Earlier this year Slate released their emulations of the famous 1176-style compressors for use in their Virtual Mix Rack. See our article here: Slate FG-116 Blue FET compressor plugins. A typical well-known trick with the original hardware is to push all the ratio buttons in, sending the compressor into an extreme state. Whilst this wasn’t possible with Slate’s emulations, they say they’ve been working on a more versatile way of presenting this technique. This has resulted in ‘The Monster’, and best of all it’s free!
The Monster – Extreme Dynamic Processor
The initial response from this plugin release has been so high that apparently it crashed the iLok servers. I’m not surprised, who doesn’t like a free Slate plugin based around a cool trick from such an iconic hardware compressor?! Fortunately though, as we bring you this news, the iLok licenses are working again and can be redeemed.
Slate have emulated the ‘all-buttons-in’ trick with The Monster, but interestingly this has been presented in a separate ‘module’ for their virtual mix rack. In doing so, they’ve added a couple of key features which are said to make this extreme form of compression more versatile and ‘useful’.
These new features are clever and well thought through. Slate have added two EQ style processors to the side chain of the compressor, a ‘Punch’ button and of course a useful mix control. The first parameter is a high-pass filter which removes the lower frequencies from the side-chain so that the compressor isn’t sent into overdrive by the larger waveforms. Secondly, the all-buttons-in trick can add a harshness to the sound which is obviously desirable in some scenarios but not others. To combat this there is a parameter to boost the HF in the side chain which apparently results in the output having a smoother response. Finally, the ‘Punch’ button I assume adds extra attack time to allow transients through, but Slate have omitted to fully explain what it exactly does. Either way, judging by the video below, it sounds great.
For more information and system requirements, visit The Monster’s webpage where you can also download your free copy. Note: an iLok 2 is required.
Here is Slate’s YouTube video for The Monster, hosted on their SlateTV channel. In the video Steven gives a great explanation of the plugin and demonstrates it in use on drums and vocal: