Analog Obsession has released Fetish, a freeware FET compressor in 32-bit and 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for PC and Mac.
The plugin was released back in May, but somehow it went under BPB’s freeware radar. However, our reader Thomas pointed it out to us via email a few days ago and we were happy to find a very good FET compressor that is completely free to download and use. Thanks for the excellent tip, Thomas!
Fetish, although not marketed as a direct emulation, features the exact same control scheme and layout as found in the legendary 1176LN limiting amplifier. It is a classic FET compressor/limiter design with input/output gain adjustments, time and release knobs, and the compression ratio switch (1:4 to 1:20 range). The interface is simple and clean looking, except for the slightly murky and blurred gain reduction meter. The CPU hit is very low, averaging around 2% on our i7-based test machine.
As for the compression quality and character, I can’t compare Fetish to the actual 1176 for obvious reasons, but I was fairly pleased with the results I got from the unit. It’s a versatile tool that can be used for subtle compression and over-the-top limiting, depending on your source material and mixing style. The controls feel responsive and the compression is smooth, with a bit of creamy distortion and more extreme settings. For some 1176 usage tips and ideas, check out this page on Universal Audio’s website.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a commercial 1176 emulation from Universal Audio or Black Rooster Audio, the free Fetish compressor by Analog Obsession should do the trick. It is a decent mixing tool with a subtle but nicely pulled off analog vibe. Pairing the Fetish compressor with something like Black Rooster Audio’s free VHL-3C Pultec filter and the excellent SonEQ equalizer by Sonimus, you’ll get a pretty good analog-style mixing chain completely free of charge.
Fetish is available for free download via Analog Obsession (4.54 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).