Gear Review: Elysia Mpressor

While having dedicated hardware units built for specific audio processing would be the idealistic approach for every project studio, the fiscal cliff we would have to plunge off in order to reach that goal may seem riddled in myth. However, with today’s software technology actually emulating hardware circuitry and not just audio I/O paths, engineers can come amazingly close to virtually creating the real thing. Stepping up to demonstrate their heavy hitting software fortitude, comes the brilliant engineers from Germany’s own Elysia. This group set forth to change the way high-end compression can be used throughout the recording process, and with all of the team being versed as both a musician and recording tech, there was a load of experience at work.

The Mpressor plug-in is a virtual version of the company’s famed hardware unit under the same name. This hardware unit has been hailed in the audio industry as one of the best compressors ever built. The same is true of the software version, just without the rack space and check book impact. What sets this compressor plug-in apart from the rest of the field is that not only can this marvelous device add that transparent shimmer to your master track, but this plug can pump and excite your tracks in a harmonically musical way that has never truly been achieved before.

Featuring actual emulation of the hardware circuits and a distinct oversampling component, this compressor can provide optimum function even when the host track is of a super low resolution. With an auto-fast setting for the compressor’s envelope, you can dial in your attack settings to truly slam your drums and staccato instrument tracks. External sidechain is also built into this unit and integrated with your host DAW, making gain ducking gate effects easy to set up.

For that classic dance floor pump that we call expect out of dance music, sidechain the kick to this compressor and go to town. Another interesting feature to this unit is the negative ratios settings. This allows the user to set negative compression ratios, and create an almost revered compression effect, great when pumping full drum loops. Famed for their Niveau filter unit as well, this handy musical audio filter is also included on this compressor. After a few minutes of figuring out the orientation of the settings, this unit was flawless in operation, and became instantly useful on every track in the recording session. What makes a plug-in better than a dedicated hardware unit in this case, is that with a virtual plug, you can launch as many instances of the device that your computer’s processor will let you, allotting you virtually a full rack of Mpressors! By far the best software compressor I have ever used, this unit will from here on out be used in every recording session moving forward. Drop the coin on this plug and take your productions to the next plane.