I'm late to the party with this one, but I'm in agreement with C. Allrich --- a light touch will get one far when employing the plug appropriately. It's been one of the secret weapons I'm using to master an ECM-ish guitar trio album. The clients are very happy and so am I. I can't help but thinking that those that are "confused" by the controls haven't taken five minutes to RTFM and understand the signal flow, etc. Agreed it doesn't completely nail the hardware, but it can still work wonders and provide the right sense of depth and dimensionality and glue that will sweeten many a mix or master.
This is not a tool for squashing and smashing stuff. Although I'm sure it can do that (I've never tried yet) what it really shines at is mix bus processing with 1-2dB of gain reduction on each side. The transformer switching is nice but it is subtle (like the real thing) and you're going to need great monitoring to truly appreciate it. The fact that the DSP load is so low makes it an ideal choice when DSP is being consumed by other effects or users with less than a Quad/Octo.
The SHMC didn't blow me away for its intended 2-buss / mastering use. IMHO, this is the least impressive model of the real thing in the UA catalog.
HOWEVER, I did buy it, and after using it a while now on other things, this plug is pretty good in its own right, and I'm finding it more useful to shape and color individual busses and tracks than to use across a whole mix or for mastering. Its a unique compressor, and the Trans options are great for giving different subtle textures to individual tracks.
- 1 star for not being the best emulation. - 1 star for no dig only features like control link or ability to switch the signal path order of the compressors. (I often like fast before slow) And where's Brainworx's signature MS feature??
This compressor can control the audio image in an exciting way. Especially if you pay attention to to the how the threshold and gain controls are opening or closing up the image. Usually use this before or after the SSL or 33609 Compressor. Does nice things for my drums in a mix when I dial in the attack and release. Maybe a steep learning curve maybe not but worth it IMHO.
I'm a big fan of Brainworx plug ins and this one is absolutely amazing. It can glue, enhance and compress the material and it looks as it sounds.
I have never been able to achieve this type of compression before. When i really want to smack something this is what I am using!! Great investment for #engineeraudio
To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about this emulation at first because it was not made by Universal Audio and does not use a lot of DSP power. Nothing but prejudices because as it turned out Brainworx made a fantastic sounding plugin with apparantly very efficient programming.
So far I have used it as mastering unit and it does an excellent job on my program material (dense electronic music including acoustic sounds). The way it grabs the music is very nice and unique. The unit enhances the material without changing it original tone but if you want to you can even add some color with the transformers. Highly recommended plugin.
I have used a lot of mastering units. I currently use Avalon 747 for my 2buss. With the Tube warmth, the incredible EQ and the very smooth compression this is my main go go.
I have been druling over the SHMC for a year now,went to Vintage King Nashville to see one. When I had to chance to do the Plugin thing I went for it. I am very happy with all the differen sounds this thing has. it is very think in sound, you know what it is when y ou hear it. I does not "pump"...and will really glue and smelt your tracks as one. Use the low pass to keep the lows virtually untouched. Cons...I would have loved to see more presets from the pros on different subjects i.e. Kick drum, Male vocal light, med, and heavy, skybluenashville.com
I'd be lying if I said I had tried the real thing, but I can say that this is a phenomenal mastering plug. It also has gotten some use on drums. If you only buy a few plugins, make this one a priority.
I tried it for 14 days on a lot of things like for mastering, on busses (drums, mix) and on solo tracks: lead vocals, bass, background vocal groups, acoustic guitars, snare.... etc.
All I can say is WOW!!!!! It shines so many different sources and is very versatile. It definitely has some mojo in it - you can it very smooth or hard and aggressive and its very easy to set up - a few seconds and I have the sound that I want !!
Don't try this plugin cause you'll buy it. I would put it on my bread if I could. A real beautyfier for just about anything.
I have access to a major studio and they have one of these Shadow Hills comp. One of the studios engineers and I used the real comp on a song that I'm currently tracking there. We used it mostly on synths and violin's. Since this comp is musical it added some sweet sonic character to my tracks! I own the UAD quad card so i demoed this UAD comp at my personal studio and was amazed at how much alike they really are! So i had to buy it! Spot on UAD!
Thinking of purchasing this? Stop wasting time and do it. Truly the most beneficial plug-in I've bought in a while. Don't believe it? Run the demo. I guarantee you will miss it when the demo lapses.
I am a studio owner and producer at www.scottfrankfurtstudio.com as well as the director of design at Spectrasonics. I work with precision and "character" audio all day long... this is truly a must have tool.
I like the sound of this plug
As I dont expect the sound of a 8000$ box to be the same as a 300$ plug
This stuff is really good and useful
The 2 compressor are different and you can achieve really different thing from drastic
to gentle and subtle compression
It s not as hard sounding as a 33609 which suite me
The output transformer is subtle but good and the side chain link is brilliant
Overall you can do a lot of think with that one
the fact that it use 5 times less process power that a LA2A and a 336009 combine is good for big mixing session
Also it s just looks great
With the new 1176 and this one you can cover a lot of things
I've owned a hardware Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor for two years now and it has become an essential and amazing sounding tool for us ... I''ve AB'ed the plugin against it extensively now and it really holds up. The Optical section seems to be calibrated differently (a few clicks less on the threshold is needed to match the compression amount of the hardware unit), but once you compensate for that, it sounds dead on. $300 for multiple instances and no noise (and instant recall, and freezing) is a steal!
I'm not sure why there's so much hate for this plugin in the reviews, equating it to Izotope? good god, ugh.
Look. There are certain tools for certain jobs, and writing off this compressor because it failed at whatever you attempted it on only shows lack of understanding of your appointed skills as an engineer/mixer.
Do I use this on instrument busses? vocals or guitars? Nope.
Slap this on your two-bus, and forget the presets. Set the thresholds on both compressors as needed to just "tuck" the transients back, flip the side-chain on, and flip between Nickel, Iron, and Steel to find the right "glue" for your mix. Now tell me your mix doesn't feel that bit of extra life brought to it.
This is not a plug in for heavy hands, period.
I've used the hardware version on only a few projects (only purchased one a month ago) and used it mainly for mastering. The plug in is so close to the original, switching between both in the studio, in most cases it hard to tell the difference. I'm using it on the 14 day trial and no doubt Universal Audio will have an introductory price soon so someone like myself who travels a lot will have access to it on my apple laptop. I couldn't wait to try it on a track i mastered a couple of weeks ago where i had the hardware Manley Massive Passive into the Shadow Hill Compressor into a Ampex ATR102 out into the brickwall of a system 6000. Well I've done the same with the UAD-2 plugins and OMG... AMAZING. BUY IT!!
Does not sound like the original .
I'm a little disappointed, unnecessarily I bought it, but I hope that UAD will improve this version to sounds more like the original
Compressor does not have the depth as the original, where is that analog 3D sound?
It's sharp :(
In original unit sweet punch is focused on high frequency and sounds fantastic, open, airy and fresh.
Low frequencys sounds warm and natural.
In UAD version that punch is harsh, highs sounds digital.
Low freq sounds not se deep and not natural.
Sorry UAD, as a customer I must say - that is not good emulation :(
I only hope that in future will be better version.
This is one seriously happening compressor.Instantly there's some musical voodo.
Love this plug on Vocals and drms, Nice fatty punch to the KIK.
And this is just from experimenting quickly,I'd imagine with a little investment you could go a lot deeper as usual with good plugs.The Low mid beef is really worth the nickel.
Seriously Good investment ,Don't hesitate just shell out and enjoy and the de-suck filter on this works wanders! Thanx Rob Heaney -engineer/producer Cirque du Soleil
I've never worked with the hardware unit, so I can't say how close it is, but actually it doesn't matter 'cause this plugin is sounding gracefully.
Stereo link option for the controls would be appreciated :)
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Last Updated December 16, 2014
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