New Music Gear Monday: RJ Studios MB3X Multi-Band Mastering Compressor Plugin

RJ Studios MB3X compressor plugin image

Multi-band compressors are falling into disuse these days thanks to the rise of dynamic EQs, but there’s always room for a combination processor with a new approach. The RJ Studios MB3X mastering compressor plugin is a combination of a multi-band compressor combined with simple EQ and a peak limiter in one package that could be the perfect fit for your mix buss.

The MB3X is actually a software emulation of the Rocksonics MB3X hardware that was so popular with mixers in the know back in the 90s. This software version operates the same but adds a few additional tricks as well.

The best thing about the MB3X is that it’s simple to operate. There’s a master Threshold control, but you can also tweak the individual bands with trim controls. Although the Mid control works like you’d expect, the Lows/Highs is a bit different. If you turn the control towards the Lows side, it increase the level to that band. Turn it to the Highs and the same happens. There’s a Ratio control that goes from 1:1 to 4:1, and a Fast/Slow Release button. Three sideways meters show the gain reduction for each band.

After that comes an Output control followed by a Lows/Highs EQ that operates like the Lows/Highs threshold control, and a Mid frequency EQ that provides +/- 6dB of gain. Then comes a simple Peak Limiter with a Threshold control and stereo gain reduction meters. That’s followed by an Output Mix control for parallel processing. Simple, right?

A couple of other parameter controls that are easy to overlook at first stand out in practice. On the far left of the UI underneath the On/Out button is an Analogue button that adds a touch of harmonic distortion for added presence to the signal. Under that is a unique “Hilbert” button that  reduces  the  THD  of  the  compressor to inaudible  levels over most of the audio range. One control giveth, the other taketh away.

There’s more. An A/B  memory  recalls  two  different  sets  of  settings (and they’re both saved in memory), and there’s automatic mono/stereo channel switching for reduced CPU load when used on mono tracks in mixing. Finally the MB3X plugin will  operate  in  some  DAWs (such  as  Logic  Pro)  as  a  “dual  mono” plugin so its output can be used with an MS processor.

If you’re looking for a simple buss processor that’s really unique, give the MB3X a try. At only $70, it’s a deal. You can find out more here.

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