Amalgamated Signals releases Clean Machine, a unique compression and saturation tool you can download for free, with optional donations.
Who doesn’t love a free compressor? Clean Machine is a deceptively simple-looking dynamics processor, and that is said with all sincerity. While at first blush it appears akin to the dynamics processors by Airwindows, there’s quite a different take on compression than your usual fare.
Clean Machine is like a midpoint between a saturator and a compressor. Typical controls are present, like your high pass filter, attack, and release settings. But where things depart is the drive and transition sliders.
The drive is equal parts input gain and compression ratio. The hotter drive is, the more compression is applied. It ranges from 1:1 to INF:1, so quite a bit of smashing is possible.
Attack and release are variable, and their nominal values rely on the more unusual Transition control.
Transition modulates the speed of how the compression envelope is applied. Lower values have it more gradual, letting transients slip through while adapting to the material like a program-dependent vari-mu processor.
Higher transition values mean it bounces around with the signal more, whereas lower values let the attack and release function as intended. This can clean up the processor a good bit or get it into distortion territory quite quickly, depending on how you dial it in.
This all goes towards the mix slider, which controls the percentage of the dry and compressed signals being let through. The gain reduction meter directly corresponds to this section, with the mix slider acting as a supplemental ratio control for the compressor.
Check out the excellent review by White Sea Studio:
Clean Machine is pay-what-you-want, with the download being free for those who so choose. It is a novel compressor with an easy-to-read interface. While there are some more esoteric functions at play, it calls to mind Fircomp for being a stellar and unusual compressor that steps outside the confines of analog emulation.
If you want a more traditional take on compression, check out our free BPB Dirty LA compressor plugin.
Clean Machine is available for Mac and Windows computers. Mac users have the option of AU or VST, and Windows users only have the option of VST.
According to the developer, Clean Machine is free, with optional pay-what-you-want donations.
Download: Clean Machine