Don’t stress, compress.
If you want a better mix, knowing how to use compressors is key. Not every compressor does the same thing. Compressors have personalities!
In fact, you should have several compressors and get to know what each one brings to your mix.
Compressors give you more loudness without clipping. They smooth out peaks and give more punch.
So here are 7 free VST compressors plugins for you. Grab them for either Mac or PC and install them on any DAW.
Add them to your toolkit today and compress your way to success:
1. Rough Rider
By Audio Damage
Audio Damage’s Rough Rider is a modern compressor with a vintage flavour.
Rough Rider is the best for adding pump to rhythmic tracks. It’s not designed for transparency but gives great high impact bite. Drive it to get some extra crunch and warmth.
Adjust the Ratio, Attack, Release times, and Sensitivity and Makeup gain knobs to find your perfect ride.
Download Rough Rider for free here.
By Xfer Records
OTT is a multiband upwards/downwards compressor made by Xfer Records.
It’s an aggressive-style of compression very popular in dubstep and electro productions.
Tweak the knobs to adjust the Depth, Time, In Gain and Out Gain. Play with Highs, Mids and Lows. Adjust the percentages of upwards and downwards compression to your taste.
Download OTT for free here.
3. DCAM Free Comp
What does it do best? It glues together subgroups in your mix. Gluing gives you more punch and definition while also taming your peaks. Nice!
Change the settings for a more extreme creative effect.
Download DCAM Free Comp here.
Acustica’s TAN compressor was modelled from classic analog VCA compressors.
It’s a versatile compressor that gives you a wide range of adjustments.
The TAN compressor has a unique ShMod knob. It allows you to fine-tune the shape of the attack. For all of you precision freaks out there!
Download TAN for free here.
5. SAFE Compressor
The SAFE compressor is part of a unique project. Semantica Audio has one mission: “control your audio effect plug-ins using terms that normal human beings can understand!”
Just type a term into SAFE’s text box (warm, bright, etc.) and the plugin will look for a setting to match it. Add your own words for a particular setting you like.
A dream right?
Download the SAFE Compressor for free here.
6. FR COMP 87
Instead of giving you a limited demo version of their ANALOG87 series, eaReckon made a fully functional free FR COMP 87.
What this plugin does best? Simplicity. The FR COMP 87 has two knobs: threshold and makeup. Choose from three speeds—fast, medium and slow. Or turn on the limiter switch if you need it. Sometimes simple is just better.
Download FR COMP 87 for free here.
MCompressor is a feature-packed, smart compressor.
Fully customize the shape of your graph. Use the smart randomization feature to instantly generate new settings. Use side-chaining to better mix your kick and bass. Even map your MCompressor onto a MIDI controller!
The MCompressor can handle mono, stereo and even 8 channel surround processing—great if you’re mixing for video, film or movies!
Download MCompressor for free here.
Be a Comp Champ
Stock up on these compressors and build a killer virtual effects rack.
Testing lots of compressors and finding the perfect ones for each mixing situation is key.
So download this list, try them out and keep your favorites close.
Make the art of compression part of every DAW session.
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