DC1A is a high-quality dynamic range compressor based on Klanghelm’s premium DC8C plugin. It is one of the top picks on our list of the best free compressor plugins. DC1A features a streamlined control scheme which makes it suitable as the go-to compressor for mixing. The latest v3 updated introduced several improvements and one long-awaited feature.
The most notable improvement in DC1A 3 is the inclusion of the mix knob which turns the plugin into a parallel compressor without having to use it on a send channel. Being that DC1A excels at parallel compression, this minor improvement is indeed a rather valuable addition to its feature set.
Other differences include a slightly overhauled user interface and the ability to switch the VU meter between output and gain reduction monitoring modes. Everything else remains pretty much the same compared to the previous version of the plugin.
If you’re new to DC1A, be sure to give it a try as it is undoubtedly one of the best freeware compressors around, along with TDR Kotelnikov. It can handle bass-heavy audio content quite well thanks to the built-in HP filter (enabled via Deep mode button) and features both RMS and peak compression (use the Relaxed button to choose between the two). I use it on everything from vocals to bass guitars. My favorite thing about DC1A is that you don’t have to worry about manually tweaking the attack and release times. Instead, the plugin allows you to focus on listening to the compression on the output while simply adjusting the Input control to the desired level. The compression algorithm will handle the rest.
On a related note, Klanghelm has also updated DC8C, the premium and far more advanced version of DC1A. The new version of DC8C comes with an improved preset browser, AB testing functionality, a resizable user interface, automatic gain reduction, linear-phase oversampling filters, improved compression algorithms, and more.
DC1A 3 is available for free download via Klanghelm (11 MB download size, RAR archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & macOS).