Softube VCA Compressor Is FREE This Month!


Softube offers the VCA Compressor ($149 value) plugin as a FREE download until March 31st, 2024.

We have already seen several fantastic limited-time freebies in the past couple of months, but this has to be the best freebie so far in 2024.

VCA Compressor is Softube’s dbx 160-inspired compressor plugin. It typically costs $149 and is part of the Icons: The Compressor Collection. However, you can get it for free until the end of this month.

It’s funny how we have so many compressor plugins at our disposal, both free and paid, yet compression remains the hardest aspect of mixing to get right. When using a compressor, so much depends on your taste, skill, and attention to detail, that the plugin itself isn’t so important.

This is different from, say, a reverb, where a bad-sounding reverb plugin can absolutely destroy an otherwise excellent mix. Also, it’s much harder to find a good reverb plugin for free than a compressor.

Even so, using a high-quality compressor plugin can still help you get a better-sounding mix, so it makes sense to add Softube’s latest limited-time freebie to your arsenal, even if you already own a fair share of compressor plugins.

VCA Compressor isn’t a groundbreaking compressor plugin. You’ll still have to put in the work to get great-sounding results with it. However, coming from Softube, it’s certainly one of the better analog-style compressors on the market.

Modeled after the legendary dbx 160, VCA Compressor has all the basic controls, along with several useful additions such as the Punch knob (excellent for adding a bit of smack to drums) and the handy Output Drive knob (for added saturation).

If you’re looking for a dependable compressor for use on the drum bus, I would highly recommend downloading the Softube VCA Compressor. It works particularly well on drums, bass, and vocals. I also used it on the master bus in a recent mix, only for some very slight coloration and gentle compression.

To claim your free copy, visit the official product page linked below, log in to your Softube user account, and click the GET FREE button. Please note that an active Softube account is required to get the free license (registration is free).

VCA Compressor is available in VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS.

Download: VCA Compressor (FREE until March 31st)


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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


    • I know there are a lot of people out there who hate iLok. While I’m not crazy about it myself, and I’d much prefer a simple serial number for copy protection, I now have 20+ plugins that use iLok and a handful of those are some of the very best plugins that I own.

      So I’m one of the folks who’ve given in and accepted that, in certain cases, it’s just worth it. That said, I completely understand if people refuse to support iLok and I don’t blame them one bit!

  1. Whew, their website is evidently maxed out right now with, what I assume, are loads of people clamoring to order this thing.

    Come on, Softube, you’re a well-known company and you’ve been around a long time. You of all devs should be prepared to handle this sort of thing.

  2. The reason compression is so hard might have to do with that it’s used because you’ve been told everywhere that compression will make a big difference to your stem/mix/master. And it can do so, if compression is what’s needed. But it can ruin the lot if it’s not the case. Sorry if this is difficult to translate, but this is impossible to compress into a short message.

  3. I won’t even take a free plugin that requires iLok. Such idiotic, invasive, annoying software. But I always appreciate your newsletter and always talking about free plugins.

  4. I Still don’t know what is the point of use de dbx style of compression on drums or kicks. Every time I put it on drums (because everybody suggest that), my low end is ​​ruined. The fatness is gone. I don’t understand the purpose or how work this type of comp. Any suggestion?

    • Here’s a couple of suggestions. Use the sidechain filter to preserve bass. Also try using a faster release and roll back the wet amount.

    • The Dbx 160 has its own distinctive sound. It’s more suitable for rock drums, where the kick’s low end isn’t as important as a trap kick’s low end, for example.

    • Psycho Circuitry


      IMO the dbx RMS style envelope adds more to the “click” than lower end energy. It’s hard to describe (“fish on plywood” gets used by those who maybe find it less desirable ;p) but a unique “thwack” maybe that helps the transient of the drum punch thru when level matched in the more “body” region of the drum’s level. And then of course over emphasizing this effect and using a parallel blend to bring more natural low end back in can help too!

      Did a fair amount of noodling around on a dbx160x clone, so that’s where my opinions come from :D

      -Jon (Psycho Circuitry)

  5. @JOSE :
    Have you try to put the sidechain filter of the compressor (the internal one) at 50 or 60 Hz to let the very low end free of compression for your kick. For me sometimes it works. I don’t say it work everytime but sometimes.. Also I don’t know this compressor honestly. It’s maybe not the best suited for kick drums.. Have you try a 1176 comp? For me it works well when I put a 1176 type of compressor on kick.

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