Mixland has released the Rubber Band Compressor, a unique take on VCA audio compression. Instead of threshold and ratio, you get to play with the rubber band’s tension and snap. The idea is to provide an tangible, physical representation of the compression, to help you achieve bouncy, snappy, transparent or punchy results with ease.
Mixland Rubber Band Compressor
The Rubber Band Compressor is the brainchild of Grammy award winning mixing engineer Jesse Ray Ernster, who teamed up with Eddie Lucciola of Kiive Audio to create Mixland’s first plug-in. The company calls the Rubber Band Compressor “bizarre and innovative”, and I think they have a point.
The compression is represented by a rubber band held between two hands. According to Mixland, the VCA compressor simulates the physical response of pushing the audio signal into a theoretical rubber band with exponential resistance. The signal then snaps back according to the tension, timing and amount dialed in by the user. You can bring the hands closer together or move them further apart, thereby adjusting the Tension. The rubber band represents gain reduction and pulls downward depending on the amount of Snap.
On the right, you’ll find a couple of more traditional compression controls. There’s a pair of Attack and Release knobs, which range from ultra-fast to super-slow, according to Mixland. The Rubber Band Compressor also features a Mix knob for parallel processing, as well as an output level knob with an auto gain option.
But there’s more. The plug-in also sports a Crunch knob that controls a modeled Class-A input circuitfor front-end tone shaping. You can further shape the signal using the included Tilt EQ, which is modeled after an analog tube circuit, Mixland says. The Weight button helps to restore any low end lost in the process.
It’s an interesting concept that does indeed look convincing. While you won’t find traditional threshold and ratio knobs, watching the rubber band flex with the audio provides an excellent visual representation and feel for the compression. If you’re looking for a compressor plug-in that gives you a tangible feel for what’s going on, give the Rubber Band Compressor a try. There’s no demo version, but at the low intro price of just under 20 bucks, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
Price and compatibility
The Mixland Rubber Band Compressor is now available for USD 19.99. The regular price will be USD 29.99.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.7 or higher and Windows 7 or higher in AU, VST and AAX formats.