My favorite “bus compressor” is on sale!
My secret-weapon bus compressor is on sale dirt cheap, (30 euros). I’m not gonna lie. There is a steep learning curve here. I spent many hours on various days honing my own version of this plugin, because you can put the modules in any order you want, and they all offer a huge array of options. My signal chain is clipper > compressor > limiter > high frequency limiter. I use Precise quality setting. Insane is, well, insane, and offers diminishing returns in exchange for the life of your CPU. I drive the clipper until it barely notices the input signal. I shave a couple dBs in the compressor and a few in the limiter. Then I shave more or less high frequencies, depending on what sounds good. It’s Pandora’s Box, but with it, I’ve built my own signature bus mastering compressor that outperforms every new “mastering compressor” that hits the market. Some are great and would otherwise have me singing their praises, but this is always better. However, you’ve got to sink your teeth into it. Another great feature is that you can deactivate all but one module, and use these effects on individual tracks. This has also ended up being my bar-none favorite track limiter and soft-clipper. It also occurs to me that I could have used the HF limiter in some tight spots on individual tracks. We’ll I’ve said enough. 30 euros? No-brainer!