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Plugin of the Week: UAD Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Tony Visconti famously said, “compression is the sound of rock ‘n’ roll”. Originally used for purely technical reasons, creative use of compressors has become part of the production process, with many popular music genres based around the sound of compression. Essentially, the basic concept behind a compressor is that it reduces the highest levels (above a certain threshold), thus reducing the dynamic range. Used creatively, a compressor can drastically alter the shape of a sound, making it more or less percussive, more or less punchy, more or less dense, etc. There are different types of compressor designs, all with their own characteristics, features and unique sounds, and as such, some have become ‘classic’ processors over the years, i.e. Urei 1176, Teletronix LA2A, Fairchild, SSL.

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor has become one of the standards for mastering and mixing, thanks to its unique design which includes two compressors, an opto and a discrete VCA, and three transformers output. UAD in collaboration with Brainworx have created a thorough emulation of this revered hardware. We took a look at Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor in our latest Plugin of the Week – watch it above and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.

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** Editors note: Things have moved on significantly since this article was published 🙂 Please head to our blog homepage for the very latest updates from Point Blank.

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