- great for adding character to a track! Warmth and grit.
- there's no control over the attack and release of the compression, but I don't think that's really what this plugin is really after
Native Instruments just dropped a new free(until Dec. 31, 2013) compressor plugin called Supercharger. I’ve had a chance to play with it for a bit and this a great plugin! I would say it’s more of a character compressor and would probably be used more as such than a levelling unit.
It’s designed to emulate tube saturation, harmonics and warmth. I haven’t had the pleasure to work with real tube units that much so I can’t say if it hits the mark exactly with it’s emulation, but I will say this sounds great! And super easy to use.
There are relatively few controls on the interface. One of the key controls though is the ‘Input Trim’. You want to set that so that the green light stays on most of the time. There will be a little red arrow telling you if the signal is too weak or too hot for the sweet spot.
Once that is set, you just play with the ‘Compress’ knob. There are no controls over the attack and release other than the ‘Punch’ button which will slow the attack allowing more transient information to pass through unaffected. The ‘Dirt’ button will introduce some harmonic saturation and adds some pleasant grit. The ‘Mix’ knob adjusts the ration of Wet to Dry signal so you can set it to fully affect the signal or use it as a parallel compressor.
‘Output’ sets the main output level and the sidechain button will allow the compressor to be triggered by an external signal set up in your DAW. Around the ‘Compress’ knob there are 2 convenient windows showing the output level and the amount of gain reduction.
Supercharger is super simple to use and sounds fantastic! My main use of this effect would probably lean more towards adding character to a track as opposed to actually trying to shape the dynamics.
SUPERCHARGER adds unique, colorful character to anything it touches. Inspired by a one-of-a-kind boutique tube compressor, its one-knob simplicity lets you sculpt your dynamics at full speed with total focus on the sound. Designed for versatility, SUPERCHARGER is the perfect all-round tool for anything from warming up a vocal to crushing your drums completely.
SUPERCHARGER packs plenty of horsepower behind its sleek design. Heat up acoustic guitars and vocals with a hint of SUPERCHARGER’s magic or push your drums to the limit. Create ducking effects that pump with high-energy tube flavor. Add the bite, depth, and character of a souped-up tube compressor to your productions.
SUPERCHARGER takes the legwork out of perfectly-tuned compression. The Compress knob is the key. Set the input gain once, then start adding thick, harmonic saturation and roaring presence – without having to adjust makeup gain. SUPERCHARGER’s one-knob design controls it all with a sweet spot at every point on the dial.
For additional control, the Punch button adds more detail to your transients. And the Dirt button pours on an extra layer of saturation for tracks that burn with overdrive urgency.