Best Free and Paid Compressor VST plugins of 2023
This article is about the best free and paid compressor VST plugins of 2023 & is helpful for producers looking for a good compressor VST. The relevance of compression in the field of music is quite important. The adjustments of the loudest and the softest spans of audio signals are possible by using a compressor tool. Compression makes the loudest peaks quieter so that they are more relative to the quietest peak.
To make recordings sound professional and radio-ready compressors are used. The use of the compressor should be in such a way that the result of a soundtrack is a balanced tone. But be aware that too much or over-compressing can also be dangerous and will not give our expected results. Choosing the right compressor tool is an extremely important task for better mixdown.
Thus using a compressor is a skill necessary to be acquired for music production, mixing, and mastering.
There are five compressors being used in the music production industry.
Types of Audio Compressors
1. VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) – It actually works as an amplifier, which is a good choice when spikes in the volume are present thus keeping a check on the high or loud voltage. VCA tends to have all the basic compressor parameters (threshold, ratio, attack, and release), which gives more control to fine-tune the music settings.
2. Optical Compressor (or Opto-Compressor) – Controls the gain reduction through the light source. Light travels faster than sound, however, the Opto compressor is relatively slow and smooth. That is because the light source takes some time before its luminosity drops to zero. It results in smooth and clean sound effects without any distortion.
3. FET or “Field Effect Transistor” – This is the most widely used compressor. Not only it is cheap and requires less maintenance, but it also has a unique character. It is aggressive and has a unique colored tone that many professional mix music engineers love.
4. Variable Mu – This compression type is considered the best compressor type of all. The basic working of Variable Mu is, “Greater the signal level, the more will be the compression”. Fairchild is one of the prominent examples of this compression.
Top 10 Audio Compressions of 2023
iZotope Ozone Dynamics
Featured with Al-powered modules iZotope ozone Dynamics is one of the advanced technology built for mastering your tracks with improved features so that you can create your mix finally with full confidence and satisfaction.
- With the Al-powered master assistant, the tone of your songs can easily be matched giving it a hit-and-hard output with the ozone limiter.
- The four audio frequency bands each consisting of separate limiting, compression, and expansion no doubt can add a punch and energy to your master.
- The iZotope Dynamics is a masterpiece that sets a new standard in mastering featured amazing presets and looks, and of course, gives your song the best results for the stability of your creation in the professional sound era.
iZotope Ozone Dynamics is a must-have compression plugin for mastering!!
Fab Filter Pro C2
Fab filter pro C2 is a digital compressor. It has a beautiful interface redesigned with amazing metering and real-time displays to make your workflow more precise and much improved.
- All packed in one it offers eight different programs and up to 4x sampling, auto release, auto gain, and much more.
- An awesome retina interface with an optional animated level knee displays with loudness and accurate peak metering with accuracy.
- With customizable HP and LP filters including a freely adjustable filter the side chain equalizing section can make your workflow too easy.
- The most incredible feature of this is the great full-screen mode by which you can expand the whole interface for a smart and clear view.
- With a stylish way to get your job done the fab filter pro C2 works at its best when applied to lead vocals for upfronting them or if you want to pump up your EDM.
- To ensure zero latency processing you can enable or disable the smooth overhead up to 20ms.
- The fab filter pro c2 works very impressively with the graphical output of the frequencies along with the compressor behavior in the background giving an absolute and clear image of the ongoing sound.
- A great plugin for those who know what they are doing when it comes to compression.All over an unbeatable compressor plugin.
UAD 1176 Compressor
One of the most famous compressors in the world ever made with its three versions RevA, Rev andAE. UAD 1176 is the most popular and widely used limiter in the industry. It represented a breakthrough in limiter technology.
- The UAD 1176 is highly versatile and can be used as a combo likewise you can use it with the LA-2A collection for some magical results.
- The multi-button combinations can be used with hardware in the plugin itself which includes the famous All button sound.
- The ratio of gain reduction can be determined by the four iconic color ratio buttons.
- For a modern workflow, this exclusive plugin features parallel processing and enhanced graphics with improved Vu metering.
- 1176 collection is an industry-standard plugin, a great plugin with incredible sound.
UAD 1176 is A must-have for classic analog compression enthusiasts!!
TRacks Opto Compressor
When it comes to gain reduction, this is the best compressor plugin you can have. This optical compression reduces the gain without any distortion and coloration.
- Due to its transparency, this Opto compressor can be used especially on vocals to make it clean and distortion-free.
- An amazing thing is that the ratio can go to a maximum of 30:1 and the attack can go up to 3ms, which is a lot for an Opto compressor.
- Another significant feature is that you can apply different settings to the mid, side/left, and right selectors.
- It has full latency compensation support with a sampling rate of up to 192kHz.
- It works with both Tracks CS standalone applications and as a plugin and has native compatibility with 64-bit applications and operating systems.
All over it is one of the best optical compressors you should have!!.
T Racks classic compressor
Popularly known as the workhorse, this compressor is designed to give you a sound compared to a classic analog compressor.
- Designed with some unique features this compressor has the side chain HPF control to filter the bass before it goes to the detection circuit.
- It also includes a stereo enhancement control for the adjustment of stereo field width which is very quick and convenient.
- You can add punch and power to your track and even to your mixes with flexibility.
- This compressor can make a big difference in the sound, making it sonically sweet and too easy to use.
A treat for ears and a must-have plugin!!
Waves SSL G bus compressor
One of the best compressors designed to glue up your tracks together and tighten your final mix. The compressor is modeled after the well-known stereo bus compressor found on the solid-state logic 4000G series.
- With the goal of glue compression, this compressor fits the tracks together to hear the mix more precisely.
- Featuring with the gain reduction meter which is fitted to the SSL console range.
- It also includes an autofade for linear fade in/out and an analog switch to turn the emulation on or off.
- This compressor brings a lot of warmth and thickness to your sound when the right settings are applied.
The best deal if you want a perfect glued and punchy final mix.
Slate Digital FG—Mu compressor
A handsome plugin with unique and versatile features including separate knobs for attack and release time with an additional output level adjustment.
- This plugin takes your mix to another level when it comes to sound design with sheer brilliance through the tube gear.
- This gives you an experience of an open beautiful sound with its tube circuit path modeling.
- It’s an amazing sound compressor for making your mix warm, rich, and aggressive.
- Apart from the FG grey or red FG-Mu compressor work automatically on everything without applying manual compression when passing through it with upper mid-range enhancement, pumping up the cymbals and snares creating a muddy mix richer moreover giving an extraordinary tune to your creation.
- All over it would be an impressive addition to your library in your compressor world.
- Fairchild is one of the legendary compressor plugins with unique features and controls since the early 1950s with the invention of 660 and 670.
- These 20-tube,14 transformers, 67-pound behemoths toured first-class studios, many of which preserve their vintage Fairchild.
- Now the karaoke and live music sections of your vocal tracks, drum bus, and entire mix can take advantage of the world’s most accurate plugin recreations of distinctive compressors with the Fairchild tube limiter plugin collection for UAD 2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.
- For adding a gritting compression the headroom control is wonderful it also features a mix knob for dry/wet control and provides a way to parallel compression and side-chain filtering, this plugin can certainly add tonal character and weight to your mix.
- It’s the best companion to the LA-2A and 1176 collections.
This plugin produces great-quality sound at an affordable price.
Sonible Smart Compressor – bEST
Sonible smart Comp is one of the most intelligent compressor plugins ever. In other words, this compressor is a time saver too.
Price: 79,00 €
- Featured with a lot of creative tools it automatically gives you the best results when applied to an instrument, a bus, or to an entire mix.
- A much pretty design the compressor covers the top half of the compressor with its settings and the bottom half with the spectral compressor along with side chain and gain controls.
- Spectral compression is a great feature that gives a good clarity level and shape to the stuff. It also includes a high sensitivity level from 0 to 150% for shaping the right sound for you.
- Another mind-blowing feature is the incredible side chain ducking with which you can easily change one instrument to another and can also set the range of the frequencies with the use of filters with a controllable knob for ducking.
With its sophistication, sonible smart compressor is one of the best side chain compressors in the market to date.
TDR kotelnikov compressor
TDR Kotelnikov is a wideband dynamics processor combining high resolution with dynamic audio customization. It is a descendant of TDR Feedback Compressor, the widely regarded family of products.
- Kotelnikov has acquired distinct design characteristics, including a crest factor-based control scheme, individual release control for peak and RMS content, an intuitive user interface, and expert operating systems. Physicists find the notion to be innovative in that it avoids copying existing devices.
- With a signature best described as silent, Kotelnikov is effective at pulling frames by large amounts while maintaining the original sound quality, timbre, and pop of a signature. As a result, it is ideal for
- stereo bus compression as well as other crucial applications.
- Featuring with stereo utilization options which are optimized on the stereo bus. Also includes the delta preview mode and automatic stop mode with latency compensation and click-free bypass processing.
- A scaled interface from 100-150 pixels.
This compressor plugin is free and easy to use for experiencing a great sound on drums etc and even on the master bus.
Thanks for reading! These were the best free and paid Compressor VST plugins of 2023. You should choose your compressor plugins according to the type of music you produce, the character, and of course, the budget as well. We will come back with more amazing posts. In the meantime, make sure to check out our other articles as well.