10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins

20th Feb 2012 | 12:59

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Compress to impress

There’s currently a bewildering choice of vintage compressor models in duplicate, triplicate and more to cover any situation. For this round-up we’ve chosen a broad but select range of classics from a variety of developers.

Analogue-style compressors such as these are really more about results and ‘­flavour’ than specs and features, so we’ll try and highlight which models are suitable for which tasks.

Check out the demos and full reviews (where available) to find out more.

NEXT: Cytomic The Glue

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Cytomic The Glue
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, $99

Based on the ‘80s SSL console centre section buss compressor, this has many more parameters and takes in sonic fashion changes since that time.

Read Cytomic The Glue review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
PSPaudioware oldTimer ME
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, $119

This borrows from the developer’s favourite vintage circuitry designs to create its characteristic warmth. Just as at home mastering as in a tracking session.

Read PSPaudioware oldTimer ME review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Universal Audio dbx 160
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, $199 (UAD hardware required)

An official virtual replica of the original classic VCA-based compressor. A staple on drums, its idiosyncratic non-linearities have been faithfully copied here.

Find out more about Universal Audio dbx 160

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Softube Tube-Tech CL 1B
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, $539 (iLok required)

Models Tube-Tech’s tasty hardware valve compressor. The original is known for its natural control over vocals and acoustic instruments.

Read Softube Tube-Tech CL 1B review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Native Instruments VC 2A
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, €99

The VC 2A is a reproduction of the LA2A, a valve opto-electrical levelling amplifier that’s brilliant at smoothing out vocals and acoustic instruments.

Read Native Instruments VC 2A review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
IK Multimedia Black 76
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, €90

An emulation of the Urei 1176, which is ever-popular because of its all-round performance. Its fast attack and release times make it a favourite for drums.

Read IK Multimedia Black 76 review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
IK Multimedia Model 670
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, €90

Based on the Fairchild 670, a mastering compressor with an attractive musical character. Great as a warm, invisible levelling amplifier on vocals and more.

Find out more aboutIK Multimedia Model 670

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Waves PIE
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, £160

Veteran engineer/producer Eddie Kramer has put his name to this emulation of the Pye solid-state buss compressor. Like others, it’s not just handy on the mix buss.

Read Waves PIE review

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Solid State Logic Duende Bus Compressor
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, £239

SSL ruled the hardware buss compressor world at the turn of the century. This aims to do the same for software.

Find out more about Solid State Logic Duende Bus Compressor

10 great analogue-style compressor VST plug-ins
Softube FET Compressor
PC, Mac/VST, AU, RTAS, $336

The 1176 is probably the most copied of all vintage compressors, and for good reason. Softube take the concept and run with it, adding new features.

Find out more about Softube FET Compressor


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