Positive Grid’s approach to software development has always been one of innovation and industry firsts. And the California based company is once again leveraging these strengths in its latest software release.
Positive Grid’s Pro Series Studio Plug-Ins are a collection of three classic sounding audio compressors available in VST, RTAS, and AAX Native format, for Mac and PC. These professional level plug-ins take advantage of the company’s expertise in DSP engineering, resulting in them being the world’s first compressor plug-ins with component level modelling and profiling capabilities, allowing for virtually unlimited presets, including famous brand compressors, plus settings from professional studio engineers and producers.
In much the same way that Positive Grid’s Amp Match® technology works in its BIAS software for guitarists, the company says the “unique compression matching works by measuring the dynamic response, pre and post filters, non-linear transformer characteristics, and attack, release, and ratio curves to capture the nuanced sound of any compressor”.
The three compressors include FET, Optical and Tube models, each featuring the unique nuances of these classic models, but with the added ability to tweak settings way beyond the usual attack, release, ratio, and threshold parameters.
The Tube Compressor models both the look and sound characteristics of a classic analogue tube compressor. Swapping out different tubes, transformers, and capacitors, as well as an adjustable bias offers an incredible amount of customisation, from the overall warmth and tonal richness to subtle harmonic differences.
The Optical Compressor emulates the light source circuitry and sound of these popular vintage compressors. Generally speaking, this type of compressor offers the most transparent gain reduction, which is great for controlling levels without altering the character too much. In addition to exchangeable tubes and capacitors there is even an option to adjust the light source type and sensitivity, for even greater fine tuning of the attack and release parameters.
The third plug-in, and my favourite sounding of the bunch, the FET or Field Effect Transistor compressor models the tube emulation of these legendry solid–state compressors. This compressor captures the extra ‘colour’ these models are known for, plus the quick attack time, release time and look ahead function. And of course in addition to that, is the extra component that can be tweaked such as knee width and high and low cut.
It’s also worth mentioning the slick looking high resolution 3D graphics that have been used in these virtual compressors. Everything from the meters and control dials, to the pairs of tubes that glow according to the level of audio, look realistic.
Essentially there is no one compressor that is always right or wrong for the job. When deciding which one to use, it can be as simple as a personal choice, or using one that you’re most familiar with. In the end the more customisation you have at your disposal, the greater power you have to get the desired sound you’re after. And that is ultimately the strongest feature of the Pro Series Studio Plug-Ins. To date there are no equivalent plug-ins offering the same amount of tweakable accessibility.
Whether you end up diving deep into all the various settings each of these compressors offer, or you’re happy just dialling up some of the many presets that Positive Grid says will be available in the not too distant future, this tri of studio quality sound compressors are a welcome addition to any DAWs plug-in library.
For the latest on these plug-ins, head here – http://www.positivegrid.com/pro-series/index.html
The Pro Series Studio Plug-Ins are available from Positive Grid’s online store for $199 US.