Flandersh Tech has released Uraleq, a free multiband compressor for VST3 hosts (64-bit) on Windows 8.1 or higher.
If you don’t know Flandersh Tech, they develop freeware including the Tonetta Blue semi-modular synth and the Scorpion Multitap delay plugin. Unfortunately for Mac users, Flandersh Tech develops for Windows only at the moment.See also: Discover The Hidden FREE Version Of Royal Compressor
Uraleq is their latest offering, and initial signs look quite promising. It’s an advanced multiband compressor that is suitable for mixing, mastering, and bus processing.
Sometimes with freeware, the GUI isn’t quite what you’d get from a premium price plugin. I have no complaints in that area with Uraleq, which has a nice 500 series rack-style interface. The GUI is straightforward, but that’s what I want from a multiband compressor plugin; clean and clear. The downside is that a lot of mouse work does slow your workflow.
Each of the four frequency bands has attack, release, threshold, ratio, and knee controls. The channel strip for each offers a dual delay and balance control. Balance control is a great way to widen the stereo image by panning the left and right signals differently on different frequency bands.
The dual delay houses two delays, each with separate delay time controls. A shared feedback control affects both delays, and the mix control adjusts the dry/wet signal.
On the left and right of the GUI, you’ll find LFO 1 and 2. The LFO’s are also pretty simple, with rate, depth, shape, and destination adjustment. Their simple design can produce some pretty creative multiband modulation effects. Under the LFO’s are the low cut (20-80 Hz) and high cut (15-20 kHz) filters.
Further down, you’ll see three user-adjustable blue boxes marked Hz that refer to the split frequency range. The first frequency setting splits between bands 1 and 2; the second splits between bands 2 and 3, and the third splits between bands 3 and 4. Next to those boxes, you’ll see a mode setting for each band with the standard left/right mode and mid/side mode. In mid/side mode, some of the controls change. For example, the gain control slider per band is replaced by separate mid and side gain controls.
With two crossover filter modes (Linkwitz-Riley and linear-phase) and oversampling up to 32X, Uraleq is undoubtedly more flexible than the average freeware compressor. There are valid alternatives, like Cut Through Recordings Convergence, which arguably takes a more modern approach.
Uraleq is available in VST3 plugin format for compatible DAW software on Windows. Only 64-bit plugin hosts are supported.
Download: Uraleq (5.04 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST3 plugin format for Windows)