a Density mkIII review

Christopher A. Dorval Dion kindly gave me permission to re-blog his review he made for Quantum-Music.ca:

Variety of Sound – Density MKIII (Review)

 

Overview

Graphically, MKIII looks very similar to MKII; excepting the logo, the new “Color” button is the only visible change. However, the whole sound engine has been rebuilt, thanks to the knowledge acquired by Bootsy during his work on stateful saturation. Moreover, Bootsie announced it has a “mastering-grade” compressor. Since I wasn’t a huge fan of DMKII, I needed to give it a try.

Hands-on

I remembered that DMKII was experiencing difficulties treating drums, so I decided to try this first. Suprisingly, as soon as I increased the drive button a bit, I could feel the difference. Sonically, MKIII has a complete different character than its predecessor.  Density compressed the whole unit, without artifacts or pumping effect. It sounded very transparent.  It reminded me the elegant behavior of an Elysia Alpha. DMKIII supported very well important gain reduction without loosing it. I could smash the drum in it and it sounded very good and analog.

elysiaalpha

Sonically, MKIII has a complete different character than its predecessor [...] It reminded me the elegant behavior of an Elysia Alpha.

Let’s talk about color

As mentioned before, a “color” button has been added to the GUI. By default, its value is at 0.50 and it’s sounds very good as is. Personally, I didn’t feel the need to adjust it during my first test, since I found it well balanced. It gave the little analogish sound I wanted on the drum. In other words, it just felt right. On my second test however, I decided to give it a try, but this time, on a vocal track. For the purpose of the experiment, I decided to exagerate the color button to hear what it got in the belly. There is nothing extreme here, but it does the job quite well. An interesting point to mention: it doesn’t sound cheap at all, in contrast to most crappy “warmer” freeware plugin we find everywhere.

In conclusion, I have been very surprised by the improvement made on the Density franchise. If they look closely the same, MKII and MKIII have nothing in common sonically; DMKIII possesses everything we could expect from a high end compressor. I never thought I would say this one day, but I think we’ve got ourselves a mastering-grade freeware compressor ! Cheers! (Overall rating: 4.8/5)

PLUS:

  • Sounds excellent
  • Color button
  • CPU efficient

MINUS:

  • Since it is a soft knee, we would need two stages of compression to achieve high gain reduction at low ratio.  But since it’s CPU efficient and free, It don’t think it’s going to be a problem.
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Comments

  1. congratulations!

  2. Nice overview opinion. Well written and concise. Nice plugin…

  3. All in favor for a hard knee option ^^

  4. Congrats!!! A great detailed review. And to be equated with Elysia Alpha must be one of thé greatest compliments your plugin can get!
    Thanks for all your efforts!

  5. I love the UAD Neve 33609 bus compressor. I also love the SSL bus compressor in Reason 6.0. Those two used to be my 2 favorites for bus compression. I now have one that I love more so than those two. AND IT’S FREEWARE! It’s the MKIII!

  6. Epic compressor, use it on all of my work

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