I used to be that guy.

After using fancy, good-looking compressor plugins in various studios, I would get back to my home studio and stare blankly at the “DigiRack” compressor plugin that comes with Pro Tools.

It’s ugly.

It doesn’t have any fun colors or cute graphics.

It doesn’t look like an awesome piece of vintage gear.

It’s just a few knobs, a volume meter, and a gain reduction meter.


No way that thing could sound good.

And besides, the volume meter acts funny. You have to turn the threshold way down for the compression to kick in, unlike those fancy shmancy plugins I had used in the studio.

But I was wrong. (And you might be wrong, too.)

When I finally took the time to USE the stock Pro Tools compressor plugin…I mean REALLY use it…I found that it sounds just fine.

In fact, it actually sounds pretty good, especially on vocals.

See, I made a classic rookie mistake. I assumed that since something was “free” and kinda ugly it must not be good enough for my mixes.

Don’t get caught in that trap.

If you can’t get your free compressor plugin to sound good, I got news for you, cowboy.

The plugin ain’t the problem.

Sure, fancy plugins are awesome, and I’ve got nothing against ’em. (I own a few in fact.)

But unless you take the time to learn HOW to use compression, you’ll jump from compressor to compressor, never getting that elusive sound you want.

Speaking of compression, this week I’m adding a bunch of new content to my Understanding Compression series. It’ll be at least 3 brand spankin’ new videos.

BUT…with the new videos comes a price increase.

If you order today you’ll get access to the existing videos PLUS the new videos, all at the old price.

If you already own Understanding Compression, you’ll get the new vids for free. (You knew that’s how I roll, right? No paid updates here.)

That’s all for today. Head over to the site right now before you forget:


Joe Gilder