Good VST compressors for metal guitar...

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by TDSTIAYW, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    The title says it all.

    What are some good VST compressors for metal guitar?

    Most of the ones I've tried are tone killers or have trouble releasing quickly enough.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Shane Sanders

    Shane Sanders Supporting Member

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  3. Shane Sanders

    Shane Sanders Supporting Member

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  4. Markdude

    Markdude Member

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    Any multiband compressor should do the trick (to keep palm muted chugs from eating up the low end of the mix). I've never found a need to use broadband compression on high gain guitars.
     
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  5. TommyGuitar

    TommyGuitar Member

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    Isn't a metal guitar already super compressed?
     
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  6. Billinder33

    Billinder33 Member

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    I'm a huge fan of the Acustica Audio channel strips for adding mojo to heavy guitar.... IF you have the horsepower to run it.

    Pink (API clone) and Lime (Neve clone) are pretty good. You can try any or all of them for 30 days, free.
     
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  7. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    How fast do you need the release? Settings are often measured in milliseconds, and you can generally set it as low as 1ms.
     
  8. primemover12

    primemover12 Member

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    I'm assuming you mean compressors for post-processing, not as stomp box-style effects to load up your signal going into an amp sim.

    As other people have said, distorted electric guitars are already pretty compressed, so I wouldn't necessarily be using much heavy compression.

    However, you might want to use light compression to reign in odd peaks on a heavy rhythm track where some of the "chugga-chuggas" are louder than other. If you're talking about distorted solos, you might want to use pretty low ratio compression to do some basic fattening up of the notes or to add some saturation/distortion.

    So for rhythm guitars that just need some peak limiting, I might use an 1176 (like the CLA-76 or the IKM Black 76). I'd be using a pretty fast attack, a 8 or 12-1 ratio, and adjusting the threshold so that it's basically only knocking the tops of big transients down.

    For distorted leads, I don't want to lose my big transients so much as I want to fatten up some of the thinner notes in a legato or tapping run, and I want some good harmonic distortion. So I'll go for a much lower ratio (2:1 or 3:1), with a slower attack and a middle-to-fast release time. Typically, I'll use an LA-3A clone like Waves CLA-3A for this.

    Last, I might add some saturation.
     
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  9. oldhousescott

    oldhousescott Silver Supporting Member

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    Waves L2
    Kazrog KClip3
    JST Bus Glue Guitar
     
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  10. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. The release and attack times on the VSTs I've tried so far don't sound as fast (or as slow) as the VST's indicate. I mainly need it for rhythm to tame peaks and chugs. The odd thing is that when I apply compression it sounds like it's either too much or too little...even when using dynamic multiband compression. I'm running Reaper with a UR12 interface and active EMGs. Maybe I'm just using the wrong type of compression emulator. I'll try your collective suggestions.
     
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  11. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    Are you compressing before or after the amp?
     
  12. TheTrueZoltan!

    TheTrueZoltan! Member

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    I know everyone loves and recommends multiband compression for high gain rhythm guitars nowadays. Personally, I don‘t like it at all. It changes the tone too much. In fact I think it kills the tone. All that‘s left is the pick strumming sound of the palm muted chords or notes while the fundamental note is suppressed. Don‘t get me wrong, I like it tight. Thrash metal tight. But multiband compression always sounds unnatural to me. I prefer a slight touch of broadband compression to tame the palm mutes.

    You can‘t go wrong with FabFilter Pro-C, but IMHO Waves Renaissance Axx still gets the job done, too.
     
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  13. intrinsic153

    intrinsic153 Member

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    Couple tips/plugins for you to try:

    1. Try soft-clipping the signal (~3db) before the amp. JST Clip is great for doing that and it kinda mimics what an active pickup would do (I get it that you're using EMG already).

    2. I personally really like Waves' Renaissance Axx after the amp. It can really 'squeeze' some extra power out of your tone without sounding weird.

    3. Also from JST Tones, JW BG-Guitars (Bus Glue Joel Wanasek) is very effective for taming the chugs and easy to use. I personally don't use this much tho.

    4. To tame the chugs, I normally will use FabFilter Pro-MB to even out the problem area, and Waves L1 (each on the left and right channel) to catch the peaks (normally only 1~2 db GR on the loudest parts).

    Hope that helps ;)
     
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  14. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    I've tried both with mixed results.
     
  15. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    It is. However, a dedicated compressor will change your tone (and the feel of your playing) even at extreme gain settings.
     
  16. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    Fast enough to avoid killing sustain or producing artifacts or pumping.
     
  17. TDSTIAYW

    TDSTIAYW Member

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    Good suggestions. Thank you.
     
  18. Jimmy_Rage

    Jimmy_Rage Member

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    I think you mean plugins. VSTs are virtual instruments.

    I use and can recommend some of the UAD plugins which I use - 1176, LA2A, Fairchild tube limiter... Take your pick, they're all pretty usable, though I usually lean on the 1176 or LA2A.

    Unfortunately, the UAD plugins are a bit expensive and locked to UAD hardware. If I didn't have the interface, I'd look into Waves, but only if you don't get bugged by their weird business model of iLok and paid upgrades.

    Waves has sales every now and then when you can get a whole bunch of their plugins as a bundle for a good price. I'd suggest holding off on pulling the trigger till you see one of those.
     
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  19. TheTrueZoltan!

    TheTrueZoltan! Member

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    VST’s are plugins. VSTi‘s are virtual instrument plugins.
     
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  20. Lord N

    Lord N Member

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    Jesus....
     
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