Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor


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

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in for UAD hardware and UA Audio 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.

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.

Now You Can:

Mix and master with an emulation of the legendary Shadow Hills Compressor, endorsed by Peter Reardon

Harness Nickel, Iron, and Steel transformer types for a wide range of distortion characteristics and transient limiting

Use separate Optical and Discrete (VCA) dynamics sections for two-stage serial dynamics control

Employ 90 Hz sidechain filtering for musical compression of low-frequency program material

Three Majestic Compressors in One

Three Majestic Compressors in One

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 dynamic range. The Discrete section takes over where the Optical section leaves off, provides precise control over gain, threshold, ratio, attack, and release.

Switchable Output Transformers — Nickel, Iron, and Steel

Switchable Output Transformers — Nickel, Iron, and Steel

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).

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
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

Customer Reviews

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Overall Rating

C. Bruce

August 9, 2020


I started a mastering company with this and it’s one of the tools I use

C. Schroeder

August 4, 2020

Purchased at strong urging of a Grammy-nominated producer friend of mine

Considering the actual hardware version of this is about 10k, the 125$ 1/2off price I paid is phenomenal value and i'm using this and the bx_masterdesk on just about every single master output of every single project I've worked on for weeks now. I don't know all that much about mastering compressors, but my Grammy award nominated producer buddy does, and this was the first thing he told me to buy when I said I was using UA plugins.

I'm glad I listened.

D. Alley

July 13, 2020

Shadow Hills

This was for sure a worthwhile investment. I was really struggling with a mix and the second I put this plugin on the master bus everything cleared up. It’s magic! Thank you UAD!

B. Ford

June 15, 2020

Just Saved $10k !!!!!

So I’ve always wanted to use the Shadow Hills gear. I actually went to a mastering engineer for one of my projects specifically to get the outboard shadow hills sound on my music. Not I have it at my fingertips.


a. moreno

June 11, 2020


I love it!

M. Oehmke

May 25, 2020

Great plugin

Simply Awesome


May 20, 2020

My Goto Mastering Compressor

Mastering isn't done without a shadowhill

J. Romero

May 19, 2020


I love it excellent!!

J. Romero

May 19, 2020


I love it excellent!!

j. osorio Gomez

May 13, 2020

fantastic mixbus and mastering compressor

this plugin it`s so versatil and the results are pretty amazing ... I Love it

C. Norman

May 10, 2020

Love It!

Its a must have.

H. Park

May 4, 2020

I am happy with the natural result.

I'm still trying a lot.
But the more I work, the softer it feels.
It's not enough time to describe it correctly, but my results have become quite luxurious.
I will continue to study and get better work.

R. Key

May 1, 2020

Shadow Hills - love on Top

Man this plugin saved me the other day I had a last minute request and some subpar raw audio recordings. The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor allowed me the ability to tweak the project and get it sounding great!!! Thanks UA

K. Schwarzer

March 28, 2020

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Gives me everything I always wanted :))

A. D'Onorio

March 19, 2020

More then a mastering tool!

Bought it for mastering but does other jobs really well!!

R. Pongracic

March 13, 2020


Useful tool for mixing and mastering, love it !!

t. Kim

March 5, 2020


This compressor sound is so good i love it.

R. Myers

February 23, 2020

Best mastering plugin

So far this is the best mastering plugin i have used i tried most all uad master plugins bought most of them this one is special big fat and loud and smooth low end and does not kill the highs

S. Wang

February 21, 2020

Very Good quality

its' a very good compressor

B. Callihan

February 15, 2020

Waited a long time for this and it was totally worth it.

Just get it. Read the hilarious manual and spend a day going through all your old stuff and replacing every compressor you come across with this beast. Surprisingly versatile and very musical.