Audio Damage has released RoughRider3, a freeware compressor effect in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstation software on PC, Mac, and Linux. Also available on iOS as an AUv3 plugin and standalone app.
RoughRider3 is a plugin designed specifically for heavy-duty dynamic range compression. It is a character compressor that doesn’t attempt to sound clean nor subtle. It will warm up the processed audio signal and smash its dynamic range while adding punch and weight. As you might have guessed, a compressor like RoughRider3 works best on percussive material like acoustic drums and electronic beats. That said, it can provide interesting results when used on guitars, basslines, or even vocals.
The latest version of the plugin introduces a set of workflow improvements and several long-awaited features. Most importantly, RoughRider can now be used as a side-chain compressor. It features an external sidechain input, along with a high-pass filter in the side-chain signal path. The high-pass filter is there to help clean up the side-chain trigger signal, thus preventing the erratic compression behavior caused by excessively loud bass frequencies.
RoughRider3 also introduces a “full bandwidth” mode that switches off the internal low-pass filters used for warming up the sound. This will make RoughRider3 sound more transparent, something that wasn’t possible with the older versions of the plugin.
Finally, the refreshed RoughRider3 user interface now provides input and output gain controls, as well as gain reduction metering, input and output volume metering, and volume graphs. All things considered, this is a welcome update that makes RoughRider3 a more versatile compressor without compromising its signature sound.
RoughRider3 is available as a VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin for all major operating systems. Keep in mind thay only 64-bit digital audio workstations are supported (thanks to our readers for the reminder in the comments section). The previous version of RoughRider can still be downloaded from the product page linked below.
More info: RoughRider3 (14 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer)