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Best VCA Compressor Plugins 2023

An analog compressor that applies compression using a VCA control is known as a VCA (voltage-controlled amplifier) compressor. An integrated circuit divides the input signal into an output path and a detector path to control the VCA compression. Since the 1980s, every mix engineers has used VCA compression to bind their mixes together. Being the most well-known compressor in the world, producers frequently refer to that “glue” sound as the SSL sound for the best compressor plugins.

Tone Empire Model 5000

The API 2500 and SLL 4000 bus compressor are combined in Tone Empire’s Model 5000. This glue compressor plugin is a powerful mix as far as emulations are concerned. The designers guarantee to give your mixes the best glue and propulsion by researching and re-creating the circuits of two of the most sought-after VCA compressors. Without sacrificing clarity or quality, the digital signal processing engine concentrates on producing a true analog feel like fet compression. The plugin provides up to eight times oversampling, which produces crystal-clear high-frequency audio.

The Model 5000 has a distinctive but familiar tone of all tube compressor. The mastering compression plugins is less specialized than the SSL and less flexible than the API with attack and release times. It has successfully created a hybrid that borrows from the tone and impact of its predecessors while still adding its own unique spin, which is fantastic. It sounds better than the originals because you can customize how much grit or tone you want to add. It feels more like a bus compressor because it has stolen the SSL settings. However, you can also utilize it for individual instruments.

Knock, the centerpiece of the plugin’s sound, offers a powerful side-chain with adjustable slopes that can be adjusted using the FREQ knob like parallel compression. Each sound is distinct because each frequency has a unique Q. It isn’t a particularly flexible option, but like the majority of VCA compressors, it reproduces the sound of the device. Turning the LIFT knob will increase the specified frequency and give the tone more weight. The two, four, and eight times oversampling options are also located here.

Transx was designed to mimic the bus console it emulates’ rasping noise. It uses an input and output transformer to provide the full spectrum of semiconductor sound. The saturation becomes more intense as you turn up the Input Gain knob. Pressing the TRANSX button causes a drive and increases the input gain up to 24dB. The Mix Knob on the left, which introduces the dry signal as it is turned to the right, allows for parallel processing.

The Tone Empire Model 5000 gives a lot of character along with competent buss compressor by bridging some of the gaps between two well-known VCA compressors. Even if you already own the classics, it’s still a worthwhile addition to your collection because it doesn’t sound like either of the originals it has taken its cue from. This is the Best VCA Compressor VST Plugin in 2022.

Arturia Comp VCA-65

The Comp VCA-65 by Arturia is a replica of the vintage DBX 165A compressor, which has a distinctive sound and many side-chain controls. Since its release, the DBX 165A, one of the most thorough compressors of its time, has been a mainstay in pro recording studios. Arturia has properly transferred the distinctive character of the original analog hardware to the digital sphere. Drums, pianos, guitars, and anything else in need of an extra punch all sound wonderful when using the plugin.

Three different input sources are supported by the fully featured side-chain settings on the VCA-65: internal, external, and manual. The final one enables you to automate and trigger the side-chain without a signal input. The plugin also has SSL-style EQ and high- and low-pass filters, which you may use to reduce sibilance. Additionally, you can alter the compression range from mild to strong.

This VCA compressor happily provides punch and presence if those qualities are what you’re looking for. It simply exudes energy and urgency on a drum bus unlike any other VCA plugin. Additionally, by using “Over Easy” compression setting and only applying enough glue to hold the sound together, you can make the plugin sound as though it isn’t even there. You may accomplish this parameter by setting the compression knob between 1 and 1.5, which is essentially what modern compressors refer to as a “Soft Knee.” Additionally, this compressor includes a Limiter mode that only mutes the loudest peaks and provides lovely vintage saturation if you want to spice things up.

The Auto switch was one of the most intriguing aspects of the original hardware. It made it possible to modify the Attack and Release functions in accordance with the input data. Due to its variable attack rate, it takes the compression sound to the smoother side and sounds especially well on vocalists and acoustic instruments.

The VCA-65 by Arturia should be a part of your collection. In actuality, it is one of the very few plugins that you cannot function without. This should be one of your top choices if you could only use ten compressor plugins for the rest of time. It is on our list because of this. It is a flexible VCA compressor with simple settings and a ton of personality.

Resonance Sound CFA Sound GRIP Valve Drive Compressor

The GRIP VCA workhorse from CFA Sound is modeled after the circuitry of antique tube compressors.

GRIP is a standout among the rest of our list because to its distinct valve drive section and exact specs. For warmth and character, the compressor aims to combine cutting-edge VCA technology with vintage Tube simulation. As a result, its flexibility is astounding and its sound is distinctive. Additionally, its user-friendly design and 2x oversampling make it an effective ally for your mixing.

Valve Drive provides you control over the crucial colour factors of compressor types so you may tailor the outcome to your production as best you can. The sound’s hue will directly change in response to changes in the input value. While the bias knob simulates the amount of passive current drawn by the tube, which affects tone, the drive knob offers you up to 24dB of valve character. If you desire a cleaner sound, you can reduce the overall valve simulation with the blend knob. Triode and pentode modes of tubes have quite diverse properties as well. While the second adds odd harmonics, further enhancing the signal’s crunchiness, the first offers the sound musical even harmonics hardware compressors.

The tagline of this plugin, “Compression with Character,” is accurate. You can use ssl bus compressor warmth it provides in your mixes or on your master bus. As a starting point for adjusting the drive and compression for the optimum results with each other, the optical compressor plugin also includes a few interesting presets. Overall, adding this to your collection is a great choice. It is an exceptional plugin at a reasonable cost. This is the Best VCA Compressor Plugin in 2022.