Cytomic The Glue, Compressor – In Use (Review)

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Reviews, Software
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In most forms of modern music compression is of great importance, especially dance music, where it is often used as an effect in addition to being used for traditional compression.

In the past, I have tried out compressor plug-ins, but had never got the “wow” factor, certainly not enough “wow” to make me spend $99. But this has changed with, Cytomic The Glue. I had one of them rare moments, when suddenly your productions improve through the introduction of a new toy.

A quick introCytomic The Glue

The Glue is based on the SSL Bus Compressor, so the first thing you will want to know is, does it sound like a real one? Well I have to admit, I have not got a clue, as I don’t own a hardware SSL Bus Compressor, but I can say that it does impart some very pleasing warmth to your productions and has a magic ability to balance things out nicely, but more on that later.

As it is based on Hardware, the user interface is laid out in a nice easy to understand classic design. This also means that unlike with some modern software compressors, you are a bit more limited with your settings, for example set release times. But I found this not to be a problem, as the  settings seem to have nice sweet spots. (I’m sure this is the same with the hardware). I also found the display showing the gain reduction to be nice and clear.

In Use 

The Glue particularly shines when used on a drum bus, as I found when using it on a Drum & Bass track that had a high-passed chopped Amen Break, layered with a Kick & Snares. All of the drums had some previous processing in FXpansion Geist, but I wanted to further shape the Kick & Snare,  whilst at the same time not losing presence of the Amen Break. This called for some parallel compression, which is achieved in The Glue by using the Dry/Wet control (not found on the original hardware). The result was awesome, I was able to shape the kick & snare to provide more punch, whilst     at the same time bring the amen break more forward. This is a good time to mention that The Glue also has a nice side-chain feature with a high-pass filter in its path, great if you want to add that David Guetta or Daft Punk pump.

I also found The Glue to work great, as, umm, “glue” on your Master chain, prior to your limiter. With a very gentle setting and  a low amount of gain reduction, it just nicely pulls down them spikes and provides a more balanced and pleasing mix. It also to my ears does apply some nice colouring to the overall sound. I found that this colouring provided even on one of my more harsher tunes, a bit of warmth, but without the song losing its intentional aggressive feel.

Compressor Tip

Whilst on the subject of compressors, and going off at a slight tangent, a little tip!!! It is worthwhile using a Metering Plug-in (I use the free Voxengo SPAN) in conjunction with your compressor. You can then check the Peak/RMS levels dry (no compressor) against the levels Wet (Compressor active), so that you are not falling into the trap of thinking, yeah this compressor sounds great, when in reality all that you are doing is simply adding too much makeup, after your “gain” reduction (e.g. 4db gain reduction dialled in using the threshold knob, but adding back 5.5db gain using the makeup knob, therefore 1.5db louder). The Glue has a handy bypass button to toggle between wet & dry.

Overall

To some people $99 may sound high for something that is included in your DAW, but I found The Glue to be worth its weight in gold. As I normally say in my reviews, only you will know if the user-interface and sound will work its magic on you, but the great thing about software is you can download a trial for free, so why not try it out!!

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