Gear Lust 05/2010
Barry Rudolph: "I'm highly recommending the mpressor for its versatility and unique abilities not obtainable with any other processor. It excels especially in the creative side by radically altering the dynamic envelope of sounds yet it can also behave very civilized when you require. The negative ratio and Anti-Log release mode are strictly fun!"
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Monitor 03/2010
Gunnar E. Olsson: "I can't get rid of the impression that the transfer of the hardware mpressor's motto – sound quality without compromise – went really well. The software works as fine as a mixing and mastering compressor as it does as a creative sound tool. Working with the mpressor is extremely easy, but it is full of great surprises at the same time."
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Future Music 02/2010
Stuart Bruce: "From subtle but controlled compression to radical pumping, tonal shaping to complete changes in the feel of a groove, the Mpressor will certainly make a mark on your music. Add to that great sonic quality and this is a very powerful and musical tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for every day."
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Keys 02/2010
Martin Keller: "The mpressor can be used on versatile occasions  […] The sound is excellent, clear and warm with a high resolution. The special features like Anti Log and negative ratios described above allow deep transformations and manipulations which point out the mpressor's qualities as a unique tool."
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Delamar 01/2010
Mario Laemmerhirt: "If you ask me, elysia have kept their promise all along the line. I, for one, could not find a fly in the ointment. The mpressor cuts an extremely fine figure when used as a creative sound shaping tool. I experienced its interesting compression effects to be very convincing. My new reference class."
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Apfelwahn Music 01/2010
Heiko Wallauer: "This plug-in is certainly not a one-trick-pony, but a very flexible one instead. No matter if you want to compress acoustic instruments the decent way, or raise the pressure on drums, or create spectacular effects – the mpressor does it all. With its many special features it convinces all along the line."
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Audio News Room 01/2010
Fab: "One of the most original compressors of our times, faithfully modeled and ready to be used on multiple tracks on your DAW. The mpressor can be an excellent all-round compressor, but to me it really shines on more experimental tasks, thanks to its unique controls."
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Sonic Scoop 01/2010
Geoff Sanoff: "The mpressor definitely has a color to it, though it’s a color with many gradations of density and tone, far more than most compressors. While it does transparent reasonably well, it does character much better. […] What the Distressor has become to modern recording, the mpressor plug-in may well become to in-the-box mixing."
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96kHz.de 12/2009
Klangfabrique: "The mpressor shines because of its sonic qualities, its accurate and solid dynamics processing, its flexibility and its intuitive operation. Its functionality outranges normal compressors by offering new and and almost playful ways to create unimagined soundscapes. The title 'creative compressor' is justified by all means."
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Recording.de 12/2009
Andreas Ecker: "The mpressor is absolutely convincing: sound and flexibility are top notch. My earlier favorites now have to face a serious rival, as because of its special features it beats them as an allrounder with a good lot of esprit."
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A day with the elysia mpressor plugin

by Ludvig Nylund
Guitarlounge – December 2009

Each year the audio plugin market seems to reach a new all time high. There’s a lot of people in the pro audio business that more and more start using precise digital plugins and analog emulations over real hardware, why? Several reasons for sure, price, ease of use, recall-ability for example.

It’s simply easier to just press the save button on your DAW and open the same project with the exact settings a year later, than go searching for the recall sheets in the archive and start tweaking all knobs on a whole mix to the right value.

The same goes for price point, when a hardware compressor costs 4,000 € one can get a really convincing emulation of the same gear in form of a plugin for a tenth of the price or even less. Both sound more or less the same, with the hardware unit being slightly ahead. The question stands though, on the final result… will the listeners hear and appreciate the difference that justifies spending ten times more of my cash on the hardware unit, most likely not. And add to that, a plugin most often offers instances ad infinitum while the hardware unit is only one.

Still an audio enthusiast as I am, I have to admit that it would be mighty to own a couple of top-notch hardware units!

The German based company, Elysia, released their hardware Mpressor on the 2007 MusikMesse Frankfurt. With a MSRP at $4,999 this was not an option for the humble home producers. This was the compressor for the professional studios which can afford investing at these price points.

2007 is now two years ago and a lot has happened on the plugin market. With each year and each new release plugins take a step up in quality, getting closer and closer to their hardware equivalents, I even dare to say that in some plugin cases we are almost there. Is the Mpressor a plug-in as good as it gets? Well, let’s find out!

On the development process of the plugin Elysia has worked with the much acclaimed coding company Brainworx, who also write and release their own plugins.

The Mpressor plugin, being an emulation, has the exactly the same adjustable parameters as the hardware version. The standard compressor controls, threshold, attack, release, ratio and gain as well as external side-chain are present and in addition the unique features of the mpressor including:

- Negative compression ratios
- Anti Log alternative release curve
- Auto Fast attack
- Niveau Filter EQ
- Gain Reduction Limiter

Some thoughts on usability of these special features
Negative compression ratios give one endless opportunities in carving out groove from a track as well as using the plug as an effect more than for traditional compression.

Anti Log release curve could be put into the same creative category. It instantly gives you pumping and an breathing by, what first hit me when I tried feels like turning compression inside out or reversing it in some way (though technically this probably isn’t the correct explanation for it).

Auto Fast works awesome for catching loud and fast peaks that otherwise can be problematic, when using the compressor for increasing level of the material it can also come in quite handy.

Niveau Filter EQ is an easy to use feature that I’m certain I will find myself using at many coming occasions, basically you pick a point on the frequency range and choose amount of dB on EQ gain parameter. Everything above the chosen frequency is boosted and everything below is cut with the chosen amount of dB. Alternatively you can have it work the other way around so that everything below chosen frequency is boosted and above cut. Superb for brightening or warming up a track just a tad.

Gain Reduction Limiter is exactly what the name says, you can stop gain reduction at a dB value. Say you really squash your track having gain reduction reading -10 dB, engage the limiter at -4 dB and it goes no further. So the loudest parts of your tune can retain its dynamic while you still going nuts squashing the quiet parts. Useful? You bet!

Conclusion
Maybe you’ve already come to the same conclusion that I have indirectly mentioned above, this seems to be everything a standard compressor is and beyond. It’s modern and versatile, it’s clean and tight, when you want it to be breathy it breathes, when you tell it to be subtle and transparent it obeys and if you throw it out there to be whacky and angry it does that just as well… all while retaining stellar quality. It can work anything from a single vocal track to drums to bass to a full fledged rock mix and most often it does a very very good job.

It’s easy to work as it has the basic hardware compressor layout (worth noticing though is that the graphics just reassembles one side of the Mpressor hardware unit, even though the plugin of course works both on stereo or and mono).

People often categorize compressors to clean or colorful and most often also terms like vintage, modern, tight, loose, hifi and lofi pop up in the same discussions. If one is to categorize the Mpressor it, in my opinion, defines a versatile, modern, tight sounding unit that can be used on a wide array of material and at the same time it has an second side presenting experimental sound shaping using features like the negative ratios.

Is it worth the price?
As mentioned earlier in this review when it comes to prices of plugins this one is on the steep side, with a MSRP of 349 € it isn’t something that one buys as a beginners package bundled with a DAW. This is as professional it gets without going OTB.

Does it justify such a price? Well that’s something that everyone has to decide for themselves, but if you are looking for top quality sound shaping without going to expensive hardware this is among the best there is.

If you want to try it out you can download it here, but you need an ilok. During the trial period prepare to isolate yourself from the world, do some extensive testing and then decide if you're ready to invest. I’ll guarantee you one thing, you’ll be impressed by it!

Currently the Mpressor plugin is available in RTAS, VST and AU formats and with TDM coming in December it’s going to be accessible for the whole DAW market. We’re going to round this review off with some sound clips to give you some listening material. Vocals are recorded with a vintage Neumann U47 and the acoustic guitar with an AKG C451 B, both into the preamp of an SSL G8000 console, with some reverb and EQ applied in Logic. There’s three versions of each clip:

- Unprocessed
- Mpressor compression: You’re eager to hear aren’t you?
- Logic 8 Compressor: Not a bad one by any means, but a little less impressive.

Worth to be noted though is that there’s no way that these clips show the versatility of the Mpressor, it only touches the surface of the basics that it can do on Elysia’s webpage you’ll find some more agressive on-off clips of the Mpressor working on different kinds of drumloops and rhythm sections. But you really need to download the demo and explore it yourself!