How many compressors do you need?
I have bought many compressors in my life. Way too much I should say. Because at the moment I am only using one, the Fircomp 1.
Why is it so great?
The cool thing about the Fircomp is that even with the attack at 0 it still sounds great! On more complex material, like voices (I do a lot of podcast editing), I would normally need to use a very slow attack to keep the voices to sound natural. But with the Fircomp and the attack at zero it still sounds natural. It is the only compressor I am aware of which can do that. According to the manual:
True zero attack (same-sample) when “0.0 ms” is selected
Here’s a video demonstrating its amazing zero attack:
My favourite mode on the Fircomp is FIR LA. Instead of the standard zero latency mode the FIR LA mode introduces a small amount of latency for generating a super transparent signal. I guess this mode shows why the Fircomp is called as such.
There is also a Fircomp 2 which is marketed as “Even cleaner than Fircomp 1” that costs 23 English pounds. I compared both and couldn’t detect much difference with the free Fircomp 1. The Fircomp 2 has a ‘maximum compression range’ control for those who want to set a limit to the amount of compression and a few more additional options. Fircomp 2 is way bigger than the Fircomp 1 which is a bummer.
The Fircomp is only available in AU and VST3 plugin formats. Reason doesn’t support VST 3 which is a bummer. But in Ableton Live 11 Suite, which I am also using, it works perfectly.
The other downside I can think of is that it lacks character. It is so unnoticeable you might not even be aware you are using a compressor! Don’t get me wrong: this is a GOOD thing. But if who need a compressor that has a character, a typical punch or something like that, this open sounding Fircomp might be a little too HIFI sounding for your taste. But for me, I LOVE it!
Fircomp 1 is a freebie! You can find it here: Fircomp 1