CompresaturatorDemo is a universal binary Audio Unit plugin (PPC/32/64 intel) that uses a completely original algorithm: not really a distortion, not really a compressor, it’s kind of both! Dial in qualities unachievable with normal dynamics processors!

Here’s how it works. It starts with the classic Airwindows ‘softest possible saturation’, as found in PurestDrive. This is a distortion that clips completely at 0 db, is still having a tiny effect even as quiet as it’ll go, and has a perfectly smooth transition between these states (a sine function).

We take what’s distorted off the wave (always present, but more as the gain increases) and we run it into a time buffer, like a storage tank. Rather than running a time constant in the usual sense, the turn-down factor is just the average of all this. No time constant abruptly turning down the signal as you exceed a certain threshold! There is no threshold, it’s perfectly fluid and smooth. Not only that, the range (given in the ‘expansiveness’ control) chases up and down depending on how intensely driven the signal is.

What does this mean? Under normal circumstances, compressor gain gets modulated by the signal in an obvious way, and it changes the tone of the audio. With Compresaturator, as the time range is getting shorter (one sample at a time) it’s making each sample count for more. But then, on the release as the time range relaxes, the change in gain level is only whatever the new sample is (could be silence!) and on the trailing edge, the time range is expanding, so the gain’s not being modulated by trailing edge samples either.

What this means is, Compresaturator’s gain stage is smoother than anything. It just doesn’t modulate to audio waveforms at all, especially at higher ‘expansiveness’ values. The gain manipulation is totally fluid, and sounds that way. (It’s also very, very CPU-efficient)

Here’s the trick. This can only work in a saturation plugin! Without that, you’d have crazy transient spikes as the gain stage refuses to kick in with the speed of a normal compressor. Not only that, by design this can only clamp down on the tail end of a wave, so it reshapes everything to hit with more dynamic impact and thickness on the front, and then cleans up right away. And since it’s the softest possible saturation, even the ‘cleaning up’ is extremely fat and thick, extra up front and punchy.

So, this is an extremely simple and well-designed process that only works because all of its elements work together. It’s perhaps the ultimate ‘glue’ processor, conditioning the tone even at zero boost, or if you attenuate going into it. Compresaturator makes stuff impactful, dimensional, makes tracks jump out of the speakers and sound more alive, and it’s truly ‘the bomb’ but it’s all those things at a level of purity and sonic honesty that can stand up to complete overkill and smashing stuff aggressively into the plugin. Compare beating up on Compresaturator, and how it sounds when you make its effect exaggerated, with other current plugins which do “impactful, dimensional, wide, and exciting”. Hear the sonic signature of what the plugins do when you hammer them. Then dial it way back (as one’s frequently advised to do) and consider how much better the ‘glue’ effect is when you know it’s not a bad tone coloring. That’s Compresaturator: the latest in tone hyping and impact enhancing, making the front of the wave hit with real solidity, but keeping your textures and tones intact.

Compresaturator is $50.