You probably read the headline for this post and thought, “Not another compressor plugin,” and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that at first I thought the same thing about Boz Digital Labs’ Manic Compressor. But this plugin has a number of tricks up its sleeve that most compressors don’t have, which makes it worth checking out.
The first is that the compressor has 6 distinct modes: Clean, Sheer, Gritty, Digital, Vintage, and Smooth. Each mode uses a different method of detecting the input signal level and deciding how to respond to it, which gives it a distinctly different character. The individual modes also determine how the standard Attack, Release, Threshold, and Ratio controls work and interact as well.
The next interesting feature is the ability to add parallel compression, but instead of using the now standard Mix control, you’ll find separate Wet and Dry faders (the level of each is indicated underneath the fader transit – a nice touch) along with an overall Master fader. This provides a lot more control than just a mix knob when it comes to balancing the parallel compression, and makes it more like you would if using the channels of a console or DAW.
Another great feature is the Loud Relief control, which allows the compressor to loosen its grip on some of the louder signals
coming in to the plugin. This works really well for allowing some dynamics to come through naturally while still applying heavy amounts of compression. Watch the video below for an excellent example of how it works and why it can be so useful.
Manic Compressor also has an Input Drive paramenter, which controls the input gain to the plugin and provides analog saturation as you increase the gain. A Knee control determines how smooth the gain reduction curve is around the threshold. There’s also a Beef control that changes the way the compressor reacts to the incoming signal. Thick applies a
more hefty compression on higher frequencies, which works well for reducing sibilance in vocals, while Thin lets the compressor crack a little harder.
The compressor also has a the ability to be triggered via a Sidechain, and operate in either stereo, mono, dual mono or MS configurations. There’s also a display that shows the amount of compression being applied to the incoming signal, which also doubles as the display for a wide range of tone controls available as well.
Boz Digital Labs Manic Compressor plugin is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions of wide variety of plug formats for both Mac and PC platforms. The price is $149.
You can find out more about it on the Boz Digital website or in the video below.