6 Free Compressor Plugins To Add Character and Clarity

Every year we are introduced to so many amazing free plugins. There are plenty of free compressor plugins, which is great since they each have a different character and uses.

It’s hard to keep up with all of the best free compressor plugins that are out there. So, in this article, we aim to introduce you to some interesting free plugins!

Not sure how to use these plugins? Put these free compressor plugins to use with these 4 types of compression.

Tokyo Dawn Labs Molotok

This is a compressor that has character. 

The TDR Molotok is the younger brother of the TDR Molot GE compressor.

It features all the essential controls you would expect a compressor to have. It also features an Eco-mode that saves CPU power and a zero-latency live mode.

In between the attack and release knobs lives a mysterious knob that switches between compressor styles labeled as “alpha, beta, and sigma”.

The “alpha” position has the most transparent sound while the “sigma” position adds some character. 

If in any doubt as to what a certain thing does, TDR Molotok features a very useful button labeled “?”. After clicking the button you can hover over any part of the interface and it will display the explanation and useful information for the component in question. 

All in all, this is a very useful compressor that has both creative and technical uses.

Free Molotok compressor plugin from Tokyo Dawn Labs

Download TDR Molotok

Native Instruments Supercharger

The Supercharger compressor is a loving rendition of a classic piece of studio gear, the tube compressor. 

As the name suggests you can “supercharge” your sounds and make them brutally crushed, but dialing mild settings can get you a warm, almost subtle, compression.

The UI design is minimal. In the center lives the big compression knob, “sidechain” button, and “input trim” knob are to the left, and to the right, you have the “dry/wet” knob, “output” knob, “punch” button which activates slower attack time and lastly we have the “dirt” knob which applies a touch of saturation. 

To get this amazing plugin you have to register a Native Instruments account (which is free), then download the native access app to your computer, and then claim the free “Komplete Start” package that comes with all sorts of amazing goodies alongside the Supercharger compressor.

Native Instruments Supercharger compressor is a free plugin

Download Native Instruments Supercharger

Melda Production MCompressor

MeldaProduction has become the synonym for high-quality free plugins. If you ever asked the question “where can I download good free VSTs?” in any music production forum you would get a response directing you to their site. 

They are favored by sound designers all over the world and like the rest of their amazing plugin collection, MCompressor isn’t far behind when it comes to quality and functionality.

It features all the essential compressor controls, but aside from those, it features a custom shape control. This feature alone is one of the many reasons why sound designers love Melda. 

It allows you to draw custom processing shapes and having this feature opens up a creative window that is endless with possibilities.

The UI in Meldas compressor is by far the best one on this list. It has a big RMS meter that is hard to beat and all the controls you would ever need.

To learn more about what each part of the compressor do you can click on the button labeled “?”. 

This plugin comes with their “MFreeFXBundle” which packs a lot of amazing plugins all crafted with equal quality. 

MCompressor plugin from Melda Production

Download Melda Production MCompressor

Xfer Records OTT

OTT is a free plugin offered by Xfer records. The “Over The Top” compressor is one of the most talked-about compressors in the music production community. The reason for this is that simply said: “it makes everything sound better”.

The UI is simple and it packs a lot of sound-shaping options.

The “Depth” knob works like a dry/wet knob, “Time” functions as a knee, “In Gain” lets you control how much of the signal you are feeding into the compressor and the “Out Gain” is how much gain is going to come out of the compressor.

It features three RMS meters and three knobs labeled as “H, M, and L”. The letters are short for “High, Mid, and Low”. Since this is a multiband compressor it splits the signal into three eq bands and applies compression separately. 

The knobs let you control the volume of those three bands and on the RMS meter, you can find a slider that works like a threshold. 

Lastly, we have two knobs labeled as “Upwd %” and “Dnwd %” and these knobs let you control the amount of upwards and downwards compression.

In conclusion, OTT is a must-have in any producer’s toolbox and the only thing that makes this plugin even better is the fact that it’s free. 

Free compressor plugin OTT by Xfer Records

Download Xfer Records OTT

ADHD Leveling Tool

We have another great tube compressor on this list and it’s the Leveling Tool by ADHD. 

Apart from having the same controls, you would find in any compressor in this category it also has separate attack and release controls which make this VST the perfect compressor for vocals. 

A feature I found very useful is the option to make the RMS meter switch between input gain and gain reduction metering. This helps you set an optimal level going into the compressor, and then monitor the reduction while dialing in compression.

There is even a Dry/Wet setting for parallel compression.

Download ADHD Leveling Tool

Klanghelm DC1A and MJUC Jr

Klanghelm offers two free compressor plugins. Both are quite simple to use and character-based compressors.

This is by far the simplest compressor on the list because it only has an input and output knob. 

In the case of this compressor, the “Input Gain” knob is the star of the show and it determines the amount of compression applied. 

Despite being simple it packs some unique features like parallel compression (negative), dual-mono processing (dual mono), and a high-passed processing option (deep) that is great for bass-heavy tasks.

The simplest processing option is under the code name “relaxed” which works like a basic compressor.

The MJUC Jr is another free compressor from Klanghelm. It is a Variable-Mu design which means, the plugin is based on a tube compressor design.

You can use the MJUC Jr for leveling out dynamic audio or creating movement.

The controls like the DC1A are very simple, a knob for a compression level, a knob for makeup gain, and a switch to choose attack and release times.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of free compressor plugins for you to choose from. Whether you are looking for clinical accuracy or crunchy character, there is surely one in here that you will love.

Try them out, see which one you like!

Author: Mike P

Hi! My name is Mike! I’ve been an apartment producer/musician for 10+ years. I’ve played in punk bands, released EDM tunes on Beatport and iTunes, and have a semi-successful stock music portfolio. Read more…