Density mkII released today!

Density mk II

Density mk II

Density mkII – the smooth and versatile stereo bus dynamic processor is now available for Win32 / VST compatible systems. See Downloads section for license agreement and download link and have some fun with it!
Density version 1 is now discontinued.


  1. Thanks a lot, looks great. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. damn this old intel p3 technology. density mkii is not working for me here. damn it. damn it.. 😦

  3. dickiefunk says:

    Thanks once again for all your hard work and fantastic plugins!! Will be really looking forward to this!!!

  4. Aww, thanks for not killing us with our own anticipation for three more days, Bootsy! Great stuff, I hope you enjoy your time in Barcelona!

  5. Hey, it made my FL Studio crash the first time I loaded it. Now it works great. And man, it sounds great. The only thing I noticed is that the Vu meters are not reading right I don’t think. They are only reading 9db max.

  6. Also I rather that it have no gain reduction if I have the drive turned all the way down. Just something to think about.

  7. One more thing. I LOVE the wet/dry trim knob!

  8. I take back the thing about the drive. All you have to do is adjust the wet/dry knob.

  9. tnx so much!!!!!!!!!!
    i will try and feedback you asap.

    please dont discontinue the mk1, it have an OWN and great sound!
    many people will cry without it!


    ps: i just see the manual.. fantastic! 😀

  10. Thank you both so much for another milestone, amazing how you managed to hit the sweet spot between plug’n’play and geeky options, many different kinds of people should find exactly their dream buscomp in Density Mk II, I sure did.
    This one is among the best buscomps at any price imho, personally I like it even better than both UA PBC and SSL.

  11. Gustavo Coco says:

    Thank you very much Bootsie!
    All your plugs rule!

  12. Major Edition says:

    Thanks Bootsy and Patrick. I’m going to a Mixing Session right now.

    Density MKII is about to be put to work, right now.

  13. Terje Refsnes says:

    Just one word!!!!!!!


  14. Thanks bootsy for this, it really does what it says on the tin, this is the go to bus comp from now on.

  15. kevosince85 says:

    Thank you very much

  16. Hi, Bootsie
    Very nice comp with a unique design and a tasty GUI.
    Thanks a lot

  17. Hi, Bootsy,

    Quite nice plugin! I’ve been playing around with this for a few hours now mainly on the masterbus I liked the sound color a lot.

    The plugin seems to work very nicely on suble compression amounts, but I’ve got a question – the release times on all the other timing presets but P1 seem to be quite long?

    How’bout adding independent release control knob (yes, I know you’ll probably hate the idea and won’t do it :-D) – but to me P1 seemed to be the only preset which didn’t end up in quite noticeable volume “ducking” when compression was driven a bit more?

  18. The timing specifications are well documented in the manual 🙂

  19. a short review (comparing to UAD Fairchild):

    Obviously Density2 don`t wants to be a Fairchild, looking at great differences in attack and release times from p3 to p6 and diferences in the GUI and sound. But this is not nessesary too, because it was meant as a descendant of Density, which was focused on only one thing – DENSITY in a highly sophisticated way! I`m shure the reasons for making it more fairchildlike was the fact, that its inner structure was similar to this “holy grail” anyway.

    But this doesnt mean that there are no similarities. One of the Faichild talents, that Density2 definitely has is the very fast peak taming, that can round up harsh transients making them sound more pleasant. The most fairchildlike sound i found with 100% wet 100% relax with filter on and in comp mode p1. The way all signals seem to hover on an equal level here is very FClike. Of course there is a lot of nice room informations coming up with this low release setting, so i`m shure its very useful as a hall effect and overhead compressor too.

    What Density2 seems to be completely unable to is pumping. And as you can hear and see on the uaudio website, the Faichild can pump very musical on Acoustic Guitar if you want him to do so. So when ever you want to point out those intimate breathing and noise artifacts for Jazz issues, a good track compressor (for e.g. “BF”) should be a better choice.

    However, Density2 is unique in its class. In the face of its numerous features and the dense and hoving sound, it is rightly the best buss and mastering compressor on the freeware market, and can be a good alternative to the fairchild in some special cases. So if it is density, what you want to have in your mix, you should choose nothing else than this as well.

    Sorry for my bad english, and thanks alot for this great plugin, bootsy and Patrick ! Your KVR-DC-votings are well-deserved !

    by the way: It would be nice if you could interchange the GR-metering and VU-metering in their functions, and send the Power LED back to Kyrandia. 😉

  20. Wanna spend more time with this new found compressor for sure!

    I have them all: the 1176, LA2-A, Fairchild, oldtimer and so on… But I’m pretty shure this little beast will find it’s own place among the “big ones”

    It´s to early for my to draw any conclusions though, but so far i like it!


  21. Leider kann ich bei einem ganz normalem Stereo File in Wavelab 6 dieses PlugIn nicht öffnen.

    Es kommt immer:

    Fehler gemeldet von PlugIn “DensitymkII”:

    Die gewünschte Anzahl von Eingangskanälen kann nicht unterstützt werden.

    Und das wars dann…
    Alle anderen Bootsy PlugIns funzen !


  22. I’ve used it (Density MKII) today itself, on the mix bus. the sound quality and stability is unmatched for a freeware.

    Hats off Bootsy, you amazed me once with the ‘Epicverb’, which, by the way, always remains on my mastering chain now, and also on my drums for mixing purposes.

    Of course this is the tastiest GUI i’ve found on a freeware compressor so far, it makes me remember a bit of Tube-tech stuff.

    What would really help us freeware freaks out there though, would be:


    a complete channel strip, err like a software version of SPL’s channel one, incorporating both tube and solid state gain stage emulation, a high pass filter, a complete and reliable deesser (with metering), gate, switchable valve and transistor compressor emulation, a complete and musical parametric EQ, side chain options, gain reduction metering and VU! Phew!


    a reliable mastering eq, like SPL’s Qure.


    the two above all wrapped in a juicy GUI’s like Density MKII!

    I know it’s too much asking, but i know it’s not only on ‘my’ wishlist…!

    Sayonara Bootsy and Patrick!

    Thanks for your generosity!

    Take Care,


  23. Bronto Scorpio says:

    I don’t like it, I love it. Density MK II just sounds amazing, and it looks great too. It will be on all of my Tracks now.
    I think I can’t live anymore without Density MK II and Tessla Pro.

    Great work Bootsy and Patrick!!!

    By the way, is there a little line missing at the timingpoti in the M/L Channel? 😉


    P.S.: Sry for my poor english!

  24. Thanks a million Bootsy.

    Best wishes

  25. Dear Bootsy hello from Greece

    I’d like to say a big thanks for sharing
    such a beautifull mind n’ soul.

    You give a bad name to pro DSP labels
    and motivation to musicians that can’t afford
    but have nothing to be jealous of from comercial

    Keep up the charity.

  26. The same counts for Patrick!

  27. Genius.

  28. Unfortunately I have the following error-message when I try to load Density in Wavelab:

    Error reported by plug-in “DensitymkII”:

    can’t handle required number of input channels


    No problems in Samplitude!

    Still very short testing period, but sounds very promising..!


    Best Mads

  29. Doesn’t Wavelab support multichannel Plug-Ins? Which Wavelab version is that?

  30. ahh just noticed that this seems to be the same bug, as already described [in German] above…

  31. I use the latest version of Wavelab, and I have to admit that I don’t know if Wavelab supports multichannel plugins..!?

    As far as I know the latest Voxengo plugins are multichannel as well, and they usually work.


  32. I use the latest version of Wavelab, and I have to admit that I don’t know if Wavelab supports multichannel plugins..!?

    As far as I know the latest Voxengo plugins are multichannel, and they usually work.


  33. Rock und roll!!! At last!

    I’ve used orig density and it’s amazing, I hope this is THE shit!

    I’m still looking for a good (free) channel compressor, are you guys using this as a normal compressor with voc, bass etc?

    I’ll post later when I’ve had a little play with it.

    • Hi, as i said Blockfish ( still is the best choice for track compression. Alternatives would be TLs stuff like ( ) or the d2 ( ) or Breebaarts PC-2 ( ). For all free Plugins available watch here:

      good luck

      • Let me partially disagree here.
        While some of the comps you mentioned are valid choices (the D2 is SE, making it no go on multicore PCs), the ideal comp for a given track is totally dependent of the signal.
        By thinking in categories you miss out on a lot of cool things.
        Density Mk II can do a wonderful job on a wide variety of signals, some examples being vocals, bass, guitars and many more (not talking about groups and master which are Density’s main target obviously). There is no comp that will fit any situation, the choice is part of our creative job and it’s part of the fun.

        • You are absolutely right, susi !

          He asked for good free compressors and i named them. But you are right. O.k. Finnish, listen: The best compressor is the one, that you (and only you) find the best. And you should not avoid giving out money if the compressor you like costs it. And yes, its more the kind of compressor (opto, feedback, vari mu …) that makes the sound, than the name, GUI or the price or everything else. And even if you have them all, you better only put them on signals WHERE they are needed and IF they are realy needed there.

          Good !

          Now you can check the links above.

          • And by the way: A good track compressor should always leave enough attack, peaks, transients (name it as you want) for the buss or mastering compressor, so that the last one has something to work with and to round up (next to the fact, that transients are very important for the presence of the signal). So if you realy use Density (with its remorseless leveling charakter) for vocals, bass, guitars (which realy are damn classical Blockfish signals by the way), i have to ask myself, what kind of compressor you want to use on the sum – Density MKIII ??? 😉

            I don`t know whether you have the Fairchild too. But if i would accost it with still Density compressed signals, it would say “Sorry, i need a stew made out of incredients, not made out of stews.”

            So if i would not have the FC, i also would take Density for mastering. But only on time for mastering then, and not before !

            • Well, that’s not how I work personally.
              Before recording anything I already have a brickwall limiter last on the master (as safety net, typically not doing any GR) and in front of that Density II in a mild setting. I then mix into that chain, and on the individual tracks I use a variety of compressors, whatever does the trick, rarely smashing anything, shaping dynamics and transients instead as needed. No two tracks are identical, with some I leave the transients intact, with others they would get in the way big time, some need levelling, others don’t …
              Density II is a great alternative for tracks you would think of an LA-2A first for example (not a replacement, an alternative). Others might call for an 1176 or something else …
              And then you can do some neat things with M/S, the tiny “relax” pot and the timings themselves are well chosen to really shape a signal, bring out the room or make it tighter for example.
              Another place where I like to have Density II is the drumbus, sometimes including cymbals, sometimes just the drums.
              Typically none of the comps is doing anything radical, and Density II on the master will maybe do 2 to 4 dB GR when a mix is finished, I’m not doing dance or other modern styles and radio loudness is not crucial, what a luxury !
              That’s just my way of working, others are just as valid.

            • And by the way: A good track compressor should always leave enough attack, peaks, transients (name it as you want) for the buss or mastering compressor, so that the last one has something to work with and to round up (next to the fact, that transients are very important for the presence of the signal). So if you realy use Density (with its remorseless leveling charakter) for vocals, bass, guitars (which realy are damn classical Blockfish signals by the way), i have to ask myself, what kind of compressor you want to use on the sum – Density MKIII ???

              Just dial in amounts of ‘Relax’ and your transients are safe …

              • What i wanted to point out is ,that it is hard to compress with Density while keeping the signal dry and punchy (without room coming up) without increasing the horrible release of toms and the other drum instruments . The Blockfish does a god job here especialy in Opto mode. It lets so much punch through, that Density can do the rest (if you want). But it definitely would not work the other way around. Thats all i wanted to say.

  34. Thank you very much Bootsy and Patrick.

    I love it !

  35. Love and use all of your plug-in’s for recording, mixing and mastering. I was very much looking forward to trying out the new Density MKII, but for some reason, every time i load it in my program it makes it freeze. All of your other plug-ins work fine. Any suggestions?
    I use Ableton Live 7.03 by the way.

  36. It’s meanwhile confirmed that there is an issue with SSE1 cpu types and a fix is already in the making.
    The same applies to some ‘denormal’ cpu spikes or anomalies in some configurations.
    The Wavelab channel issue has been reproduced by several testers but there is currently no solution for that. Some crashes needs to be investigated further as well.

  37. Thanks for the info – and the wonderful compressor..!

  38. kingocounty says:

    I loaded it up and it immediately crashed my PC Reaper setup, much the same as TesslaPro does. Hopefully some of the future patches will work for me as I’m a big fan of your work!

  39. Was ich sagen kann ist:
    Das Wavelab problem hatte mal auch ein anderes plugIn wenn man in den Mono mode schaltete, dann stürzte Wavelab ab. Nacheiner korrektur ging es.
    Wie kommt das Signal rein und wie verabeitet es…wahrscheinlich kann es das sein !


  40. ah! so the sse1-folks will maybe see this comp after all! and I who finally gave in and decided I had enough plugins and comps – oh well, one more won’t hurt;)

    thank you for your time and talent, I’ll try not to waste it.

  41. Very good work I like the sound of it and it looks great….all the other plug ins too !!

    I wait for a Channelstrip with deesser and compressionstyle like the teletronix la-2a !!

    Thanks for the big plug ins and a lot of respect !!

  42. Major Edition says:

    Density mkII sounds fantastic. I only spent a little time with it and it produced the results I expected.

    I found it to be smooth, gentle and versatile but it can have a lot of character it you want it to. The options it has allowed me to do a lot of tweaking for different sounds. I ran through all the presets and they sounded sweet but I tweaked the parameters to my liking for the sound I wanted.

    From another programmer and software engineer who is also heavy into music and audio engineering, I’d like to say, well done, good job and congratulations to Bootsy for his amazing plug-ins. Bootsy’s plug-ins are stellar and they sound wonderful.

  43. mac?

  44. Please can someone else test this and see if its the same,
    when loading density, observe the CPU processing, its at an ok level for me, using about the same amount as good reverb, If i skip through the presets the cpu stays the same, but if i start radically moving the knobs fast up and down on all the settings the CPU will take a massive hit, i can get this one plugin to use up half of my CPU just but doing this.
    Is this the same for everyone? or is there something wrong?
    I am on cubase SX3 24bit 44khz

    • I do not have that problem in FL Studio at 32bit float 44.1kHz.

    • Hi,

      It may be the typycal Intel denormalisation problem. But there is a plugin to fix it. Try normalizer ( ), put it before Density in the chain.

      Hope that was the problem !

      best regards

      • im using a P4 but its not the denormalisation problem. fishphones made no difference. Plus the CPU isn’t overloading to 100% only about 60%
        I have narrowed the bug down to the RANGE Knob, when it is fully anti-clock wise the CPU takes a massive kick in the head, then when i wind it back up to full the CPU drops back down again, But it wont ever returnt to is its normal CPU load right after loading the plugin.
        Isnt anyone else getting this in Cubase?

        I did the same experiment in REAPER 3 and the is the plug-in is doesn’t use much CPU at all, so its just SX3 that it has the issue with.

    • on which cpu type?

  45. nice info……thanks yaa. plizz reply me dont forget……….

  46. First of all thank you for the really, really good plugin you made.

    Big fan of tesla pro, and boot eq, and now density MKII, this one is friggin great, really. Even compare with some of the expansive machines here.

    2buss, vocals, strings, horns, it makes the bottom tight and clear, love the curve in “comp” mode, it’s just really good man.

    I just have one question, there is any hope your plugin will be available in MONO in Pro Tools (through the wrapper)?

    Because the first thing I’ve thought when I heard this one was “wow, vocals and bass, this one is gonna rock, big time” but unfortunately there’s no mono option in PT.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!

  47. Because it’s a good compressor, which find its best application in the busok, but it would definitely be a good compressor in other situations as well, not only that.

    SSL G Compressor is a stereo bus compressor, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use it to process a mono source, same goes for other machines.

    Having the mono option also wouldn’t take anything away to its main function

  48. Nice information, think I may go get it!

  49. For all Pro Tools users:

    “problem” solved, I’ve been pretty stupid about it, but I don’t use many vst (wrapped) on PT so I never really thought about this option.

    In order to have ALL the wrapped VST including booteq and Density and all the others available in mono as well you just need to open your wrapper and check the column that says “CANMONO” select in the menu “YES” and there you are, you have ’em all available in mono as well.

    Hope this help

  50. andy janeo says:

    Thanks for another great release. I still think Density MK 1 has its place in the studio thou. It really adds some mojo and DENSITY to the mixes, something that i think is lacking in the current release. I recently did a comparison between some outboard compressors and ITB alternatives and to my ears Density 1 with a fast attack setting came closest by far. I think the key to success is to control transients and at the same time, keep things compact and firm. I only wish you could add a little more “snap” and crack, similar to the Nebula Boeing compr, to keep the music live and vivid.

    Best Andy

    • I also still use the Density MK1 and love it.
      But recently my Hard-Drive crashed and I lost my
      version of Density Version 1 😦
      So if anyone could help me out with an old Version,
      I’d be very happy.



  51. I have just been messing around with Density mkII and I love it!! It sounds amazing on drums!!

    I would love to see a channel compressor from you as the quality of your vst’s are outstanding!!!

    Thankyou so much!!

  52. Well last night i got a mix going really well thanks to gearsluz, i would like to know bootsy’s thoughts on gain staging with his plugins?

    Read more here:

    Anyway i ran Density 2 up against IK T-racks op compressor, and also waves SSL. Density set to M/S mode sounded so transparent, wide, cleaner, brighter and warmer, i must say i wasn’t impressed with this plug-in initially, but with a mix set up to -20db this sounded amazing.
    This has to be the best ITB mastering tool out there.

  53. exelente lo que estaba buscando para mis proyectos de audio

  54. Neil Wilkes says:

    tried to dl Density MkII but got a web page telling me that the site could not be found.
    Has it been withdrawn?

  55. awesome job, congrats! a small request or a “wish”: a button to isolate M and S when working under the m/s mode. Really loved the m/s mode, congrats once again!

  56. Hi Bootsy
    first of all thanks for your hard work:Density MKII is really a good compressor.
    i have to agree,however, that the choice of discontinuing the original version of Density could be not the right choice.
    For me in fact, the first version of Density has a UNIQUE “tone”, a “musical soul”, that i don’t “perceive/hear” in Density MKII …i “feel” DensityMkII more like a mastering comp,more on the clean side, for sure an excellent tool but a bit “sterile”, a surgical tool,not a sculpting tool….and if i were to associate one of the two compressors to the “musical tone/feel ” that only a good compressor can produce, those invisible “musical substance” that we call “DENSITY”, i for sure choose the first version of your compressor.
    Doesn’t matter that is a single instrument or a stereo mix: the first version of Density enrich the sound in a good manner, just like a good and real hardware compressor with it’s own circuit design,so it’s own “imperfections”,in a word it’s own soul.
    In my humble opinion would be a pity to leave the road you had taken, because in my opinion that was the right one.
    Surely with your skills you would be able to even further improve the first version of Density, although it already sounds wonderful as is, for example studying new attack envelope curve,or adding new to the existing, making it even more flexible and with even more “analoglike” transients.
    could be a good idea a poll on your blog to see which of the two is considered better sounding.
    yes, now are clear, i looooove Density version 1….you know who to give my vote 🙂

    Thanks for your generosity!!!


  57. adamironside says:

    Whoa! This is great, one of the best free VST compressors I have tried, I love it strapped on my kick drum track!

    I am having a problem though, I am running Acid Pro 7 and every time I open a new project I get a crash report ‘Must end now, do you wish to submit error report’ thing. When I look at what is causing it, it states that Density Mkii is. Any ideas? I am running XP Home with SP3.

  58. Hey,
    Density seems to be a nice sounding plugin, but it crashes Nuendo. It seems to be a GUI problem. I’m trying to reproduce the crash, but it happened twice when I modify the plugin parameters while the project is playing back.
    This special cursor of the plugin… that’s the thing that I don’t like about plugins… it’s like using Fruity Loops.
    Other than that, it sounds ok until the moment it crashes.
    Thanks for the plugins. They are pretty useful stuff.

  59. Oh, I tried MKII btw.

    • susiwong says:

      What Nuendo version exactly, which OS ?
      64bit is no go due to Steinberg’s flaky bitbridge.
      Never ever had a single issue with Density II in C5/32 – XP64SP2, and there are several instances in all of my projects.

  60. Again – what version of Nuendo, what OS?
    I have 3.2.1 & 4.3 here and have just downloaded….

    • Hi, I use Nuendo 4.3.0 Build 371 with NEK.
      Win XP SP3 32-bit

      And it’s a hard crash – it does not create an entry in the Event.log.
      I’ve just tried it now on an empty project (24bit-44.1kHz), when I attempt to save the project, I also get a hard crash and the new Nuendo project is “invalid” if I try to open.

      I use FerricTDS with no problems.

      • susiwong says:

        Thanks, I’m afraid I can’t help you then 😦
        In theory you should be fine …

        • No, YOU thanks for responding 🙂

          • susiwong says:

            We’ll see if Bootsie has an idea.
            He definitely doesn’t release anything with known issues in the major current hosts.
            Exception 64bit bitbridge which is outside of his control, unfortunately. Still, there’s hope – Steinberg announced a fundamentally improved bitbridge for N5/C5.5 … fingers crossed.

    • One more thing, same applies to Sound Forge 9.0e.
      The funny thing is, it doesn’t even effect the audio. It just sits there.

      GUI responded in Sound Forge. I can touch the GUI and change the knob positions etc.
      It just doesn’t effect the sound, and it freezes Sound Forge during the audio playback.

      I disabled all hardware acceleration for my graphic card (GeForce FX 5200).
      The computer that I’m trying DensitymkII on, has an old AMD cpu though… XP 2500+ (Barton).
      It supports MMX (+) 3D NOW! (+), SSE etc. It’s not the oldest.

  61. Latest version of this crashes Renoise 2.5 when audio is being fed to it.
    Core2Duo / XP Sp3 32bit.

  62. Soundwise, this is possibly my favorite compression plugin, but I would love to see it get some attention for the crashing issues. I have become afraid to use it in my projects because I don’t know what might cause it to crash at any given time. It’s like a beautiful girl with a nasty std. I want to, but I know better.

  63. Andreas says:

    Density mkii brought Cubase 6.5.1, 64-bit (Windows 7 SP1) several times to a complete hang. When changing between different presets, then only in the generic presentation the values change. In the graphical presentation you do not see any change in settings when going through the presets. When changing back from generic to graphical presentation then the graphical presentation is not working properly. Textures/blue colour missing and all the potis and settings completely missing. Sad .. hope you can fix the bug as otherwise I was quite impressed from the sound quality.
    BR Andreas


  1. […] gaat om een stereo bus compressor genaamd Density en het betreft de MKII versie. Je kan hem hier downloaden. Laat je even weten wat je er van […]

  2. […] wir fangen gleich mal mit VSTs an: Density mkII, ein super Compressor zu finden unter der Homepage von Bootsie. […]

  3. […] my very own VST effect developements I’ve had a real breakthrough too and this was the Density Mk II  release were I’ve had finally managed to get the compression thing right (after struggling for such a […]

  4. […] sample. This way I was able to match the reverb of the rest of the ensemble to it. Bootsie’s DensityMkII compressor and Cakewalk’s Boost11 on the 2-bus and I was in […]

  5. […] Yer gonna want this for vocals and master out too. PC Win7-64-16G i7/Cubase 5-6 32 bit/Tascam 1641/KRK G2-5/Event […]

  6. […] Density mkII by Variety Of Sound (Windows) […]

  7. DocNoiz says:

    […] Density mkII. En helt igennem lækker stereo-bus kompressor. Som det fremgår af billedet kan den minde lidt om […]

  8. […] Density mkII. En helt igennem lækker stereo-bus kompressor. Som det fremgår af billedet kan den minde lidt om […]

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  10. […] experience. Can you send to a group channel with it? If so, I would recommend the 'free download' Density MKII compressor. New York Style preset would be a good start. That kick drum really needs some balls as […]

  11. […] have never been a fan of the Cubase compressors. I mostly use Waves API 2500 these days, but the Density MKII is quite pleasing for a free comp plug. Stillwell also has many really good plugins that are free […]

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