Best 12 Free Compression VST Plugins that sound Great!

While most Digital Audio Workstations, or DAWs, provide you with loads of great stock plugins, compressors included, you might be looking for some new ones that have a slightly different sound to them.

Or maybe the compressors you already have lack certain settings which you would like to use…

Well, I’ve put together a list of the best free compression plugins available which should definitely add some flavor to your mixes.

Let’s get straight to it…

MJUC Jr. by Klanghelm

Works on Windows and Mac.

With just two basic controls, “Compression” and “Make Up”, the MJUC JR. makes everything extremely easy to control.

Also, there’s the three-position timing switch which not only controls the attack and release times of the unit, but also the slew rate of the transformers and the timing of the other parts of the circuitry, that are directly influencing the generated harmonics (saturation).

I use this one the most when mixing really simple stuff like acoustic guitar plus vocals.

You can download it here.

MCompressor by MeldaProduction

Works on Windows and Mac.

MCompressor isn’t just a simple compression plugin with a couple features…

It allows you to fully customize the shape of the graph which gives you the opportunity to be really creative.

It’s actually pretty fun to play around with it.

MCompressor comes with the smart randomization feature which can instantly generate new settings.

It can handle mono, stereo and even 8-channel surround processing which really comes in handy when mixing for films or movies.

Features

  • Smart randomization
  • Multiparameters
  • Mono, Stereo and up to 8 channels surround processing
  • Automatic gain comp

You can download it here

ReaComp by Cockos

Works on Windows only.

Cockos, the creators of the Reaper DAW, have a couple free plugins which are fantastic…

And, or course, they do have their own free compression plugin.

This is a very simple to use yet powerful plugin which should be a great addition to your arsenal.

The interface isn’t anything too pretty to look at, but it gets the job done perfectly!

Features

  • Ultra-configurable compressor
  • Soft knee support
  • Sidechain filters, sidechain inputs
  • Feedback compression mode
  • Program dependent auto-release mode
  • Variable RMS size

You can download it here.

Classic Compressor by Kjaerhus 

Works on Windows only.

Kjaerhus is well known for creating high-quality and free software which works tremendously well.

In fact, I mention many of their free plugins in my post about the best free modulation plugins available which you might be interested in reading.

You don’t actually download the compressor on its own, but rather an installer that includes the Classic compressor as well as a chorus, delay, flanger, and more.

If you like your compression plugins simple and easy to use, then the Classic Compressor by Kjaerhaus might be the one for you.

You can download it here.

Molot by Vladg/sound 

Works on Windows and Mac.

On their website they call Molot the “compressor with character”…

This is because it adds a lot of coloring to the sound.

Not only that, but it’s pretty complicated to use properly…

So, if you’re looking for a simple and transparent sounding compression plugin, Molot is not for you.

However, if you want one that adds a lot of character to your tracks, definitely check it out.

You can download it here.

Rough Rider by Audio Damage

Works on Windows and Mac.

Rough Rider is a modern compressor with a bit of “vintage” style bite and a uniquely warm sound.

This compression plugin was designed to mainly be used on the tracks that can add some punch to your music;

E.g. The rhythmic tracks, such as drums, but also bass, synth bass, guitar, and more.

Rough Rider is one of the most used free compression plugins out there, and for good reason; it sounds fantastic and it can add some serious punch to your music.

You can download it here.

OTT By Xfer Records

Works on Windows and Mac.

Xfer Records OTT is a free multiband upwards/downwards compressor used by many dubstep and electro producers.

It’s a very popular plugin in dubstep and electro productions for the simple fact that it has an aggressive-style of compression.

It’s fairly simple to use and it’s also pretty light on the CPU.

You can download it here.

DCAM FreeComp By FXpansion

Works on Windows and Mac.

DCAM is modelled around a classic console bus compressor design and is intended to be used to “glue” mixes and subgroups together while enhancing punch and definition.

It can also tame peaks and create pumping compression on individual tracks.

Note: You must register with their site and get a valid serial to use it, even though it’s free… yes, really!

It’s still worth doing it, so try it out!

You can download it here.

AC-1 by Audiocation Audio Akademie 

Works on Windows only.

Note: The Website is in German, but the download link is easy to find.

The AC-1 compressor plugin allows for both subtle compression and extremely hard and punchy compression.

It comes with all the regular compression settings like; attack, release, ratio, knee, etc.

Just try it out for yourself.

You can download it here.

SAFE Compressor By Semantica Audio

Works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

The whole point behind the SAFE plugins by Semantica Audio is to provide the user with an easier way to control the plugins by using semantic terms such as “warm, bright”, etc. to make the whole process more intuitive.

You just type the word in and it adjust the settings automatically.

On their website you will not only find a compression plugin, but also an overdrive, EQ and reverb.

Give it a try!

You can download it here.

FR COMP 87 By eaReckon

Works on Windows and Mac.

If you’re looking for a VERY simple compression plugin, then look no further…

FRComp 87 only has two knobs; Threshold and Make up.

It also allows you to choose between fast, medium and slow attack and release.

The last feature it provides is a Limiter…

And that’s it, believe it or not!

If simplicity is your thing, then here you go!

You can download it here.

BlockFish by digital Fish phones

Works on Windows and Mac.

Blockfish is an excellent compression plugin especially for vocals.

It’ has also got a characteristic sound to it, so keep that in mind, and it does have some bite to it…

It features the “opto” mode which is modeled after the old optical compressor designs, allowing for transparent and smooth vocals.

You can download it here.

Conclusion

Any of these plugins should make a great addition to your arsenal, just remember that some of the ones on this list are extremely simple while some others are actually quite complicated to use and are packed in features.

Depending on your needs you should choose one or the other…

Still, since they are all free, I’d recommend you to try out as many as possible.

I hope this was useful!

Have a great day!

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