Andrei Kruss has released MSCC, a freeware sidechain compressor effect in VST and AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.
MSCC is a mono compressor with two inputs – the left channel is used as the main audio input, whereas the right channel serves as the sidechain input. The two channels can be swapped using the arrow labeled button in the upper-right corner of the interface. The two buttons on the left are used for increasing and decreasing the GUI size (the same can be done by pulling the bottom-right corner of the interface). Speaking of the GUI, the controls are nicely laid out and clearly labeled, although the actual design looks a bit crude and rough around the edges. Still, I kind of like the low-quality 3D look, so no negative points for me here.
The six mains controls are what you’d normally expect to find in a compressor effect: Threshold, Makeup Gain, Ratio, Knee Width, Attack, and Release. The knobs are responsive, well calibrated, and the gain reduction meter on the top does its job perfectly fine. While there’s nothing truly exceptional to say about MSCC, the fact is that it’s a fully functional compressor effect with a sidechain input, and those are still somewhat of a rarity in the realm of freeware VST plugins. One thing that needs to be highlighted, though, is MSCC’s tremendously low CPU consumption. A single plugin instance consumes around 1% of available CPU resources on our test machine, which is a terrific result.
The plugin can be downloaded completely free of charge from the developer’s website linked below. A valid email address is required to receive the download link. You will receive a ZIP archive containing the plugin files which need to be installed manually. The tutorial video posted by the developer shows how to use MSCC in Cubase specifically, although the plugin should work perfectly fine in all other DAWs, too.
UPDATE: Plugin developer Andrei Kruss posted a comment below, letting us know that MSCC actually works as a stereo compressor with an external sidechain input. The mono mode described above is only available in the VST3 version of MSCC.
MSCC is available for free download via Andrei Kruss’ website (14.2 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).