Magazine article Guitar Player

Kjaerhus Audio GCO-1

Magazine article Guitar Player

Kjaerhus Audio GCO-1

Article excerpt

Sometimes, it's the smaller software companies that produce the real gems, and this is one of them. The GCO-1 "Golden Compressor" ($118 direct) VST plug-in for Windows 2000/XP gives you more than just a kickin' compressor/expander. This plug-in is almost like a compressor construction kit, where you can pick the best vintage or modern compressor characteristics you like, and then create a custom preset incorporating that particular sound.

For example, the GCO-1 offers five envelope types (Classic, Smooth 1, Smooth 2, Opto, and Pumper) that emulate the different gain-control elements used in various compressors. You can emulate the relative transparency of opto-based processors, or make the sound "pump and breathe" like some compressors did during the psychedelic '60s. (When a compressor makes a huge change to the input signal--say, 12dB or more--any noise will rise and fall along with the compressed signal level, giving the impression of breathing. A too-long release time, however, can "lose" lower-level signals as the compressor stops reducing gain, producing the anomaly known as "pumping.")

With extra goodies such as a subsonic input filter, the ability to adjust curve linearity, variable knee (hard knee for a sudden onset of compressor when a signal reaches the set threshold, or soft-knee for gradual gain reduction), and a 3-band EQ in the detector section for frequency-dependent compression (along with a variable filter to remove ultra-low frequencies), you have a tweaker's dream. …

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