FabFilter Pro-C 2 by manifestgtr
One thing I always tell people about Fabfilter is that they're unapologetically digital. In an industry where the term "analog" has been beaten to death, I appreciate this. What you see is what you get: a full featured, great sounding compressor that's equally at home taking half a db off your mix or smashing a parallel chain into dust under 4x oversampling.
The plugin features a litany of compression styles ranging from transparent "Mastering" which clearly aims to keep itself from being heard to "Pumping" which is the direct opposite. You'd be pretty hard pressed to find a style that simply doesn't work for what you're doing. If you insist on thinking in analog terms, yes, you can get 1176 type sounds with "Punch", LA-2A type sounds with "Opto". It's all there. This, coupled with a VERY modest cpu load in the absence of oversampling makes it the quintessential workhorse compressor much in the same way that Pro-Q2 offers itself up for general EQing duties. My one complaint thus far is that the auto-gain doesn't seem to keep the output gain under control too well. I pretty much always find myself adjusting the output gain manually.
Now on to the inevitable "is this worth the upgrade?" issue. Yes and no. On one hand, it's a very worthy upgrade which features a nice sidechaining overhaul, the added features of oversampling, range control, mix control from 0-200% (great for automation purposes), resizing options, full screen, etc and expanded features like new compression styles. On the other, Pro-C is still a VERY good compressor in its own right and I am equally happy working on it. I still use the original Pro-C on my iPad and have yet to find a situation where I find myself saying "man, I really need Pro-C2 for this".
The only thing I really "marked it down" for was "value". This is only because I'm a realist. At the end of the day, it's a somewhat expensive digital compressor. Could you use your DAW's stock comp and get similar results? Of course! This goes for almost any third party processor on the market regardless of what the manufacturer says. We use these plugins because they're easy to work with, easy on the eyes and help make sitting in front of your computer for hours on end a more enjoyable creative process.
The final verdict: Of course it's great. If you're a Fabfilter fan, you were expecting that. No surprises here.