That magic bus compressor is always just around the corner – and when you finally find that one that you click with…WOW.
Could the new TB BusCompressor from the busy plugin developers ToneBoosters be that special someone? A high-quality, transparent dynamics processor with adjustable knee and auto-release functionality suitable for single tracks as well as complex mixes, this beautifully big VST/AU plugin for Windows and OSX could be the honey you’ve always been searching for.
It’s available now for 19.95 Euro, or $23.24 at today’s exchange rates, with a free demo to check out first. Now feast your eyes on the total specs from ToneBoosters:
TB BusCompressor is a very transparent, musical, all-round dynamics processor designed to be able to handle everything from single tracks to complex, full mixes. Even with ultra-short attack and release settings, harmonic distortion is extremely low (often better than -150 dB re FS*), and CPU load is typically below 0.5% (depending on hardware).
*Measured with a 1-kHz sinusoidal test signal sampled at 44.1 kHz, shortest attack and release settings, and dynamic release option set to 100%.
Besides the conventional controls for threshold, ratio, soft knee, attack and release, TB BusCompressor features a variety of controls for tweaking its behaviour. A couple of these features are described below.
Assisted Level Makeup (ALM)
Assisted Level Makeup (ALM) provides support in levelling compressor output with input by adjusting the compressor input-output curve depending on the compressor settings. In many cases, these automatic adjustments should reduce the need to use the manual make-up level.
Hold in cycles
Meet your new secret weapon against intermodulation distortion! TB BusCompressor has the unique feature to set the compressor hold time in cycles rather than in seconds. This dramatically reduces intermodulation distortion even with ultra-fast attack and/or release settings. Expression of the hold time in cycles creates longer hold times at low frequencies (at which one cycle has a long duration) while still having a very fast response at high frequencies.
Engage the High Quality (HQ) mode to increase the oversampling factor of TB BusCompressor for sub-sample accuracy. Rest assured that even with the HQ mode disabled, oversampling will still occur in TB BusCompressor, but enabling the HQ mode will shift the oversampling parameters to the next gear for even more accurate timing.
Hysteresis and adaptive release
Hysteresis and signal-adaptive release provide means to better control the release curve of the compressor. The actual release time is never shorter than the one specified by the release control, but adaptive release and hysteresis can increase the release time in a signal-dependent way. Adaptive release increases the release time if the signal is not quickly dropping in level, ensuring that the gain riding behaviour of the compressor more closely matches the signal envelope. Hysteresis, on the other hand, makes the release time history dependent. If signals in the past were of relatively low level, and the compressor is merely reacting to a short transient, its release will be short to quickly recover from the short transient. If, on the other hand, the signal was consistently loud previously, the compressor will react with a slower release.
The dry/wet mix control has not been forgotten to allow New York style / parallel compression inside the compressor itself. Uniquely to TB compressors, the effective input-output curve is visualized accordingly.
TB BusCompressor can operate in left/right or mid/side mode. In both modes, the amount of linking can be specified from 0 to 100%, and an additional pan knob allows you to adjust the levels going into the compressor.
Noise / harmonic component control
TB BusCompressor’s advanced signal analysis toolset includes the separation of tonal/harmonic and noisy/percussive signals. Therefore, you can control the relative amount of these signal types that the compressor responds to. For example, in a certain situation you might want to compress harmonic instruments present in a mix more than the (noisy) snare drums. The noise control of TB BusCompressor changes the amount of noisy components that the compressor is responding to. A second application for this feature is the compression of vocals. By changing the sensitivity to noisy components, fricatives and sibilants will (relatively) be more compressed, eliminating the need for additional de-essing.