If you’re looking for the best multiband compressor plugins 2022, then this article is perfect for you! We’ll be discussing what multiband compressor plugins do and which ones we think are the most effective. Read on to find out more about these powerful tools and how they can help take your music productions to the next level.
What is Multiband Compression?
Before we go into the best multiband compressor plugins 2022, let’s look at what a multiband compressor actually is. Multiband compression can be defined as being able to compress different parts of an audio file independently from one another by splitting it up into multiple frequency bands and compressing specific frequency ranges with their own unique settings. This means you can have a much more surgical approach when compressing your audio, which is essential for mastering.
The main advantage of using a multiband compressor over a standard compressor is that it can prevent the overall compression from sounding too harsh or ‘squashed’. By compressing different frequency bands at different levels, you can achieve a more natural-sounding result and avoid.
The top ten multiband compressor plugins for digital audio workstations are as follows:
- FabFilter Pro-MB
- Waves C6 SideChain Version
- Drawmer 1973
- Drawmer S73
- UAD Precision Multiband
- iZotope Ozone 9
- iZotope Neutron
- FabFilter ProQ3
- McDSP ML4000
- DAW Native Multiband Compressor Plugins
Let’s go over these tools in more detail now.
Top 10 Best Multiband Compressor Plugins in Detail
The Fab Filter Pro-MB is supported for Mac OS as well as Windows. It can be ordered in AAX native, AU, and VST formats. The Plugin has multiband displays that allow identifying precise bands and eliminating narrow-band splits over the frequency spectrum. All bands of this product may be provided a custom configuration according to your preferences.
The FabFilter Pro-MB in our opinion is an excellent multiband compressor plugin that’s perfect for everything (mixing and mastering). It has been designed with ease of use in mind, and its intuitive interface makes it quick and easy to get the best results.
It also has clever optimization and isn’t using too much CPU. So we can use it almost on every track and your project will not crash.
The plugin offers six bands of compression, every single band of which can be tweaked to perfection using a variety of controls including gain, threshold, ratio, attack time, decay time, dry/wet for parallel processing and more.
Another great option is great side chaining. You can send a side chain signal from any other instrument, eq sidechain signal, make an internal side chain, etc.
Also, we really like upward compression mode which can be used as an expander. And finally, you can choose between the Linear phase, Dynamic phase, or Minimum phase. FabFilter Pro MB is our most commonly used multiband compressor.
Price – $199 (US Dollars)
Waves C6 SideChain Version
The Waves C-Series Multiband Compressor is yet another great plugin that’s perfect if you’re looking for a top-notch multiband compressor.
It has pretty similar usability as ProMb, but it’s not so flexible in terms of sidechains and you can’t choose between Linear phase or Dynamic phase compression modes. There is no filter for sidechain signals or internal sidechaining possibilities, but it does have its own set of advantages.
First of all, it has a really interesting sound. It sounds more like an analog sound multiband compressor.
And the second feature is that you can make the band really narrow. It’s really helpful in case of sidechaining kick and bass or de-essing vocal track. Our team uses this multiband compressor a lot.
Price – $206 (US Dollars)
Softube Drawmer 1973
Drawmer 1973 is a vintage-style multiband compressor that can be found in many studios. It has been modeled as an analog multiband compressor and it definitely delivers when it comes to sound quality.
The plugin offers three bands of compression, each with its own set of controls including threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, and more.
What’s great about the Drawmer 1973 is that this multiband compressor sounds really great. It’s definitely not the best tool for common use on every track, but in our practice, this multiband compressor can be used on buses for making sound really interesting.
Price – $225 (US Dollars)
Softube Drawmer S73
The Drawmer S73 is another excellent multiband compressor plugin that offers three bands of compression with its own set of controls.
This multiband compressor has the simplest design and it’s more like a mastering processor than a multiband compressor. You can manipulate sound using 3 knobs – Amount, Air, and Style. Amount is for threshold, Air is boosting hi frequencies and Style is for Starting point preset. Different styles use different attack, release, ratio, and band crossover.
In addition, this plugin also can’t be utilized as a standard multiband compressor for everything. You can’t separate the bands, change attack, release, etc. But this multiband compressor plugin has an even more exciting sound than 1973.
This one can be explained as a professional SoundGoodizer. We use the Clarity style for enhancing hi frequencies on vocals or some acoustic instruments and Gentle Compression for mastering chain.
Price – $89 (US Dollars)
UAD Precision Multiband
The UAD Precision Multiband compressor is a plugin that’s been modeled for mixing and mastering needs.
It’s a great multiband compressor for those who are looking for something vintage-style. The plugin offers only four bands of compression with its own set of controls including threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, and more.
Also, it offers a very simple interface and intuitive controls so anyone can use this plugin with ease even if they don’t have much experience in audio production.
This one is good to go for those who use Universal Audio interfaces or Satellites for mixing and mastering.
Price – $149 (US Dollars)
iZotope Ozone 9
Many of the mixing engineers have the Ozone 9 plugin on board and it’s a good idea to use multiband compression from Ozone 9. This one can be used as the main plugin for multiband compression.
It offers four bands of compression. But it’s not a vintage-style plugin, rather an advanced one with different algorithms and modes to work on every single band.
It also has its own set of controls that are somewhat similar to other multiband compressors mentioned here – threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, etc. The Ozone offers a great interface and sound that is why it’s one of the most popular plugins for mixing.
The main thing here is that Ozone 9 is not the only multiband compressor plugin. It’s a great tool that contains everything you need to do mixing and mastering (eq, single-band compression, multiband compression, stereo imaging, limiter).
Price – $499 (US Dollars)
iZotope Neutron is pretty similar to Ozone’s 9 multiband compression. It has a pretty similar design and functions. However, it has some unique features.
First of all Neutron A.I.-based plugin. It can be helpful for beginners. Neutron can listen and analyze your sound and then make the best processing for this exact track or song to make it sound best.
It also has all tools needed to mix a song – EQ, Multiband Compression, Transient Shaper, and Exciter.
We used it for a while, but an experienced engineer usually knows how to use multiband compression and make a song sound great without a.i. help.
It’s an amazing tool for beginner musicians to make nice-sounding demo without a lot of experience.
Price – $399(US Dollars)
FabFilter ProQ 3
FabFilter ProQ is a plugin that was designed primarily as an EQ. However, it can be used as a multiband compressor.
It offers a pretty simple interface with a few knobs. You can choose for any band a Dynamic Mode and use it for fixing small problems with a specific band.
We use it a lot for individual instruments or vocals. However, it can’t be used as a mastering or bus compressor due to a lack of settings. You can’t choose Attack, Release, Ratio and there is no mix knob.
But it’s still a really helpful tool and it’s amazing to use it in combination with any Multiband Compressor.
Price – $179 (US Dollars)
McDSP ML4000 is the multiband compressor plugin that was designed for mixing and mastering.
This one offers four bands of compression with all needed controls – threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, and more. The plugin is powerful as well as clean sounding.
It’s a very common compressor, to the point that it’s not particularly distinguishable from other compressors. But it’s a great multiband compressor for an audio engineer who wants to have something powerful and clean in their arsenal.
We use it sometimes and it has an interesting and original sound. Nice multiband compression for drum bus.
Price – $149 (US Dollars)
DAW Native Multiband Compressor Plugins
And finally, we decided to mention standard multiband compressor plugins.
There is no major difference between multiband compression plugins from different daws.
Here is a list of standard multiband compressors:
- Avid (ProTools) – Pro Multiband Dynamics
- LogicX – Multipressor
- Steinberg Cubase – Multiband Compressor
- Ableton Live – Multiband Dynamics
- Reaper – ReaXComp
- Fl Studio – Fruity Multiband Compressor
These multiband compressors will be as good as any other multiband compressors mentioned here.
Yes, most of them have a simple design and miss some features for example sidechaining, upward compression, phase modes. But these are not key features for multiband compression.
The most important thing is that you will need to learn how these plugins work and how to use them in order to get the best results. They have all you need for an audio engineer to create amazing sound – separate bands, gain reduction meter, attack, ratio, release, and threshold.
Our audio engineers use these plugins sometimes, but we still prefer plugins from the best multiband compressors list, cause usually, it’s more comfortable to use them every day. It can be compared to a good car. Your task is to reach the destination and you can make it almost in every car, but it’s much more comfortable to do in a good one:)
That’s all the multiband compressors we used in our career regularly and we think this list multi band compressors have all tools you need to make any mix great.
Now, let’s answer some questions.
How to choose a multi band compressor plugin?
There is no clear answer to this question. We can only mention the features you should pay attention:
– what kind of multiband compressor do you need?
– what daw do you use?
There are different multi band compressors for every DAW, so it’s better to find the one you are most comfortable with.
– What is your budget?
Some plugins are more expensive than others, but all of them have a really good price/quality ratio.
– What multi band compressor style do you need?
Some plugins are more transparent and clean sounding, others are more colored and can be used for creative purposes.
– What is your purpose?
Some multiband compression plugins are better for mastering, some – for mixing, and others are great for individual instruments or vocals.
Our personal recommendation would be like this.
Choose 1 main neutral multiband compression plugin and 1 with really original sound.
Our choice is to use FabFilter ProMB and Drawmer S73. In this case, you can create any sound texture. But you can choose different combinations, for example, Waves C6 and Drawmer 1973, UAD Precision, and FabFilter ProQ3.
Basically, get a demo for all of there and find out what YOU like the most.
When would you use a multiband compressor?
Multiband compression provides excellent control over any audio. But it can be especially helpful on drums, vocals, and mix bus.
It’s not limited to any particular use case. You can use multiband compression in many situations.
But, if we have to mention some common cases:
- To fix unstable frequencies in a mix
- To control the dynamic range of audio
- To glue some elements by compressing bus
See also – How to Set Compressor Attack & Release Times?
See also – Mixing Tips
Should you use a multiband compressor for mastering?
We would recommend you to use a multiband compression plugin in case if you can’t contact the audio engineers and fix issues in the mix or if you want to add some interesting effect (for example parallel processing).
But usually, the mix should be balanced itself and it should be already balanced in terms of frequency response.
It’s always better to use a small amount of processing on the master bus and use any compression only for dynamic control.
Thank You for reading our article!
We hope you have found this information helpful. Feel free to contact us for online mixing and mastering with any questions.