This plugin has a big classic vintage vibe! Great on busses that need that character squeeze on it :)
by Aidan Brock
While perhaps not as flexible as some of its digital-esque peers in terms of band ranges, it has a lot of vibe and has been very useful for things such as taming excessive low-ed buildup in bass and cymbal harshness on the mix bus.
Surprising expansion, qualitative sound!
I was dubious as I have a lot of good compressor plugins! But after downloading a demo I was hooked. So much easier to adjust than, say the McDSP multiband. In minutes I was transforming a weedy drum track into something much better. Great on cabin, vocals, bass... actually, I doubt there's anything it won't excel at. Shame there's not a DSP vers.
It sounds far-fetched but this makes almost anything sound lovely and delicious in its own right, perhaps even betterer, which is not always the desirable outcome for every source/track. Some things need to stick out while others do not. Also, some tracks need massaging, others not so much. Definitely in the top running for mains/master.
My New "Secret Weapon"!
by Rohan Firminger
I totally misjudged this plugin when I first tested it. I was thinking I had all the limiting and compression covered. I also thought I had Mastering covered and didn't need another multi-band compressor. WRONG! I had a problem Drum Bus, and nothing I did with my conventional compressors was working. I put the 354E on in desperation, and recalling the presets I'd tried out earlier, thought I'd start there. BAM! Instantly the Drum Bus just rocked. Even using the raw un-calibrated preset, it was GOOD. So, I spent an couple of days immersed in really using the 354E. All I can say is WOW, the results I was getting as I mastered (in both senses) the 354E on Drum tracks was astounding for some I had struggled with. Instantly using one approach or another, sometimes engaging the "Nuke" option, was so counter intuitive to my usual methods, where I try to gently compress and scale up. With the "Nuke" option, you just flip the switch... And surprisingly the results where this approach fitted were superior to tracks I'd spent hours on gain staging the compression etc. THEN, just out of curiosity, I put this on an electric guitar track, and "Nuked" it. LOL. Well you could have blown me over with a feather. Again, it was a massive enhancement. So good I threw out all the previous work and just adjusted it in the mix, and it was DONE. Perfect, and matched the end result I was looking for in my head. :) So... Once I get a taste for something, I'm the kind of person who just has to explore things in increasingly more detail. So what do you think was next?... VOCALS: OK, I'm typically from the school of gently compressing vocals, and sculpting them, like Michelangelo with marble. Chip, chip, gain stage to submixes, to buses, then to the master. Gradually and as transparently as possible shaping the vocals. Usually this works very well, but there are many vocals that just don't sound right even multing/comping, gain staging compression, and automating. So, on a problem lead vocal that was driving me nuts, out came the 354E. NUKE time! :) I went to the preset and loaded it. Instantly that problem vocal actually started sounding the way I wanted it too. So so counter to my usual methods, yet VERY effective. Even the preset position was enhancing most of the vocal. I experimented with the various features, given I have some clue about compression, LOL. And the results from this was I found all sorts of ways to slowly calibrate the ratio, attack, release and other settings to arrive at what I was aiming for. Please note, I'm talking about the "Bus" level. So I may have the raw track, through submixes then to the bus. Hence it's at this level I found great success at the step before going to the master. What I can say is that the 354E has rapidly become a "go to" in my arsenal. I'm still finding out many more uses for it, which covers a range of specific tasks where frankly it's clearly the best option. I suspect though you'd need to know what you're doing in terms of compression/limiting though. So newer users should make sure they fully get their heads around this space if they're going to get the best use out of it. Conclusion: This is a fantastic asset to have ready to deploy. For me, it's become a "go to" tool, and I'm loving the results! For serious mixing/mastering professionals, I'd highly recommend test driving this baby, and experimenting with it. You may be surprised at the interesting results you get!
One of the most complete parallel compressor plugins ever. This really punched me off my studio chair. What a glue! What a sound! Famous!
by Jt holt
Soft around the edges but cuts. Very simple layout and is great for pulling tones off of toms and vocals. Just like the other brainworx products I've purchased I'm really happy with the results and ease of use.
A fantastic-sounding plugin with a couple of drawbacks.
This is a phenomal-sounding compressor, just like the 254E. It's tasty, punchy, and feels quite "analog" (whatever that really means!) to me. I use it all over the place, from busses to my master, as appropriate. Here are my issues: 1. You can't see the values of what you're adjusting. For precise post-production (and music!) music, this is a must-have feature that should be there like it is in many other PIA plugins. 2. The limitations of the original should be improved, i.e. the threshold should be freely adjustable instead of just in 2dB steps, and the gain as well for smaller adjustment than 1dB. In the modern day of computing, this is the advantage we have and it should be fully utilized, again as it is in many other PIA plugins. 3. Background noise should be switchable off. Noise a cute feature but should absolutely be optional.
Wow, I guess I did need another compressor...
I would love to knock off a point for the omission of external sidechain support; but this plugin sounds so damn good, I really couldn't justify it. The 354E definitely sounds like Neve analog hardware and is probably the only plugin I own that can deliver the sort of subharmonic warmth that is so elusive in the box. I have other great multi-band compressors, and this one still blew my socks off. Well done, Lindell and Plugin Alliance. 354E is an instant classic in my book.