Softube marks its first major release for 2020 with a recreation of the Chandler Limited Germanium Compressor. This unit is notable for its musical-sounding compression, with its ratio and knee settings fine-tuned for musical applications rather than program material.
Chandler Limited Germanium Compressor
The gain reduction on the original hardware unit is based on a FET design for the kind of pleasant harmonic distortion it tends to impart on audio. That’s not just marketing guff – the circuits are tuned by ear rather than cold arithmetic, resulting in responsive behavior and “artistic” knee setings corresponding to the different diode combinations and resulting “colors”.
Pair that with selectable combinations of germanium, silicone or zener diodes and you have a one-off boutique unit. Softube claims it has recreated the hardware one-to-one and it has a solid track record with authentic-sounding plug-in emulations, so I don’t have any doubts that the sound is on point. Additionally, the compressor lets you combine the attack and release time with distinct results on different sources – slow attack is great for punchy drums and slow release can smoothen vocals and bass.
Features exclusive to the plug-in version of Chandler’s esteemed comp include Mid/Side processing and External Sidechaining for more flexibility and opportunity to experiment with your tracks and mixes.
Price and availability (and a nice little deal)
Softube’s take on Chandler compression is available in all the usual formats for Windows and Mac computers, priced USD/EUR 50 off the regular USD/EUR 250 price until the introductory period ends. Considering the original unit costs a hearty EUR 4299, down from EUR 5115 (that’s Thomann prices I’m considering), I’d say the plug-in is fairly priced, even if it’s at the upper end of such products. Speaking of the Thomann deal, I think it’s pretty amazing in its own right, so if you have a fat stack of cash to spend on a premium piece of gear, click here and check it out (affiliate link).