The supreme tycoon of master bus compression
Meticulously modeled by Brainworx after the instantly legendary hardware original, no details have been spared in crafting this digital version of one of the most musical and versatile compressors out there. A well known staple in the music industry, the Shadow Hills compressor easily tames even the most unruly and chaotic transients with flawless control and amazing tone. It’s no wonder that it has been the go-to buss compressor on timeless records by Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Beck, Green Day, Coldplay and countless others.

Dual compression sections for unprecedented dynamic control
One of the key benefits of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is the ability to treat your signals with dual-stage compression, dialing in compression through either the Optical or the Discrete sections—or both for maximum musicality! In the Optical section, you will find the traditional Threshold and Gain settings, with a two-stage release time similar to what you would find on an LA-2A. Use it to easily shape your dynamic range and bring up the overall level. In the VCA Discrete section, you have a more exacting control over the ratio, attack and release settings, allowing you to fine-tune the compression response to fit a large variety of material.

Switchable output transformers for sonic variety
Further tonal character can be built with the three unique Output Transformers. Here you can toggle between each one to easily shift the tonal balance of the compressor. Choosing between Steel, Nickel or Iron will add distinct flavors commonly found in some legendary consoles: Nickel offers smooth lows with a polished top end and sounds great on more subtle and sparse recordings. The Iron transformer has a more colored sound, but still maintains a pristine high end with a small low end boost in the 100Hz range. It operates through a Class-A output stage that applies only even-ordered harmonic distortion, leaving you with a very musical sound. Finally, the Steel transformer has an extremely detailed and fast response with a subtle boost in the 40Hz range, which contributes to a rocking low end.

Brainworx plugin only features
To round out the huge features that came straight from the hardware, Brainworx went a step further by adding a Parallel Mix control, a Sidechain Filter and an External Sidechain option in the proprietary toolbar! The Sidechain filter can easily prevent frequencies below the setting from triggering the compression for ultra-tight sounding mixes. Try the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor now to experience a whole new level of dynamics management.


  • Exacting emulation of the original Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor—approved and endorsed by Peter Reardon, the founder of Shadow Hills Industrie.

  • A selection of three different types of output transformers - Nickel, which adds a nice top end sparkle. Iron which adds a little character in the mids, and Steel, which adds additional harmonic distortion.

  • Separate Optical and Discrete compression sections for two-stage compression techniques.

  • Stereo and dual-mono modes

  • BRAINWORX Plugin Only features including Parallel Mix
, built-in Sidechain Filter, and External Sidechain.

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Rafael Pirela

    Rafael Pirela

    Producer and artist (ARPA winner, 7x Latin Grammy nominee)

    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… Read More

  • Marc Jovani

    Marc Jovani

    Film Composer (Lionsgate, Netflix, HBO, co-founder Cinematic Composing)

    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… Read More

  • Rich Tozzoli

    Rich Tozzoli

    Grammy-nominated Producer, Mixer, & Composer (David Bowie, Carly Simon, Boston Pops)

    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… Read More

  • Greg Wells

    Greg Wells

    Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter (Taylor Swift, Adele, Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi)

    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.

  • Brad Divens

    Brad Divens

    FOH Engineer Enrique Iglesias & CEO fixintogetmixin inc

    Live and in the studio, Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor lives on my master buss. I won’t do a mix without it.

Customer Reviews

  • Shadow Hills

    by Parallel Voices
    Perfect Plugin to add to my Master Chain
  • faf

    by af
  • good

    by blacksheep
  • Descarga

    by Joe
    Excelente para mezcla y Mastering
  • mastering compressor

    by Prm
    beautiful, great for drum buss or parallel compression, love how this iconic compressor reacts


Supported Plugin Formats
AAX DSP, AAX Native, AU, AAX AudioSuite, VST2, VST3

Supported Operating Systems
macOS 14 down to macOS 11
Windows 11 down to Windows 10

Intel, or Apple Silicon

x64-compatible CPU

System Requirements
Display resolution: 1440 × 900px or 1280 × 960px or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM


With the Installation Manager you can select, download & install all the Plugin Alliance products. Select any and all formats you need for your system! Mac & PC.


Mastering Compressor

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor - Changelog

Version 1.5.1 (Oct 9, 2023)
- General: fixed CPU spikes on Mac OS

Version 1.5.0 (Aug 15, 2023)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for AAX
- General: added macOS Ventura support
- General: improved plugin loading time in the DAW
- General: fixed issue causing Logic to crash when closing the plugin UI
- General: improved font drawing behavior

Version 1.4 (Mar 15, 2022)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for VST3, VST2 and AU
- General: added macOS Monterey support
- General: added Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H1 support
- General: discontinued Windows 7 support
- General: discontinued macOS 10.9 and 10.11 support
- General: fixed metering behavior in block sizes of 2048 samples and higher

Version 1.3 (Mar 22, 2021)
- General: Compatibility with Logic on Apple Silicon devices via the Rosetta-2 layer
- General: Fixed possible artefacts when freezing or bouncing tracks in Pro Tools
- General: Fixed automation highlighting disappearing in Studio One
- General: Improved license dialog visibility in dark mode

Version 1.2 (May 27, 2020)
- General: Qualified for use with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
- General: VST3: Fixed potential hangs in a DAW upon loading
- General: Fixed logical issues in undo / redo behavior
- General: Fixed UI resizing issues in Ableton Live on Windows
- General: Fixed audio processing initialization issues on amp and delay products

Version 1.1 (Nov 06, 2019)
- General: Qualified for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina
- General: Qualified for use with Windows 10 November 2019 Update
- General: Fixed plugin validation in Logic under macOS Catalina
- General: Fixed preset name restore in Logic when reopening a session
- General: Fixed opening authorization dialog triggering automation
- General: Improved instantiation times for plugins
- General: Improved license functionality and branding for subscription
- General: Removed 32-bit support on macOS and Windows
- Fixed possible missing audio output in some hosts

Version 1.0 (July 5, 2019)
- Initial release