Few pieces of audio hardware are as revered as the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor. Created by enigmatic mastermind, Peter Reardon, this five-rackspace behemoth tempers dynamics and tames transients like no other compressor in history. With its serial, two-stage dynamics control and switchable output transformer matrix, the
Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces provides everything from a velvet touch to an iron fist — making it a go-to on records by Muse, Green Day, Gnarls Barkley, and more. Designed by Brainworx, the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in is a thorough emulation of the high-end hardware.
The genius of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in is its ability to control dynamics in two stages — an Optical and Discrete (VCA). Both sections can be bypassed, effectively providing three compression sounds (Optical, Discrete, and combined) in a single unit.
The Optical section is highly program dependent, with basic Threshold and Gain settings, and a two-stage release time akin to the classic LA-2A — perfect for gently taming your dynamic range, and bringing up the overall level. The Discrete section takes over where the Optical section leaves off, and provides a more aggressive sound with precise control over gain, threshold, ratio, attack, and release.
The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in’s tonal palette is enhanced by a unique matrix which allows selection between three output transformers — Nickel, Iron, and Steel. By switching the selected transformer type in and out of the signal path, you can hear the different frequency response, distortion characteristics, and transient limiting of each transformer — going from “clean” (Nickel), to “colored” (Iron), to “dirty” (Steel).