Home Tech 10 Best Compressor VST plugins in 2024
10 Best Compressor VST plugins in 2024
best compressor vst plugins
image credits: fabfilter

10 Best Compressor VST plugins in 2024

Home Tech 10 Best Compressor VST plugins in 2024

Compressor VST plugins have become an indispensable tool in the modern music production landscape. As the global music production software market continues its upward trajectory, projected to reach a staggering $1.7 billion by 2030, the demand for high-quality plugins shows no signs of slowing down. Compressor plugins, in particular, have emerged as a go-to solution for producers worldwide, with over 70% incorporating them into their workflow. It’s hard to find a music producer who denies the fact that using compressor plugins has significantly improved the overall quality of their productions. In 2024, the quest for the best compressor VST plugins has become more intense than ever, as producers strive to elevate their mixes and achieve professional-grade results.

What is the difference between compression and multi-band compression?

Compression is the demonstration of diminishing the dynamic scope of a sound source to make the normal volume stronger. Compression can shape sounds, change their tone, control drifters, and make sounds stronger by diminishing the most intense levels and intensifying the calmest levels. A more advanced form of compression is multiband compression which cleaves the frequency spectrum toward separate bands. This permits a more extended assault time for the low band of that bass drum to punch through while keeping a shorter assault time in a higher band to hold the mid-range frequencies under wraps. The advantages of multiband compression are perpetual. The best way to find out what multiband compression can really make is to start working with some of the this-kind-of plugins.

We have prepared a list of ten of the best compressor VST plugins including some multiband compression VSTs as well, and all of them are listed and described below!

TOP 10 Compressor VST Plugins

  1. FabFilter Pro-MB
  2. BABY Audio IHNY-2
  3. Waves C6 Multiband Compressor
  4. API 2500 Bus Compressor
  5. iZotope Neutron 4
  6. SSL G-Master Buss Compressor
  7. Brainworx Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A
  8. Waves CLA2A
  9. Waves R-Comp
  10. Soundtoys Devil-Loc Deluxe

FabFilter Pro-MB

The FabFilter Pro-MB is a multiband compressor/expander plugin that has garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative features, exceptional sound quality, and user-friendly interface. Praised for its ability to tackle diverse audio challenges while maintaining transparency, Pro-MB stands out as a versatile and indispensable tool in the world of audio production.

Key Features:

  1. Dynamic Phase technology for smooth, clear sound without phase issues
  2. Intuitive and visually appealing user interface for easy navigation and control
  3. Dynamic Phase Filtering for combining benefits of minimum-phase and linear-phase filtering
  4. Versatile application in managing sibilant vocals, addressing poorly recorded instruments, and refining problematic mixes
  5. Transparent sound quality and effective audio processing capabilities
  6. Innovative elements that enhance performance and set it apart from other multiband processors

Current Market Price: $169


fabfilter pro mb (1)
Image credits: FabFilter

BABY Audio IHNY -2

IHNY-2 is a no-holds-barred compressor designed to inject raw power and intensity into your tracks. Inspired by the gritty character of vintage hardware compressors, IHNY-2 delivers an uncompromising parallel compression setup, enabling you to seamlessly blend a heavily squashed duplicate signal with your original track. Whether you’re aiming for thunderous drums, earth-shattering basslines, or an overall mix that demands attention, IHNY-2 is your secret weapon for achieving maximum sonic impact. Baby Audio plugins are known for quality and ease of use. IHNY-2 is a great option for beginners and professionals alike for quick and precise results. One of the best parallel compressor VST plugins on the market.

Key Features:

  1. Dedicated parallel compression configuration
  2. XY pad for quick and intuitive control
  3. Expanded controls for precise shaping
  4. Attack, Release, Ratio, and Punch controls
  5. Harmonic saturation based on gain reduction
  6. Smiley EQ curve for enhanced presence
  7. Tilt control for frequency-dependent compression
  8. Low and High-frequency preservation

Current Market Price: $79


baby audio ihny 2
Image credits: BABY Audio

Waves C6 Multiband Compressor

The Waves C6 is a versatile multiband compressor that offers comprehensive control over the dynamics of your audio across multiple frequency bands. While often compared to the acclaimed FabFilter Pro-MB, C6 presents its own unique strengths. With an intuitive interface and flexible feature set, it empowers users to shape and refine their audio with surgical precision, making it a go-to tool for mixing, mastering, and dynamic equalization tasks.

Key Features:

  1. Independent compression and dynamic EQ for up to 6 frequency bands
  2. Flexible crossover settings for band separation and overlapping
  3. External sidechain input for ducking and de-essing applications
  4. Mid/Side processing capabilities
  5. Advanced compression controls including knee, range, and auto-release
  6. Versatile for mixing, mastering, and dynamic equalization needs

Current Market Price: $59.99


waves c6 multiband
Image credits: Waves

Universal Audio API 2500 Bus compressor

The API 2500 Bus Compressor plugin is a highly sought-after tool that captures the unique sonic characteristics of the iconic hardware unit. Praised for its ability to add punch, energy, and movement to stereo mixes and subgroups, this plugin has become a go-to choice for audio engineers seeking to enhance their mixes with a distinct analog flavor. One of the best compressor VST plugins with an analog touch.

Key Features:

  1. Accurately models the iconic API 2500 Bus Compressor hardware
  2. Adjustable sonic qualities for modifying punch and tone
  3. Adds energy, movement, and analog warmth to stereo mixes and subgroups
  4. Versatile for shaping and enhancing a wide range of audio material
  5. Sought-after sonic signature distinct from other compressor plugins
  6. Delivers the unique sound-shaping capabilities of the original hardware unit

Current Market Price: $149


api 2500 bus compressor
Image credits: Universal Audio

iZotope Neutron 4

iZotope Neutron 4 is a compressor VST plugin that harnesses the power of AI to provide an efficient and intuitive mixing experience. With its intelligent Assistant view, Neutron 4 analyzes tracks, offers suggestions, and helps users achieve their desired sound faster than ever before. This innovative software also boasts features like reference matching, auto-unmasking, Trash distortion, and Punch compression mode, expanding creative possibilities while enhancing clarity and dynamics.

Key Features:

  1. AI-powered Assistant view for streamlined, intelligent mixing
  2. Reference matching and auto-unmasking for tonal balance and clarity
  3. Trash distortion and Punch compression mode for added character and impact
  4. User-friendly interface suitable for beginners and experienced professionals
  5. Compatibility with popular DAWs and affordable pricing options

Current Market Price: $127


izotope neutron 4
Image credits: iZotope

SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

The SSL G Series Buss Compressor is a legendary VST plugin that has become a staple in professional mixing and mastering workflows. Renowned for its ability to add punch, power, and cohesion to mixes, this iconic compressor has captured the hearts of audio professionals worldwide with its smooth and satisfying sound.

Key Features:

  1. Accurately emulates the iconic sound of the original SSL G Series hardware
  2. Enhances mixes with a bigger, more powerful, and cohesive sound
  3. Adds smoothness, punch, and glue to mixes for a professional finish
  4. Offered by various developers like Waves, UAD, and Cytomic, with unique sonic characteristics
  5. Highly sought after for its effectiveness in mixing and mastering
  6. Provides exceptional value for money, especially with sales and bundle offers

Current Market Price: $29.99


ssl g series buss compressor
Image credits: Waves

Brainworx Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A is a true masterpiece in the world of mastering-grade compression. With only 50 exclusive hardware units ever produced, this analog gem represents the pinnacle of compression technology. The plugin version brilliantly captures the essence of the original through Tolerance Modeling Technology (TMT), faithfully replicating the hardware’s warmth, character, and coveted sonic qualities. The Class A version clocks in roughly 1-3 dB hotter, delivering a thicker and richer tone as compared to the older version.

Key Features:

  1. Authentic emulation of the ultra-rare and powerful analog hardware
  2. Tolerance Modeling Technology (TMT) for precise hardware modeling
  3. Dual compressor design for versatile dynamics control
  4. Optical and discrete stages for transparent yet impactful compression
  5. Iconic design with distinctive green LEDs and legendary status
  6. Revered for imparting mojo, punch, and smoothness to mixes and masters

Current Market Price: $328.00


shadow hills class a
Image credits: Brainworx

Waves CLA – 2A

The Waves CLA-2A plugin, meticulously designed in collaboration with acclaimed mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge, is a faithful emulation of the iconic LA-2A optical compressor. Capturing the warmth and gentle compression characteristics of the original hardware, this plugin has become a go-to tool for adding smoothness and musicality to vocals, guitars, and other instruments.

Key Features:

  1. Accurate modeling of the legendary LA-2A tube compressor
  2. Imparts vintage warmth and transparent compression to tracks
  3. Zero-latency performance for seamless tracking and real-time monitoring
  4. Versatile applications across individual tracks, buses, and full mixes
  5. Excels at adding clarity, cohesion, and a laid-back compression style
  6. Revered for its ability to enhance recordings with classic tube character

Current Market Price: $29.99


waves CLA-2A
Image credits: Waves

Waves R-Comp

The Waves R-Comp is a highly efficient and great-sounding compressor plugin specifically tailored for vocal processing. Its straightforward design and versatile compression modes have made it a go-to choice among audio professionals seeking high-quality vocal compression.

Key Features:

  1. Optimized for efficient and transparent vocal compression
  2. User-friendly controls for threshold, ratio, attack, release, and output gain
  3. Versatile vintage Opto and modern Electro compression modes
  4. Maintains natural dynamics while delivering professional-grade results
  5. Preferred over stock compressors for its distinct sound and flexibility
  6. Streamlined workflow for quick and effective vocal processing

Current Market Price: $29.99


Soundtoys Devil-Loc Deluxe

The Soundtoys Devil-Loc and Devil-Loc Deluxe plugins are unique tools designed to inject character, grit, and aggressive compression into your audio signals. Known for their distinctive sonic flavor, these plugins excel at adding warmth, presence, and a touch of distortion to elements like drums, bass, and vocals.

Key Features:

  1. Crushing and aggressive compression capabilities for transformative effects
  2. Simple, intuitive controls for dialing in desired character and crunch
  3. Excels at adding warmth, texture, and presence to various mix elements
  4. Straightforward operation with minimal controls for quick workflow
  5. Provides a unique sonic “flavor” for enhancing specific productions
  6. Offers tremendous value when acquired through sales or bundle deals

While not the most versatile plugins, the Devil-Loc and Devil-Loc Deluxe truly shine in their ability to deliver aggressive punch, grit, and an unmistakable attitude to your tracks. The pricing of the Devil-Loc plugins has been a point of discussion among users. While some consider the regular prices relatively high for plugins with specific applications, sales and bundle options make them more accessible. Waiting for discounts or considering bundle purchases can be cost-effective ways to acquire these plugins.

Current Market Price: $99


Soundtoys Devil Loc Deluxe
Image credits: Soundtoys

What do you think about our list of best compressor VST plugins and which ones do you think should be on the list. Let us know in the subreddit here!

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