The iron transformers in the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor on my mix bus add not only harmonic distortion but also complexity to the sound and help me tame transients with less compression. I always use it in combination with the Analog Design Black Box saturation to increase the apparent volume. Discrete heavy compression, fast attack, and release in combination with the steel transformer in the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor add depth and punch to my parallel drum bus.
I don't just use it in each one of my mixes, it also sits in each one of the stems of my orchestral composing template. I use it for orchestral cinematic music and it adds depth, clarity, and width in such a subtle and pleasant way! It's just pure magic!
Don't let the words Mastering Compressor fool you, its way more versatile than that. One of my favorite applications is on a drum bus, where I hit the Optical Threshold hard, drive it with Iron and then make it up with Discrete Gain. It feels like youre slamming metal and tubes in the best way, and it adds a ton of character to the sound. Loving this thing! Oh, and dont forget the sidechain filter around 150 hz for a smash!
I`m mixing at least twice as fast as I ever have, and the mixes sound completely on par with the best mixers out there.
Live and in the studio, Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor lives on my master buss. I won’t do a mix without it.
Lucas (Luke) Pimentel
This has been my bread and butter whether I’m mixing or mastering. It is not a transparent sonic tool. There are plenty of boring boxes out there :)
However, it will not be invasive coloring nor change your program in a bad way. The ability to engage both compressors or just use one, makes the SHMC incredibly versatile. There’s enough dynamic control to make you go crazy and squash the life of a source or to simply tame the unwanted peaks. Three sets of transformers to choose from is like having multiple consoles at your fingertips. The Dual mono and stereo option is a must have and although my personal preference is the first, there are many occasions where linking the channels has saved the day on mixes in need of a punchy and solid low end.
The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is my desert island dynamics processor and what Brainworx has done, is a meticulously accurate emulation of my beloved hardware. No compromises. It just works like it should. No shady business. Without a shadow of doubt, the one tool you will always be reaching for!