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Customer Reviews 163 Reviews

4.53 out of 5 stars

by C. Allrich (11/28/2014):

I'm not sure why there's so much hate for this plugin in the reviews, equating it to Izotope? g ... Read more

125 Reviews
16 Reviews
9 Reviews
9 Reviews
4 Reviews
Overview

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Plug-In
developed by Brainworx

Key Features

  • Meticulous emulation of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, licensed and endorsed by Peter Reardon
  • Created by Brainworx, developed exclusively for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform
  • Separate Optical and Discrete (VCA) dynamics sections for two-stage serial dynamics control
  • Separate Threshold and makeup Gain for each dynamics section
  • Transformer matrix switches between Nickel, Iron, and Steel output transformers — like selecting between 3 distinct vintage console outputs
  • 90 Hz sidechain filtering for musical compression of low-frequency program material
  • Large VU meters for Optical, Discrete, or Output gain views
  • Custom presets created by Shadow Hills founder and designer Peter Reardon
  • Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator or Apollo Interface, available from dealers worldwide

Read full features & specs

The world’s most remarkable and revered audio compressor. Now available as a UAD plug-in.

There are few pieces of audio hardware that inspire the awe and reverence of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor. Created by Shadow Hills Industries’ enigmatic mastermind Peter Reardon, this prized five-rackspace studio behemoth expertly tempers dynamics and tames transients like no other mastering compressor in history. With its serial, two-stage dynamics control and switchable output transformer matrix, the SHMC is capable of providing everything from a velvet touch to an iron fist — making it the go-to compressor on recordings by Muse, Green Day, Gnarls Barkley, Coldplay, John Mayer, Regina Spektor, and more.

Working in partnership with Brainworx, Shadow Hills Industries is proud to introduce its hallmark Mastering Compressor as an exclusive UAD Powered Plug-In.

Watch the overview video.

Three Majestic Compressors in One
The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor starts with a world-class signal path and flexible stereo or dual mono operation. But the genius of the Mastering Compressor lies in its ability to control music dynamics in two stages — first with an Optical section, then with a Discrete (VCA) section. 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. Use the Optical section to gently tame your dynamic range, and bring 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.

Taken together, this flexible design allows the Mastering Compressor to deliver a wide range of beauty-to-beast tones — whether tracking, mixing, or mastering.

Switchable Output Transformers — Nickel, Iron, and Steel
The Mastering Compressor’s tonal arsenal is extended 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). This is like being able to audition the output sections of three distinct vintage analog consoles. And remember, transformer selection is independent from the dynamics sections detailed above.

In Use
Whether you use the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor on a vocal chain, drum buss, or on the master fader, its unique control and character will inspire creativity. Try sultry female vocals with gentle Optical compression, sidechain filter out, and Nickel transformer selection. Or bypass the Optical section and go straight to the Discrete VCA section and Steel transformer for adding massive character and punch to drum sounds.

Mastering is, of course, the most subtle use of the SHMC. Dial in 1dB of Optical gain reduction and 2dB of Discrete gain reduction. Select a ratio of 1.2:1, an attack time of 30 milliseconds, and a recover time of 0.1 seconds. Set the 90 Hz sidechain filter in, and select the transformer matrix to taste. A final application of the Mastering Compressor is to bypass the Optical and Discrete sections altogether, and pass signal through the transformer matrix only, just for the color it imparts.

$299.00

Reviews

Reviews

1 of 3
  • Joe Chiccarelli

    (The White Stripes, My Morning Jacket, The Killers

    "The [UAD] Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in is the ultimate last-stop in a mixing chain. It’s punchy and hi-fi and has lots of options."

    Rich Tozzoli

    (Pro Audio Review)

    “The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is one of those toys I must have….It’s not just a one-trick pony and many cool sounds can be discovered by experimenting with the different thresholds, gains, ratio, attack and recover settings.”

    Frank Filipetti

    (James Taylor, Rod Stewart)

    “What a beauty! The variations in sonic signatures from the [UAD] Shadow Hills Compressor plug-in are astonishing.”

    Eric Persing

    Spectrasonics

    "The new [UAD] Shadow Hills Compressor plug-in is the most hi-fi sounding stereo buss compressor I've ever used. [It has] amazing clarity and low-end punch.”

    Jeff Balding

    (LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill)

    "Versatility and character for days! You can't make it [UAD Shadow Hills compressor] sound bad, no matter how you set it.”

  • Jay Messina

    (Aerosmith, John and Yoko Lennon, Cheap Trick)

    “The [UAD] Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in has the warmth and musicality of an analogue piece of gear. For a device with so many sonic possibilities, it is very user friendly.”

    Dave Eringa

    (Manic Street Preachers, Kylie Minogue)

    "The UAD Shadow Hills Mastering compressor just kills it on vocals.”

    Adam Hawkins

    (50 Cent, Maroon 5)

    "The [UAD] Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in has character and punch that no other plug-in has ever been able to achieve!"

    Jose Cancela

    (HBO Sports, NFL, UFC)

    "The UAD Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor will work wonders on your mastering buss, group channels, as well as your individual tracks. A true game-changer.”

    Mark Needham

    (The Killers, Neon Trees, P!nk)

    “The [UAD] Shadow Hills plug-in is replacing my 670 on the stereo buss. The two sides allow me to accomplish what I was using multiple compressors to achieve.”

  • Dean Coleman

    “The [UAD] Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in sounds incredibly accurate and gives me the tone I need, especially on my drum buss!”

    David Miles Huber

    “HOLY #%^@! The new [UAD] Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor adds warmth and richness to a mix…even without any added compression. Seriously, I think my mastering chain just changed.”

    Paul David Hager

    (The Goo Goo Dolls, Avril Lavigne)

    “Whatever you put the [UAD] Shadow Hills compressor plug-in on it just makes it sound better. Great way to warm up and fatten any mix.”

User Ratings

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Average Rating (163 Reviews)
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    Why The Hate?
    by C. Allrich (Friday 22 November, 2013)

    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 … Read More

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    what can i say....STRONG
    by J. Hinson (Monday 9 September, 2013)

    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 … Read More

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    Awesome compressor for almost everything
    by K. Reiter (Monday 1 July, 2013)

    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 … Read More

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    Run for the hills!
    by A. Fluit (Monday 1 April, 2013)

    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. … Read More

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    Shadow Hills comp
    by J. Skiles (Monday 14 January, 2013)

    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 ow … Read More

$299.00

Artists
  • Tom Salta

    Renowned video game composer Tom Salta details how he uses UAD plug-ins to craft award-winning scores. Read More

    Joe Zook Mixes OneRepublic and Serena Ryder

    WIth multiple platinum-selling records under his belt, Zook is one of the industry's most sought-after mix engineers. Read More

$299.00

Features & Specs

Features

  • Meticulous emulation of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, licensed and endorsed by Peter Reardon
  • Created by Brainworx, developed exclusively for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform
  • Separate Optical and Discrete (VCA) dynamics sections for two-stage serial dynamics control
  • Separate Threshold and makeup Gain for each dynamics section
  • Fixed Ratio, Attack and Recover settings within the Discrete section
  • Transformer matrix switches between Nickel, Iron, and Steel output transformers — like selecting between 3 distinct vintage console outputs      
  • 90 Hz sidechain filtering for musical compression of low-frequency program material
  • Large, accurate VU meters provide Optical, Discrete, or Output gain views
  • Custom presets created by Shadow Hills founder and designer Peter Reardon  
  • Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide

See the UAD Instance Chart here

Parameter Specifications

Optical Section

  • Optical Threshold: 1-24 clockwise rotation increases the amount of Optical gain reduction
  • Optical Gain: 1-24 clockwise rotation increases the amount makeup Gain and overall level
  • Optical Bypass: In/Out

Discrete Section

  • Discrete Threshold: 1-24 clockwise rotation increases the amount of Discrete gain reduction
  • Discrete Gain: 1-24 clockwise rotation increases the amount makeup Gain and overall level
  • Discrete Ratio: 1.2:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, Flood (past infinite), are the orders of magnitude that the gain of the Discrete compressor is reduced as the threshold is increased
  • Discrete Attack (ms): 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10 correspond to the amount of time in milliseconds it takes for the Discrete cell to react to the incoming signal at the level of the threshold or above.
  • Discrete Recover(sec): 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.8, 1.2 and Dual (imitates the two-stage release characteristics of the Optical cell)
  • Discrete Bypass: In/Out

Transformer Switching Matrix

  • Nickel: The cleanest position with the least distortion. This position has a subtle accentuation of ultra-high frequencies
  • Iron: This position has an additional Class-A amplifier section adding even-ordered harmonic distortion, resulting in a very musical upper low frequency boost
  • Steel: The most distorted of the selections, with an extremely tight boost in the low frequencies
  • Sidechain Filter: Flat/90 Hz 6 dB per octave filter removes frequencies below 90 Hz from entering the dynamic sidechain
  • Meter select: Optical gain reduction, Discrete gain reduction or Output
  • Dual Mono/Stereo: Selects between Dual Mono or Stereo linked operation
  • Hardwire Bypass: Disables/enables all DSP processing
$299.00

Docs

UAD System Manual

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Manual

UA 2012 Product Catalog.pdf

$299.00