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Top 8 Free VST Compressor Effects in 2021

In this article you'll find the top 8 absolutely free VST compressors. All kinds are available - from digital, visual effects, up to emulations of classic, old-school analog racks.
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1. Audio Damage Rough Rider 3

Rough Rider is a compressor with character. You can use it to add a bit of vintage bite and warmth. Works on all types of tracks, but it’s best to use it to add pumping to rhythmic tracks.

"Rough Rider is one of the most popular dynamics processors on the planet, with well over a half a million downloads over its decade-plus lifespan, and is in heavy daily use by producers the world over.”

2. FerricTDS – Tape Dynamics Simulator

Ferric TDS is not your standard compressor. It has a single knob for control of dynamics, but also can add saturation and limiting. You can use this effect to add a touch of high-end reel-to-reel tape machine sound.

3. Eareckon FR-COMP 87

The Eareckon is a compressor with an analog engine. It’s quite simple and easy to use - besides the threshold and makeup gain knobs, it features only three settings for attack and release, as well as a limiter. With this lightweight plugin you’re only a few clicks away from achieving awesome analog compression.

4. Klanghelm MJUC Jr

The Klanghelm compressor is an emulation of a tube compressor. It functions similarly to the Eareckon, but its attack and release settings also affect the color of added saturation.

“It's a variable-tube design with lots of vibe, capable of smooth leveling but also heavy pumping effects. With its two gain stages and interstage transformer simulation it offers a very deep and lively soundstage.”

5. Beatskillz MAX1

The Beatskillz is for you if you’re a compression beginner. Its “intelligent”, automatic attack and release settings can help you compress even if setting these parameters is something new to you. With a few controls it allows you to control the energy of your track effortlessly.

6. Acustica Tan

Tan is an emulation of a classic analog compressor rack module. Besides the typical controls, it features a “ShMod” - a special knob for shaping the attack behavior. It’s very versatile and allows for all types of compression - from subtle to super heavy.

7. Vladg Molot Compressor

The Molot is for you if you’re already good at compression. This effect adds a lot of saturation - it’s nothing transparent. If you’re in need of a distorted, heavy signal - this compressor is for you. The Russian descriptions can be switched to English.

8. OTT

OTT (standing for “over the top”) is a popular free plugin by Steve Duda’s Xfer Records. It’s an important element of many electronic genres like modern dubstep and electro. It’s a multiband compressor which smashes your sound completely and allows you to mix the heavy signal in parallel mode.

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