Kiive Audio released Xtressor NUKE, a freeware compressor effect based on the premium Xtressor ($149) plugin for Windows and macOS.
Xtressor NUKE is based on the Xtressor plugin, which, in turn, emulates the Distressor hardware compressor by Empirical Labs. So, what we’re getting is a free VST plugin version of the legendary Distressor.
If you compare Xtressor NUKE to Xtressor visually, you’ll notice that the GUI is much simpler. In fact, it only features two knobs (Input and Output) and two buttons (Auto Gain and Release).
However, it is based on the same internal algorithms as its premium counterpart. So, if you don’t mind the lack of fine-tuning ability, you’ll get a very capable hardware-inspired compressor free of charge.
I’m one of those users who actually prefer streamlined plugins. If a certain plugin comes in “full” and “light” editions, I’ll typically pick the latter. In my opinion, plugins with fewer controls significantly speed up the mixing process and the music production workflow.
In the case of Xtressor NUKE, the Input knob controls the compression intensity, and the Auto Gain lets you completely forget about gain adjustment as the plugin will handle that automatically. That leaves the Release button, which lets you select one of the three available release time settings (Fast, Normal, and Slow).
What is Xtressor NUKE good for? The hardware Distressor is famously great-sounding on drums, so that should be a safe bet with the plugin version, too.
Kiive Audio states the following on the product page: “Make your drums explode with this gritty compressor, and use its three release modes to add edge and punch to your mix. Plus, the adjustable Sc HPF makes NUKE super versatile- throw it on any mix!”
So, if you’re looking for a freeware compressor to boost your drums, look no further. Actually, do look further – we have an entire article dedicated to free compressor VST plugins.
And *spoiler alert* a freeware compressor called BPB Dirty LA is scheduled for release on our website next week. Stay tuned!
Download: Xtressor NUKE
Dirty LA. Woah, Thanks Tom.
Thanks to BPB readers Rodyx and Samuel for the info!
Thanks Tomislav, BPB & Kiive Audio.
I just tested this, it sounds awesome.
Looking forward to the new BPB compressor as well, much appreciated 🙏😉
Hey PureFire, you’re welcome! The BPB compressor is coming very soon. :)
Wow, this sounds great on a drum bus! Thank you.
“I’m one of those users who actually prefer streamlined plugins. If a certain plugin comes in “full” and “light” editions, I’ll typically pick the latter. In my opinion, plugins with fewer controls significantly speed up the mixing process and the music production workflow.”
It’s so thru.
So is this similar to Comprexxor by IKM and the Softube Empirical Labs emulation?
on the hardware unit of the distressor the nuke setting is a brickwall limiting ratio, in the info about the original unit it says, that for some of the different ratios there is different circuitry used.
so actually this kiive emulation probably only emulates this one setting whereas the original distressor is basically several different compressors in one unit, depending on the settings of ratio and distortion modes.
empirical labs was involved in the development of softubes emulation, so soundwise that should be probably the closest to the hardware, comprexxor at least has slightly different controls.
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