My Fav 5: Software Compressors
1. Millenia TCL-2
i love this one for vocals because of how fast it can be. Definitely tames those transients in a transparent way. TT circuit gives your signal a bit of crunch and realism. Definitely my favorite “first” compressor on vocals.
2. UAD Teletronix LA-2A
This is probably my favorite compressor of them all. I love this one on bass, synths and as my “second” compressor in my vocal chain. The tube characteristic of this one makes it perfect for getting your signal to be consistent. Not the best for transient heavy instruments but perfect for evening out a signal.
3. Izotope Dynamics
I love this compressor for its versatility. This one is a jack of all trades. You can make it have a more laidback, optical feel. Or crank it to behave like a VCA and everything in between. The visual feedback of this one is probably a crutch but I love it! Another welcome feature is the limiter making this one killer on vocals and bass. Compete with parallel/wet and dry controls.
4. Waves MV2
This beauty is a great one to have in your toolbox when you are working with pop vocals or hip hop. The high level control brings up the main signal and the low level control brings up the the lower characteristics of a performance. Meaning the breathes, etc. Those elements that can relay emotion in a performance. And the overall knob acts as a limiter without audible effects of compression.
5. Digidesign Dynamics III- Compressor
Last on my list is the stock Digidesign compressor in Pro Tools software. I use this one to quickly tame peaks and heighten emotion in hip hop vocals. The added key input makes it easy for me to use this one on instruments such as bass and have it keyed by a kick or something. This is an overall versatile compressor and it’s a shame only pro tools users have it at their disposal.