free audio plugins
dual-band stereo compressor
An older version (v0.98) of this plugin was reviewed on orion-central.com. Read the review here.
The development of endorphin has taken approximately 9 months with many beta/preview versions.
Version 1.0 was the first one that I had been happy with :o)
Now, here's v1.1 which includes the latest bugfixes.
Dynamics processors are essential when recording, mixing and editing music. But when it comes to compressing an entire sum signal, a lot of digital compressors turn out to be unusable, many of them were made to process single-track signals only.
On complex sources they tend to produce a 'pumping' sound, distort or just make your music lifeless. There are manufacturers telling you 'this is the only compressor you'll ever need'. Don't believe them. Sound signals are far too complex to be handled by a single device.
Your music deserves care and attention to details. This applies especially to the post-mixdown stage, often referred to as 'mastering'.
Endorphin is no universal talent either.
It is a specialist for complex sources like a mixdown, after having made minor sonic adjustments and right before burning the track to CD.
Furthermore, it can help to increase depth, definition and loudness of a track.
I call it an 'analog-style' compressor: endorphin uses models like frequency-dependent nonlinear operation, different harmonics creation stages as well as two basic compressor circuits taken from the analog realm.
An overview on the features:
- Two independent frequency bands (low and high frequency processing)
- Switchable stereo or M/S mode operation
- Two basic compressor designs:
- modern vca mode with soft-knee characteristics and manual time constants. This mode provides an instant response behaviour and deep compression, using a feed-forward circuit
- Vintage-style opto (photo resistor) mode, modelled after ancient opto-electrical compressors. The time constants stay manually set, but they are also affected by the signal's energy. This mode has the typical opto-style 'overshoot' on quick transients, this is one of the most gentle compressors you may find. Classical feed-back detector circuit
- Adjustable high-level output stage with analog-style saturation
- Global 'de-comp/sat' section. It's you who decides how the unit reacts to large amounts of gain reduction as well as when and how to saturate.
- Maximum output: -0.1dBFS. This is very helpful when using the plugin as the last stage before burning the CD.
The full working principle can be read in the user's manual that is included in the download file.
I would definitely recommend that you read through the sections in order to fully understand the concepts and their potentials as well as the dangers of over-compression and the common over-doing of 'loudness correction'.
I designed this unit to sound smooth and musically. This might greatly depend on your source signal and your personal taste. Any comments on the usage and your opinion about this plugin is highly appreciated.
endorphin v1.1 (size:327kB):
- v1.0 did not work with Cakewalk Sonar & DirectiXer. Now works with v1.1
- new with v1.1: 10 presets slots (instead of 4 with v1.0)
- updated the manual file (including corrections and better screen view)
Installation: Unzip the archive, copy the .dll file into your '\vstplugins' folder and (re)start the host program. It should find endorphin as a new insert plugin.
The archive contains the user's manual (in PDF format).
If the download link does not work properly, you should try using 'save as...' in you browser context menu.
In case of problems, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org