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."
> Read more... 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."
> Read more... 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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Guitarlounge 12/2009
Ludvig Nylund: "The mpressor is 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."
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Review: elysia mpressor plug-in

by Geoff Sanoff
Sonic Scoop (USA) – January 2010

The mpressor is a digital recreation of elysia’s hardware unit of the same name. The plug-in was developed with the team from Brainworx, a new-ish software company that if you don’t know yet, you will know soon.

In contrast to the last few years of plug-ins focused on emulating the past, the mpressor, models a high-end device that has only been on the market a few years. The hardware mpressor has some innovative circuits including a fast attack mode, filtering EQ, anti-log release, and negative compression. As I’ve never used the real deal, I won’t waste time trying to compare the hardware with the plug-in. But these features have all been incorporated into the plug-in.

I will apologize in advance for not covering them as adequately as they deserve because their utility and complexity would require more space than I have to write this review. Besides, these design innovations are best understood first hand.

First off, among the most notable things about the mpressor is that its controls are all within useful ranges. Some pieces of gear give you a lot of room to work with, but really only are useful within a narrow range of their settings. The mpressor is the opposite. Its controls are useful within their full range, and this gives you a very versatile compressor for shaping both dynamics and tone.

As is the case with popular vintage gear, the mpressor is quite capable of imparting pleasant coloration to the signal. When using it on a lead vocal in a mix for Swedish folk pop band, Raymond & Maria, I wanted to add some thickness to singer Maria’s vocal so that it took up more space in a relatively sparse track. The result was a beautiful fullness on her delicate voice. The mpressor was able to bring the life to the party, while effectively controlling the dynamics at the same time.

Using it on male vocalist Scott McLoud on a mix for band Paramount Styles, I attempted the same thing. Scott’s voice was well recorded, but thinner sounding than I would have liked. Trying my often-reliable Fairchild emulator proved to be too dark and squishy so I thought I’d try the mpressor and see how it fared. It certainly brought out more vocal texture, as I’d hoped, but at a certain loss of clarity. I could have just added a little EQ to bring out the detail that was getting lost, but the mpressor has a filter section that seemed perfect to try in this application.

The audio filter section of the plug-in is a Niveau filter. The basic idea is that you can shift the tonality of the signal up or down around a central frequency. So for instance, on Scott’s vocal by shaping it around what looks to be 300 Hz (!) up 1.5 towards the high end, I was able to re-capture some of the brightness that the compression was eating into. A word of caution however: this filter design is different than any EQ or sidechain I’ve ever used on a compressor, and I found that you really need to play with it a bit before you can make sense of how it works. It’s not super intuitive, but it is useful.

If you are looking for a drum bus compressor capable of squashing the piss out of an ant, or just lightly dusting the transients, than the mpressor is the best thing to come down your path since coffee. It is really versatile in this application and I can only imagine the cool stuff people will come up with using it. The auto-fast mode is so fast that it basically gets rid of the attacks. (de-essing, hello!) When combining that with the negative ratio mode on drums, I got what can best be described as backwards drums. Used in concert with the sidechain, the possibilities, in particular for dance music producers, seem wide open.

A posting on a popular web forum caught my eye with the observation that because the design of the compressor was feed forward, it would not be a very good choice for bus compression. So I thought I’d put that to the test on some mixes for heavy alt guitar rock band, Hoodless.

I don’t think the mpressor is the right bus compressor for every situation, but I was impressed by the muscle it brought out in this fairly heavy rock music. It definitely added the gel that you expect from bus compression. And it has a link switch so you can have both channels compressing independently if you are shooting for a wider stereo field. One of its most useful features, the gain reduction limiter, shined in this mix bus application.

Some newer compressor designs include the ability to mix together the compressed with the uncompressed signal so that you can slam a mix but still maintain the transients of the uncompressed signal. The mpressor approaches this problem a little differently by allowing the user to set a limit as to how much gain reduction will take place.

If you only want to take off 2-3 dB, you can set it so it’s compressing often on the overall mix, but never actually reducing the signal unreasonably. When that floor tom you forgot to ride down slams in, your whole mix doesn’t shut down like it might with a more conventional compression design. It’s really a great feature and I expect other designers out there to try and imitate it because it makes it easier to get a compressed sound that doesn’t sound too compressed and isn’t based around trying to control a few small moments in a track.

The major drawback to the mpressor is its complexity and depth. The anti-log, negative ratio and auto-fast setting are all fantastic features for creative compression, but they take time to get your head around. 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. Considering that as a plug-in you can have multiple instances of its processor-friendly 32-sample latency design, I’d venture to say that what the Distressor has become to modern recording, the mpressor plug-in may well become to in-the-box mixing.