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  • Overview
  • Features
  • Customer Reviews
  • 4.7/5

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.

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


R. Rockenschaub

March 4, 2024

Good Plugin

Good in parallel Compression with Drums.

R. Rockenschaub

March 4, 2024

Good Plugin

Good in parallel Compression with Drums.

R. Rockenschaub

March 4, 2024

Good Plugin

Good in parallel Compression with Drums.

A. Ryan

February 3, 2024

Shadow Hills Compressor

It's a classic and velvety compressor with a function and sound of it own! High end.

S. Studio

January 31, 2024

The Best

Best Mastering Compressor

S. Cordingley

January 31, 2024

A Historical Gem

The manual alone makes me glad I bought it! The mix I tried it on came out clear and smooth.
I look forward to trying out the different modes and applications of this “historical gem.”.

T. Don

January 26, 2024


It's a nice vst! I like the uad Emulation more!
Thx UAD!

L. Pascale

January 21, 2024

Must Have

This compressor does everything well and is a must in the Mastering Chain...

A. Santana

January 18, 2024


full comp i love

L. Jáger

January 16, 2024

Fantastic plugin

Great plugin.
I was able to make a very good sound with it.

D. Giovanni

January 14, 2024

Can’t even rate!!!

Where do I start with this nightmare purchase? I purchased Shadow Hill Mastering Compressor along with the Avalon VT-737. Went through the whole download process on the UA Console. Was only able to download the Avalon plugin and never received the Shadow Hill Compressor although I was charged for both. I reached out to support and still have not receive neither an phone call nor a follow up email going on two weeks now.. Never buying anything from UA what a con job!!!!

d. drula

January 9, 2024

beat maker et mix

le compresseur gauche est un opto et le coté droit plus polyvalent ,ce qui le rend tres particulier. sur le master faut y aller tres cool car il est tres musical et meme sur les voix ca sonne tres bien

G. Schwab

December 31, 2023

An excellence soundibg Compressor!

An excellent sounding compressor! This compressor is extremely versatile: it can sound extremely clean, clear or also strongly coloring, saturated. The possibilities that this compressor opens up are remarkable and extraordinary! One of the best-sounding compressors currently available. Highly recommended!

M. Whitebread

September 27, 2023

Peppy and versatile

Go to for mastering - very forgiving.

C. Hallowes

July 8, 2023

Subtle and beautiful

This compressor is a whole other alternative to Neve, SSL, API and Chandler. I own all those but this still on a number of songs is just right. It has a different, more subtle, yet beautiful feel to it.

E. bartlett

July 8, 2023



D. Ho

June 24, 2023

This is it!

I've tried many different mastering compressors, and while they all sound great and have their unique qualities, I always come back to the Shadow Hills. The naturalness and transparency are second to none.

S. Akinleye

April 3, 2023

So Amazing

I've been stuck with this compressor since the first time tying it out

S. Greenaway

March 29, 2023

Amazing Plug in

Fantastic plug in! Perfect sauce for the mix bus or master bus.

V. Kozarin

January 23, 2023

Sounds absolutely fantastic

I use it on vocals with some of the presets. Makes a huge improvement to blend any type of lead vocals in a final mix. Love it