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Lsr Audio VLB525

LSR Audio VLB525

4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 1 Review

This is an unusual and somewhat eccentric plugin that models a less well known API FET comp from the 70s.

29th January 2016

LSR Audio VLB525 by PB+J

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Lsr Audio VLB525

Though it has limited and unusual controls it has a lot of "heft" and density and can get very "smacky." It's an impressive plugin especially on bass and drums, but it's somewhat limited.

LSR Audio is a somewhat mysterious (to me) company from somewhere I think in Eastern Europe. They make a line of their own plugins and also lately they have coded the Lindell series of plugins, which are quite good.

The VLB525 is available for windows and mac, 64 bit AU, VST, and AAX, 23 bit RTAS.

Demo is available and works by interrupting sound periodically

Cost: $125

So this is a great sounding comp. One of the things I like to find in a plugin comp is something like weight or density or "heft." This comp really delivers in that department. The audio has a very solid feel, for want of a better term. it also is quite an aggressive compressor--or at least for me, it works very well when set aggressively. I love it on electric bass especially.

The plugin has an API "look" though it's not an exact copy of the hardware. (note: I've never used the hardware comp on which this is based and so have zero opinion about how close it is to the hardware) The controls are a little unusual. On the left side there's an input control, controlling input level, and an output control, and then there's a big knob Labeled "ceiling" which functions like a threshold control, except that it also rides gain to keep the output constant. There are limited controls for ratio and release. Release is controlled by two buttons which offer four settings. All off = 01. seconds, button 1 pushed equal .5, button 2 = . 2.5, 1+2 together equals 2 seconds. There's a DS setting for, yes, d-essing. That's an odd feature set and it's equally odd over on the "ratio" side, which is labeled "mode." Here you have button "C", 2.1 ratio, and then button "L" a limiter with a 20:1 ratio. Then there's is "off," which bypasses gain reduction but keeps the transformer modeling active. That's it

On the right side there is a single large knob for "attack," which has a default setting at 9 o'clock. The hardware comp does not have a variable attack ratio, but the plugin does.

There is a stereo link knob, which controls how the comp works on a stereo track, and a wet/dry knob, and then there is a calibration knob--which is very important to the plugin's operation and sets how much saturation it adds as well as how intense the gain reduction can be.

Then there is a small knob which controls what kind of line noise you add: Euro-style 50 hz or all-ammurican 60 cycle hum for gun totin' patriots.

So again: It sounds great, especially on bass and drums, things you want to have density and impact. It's a very effective plugin. The controls are a little odd but the have worked well for me on bass and drums. It's a little on the pricey side for what I think is not a "do it all" compressor plug, but I use it a lot and have never regretted the purchase. Demo it, slap it on a bass track, and I think you will hear what I'm talking about. I don't think the number rating system is fair here: it's really great at what it does well, but it's somewhat limited for other uses

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