Analog Obsessions: BUSTERse
Analog Obsessions are a favourite developer of mine, and they have just come out with their take of the world famous British style bus compressor. This plugin emulates the perfect tool to glue your tracks together, so stick it on your drum bus or mix bus and it will give it that cohesion that you hear in all professional records. To my knowledge, the BUSTERse is the only free emulation of this powerful tool and works brilliantly, and comes with extra features for a modern twist. The left hand side of the plugin gives you your standard compression parameters that we are all familiar with. The right hand side is where things get interesting. The left side of the sidechain section offers high, mid and low frequency filtering, allowing you to dial in precisely how BUSTERse reacts to your audio signal. Parallel to the filters, this plugin offers advanced transient control. As you increase the BOOST parameter, the attack and release curve is subtly adjusted to increase the plugin's response to peaks/transients, allowing you to effectively tame any large peaks in, for example, your drum bus. By default, the frequency response of BOOST is flat, however TILT will allow you to tilt the flat response towards either high or low frequencies for even more precise control over your audio signal. A dry wet parameter allows you to blend the transient focus and the default response for perfectly tailored compression. Finally, the main controls at the top right offer a standard bypass toggle, a TURBO switch which, when engaged, improves the compressor's full frequency response as opposed to a more mid frequency focused as its default. XFORMER toggles an emulation of transformers typically found in the original hardware version, which gives the audio signal subtle but rich analog saturation reminiscent of the classic hardware.
In conclusion, the BUSTERse is a powerful tool in the mixer's arsenal, and although many well known plugin developers have created better sounding emulations, the fact that this is a free option that comes with many extra features that allow for incredible customisation of the compressors frequency response, makes it a winner for me.
Value for money: 5/5
Sound Quality: 3/5
Ease of use: 4/5