I think we’ve finally run out of vintage gear to digitally emulate, so developers are now forced to think beyond the analog sound that fewer engineers and producers seem to care about anymore. Thankfully that revolution started a few years ago, and now we’re really starting to see plugins that think way outside the box. The new Rubber Band Compressor plugin from Mixland is one of those new-breed plugins that look at processing in different and refreshing way.
Snap That Rubber Band
The Rubber Brand Compressor is the brainchild of Grammy-Award-winning mixer/engineer Jess Ray Ernster (known for his work with Doja Cat, Kanye West, and Burna Boy) coupled with the technical prowess of Kiive Audio’s Eddie Lucciola. It’s basically a VCA-style compressor that simulates the compression effects and physical response of pushing an audio signal into a theoretical rubber band. The signal pulls the rubber band and then snaps back based on the tension, timing, and amount chosen by the user.
The display is totally unique, featuring a pair of adjustable hands that pull the rubber band tighter or looser. There are 3 different tension positions of the rubber band (selected by the large Tension control in the center of the UI) that represent the amount of gain reduction, although it’s best not to think in those terms when using this plugin. The Snap knob is basically a threshold control (again, best not to think about what it is) which determines how hard you want the theoretical rubber band to be pulled.
Some Of The Expected As Well
Like other compressors there are also Attack and Release controls, but also a Crunch control to add color, a Tilt control that adds a bit of modeled tube-style high and low shelve EQ, and a Weight button that adds some of the low end back (VCA compressors notoriously lose a bit of bottom when inserted in the signal path).
There’s also a Mix control for some parallel compression, an Output control, and a bypass-able Auto Makeup gain option.
You’d think that something so different would take some time to figure out but it’s actually dead easy and a brilliant way to think about compression. It’s also very musical and seems capable of working well on a wide variety of mix elements.
The Rubber Band Compressor has an introductory price of just $19.99 that lasts through November. It’s available in AAX, VST, and AU formats for use on both Windows and Mac in the DAW of your choice.
You can find out more here, or watch the video below.