New Music Gear Monday: Softube VCA Compressor (It’s Free)

We all love compressors and can’t get enough, even if we already have a similar model. For instance, how many dbx 160-style compressors do you need? Well, one more wouldn’t hurt, especially if it has modern features, and more importantly, is free. That’s what you’ll get with Softube’s VCA Compressor, which is amazingly available at no cost to you for just a limited time.

Softube VCA Compressor

Although the company never comes right out as says that its VCA Compressor is modeled after the classic dbx 160, it’s pretty obvious by its design and sound. The 160 was always a go-to on drums and percussion because of the punch that it would impart, and for the fact that, for better or worse, it had limited parameters to adjust. Here you get the same Threshold and Ratio controls, but they’re also augmented with traditional Attack and Release controls.

Modern Features

That’s not all, there’s a load of modern functions, like a Sidechain input complete with Filter, External gain, and a Punch control. One of the problems with the hardware 160 was that it usually required an EQ after the unit in the signal path since the high end would be attenuated, but here there’s a HF Make-Up switch to take care of that.

Just like on the 160 there’s an Output control, but there’s also an Output Drive adjustment to add a bit more analog warmth, and a Dry/Wet control for a bit of parallel compression. Add to that two VU-style meters, one for input level and one for gain reduction, and you have a dbx 160 that’s brought into the future.

Limited Time Offer

Like I stated in the first paragraph, the Softube VCA Compressor is available for free, but only until March 31st. It’s an introduction to the company’s Compressor Collection, which also features LA-2A-style and 1176-style models. Yes, it’s available for Mac and PC and in all plugin formats.

You can download it and find out more here, or you can watch the video below.


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