dbx 160 Compressor / Limiter Plug-In Combo

December 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST

The dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter is an officially licensed and faithful emulation of the legendary dbx 160 hardware compressor/limiter — still widely considered the best VCA compressor ever made. Originally designed and sold by David Blackmer in 1971, this solid-state design set the standard for performance and affordability. The dbx 160 (commonly referred to as the "VU") is a highly regarded studio staple, famous for its simple control set and firm, distinct compression characteristics. Unlike later monolithic IC units, the "VU" uses a series of discrete components for gain reduction resulting in unique nonlinearities not found in other VCA compressors — a sonic distinction from later models. The UAD Powered Plug-In version of the dbx 160 captures all of the sonic nuances from our "golden" modeling unit, plus the simple control set of the original hardware, including Threshold, Compression (Ratio) and Output Gain. Just like with the hardware, LED threshold indicators are provided in the plug-in, as well the Input/Output/Gain Change VU meter for which the unit is famous.

— Dave Crane