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Customer Reviews 13 Reviews

4.77 out of 5 stars

by S. BELFIORE (10/15/2015):

This is the best sounding and easy to use drum gate out there. My go to on all drum tracks Read more

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Valley People Dyna-mite™ Plug-In
A legendary, one-of-a-kind dynamics processor.

Valley People’s roots go back to the 1950s, with the ambitious analog designs of the legendary Paul Buff, who founded the historic PAL studio in southern California. His last design for Valley People may very well be his most famous, the incomparable Dyna-mite limiter/gate/expander.

Designed in conjunction with Softube, the
Dyna-mite plug-in is a dead-on emulation of this classic — even enigmatic — dynamics processor for your UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Now You Can:
  • Crush, craft, and mutilate with one of the most versatile dynamic processors ever created
  • Use the Limit feature to bring out the smack of a drum or make an acoustic guitar more percussive
  • Dial in the Gate function to clamp down signals while leaving transients untouched
  • Use De-ess mode to control harsh consonants and subdue unwanted artifacts from hard compression
  • Use the handy Mode display for quick help and parameter values

Not Your Normal Limiter

Although it can be used as a traditional limiter or expander, the Dyna-mite’s legend is that of a creative tool capable of extreme, yet musical effects on a variety of sound sources. Just drop it on your tracks and twist a few knobs — you’ll quickly hear why the Dyna-mite enjoys a fanatical cult following, and is considered a “secret weapon” by top engineers and producers.

Glorious Gating and Expansion Effects
The Dyna-mite gate/expansion circuitry offers a bevy of colorfully twisted flavors, allowing you transform individual instruments by dialing-in extreme gating effects.

Limitless Limiting
The Limiting mode on the Dyna-mite is notorious. Use it to explode your drum bus with incomparable fatness and ferocity. Valley People’s proprietary circuit scheme, Anticipatory Release Computation (ARC), is a major contributor to the Dyna-mite’s Limiting prowess. By analyzing the program input, it anticipates waveform gain modulation — or excessive and un-musical pumping — and computes a different release envelope in order to prevent the unwanted effects.

De-ess or De-stroy
Use the Dyna-mite for subtle vocal treatments such as a gentle limiter and de-esser, or set it up to obliterate a Wurlitzer. With the Dyna-mite plug-in, you’re afforded a multitude of textures, from beautiful to brash, even brutal. You can use the Dyna-mite to demolish — or accentuate — the transients of any sound, or add over-the-top grittiness.


Valley People Dyna-mite™ Plug-In
Basics and FAQ.
What is the Valley People Dyna-mite?

Valley People Dyna-mite is a multi-function dynamics processor designed for problem solving and creative effects. It is not for the faint of heart. The unit originally came out in the 1980s and to this day, no other limiter/compressor/gate/expander can perform in a similar way to the Dyna-mite. With multiple functions, it is a highly versatile dynamics processor, full of unique character and possibilities. It allows you to transform your sounds in many different ways. Described below are five great uses for the unit.

How can the Dyna-mite be used to crush signals?

When you set the Dyna-mite’s function switch to Limit and the right detector switch to peak (marked Pk), you will get one of the fastest and most ruthless limiters that exists. It will obliterate the transient of any sound, and bring out the sustain as well as any room sound that is captured with the sound source. Try it on drums, and it becomes very apparent how the unit got its name. But it can be very useful for taming transients of any instrument that needs to be softened.

How can the Dyna-mite be used to make signals "pop?"

Sure, all compressors can to a certain extent be used to emphasize the transients of a track, but you’d be hard pressed to find anything that does it in the same manner as the Dyna-mite. Keep the function switch set to Limit but flick the detector to average (Avg), and the transients will start popping out at you from the speakers so intensely it will make you blink involuntarily. This setting is great for bringing out the smack of a drum or making an acoustic guitar more percussive and attention-grabbing.

How can the Dyna-mite be used as a gate?

The extreme responsiveness of the Dyna-mite is intact when you set the function switch to Gate. You can hard gate your sound source while leaving your transients untouched. Great for metal guitars where you want dead silence in between the chugs, for getting rid of roominess in a sound and of course for cleaning up background sounds leaking into drum mics. Set the detector to Pk for a hard gate and to Avg for a gentler, more musical response.

How can the Dyna-mite be used as an expander?

The Range knob is very useful when the Dyna-mite is in Gate mode. Here, it basically works as a volume knob for the material that was gated out. So if you for example use the Dyna-mite to gate out the background sounds from a close-mic’ed drum, and you find the result too unnatural, you simply use the Range knob to mix the background sounds back in at a level that is low enough to not mess up your mix, but strong enough to not make the sound unnatural. This is also great for altering the mix balance in drum overheads where the cymbals got too loud, and similar situations.

How can the Dyna-mite be used as a de-esser?

Set the left detector switch to de-ess (Ds) and hear how the Dyna-mite starts responding more strongly to
s-sounds. If you use the unit in Limit mode, it will dampen s-sounds from vocals, cymbals and string squeaks from acoustic guitars—things that otherwise tend to be brought forward with hard compression. Setting the detector to Ds will bring sounds like these back to unobtrusive levels. When you set the switch to Ds with Dyna-mite in Gate mode, the unit will again respond more easily (thus opening the gate) to s-sounds, or sounds in that frequency range. This can be useful when you’re trying to isolate a sound with a lot of energy in that frequency range, such as a close mic on a hi-hat.

Are there any differences between Softube’s native versions of this plug-in and the UAD version?

The plug-ins have similar features and basic operation. However, the UAD version of the Valley People Dyna-mite does not currently support External sidechain.




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  • Matt Vanacoro

    (Ask Audio)

    “The Dyna-mite is an incredibly simple dynamics processor to use, and yet it has a lot of depth to it.”

    Andrew Scheps

    (Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Duke Spirit)

    “I like the [Valley People] Dyna-mite because, well, it sounds like dynamite. Definitely a unique character that you don't find with other compressors.”

    Joe Chiccarelli

    (The Strokes, U2, Jason Mraz, Morrissey)

    “[The Valley People Dyna-mite Plug-In] puts an amazing front end on the attack of a snare or a tambourine that really makes it speak in a track.”

    Eric "E.T." Thorngren

    (Bob Marley, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads)

    "The [Valley People] Dyna-mite was always one of the most useful devices in the studio. It does wonderful gating and expanding plus the compressor circuit can be used from subtle to total whack."

    Bil VornDick

    (Alison Krauss, Marty Robbins, Rhonda Vincent)

    “It is nice to have the Valley People Dyna-mite [plug-in]. I used [the hardware unit] all the time, and now, how cool to have it again as an insert. It sounds like I remember.”

  • Computer Music

    Computer Music

    “The Dyna-mite [plug-in] excels in those situations where you need crack and snap.”

    Music Tech

    (Music Tech UK)

    “Softube seems to have genuinely unearthed and rejuvenated a cult classic, ready for a new lease of life. Trying out the Dyna-mite [plug-in] may well prove to be an addictive experience.”

    Michael Wagener

    (Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Dokken)

    “There is always the debate if plug-ins sound close to the original [hardware]. With the Softube Dyna-mite [plug-in] I hear absolutely no difference. Those guys nailed it.”

User Ratings

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Average Rating (13 Reviews)
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    Best drum gate
    by S. BELFIORE(Thursday 15 October, 2015)

    This is the best sounding and easy to use drum gate out there. My go to on all drum tracks Read More

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    Great plugin!
    by K. Karlsson(Tuesday 13 October, 2015)

    This one is a killer on the drum room mics Cheers! Kristian Read More

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    Valley People Dyna-mite
    by O. Bergkvist (Sunday 1 February, 2015)

    Sounds true to the original, finally I have the option to use it on multiple instances at the same time. Thanks UAD. Read More

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    love it
    by N. Afflitto (Friday 16 January, 2015)

    Want a compressor that can do the smash/smack thing really well? This is it! One of my only plugins that likes to be pushed. Love the gate as well. A winner. Read More

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    So far, so good!
    by A. Newman (Wednesday 31 December, 2014)

    It has been a few years since I've owned the lunchbox version of this, but so far, this has been a pretty pleasant surprise. The VP dynamite is a in a way a one-trick-pony for me (i know it is more flexible than the way I use it), but I basically slam a drum bus with this guy and use it for… Read More


Features & Specs
Valley People Dyna-mite™ Plug-In
Features & Specs
Key Features
  • Unique and versatile, the Dyna-mite has its own well deserved spot in the pro audio hall of fame
  • Use it to limit, expand, gate or de-ess, with a wide range of uses
  • Limiter goes from abusively squashing to a transient enhancing spikiness
  • Switch on de-ess mode to keep control of harsh consonants while limiting
  • Expander/gate goes from strict and tight to subtly expanding by softening the soft sounds and bringing the louder sounds forward
  • Ultra fast attack time
  • Modes Display shows quick help and parameter values
  • Models entire electronic path
  • Requires a UAD-2 DSP Accelerator or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide

See the UAD Instance Chart here

Parameter Specifications
  • Threshold: -40.5 to +21 dBV
  • Release: 0.05 sec/20 dB to 5.10 sec/20 dB
  • DET (detector source) switch: Int (internal), Ds/Fm (de-essing circuit activated)
  • MODE switch: Exp (expansion), Out (bypass dynamics control), Limit
  • DET (detector mode) switch: Gate, Pk (peak), Avg (average)
  • Range: 61 dB to 0 dB
  • Output: –15.2 to +15.1


UAD Plug-Ins Manual

UAD System Manual

UA Product Catalog

Valley People Dyna-mite Manual