bpb Freeware Studio: Best Free Sidechain Compressor VST/AU Plugins


bpb Freeware Studio: Best Free Sidechain Compressor VST Plugins

In this edition of bpb Freeware Studio, we will be covering the best freeware sidechain compressors in VST/AU plugin format for Windows and Mac.

Most current DAWs do come with a native sidechain compressor, but just in case your DAW doesn’t have one, here’s a list of the best freeware alternatives.

Follow the links for more info & screenshots:

All of the plugins listed above offer similar functionality, so my suggestion is to test them all out and make sure to use the one which performs best in your setup. My favorite choice is ReaComp, closely followed by Christian Budde’s Sidechain Compressor.

Side Chain Compressor by Slim Slow Slider.

Side Chain Compressor by Slim Slow Slider.

On the other hand, when I just need a quick sidechain compressor setup, I usually go for slim slow slider’s Side Chain Compressor plugin. The GUI clearly indicates how much compression is happening, and extremely easy to get satisfactory results with it.

Mac users will have to pick between DualComp and Mcompressor, both of which are actually pretty good choices for sidechain compression.

Many thanks to bpb reader Jackie for suggesting Density mkII and MCompressor and psilas for suggesting Molot!

Make some great mixes with these freeware sidechain compressors and please don’t forget to share this article on your favorite forums and social networks (you can do that easily by using the buttons below). Support BPB and help us grow!

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About Author

Tomislav is a musician and a blogger. He writes about free and affordable music production tools on a daily basis here at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. Where is DensitymkII?

    I would also include MCompressor (from the meldaproduction freeware bundle). This is also my favourite – mostly because of the visual representation (and editable also!) of compressor curve, this is quite rarely seen. This vst also provides zero-latency processing so it can be mixed with dry signal, very handy. Im also thinking of magnus mjcompressor. Those 2 plugins doesnt have auxiliary pair of output , but still provide s-ch capability with the built-in filter.


    • bedroomproducers on

      hey, thanks for the great suggestions! i’ve completely forgotten about Densikty mkII, and never tried MCompressor in sidechain mode before. i’ll add both of these to the list.

      MjCompressor is nice too, but i think it doesn’t really belong to a ‘best of’ list of sidechain compressors. i’ll add it to the best compressors list once i start writing it, that will be a real big one. ;]

      looking forward to more tips from you, thanks once again!

  2. Hi,surely the new ‘MOLOT’ compressor should be up here as it now has a sidechain option.Its also one of few free plugins thats hardware modelled.


  3. I also use ReaComp. It brings happiness in my sidechain routine and offers nice results with no hard work.

  4. I am using compressors from so many time but Density mkII and MCompressor are really very impressive and easy to mix effects too.

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