.

They all have different characters, really. You just have to with the one most suited to the sound source.
Old 13th May 2012
Lives for gear
Good to see waves API 2500,the waves pie is awesome as well.

I use uad Fairchild a great deal,talking about character!

There aren't to many bad compressors these days.

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz App
Old 13th May 2012
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Lights's Avatar
Wow. This thread is nearly 4 years old. It's funny to see how much has changed in plugins over the last 4 years.
Old 13th May 2012
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ciro's Avatar

Old 13th May 2012
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Lights's Avatar
Ciro: I have to give you credit for the first compressor in this thread I have *never* heard of!
Old 13th May 2012
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ciro's Avatar

Originally Posted by Lights View Post
Ciro: I have to give you credit for the first compressor in this thread I have *never* heard of!

Serious clean comp, try it

First that doesn´t emulates nothing heh afaik

Old 13th May 2012
Lives for gear
Lights's Avatar
The good: Win x64 and appears to be free
The question: it's a beta "0.4.xxx" and labeled "use at your own risk" -- so has anyone used the x64 VST in Cubase 6?
Old 16th May 2012
Gear Addict
mmarra's Avatar
When I do reach for a digital ITB compressor I usually end up using Magix's Am-munition and/or Elysia Alpha. I like the flexibility these compressors offer plus the transparency...they may not be the most transparent out there but good for my uses.

One comp that I would like to try is the Sonoris Mastering Compressor as it seems to be flexible with many areas to tweak and very transparent.
Old 17th May 2012
Gear Maniac
Soniferous's Avatar

in four years I only see Slate Digital FG-X one time. I like it, it works, the "constant gain monitoring" is a feature that every limiter/expander should have. You can really hear how it is ****ing up your audio, right away, without having to consider how the gain change is making your brain excited or creating some convoluted monitor chain to hear the before and after at the same level.

I have UAD Omni - fully updated, Voxengo Elephant, Waves L2, a bunch of others. I think the FG-X is the easiest to get the results I'm looking for - NOT a master but a "loud reference" of my mix for the client. I offer mastering (and then I tend to vary my limiting/compression a bit depending on the material - of course) but I charge a VERY small amount of money per track and I tell every client that I am NOT a mastering engineer (just a mix engineer who understands mastering) and that if they really care about their record they should go to a REAL mastering engineer - and then I give them the number of a few who I trust who are affordable. Most of the time people take my advice.
Old 17th May 2012
Gear Maniac
Soniferous's Avatar

btw, great thread
Old 17th May 2012
Lives for gear
Lights's Avatar
If we're stretching from compressors to limiters, then you have to include Ozone 5 (which includes both compression and limiting). The limiter in 5 now has transient recovery (similar to what FG-X includes) and combined with the new IRC3 algorithm seems to have leapfrogged the competition. It's character is incredibly tweakable as well.
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