Analog Obsession has released Comper, a freeware serial compressor plugin for DAW software on Windows and macOS.
There’s no shortage of compressors in today’s plugin climate (check out our free BPB Dirty LA for a vintage-inspired take on the concept), but Analog Obsession’s latest looks to be a little more unique than the rest in terms of how it processes material.
Comper is a serial compressor with two dynamics processors chained together in series. Producers can select between VCA, FET, and Opto models for each of the two compressors.
Standard compression controls are present, with Ratio, Attack, Release, and Threshold controls all being present. Where Comper departs is in its chaining of the two compressors in series. The internal compressor has no present sidechain key nor an internal sidechain high pass filter. Instead, internal can act as a first line in taming peaks.
Internal/External is where things switch up, with it possessing both an internal and external sidechain key.
The compressor has a variety of ratios, starting from 1:1 up to 20:1. There are a variety of uses and benefits for serial compression, and Comper simplifies the task of picking the right compressor for the job.
Analog Obsession has also included 4x oversampling, which is toggled by clicking the developer’s logo at the bottom left of the interface.
In practice, Comper has stood up to some testing. A decidedly sharp jazz guitar sample was easily tamed down to uniform level without errant peaks poking through. It also does well with vocals; quite a few engineers are familiar with the 1176 and LA2A being used in conjunction with vocals and the FET and Opto modes present mimic the action of both.
Coloration and saturation are present, which can be heard by toggling the compressors into the 1:1 ratio and applying a bit of input drive. It is a pleasing saturation, mimicking the harmonics generated by hardware transformers.
Comper is available in a few major formats, with Windows computers supporting VST3 and AAX. AU, VST3, and AAX are the formats available for macOS.
Analog Obsession isn’t reinventing the compressor with this release, but it’s always handy for those on the engineering side to have tools that simplify and speed up workflow.