FabFilter‘s Pro-C2 has been in the market for some time now and is by far my favorite compressor with its tremendous flexibility and a multitude of functions. In this blogpost, I’ll list some of the lesser known (and probably more useful) functions of the Pro-C2 that aren’t as common as some of the big-name compressors out there. These added functionalities make the Pro-C2 worth every cent you pay for.
#1. Multiple Compressor Styles
- Pro-C2 now comes with 5 new additional compressor styles, an upgrade from the Pro-C1, which may serve useful for any music application.
- Some of my favorite styles are:
- Vocal: Helps brings the vocal forward without hearing the compressor work. Furthermore, with a fixed ratio and auto-knee setting, it makes compressing your vocal a pretty painless process.
- Mastering: I use this a lot for pre-mastering my tracks as it is clean, transparent and introduces almost no harmonic distortion. It works well when oversampling turned on.
- Punch: Reminds me a lot of the SSL Buss Compressor. Great to add traditional analog style punch.
#2. Mix Mode
- In most compressors, the mix mode knob adjusts the ratio between the dry (uncompressed, 0%) and wet (compressed, 100%) signal.
- However, in FabFilter’s Pro-C2, the mix mode allows you to go beyond 100% further adding compression and super-charging the overall compression on your signal.
- This setting came in handy when I wanted to mangle some drum room mics to squeeze out some unique timbral qualities out of it.
- Furthermore, you can automate the mix mode percentage to be in sync with different sections of your song – very cool!
#3. Range Parameter
- One of the best features of Elysia’s Mpressor compressor is the fact that you could limit the amount of gain reduction on the compressor.
- In Pro-C2, you can now limit the gain reduction between 0dB and 60dB.
- That means, you could slam the compressor with a low threshold and high ratio, but tell the compressor to gain reduce only a maximum of 6dB.
- This gives you freedom to be creative with your compression!
#4. Hold Parameter
- You may be familiar with the “hold” parameter only to be present on dynamic processors like gates and not in compressors.
- The hold parameter in Pro-C2 works similarly to how it would work in gates. It delays the compressor’s release from kicking in.
- This helps you adjust the release of the compressor with even greater precision, which is very useful for vocals!
- Oversampling is a method of increasing the internal sample rate of the plugin by 2x or 4x that of the DAW’s. This allows the compressor to have greater dynamic headroom when processing content that is generally more active with fast transients or sudden changes.
- Turn oversampling on when applying compression on high-dynamic content such as drums, master buss compression, even active bass lines.
#6. Side chain Filter
- Most compressors that offer a side chain filter only allows for either a lowpass, highpass or fixed bandpass filter.
- Pro-Q2 goes a step further by allowing you to customize the lowpass and highpass filters’s slope and even added a mid band.
- The middle band has multiple curves to pick from such as bell, lowpass, highpass, tilt shelf, notch and bandpass giving you the ability to dial in the exact side-chain EQ that you would want.
Overall, FabFilter Pro-C2 is an amazing compressor that can be extremely easy to use, while if you choose to go under the hood, offers unparalleled functionality. If you had to spend on one compressor, I highly recommend not to look elsewhere and try the FabFilter’s Pro C2.