The FET Compressor from Softube is a compressor plug-in for use with Avid's Pro Tools HD and VENUE systems, modeled after what is arguable considered the most famous solid state hardware compressor. The company realized that simply approximating the most apparent features is not enough to capture the uniqueness of the original hardware, so instead of modeling individual features and putting them together digitally, they modeled the unit in its entirety - input and output stages, gain reduction feedback loops, bias differences of different transistors, etc.
Unlike the original, the plug-in features a fully variable ratio although it can still function the standard way with fixed ratios. And of course the "All Buttons In" mode has been included. The signature attack that the original is famous for is faster than a single sample, and a look-ahead detector can make it function even faster. Parallel compression functions within the plug-in and since the "Dry" signal also spends some time inside the algorithms, it can take on the subtle distortion derived from pushing the input and output stages.
Added features not found on the original hardware include external side chain support, detector look-ahead with low- and high-cut filters for the detector, two modeled VU meters, and a stereo peak meter that allows for controlling the output signal. In case there is no use for the extra features, they can be simply switched off.
Famous solid state analog compressor model including modeled input and output stages
"All Buttons In" mode
Continuous adjustable ratio (even between 20:1 and ALL)
Super fast attack time, just like on the original hardware
Input and output stage distortion
Detector low- and high-cut filters
External side chain
Detector look ahead
Stereo with synchronized gain reduction
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20 microsecs to 0.8 ms
50 ms to about a second
CPU consumption for one stereo instance. The percentages include TDM/MuSh overhead and "first instance running" overhead, so the actual CPU consumption is actually lower
Mac PowerPC or Intel processor (system must meet requirements for Avid's Pro Tools HD) 10.4 or higher for PPC, 10.5 or higher for Intel 1GB RAM Pro Tools HD 7 or higher iLok USB key and the latest Pace Interlok drivers
PC Pentium II or higher (system must meet requirements for Avid's Pro Tools HD) Windows XP or higher 1GB RAM Pro Tools HD 7 or higher iLok USB key and the latest Pace Interlok drivers
Softube FET Compressor - "Solid State" Compressor Plug-In (TDM) Review