Bertom Audio released Vocal Compressor, a free vocal compression utility for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Vocal Compressor provides a simple but very effective way to keep your vocals in check whether you’re a podcaster, aspiring singer, or professional Justin Bieber tribute act.
However, if you are a Bieber tribute act, there’s a little-known trick that will make your performance more appealing to a broader audience.
Before you hit record, kill the gain on your vocal track and drop it all the way down; if you do it properly, your DAW won’t capture any audible performance.
I know what you’re thinking: what do I do if I’ve already recorded without that technique?
Don’t worry; there’s a playback hack that works on any device. Drop the volume to zero before you hit play on the track; you won’t hear a thing! (it 100% works)
And my apologies to any Bieber fans – I had to choose someone!
Now, back to the Vocal Compressor.
Bertom Audio took inspiration from the working processes of mastering limiters when designing the Vocal Compressor.
The developer’s latest plugin shares some characteristics with typical mastering limiters, like a 1ms lookahead (approx), but delivers them in a context-appropriate way (soft knee compression).
The easy-to-use plugin has very few controls, just Compress, Trim, HF Sens, and Mix. The straightforward nature of Vocal Compressor isn’t surprising; it’s what we’ve come to expect from Bertom Audio, the developer who gave us EQ Curve Analyzer, and the popular Denoiser Classic.
Simplicity is usually the best approach; providing a plugin does everything you need, and in this case, I think this uncomplicated compressor will suit many people.
I like it when an uncomplicated plugin allows you to generate fast, precise, and refined results, which is what you get from the HF Sens feature.
The HF Sens feature is a sidechain filter that allows you to adjust the compressor’s sensitivity to high frequencies. The sidechain filter is a great way to compensate for a compressor’s typical desire to compress low frequencies more, and it can help deliver a far more balanced result without any dull, muffled, or unnatural spots in your vocal.
Bertom Audio describes the HF Sens feature as “similar to what you can find on the back of a famous optical compressor” – feel free to name it in the comments, although I suspect it’s an easier task than naming the inspiration behind Meat Beats HERA-ONE.
Vocal Compressor is available in AU, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS (12.13 upwards), Windows (7 upwards), and Linux.
The plugin is available to download for free, but it’s provided under the pay-what-you-want system, and any payments would go a long way in helping the developer continue to research and release new plugins.
Download: Vocal Compressor (FREE)