In today’s video, we’ll dive into the fascinating details of the Universal Audio Capitol Mastering Compressor Plugin. Capitol Studios, renowned for its classic recordings and exceptional mastering services, developed this in-house designed compressor. The CM5511 compressor was meticulously crafted by Capitol’s team, drawing inspiration from renowned compressors like the Fairchild 670 and Gates STA-Level tube compressor. With input from mastering engineers, the compressor’s design was fine-tuned to meet the highest standards. Universal Audio had the privilege of accessing two of these exceptional compressors, allowing them to create a faithful plugin emulation.
The Capitol Mastering Compressor plugin faithfully replicates the vintage hardware compressor’s aesthetics, featuring Bakelite knobs and VU meters. While the controls are simple, they offer everything you need to achieve outstanding masters or enhance individual tracks. In this video, we’ll explore the plugin’s features and enhancements, including the stepped Input control for precise signal level adjustment, the sidechain (SC switch) filter that reduces the amount of bass signal before the compressor’s detector, and the Threshold control that sets the compression threshold. The Attack and Release controls provide flexibility in shaping the compression’s timing, while the Ratio control governs the compression ratio. The OUTPUT control compensates for the gain added by the compressor. The original hardware does not include the Ratio control, but Universal Audio modeled the 3:1 and 4:1 ratios from two different CM5511 hardware units. The plugin also features LUFS metering, allowing us to measure the loudness of an audio signal using loudness units relative to full scale. The beauty of this plugin lies in its compatibility—it doesn’t require any Universal Audio hardware and can seamlessly integrate with any audio interface and DAW. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting in the music production world, the Capitol Mastering Compressor plugin is a must-have for any mastering or mixing setup. So, join us as we unlock the secrets of this exceptional plugin and explore its incredible features.