New Toys: MixLand Rubber Band Compressor

The Rubber Band Compressor is a colorful-sounding VCA-style plugin that uses an animated stretched rubber band graphic to visualize the compression's action. An instant conversation starter in the studio, There are two hands with a rubber band(s) stretched between them and familiar parameter controls like: Attack times from a fast 50-microseconds to 30-milliseconds and Release times ranging from 500-milliseconds to 3.5-seconds.

To adjust the operation of the processor's dual-stage design, the Snap control sets the incoming level into a fixed threshold compressor; more Snap more compression. Watching the rubber band get taut and loose, the compression quickly comes on at just the first few clicks on Snap's dial—a little sensitive for me. 

The Tension control is a preset compression ratio control. When the rubber band is loose, it is said to produce a "bouncier" sound—depending on the Snap control and Attack and Release settings.

Selecting the middle or far right positions on the Tension switch provides better audio fidelity. There is the Crunch control, a modeled Class-A input amplifier that will saturate the incoming signal before the compressor—I love it! There is also a one-knob Tilt equalizer that simultaneously brightens/darkens the finished sound—great idea on a compressor. And Weight engages a high-pass filter in the side-chain. Lastly, Auto Makeup keeps your levels legal and I also tried 2X and 4X oversampling modes when looking for the most pristine sound.

With loose Tension and higher Snap settings, I got those classic “squashed” drum sounds on individual kick drums and snares. The Wet/Dry Mix control and Attack and Release controls were invaluable for a drum loop where I wanted to control how much “spank” the kick and snare had, yet still pull up the ambience recorded within the loop. I set RBC with the fastest attack—so fast that the kick and snare attacks were lost. Using the Wet/Dry Mix added some of the loops original sound with original attacks. Awesome! 

The MixLand Rubber Band Compressor sells for $29.95 MSRP as download. Check it out!