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FET Compressor

The FET Compressor is an impressively faithful modeling of one of the most iconic compressors of all time. FET Compressor is loved for its aggressiveness and its tendency to add some tasty distortion to the sound source when driven hard. This compressor loves to be slammed and abused. But few things are so good they can't be improved, so we added a couple of nice features that makes it even more flexible than the hardware original.

In general, the FET Compressor can be used for deeper gain reduction than you would normally use with any compressor. The reason is that even at extreme settings, the FET Compressor shows no trace of the pinched sound many other compressors make when you push them hard. This ability for strict gain control is not least useful on lead vocal tracks that need to be kept in the listener's face. The distortion also adds a nice grit to the voice, highly useable in rock mixes but in no way limited to that.

Another common use for the FET is in drum mixing, where many engineers use it on room microphones, overheads or across the entire drum buss. Used this way, the FET Compressor has a way of bringing out a large, explosive sound in the Led Zeppelin vein. This is also an application where parallel compression is a useful technique, so we added the Parallel Inject control to facilitate this. To reduce kick drum pumping or let the bass guitar's low end bloom, use the side chain filter.

But there are still many more uses for the FET. Bass, acoustic guitars, pianos - bring out some edge or use the compressor's fastest attack setting to round off any transients.

In short
- Sweet input and output stage distortion.
- Super fast attack time (just like the original)
- Lookahead (in case you don't find the original's attack time fast enough)
- Modeled "All buttons in" mode
- Continuous ratio (even between 20:1 and ALL) - but if you want the fixed ratios of the original, just click the ratio labels around the knob.
- Parallel compression.
- Detector low and high cut filters
- External side chain
- Stereo with synchronized gain reduction
- Very CPU friendly
- Meticiously modeled analog compressor. Each single stage of the analog unit has been modeled separately to achieve the exact sound and behavior of the original analog unit.

FET Compressor Drum Sound Examples

Sound clips provided by Dan Lumbye

FET Compressor Drum Sound ExamplesSound clips provided by Dan Lumbye

Full Mix Example

FET Compressor used on piano, bass, lead vocals and rythm guitar tracks.

Full Mix ExampleFET Compressor used on piano, bass, lead vocals and rythm guitar tracks.

Samples by Scott Fritz of Stranded On A Planet Productions. Stranded On A Planet Productions

Three tricks with the Softube FET Compressor
Three Tricks with the FET Compressor
Features and Tutorial
Click to show Tony hangs out with Softube at AES NYC 2009. From left to right: Torsten, Tony, and Oscar.

Softube is so good, after using it the first time, I could speak french. Mainly because I kept saying: Pardon my french, but these plugins are Fucking unbelievable! The FET Compressor in particular is probably the warmest, fattest compressor plugin on the market.

Tony Shepperd, Producer/Mixer/Engineer for Madonna, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Elton John, Back Street Boys, etc.

Click to show Steve Fitzmaurice

Throughout my career I have evolved the way I work to incorporate working within both the analogue and digital world. I own around twenty outboard compressors, but the Softube FET Compressor offers another way to warp a sound which the hardware units don't.

Steve Fitzmaurice, Producer/Engineer Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue, Kate Nash, U2, Paloma Faith, etc.

Click to show Koen Heldens pondering the next move.

The FET Compressor is just in a league of its own, even though I've used the analog hardware unit for years.

Koen Heldens, LA-based international multi-platinum award-winning mixing engineer, with artists like Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott and Timbaland on his resumé.

Click to show Robert Scovill in front of a Venue mixing console.

The FET Compressor is a wonderful addition to my arsenal. I adore it on piano and bass guitar and the built in parallel compression is a big asset for live work.

Robert Scovill, Live sound engineer. His career spans over 30 years and includes live work with artists such as Prince, Rush, Def Leppard and Alice Cooper

Click to show Hwang Hyun in his songwriting studio.

I love the FET Compressor because it's so fast. I even like it on my master buss.

Hwang Hyun, K-Pop songwriter and producer. Member of My Afternoon. Worked with Girl's Generation, f(x), Kara, TVXQ and Japanese artist Misia.

Click to show Greg Wells in the studio

The FET Compressor is perfect to use on lead vocal.

Greg Wells, Producer and songwriter for Katy Perry, Weezer, Adele, Timbaland, Mika, OneRepublic, Pink, The Deftones, Rufus Wainwright, etc.

Click to show Greg Wells in the studio

The Trident A-Range and FET Compressor sounds very, very analog to me.

Greg Wells, Producer and songwriter for Katy Perry, Weezer, Adele, Timbaland, Mika, OneRepublic, Pink, The Deftones, Rufus Wainwright, etc.

Click to show Glenn Rosenstein

In regards to the FET: you guys got it right. It just sounds right.

Glenn Rosenstein, Producer/Engineer for Madonna, U2, Talking Heads, Ziggy Marley

Click to show Joe Chiccarelli

Of late I've been using the Dynamite plug in on drums. Combining it with the FET Compressor I can create some pretty aggressive drum sounds quickly when I need them. Snare drums just seem to crack thru any track with little effort.

Joe Chiccarelli, Mixer/Engineer/Producer for Beck, U2, The Strokes, Elton John, etc.

Click to show Steve Pageot

I will never do a drum mix without the FET Compressor.

Steve Pageot, Songwriter, producer, engineer—and flutist.

Click to show Ahrue Luster

[The FET] destroys the UAD and CLA 1176 style comps! Its only rival is the real thing!

Ahrue Luster, Producer and Metal Guitar Player of Machine Head, Ill Niño, etc.

Click to show Mix Magazine logotype

the FET Compressor from Softube is an all-around winner here at my Tones 4 $ Studios. It performs amazing on bass guitar, snare drums and the best, so far, on lead vocals!

Barry Rudolph, Contributing editor for MIX Magazine and 'New Toys' columnist for L.A.'s Music Connection Magazine.

The FET Compressor is probably the best software parallel compression on snare drums, I've ever experienced.

Søren Balsner, Carpark North

It is a very versatile and creative tool that cannot be mimicked nor matched by any other plug-in as far as I know. I can not imagine myself working without it, even though we have the hardware equivalent in the studio (this one being a DIY 1176 based on the Gyraf schematics) and the UAD-1 card with it's own flavor of the 1176LN. One thing is certain, Softube know their way around DSP code. FET Compressor is very light on the CPU, which means that you can have as many instances of the plug-in open as you could possibly need. Softube included the possibility to use an external side-chain signal, which is a brilliant move! Finally, an 1176LN that can be abused!

Pro Rec, Magazine

The FET Compressor can convince with the looks as well as with the sound. With the FET Compresssor plug-in Softube has an extremely recommendable plug-in in its portfolio, which interprets the legendary Urei 1176 acoustically in an excellent way.

Keys, Magazine (Germany)

Click to show Glenn Rosenstein

...an impressive emulation. The FET Compressor is very musical [...] it's just fun to use.

Glenn Rosenstein, Producer/Engineer for Madonna, U2, Talking Heads, Ziggy Marley

Click to show Scott Fritz

I produced his 8 song EP that was just released - the FET was used on the piano, Bass, Lead Vocals (including doubles) and Rhythm guitar tracks - all of the things I might reach for an 1176 for when mixing. [...] Again, great product! This will definitely see alot of use in my mixes. Coincidentally, I use the hell out of the Abbey Road Plugs and now the Tube Tech - all products that you have worked on. You guys really know what you are doing!

Scott Fritz, Scott Fritz is the president and producer of the Chicago-based studio Stranded On A Planet. Recently recorded artists include Amirah, Nadia Ali, Cavalier King, Michael Angelo Batio, Martha Berner, A Friend Called Fire, Karen Kiley, The Hawthorne Effect, and Voice Of Addiction

Click to show Fab Dupont

The FET compressor is a truly wonderful plug-in.

Fab Dupont, Producer/Mixer Jennifer Lopez, Toots and the Maytals, Marc Ronson

Click to show Scott Spock

I had a chance to thoroughly try out the FET Compressor and I have to say that I am thoroughly IMPRESSED.

Scott Spock, Producer/Songwriter of the Matrix

I love it! It's very musical and sits into the mix nicely.

Andy Hunt, Wide Studios, Nashville

The FET is Amazing!!!!!!!!

Ron Harris, Producer (Christina Aguilera)

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