ToneBoosters Compressor 4: mastering-grade compressor for under 30 bucks?
ToneBoosters has released Compressor 4 for Mac, PC and iOS. The company says the plug-in is a “mastering-grade, intelligent dynamics processor”, which would be a steal at just 29 Euros. Let’s see what Compressor 4 has to offer.
ToneBoosters Compressor 4
ToneBoosters has steadily made a name for itself with releases like Equalizer 4, Reelbus 4, Enhancer and Dual VCF, among many others. The common theme: the plug-ins have some pretty advanced features (including AI in some cases), they’re all available for desktop and iOS devices, and they’re surprisingly inexpensive (read: super affordable). Compressor 4 is ToneBoosters’ newest dynamic processor. Does it tick all of these boxes, as well?
ToneBoosters says that it designed Compressor 4 with three main goals in mind: sound quality, ease of use and flexibility. The plug-in has a very visual interface with selectable colour schemes, which lets you see how the compressor works in real time. A large real-time waveform, gain reduction and compressor curve display takes up most of the space. At the bottom, you’ll find the essential controls for threshold, ratio, make-up gain, range, knee, attack and release. The lookahead feature can be disabled for zero-latency operation. There’s also a mix knob (amount) for parallel compression. Compressor 4 can operate in L/R or mid/side mode.
In addition, Compressor 4 offers a range of advanced tools for shaping the sidechain. The PC and Mac versions support external sidechain signals. You can adjust the frequency response with a sidechain EQ and spectrum analyzer, and audition the sidechain signal independently. There’s also a feature called Compression Zones, which lets you apply compression only to certain channels (channel 1, 2 or mid/side), and even limit the compression to a specified frequency range. According to ToneBoosters, Compression Zones is also compatible with immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos, Ambisonics, Facebook and YouTube 360°.
Price and compatibility
Those are some pretty dope features, and they’re even more impressive if you take into account the affordable price of the plug-in. The Windows and Mac versions (VST, VST3, AU, AAX) are only EUR 29, which I find quite hard to believe. There’s no introductory offer, but at this price, that really shouldn’t be an issue.
The iOS version hasn’t shown up in the App Store just yet, so we can’t tell you the price yet. All of ToneBoosters’ other iOS plug-ins are between USD 4.99 and 8.99, so we can expect Compressor 4 to be in that ballpark, as well. Expect it to support AUv3 and Inter-app audio like the company’s other iOS releases.
- Sidechain analyzer and EQ: ToneBoosters