We are awash with various dynamics tools these days, but don’t sleep on this. GMaudio is a deceptively simple upward compressor that you’ll want in your Ableton Live arsenal, as it can scale effortlessly from nuance to extreme. And it’s remarkable that it’s free; it almost feels like it fell out of an Ableton Live upgrade from a parallel universe.
GMaudio is Robert K aka Groove Mekanik of Fixation Studios, who is also an Ableton Certified Trainer, evidently. Squeeze is an upward compressor – in contrast to a downward compressor (well, obviously). Downward compression is the variant you’re probably most used to – it turns down sounds above a particular threshold. We think of that making things louder because we then compensate by adding gain. Upward compression increases the audio level below a threshold. It’s still compression – you still wind up with less dynamic range, which is what differentiates this from an expander – but it opens up some other ranges for adjustment and creative musical use.
That’s better explained with a picture than words, as we’re talking in visual metaphors – but that’s where Squeeze’s interface is a huge boon, as it makes all of this really intuitive.
Features from the dev:
- 6dB dynamic phase crossovers (300hz & 5khz) allowing parallel processing
- Smoothly blend from single band to multi-band operation
- Achieve a variety of effects with only 6 parameters
- Visualization of parameter settings
- Unique 5 stage release character
- All parameters can be modulated
- Info View text and Push ready
- Low CPU usage
I like that description of “OTT but upward,” “mixed with a ‘doom compressor’, but pushed to the extreme with zero phase shift and GMaudio quality.”
And it is hugely musical to use. Here are some experiments with it. First I use it on an instrumental part (custom AAS patch Chromaphone 3) and then on drums (the new D16 Drumazon 2, which is amazing and another story). There are also some really interesting Device Racks included with the download, which I also show off here.
That’s sort of just basic use and me toying around – check this detailed article to better understand the range of what you can do with this tool with the developer.
Squeeze every last drop with GMaudio [Fixation Studios]
And this goes deep:
Free on GumRoad. The usual – Live 10 or Live 11 Suite required, or a Max for Live add-on. (Needs Max 8.2.2 or better.) Download and detailed documentation:
If you like this sort of thing, it’s also worth looking at Noise Engineering’s free Ruina plug-in – part of their indispensable experimental bundle (and now there’s a companion Eurorack module, too). That also has a “Doom” slider that seems to be based on the same concept:
And yes, if you just want a Doom (downward) compressor – someone’s done that in Live, too:
And see this remake for FL Studio.
While you’re at the GMaudio site, you’ll also want to pick up the free GMaudio VSEQ – shelving filters plus saturation:
There’s a (paid) clipper in there, too – and a good explanation of what a clipper is: