announcing Density mkIII – providing depth and dimension, mastering grade

As hinted earlier in a facebook post, the TesslaPRO update will be delayed and probably released after the summer break – it is just not there yet. Instead, a major update for the Density compressor plug-in already made it and it will going to see the light somewhere later this month.

So, lets talk about the Density mkIII update. During the last two years or so I’ve received quite a lot of feedback to the Density mkII release – mostly coming from mastering engineers – on how to improve its dynamic response towards todays mastering needs. Some very early efforts did not made it but with the learnings from the ThrillseekerLA compressor design and the emerging stateful saturation approach everything was possible, all of a sudden.

The mkIII version of this compressor introduces quite a lot and deep optimizations of the compressor engine especially but not limited for its use in audio mastering situations. The transient response is spot on now over the entire spectrum and it creates sonic depth and dimension: It renders audio like a three-dimensional image. This feature is very much supported by stateful saturation, which is also included now and appears on the stage as a brand new developed “VCA color” model and can be dialed in to taste.

With Density mkIII not only transients are managed in a musical and mastering grade fashion – it also renders a three-dimensional audio image, which truly supports perceived depth and dimension.

Major changes from mkII to mkIII version, at a glance:

  • the handling of inter modulation distortion (IMD) has been improved and there is no HF exaggeration caused by this anymore
  • the transient response of the compressor is now more focused and consistent over the entire spectrum reducing coloration artifacts
  • instead, a VCA color model has been implemented which can be dialed in as needed, providing a strong 2nd and 3rd order harmonic as well as frequency and load dependent higher order distortion artifacts
  • the SC filter option was optimized to better decouple the subsonic frequencies below 90Hz
  • the TIMING presets had been changed and features faster and more modern release time settings
  • P5 and P6 are introducing true program dependent release time behaviour now
  • a timing readout is displayed now for about 5 seconds when the according parameters are changing
  • the COMP mode has been changed and features soft-knee characteristics now
  • the parameter naming (as seen in host automation) is revised and the parameters are sorted now
  • the RELAX option has been changed and also allows to speed up the attack times
  • the linking algorithm has been optimized

I’m rellay proud of this release – the compressor is so much responsive but smooth like cake. And it proves all statements wrong a plug-in can’t sound ‘3d’. This one certainly does.

Further release info coming soon.


  1. Can’t wait to try this out! Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much.. looking forward to it…
    All the best,

  3. Amazing news… Big fan of all your work…

  4. I love Density, thanks so much for your work!

  5. richier says:

    I’m dying… of anxiety

  6. Wow!!!! I know I’ve asked this before, but is there any hope of a 64-bit release to go with it? I know there’s been a blog post on loading samplers in an out-of-process bridge, but for some of us, samples make up 95% of the project. Unless your code is doing pointer arithmetic, isn’t it trivial to recompile something in 64 bits?

  7. Wooot…I do not dare to imagine how this may sound…

  8. Andreas Klemm says:

    Amazing work your are doing, can’t wait to try it out.
    Many thanks for all of your time and efforts !!!

  9. Definitely worth the wait!

  10. Truly amazing, I love Density mk II – and now it might get even better? Thank you!

  11. Producer / Engineer - Anvil Records says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH ! This is extremely exciting ! HUGE FOLLOWER here, and LONG LIVE Variety of Sound !

  12. Jay Key says:

    Another nice release that’s gonna be “tasty” :). Great job !

  13. Pascal Fries says:

    Omg I can’t wait to use this, thanks for being awesome. 😀
    Btw.: Is there any chance you could reupload Density mk1 (and maybe even the discontinued Nasty Series)? I know it causes traffic, but I still have the old Density and it’s by far my favourite plugin on the drum-buss to create gritty “stadium”-like drumsounds for Rock/Metal, so I think everyone should have the opportunity to use it, even if it’s legacy and not further developed/supported.
    Anyone agree?

  14. Andreas Klemm says:

    BTW is this a bug in Density MkII, that the knobs do not move showing the actual setting. when trying out the different presets that come with this wonderful compressor ? I am running Cubase 6.5.1 64-bit on Windows 7 64-bit SP1.

  15. Good news, can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

  16. oh great, can’t wait to try it!

  17. This is awesome…
    One thing I always wondered though: Why is the Range set as a percentage of the GR and not just a definitive value in dB? (i.e. like the Elysia mpressor)

  18. I think I drooled a little… can’t wait!

  19. Nice!! looking forward to it!!

  20. You said that the comp is now set to a ratio of 12:1… While usually in mastering, we rarely use compression ratio higher than 1.3:1 … You mean twelve or one point 2 ? Otherwise, the rest seems really cool. Chris

    • it’s soft-knee now and so the user decides how much ratio is actually applied by gain reduction …

      • Yeah, about the knee…
        Sometimes (mostly in my case) the knee is too soft, can you please consider giving us a bit more flexibility there (or perhaps hardwire it to the range control if you like that idea more)?
        It doesn’t have to be all the way to hard knee.. but something just so we can tighten the compression curve up a bit, that’s all.

        • I will reconsider it…

          • Thank You very much! 🙂

          • Hello, What about the hard knee update ? This compressor has a really awesome taste since the MKIII. The color algorythm is just perfect … It give instantly THE sound I was looking for … The “Analog warmth” that no other ethically respectable plugin could give me. Thanks again !
            But I’m really looking for this harder knee fonction, because I’m not really fond of the compression mode which for certain instruments or mastering purposes, sound a little bit too thin and soft, polished, … Is it possible to have shorter release time and longer attack times for some cases (I’m not sure but I have the impression that the auto release mode are quite long). These fonctions will help this plugin to be a giant masterpiece ! Thanks again for every plugin you’ve done. It’s been a long time I’m using them, I should plan a donation when I’ll be able to !

  21. tajikawaoo says:

    so now the transfer curves (both comp and lim) and the timing settings are supposed to act more closely to a fairchild, right? how’s now the transient management related to the new saturation(colouring) model? I’am asking this because i’ve always given up with density mkII since besides its fine attack settings, the internal colouring algorithm made everything too “glued together” to be used as a mastering dynamics effect.
    last question: is the vca model level independant, or set to 0db, -18, or anything else?
    thank you, I am really waiting for this
    and thank you for making everything @0 latency, i can make full use of your stuff during live performances thanks to your solid programming, a good cpu and almost no latency!
    oh, and an amazing sound, of course!

    • The way the color effect is applied is completely different in both versions. In mkII its created by how the compressor engine itself reacts differently over the spectrum and so if GR happens then color is also there. In mkIII its created by harmonic distortion which can be dialed in with variable amounts.

  22. Religious or not…there is a a god!

  23. this is great news! i fully expect this to be the best mastering compressor ever based on how clean thrillseekerLA is with sat off. i am thinking the reduced inter modulation distortion could be key here.

    my question is, lets say we are trying to get a bit of a groove with the release time. as the release times on density3 seem to be presets, is it possible to make manual adjustments? i usually start with a calculator and try for example at 120bpm (60000/120) 250ms, 125ms. this is never the final result, but it seems to always end up very near these timings, usually a little longer. could you explain a bit more about the density3 attack/release timings? THANKS.

  24. Impressive, once again 😉

    When you speak about plugins not being so 3D-transients friendly, i think this is because not so many plugins are really pushing the way they treat the signal.
    How many plugins still use a common static waveshaper as saturation ?
    May be 90% 😉

    Nebula and your plugins are my reference on how 3D/analog/whatever a plugin should sound.
    But Nebula macro-dynamic is not up to his micro-dynamic/saturation : compressors are so-so if you want a big gain reduction, tape saturation side is good, but tape compression side is so-so too…because of Nebula limitations (probably forever).

    I think more and more your plugins combined with Nebula is the best combination for me.
    Like FerricTDS with Nebula tapes 😀
    And your stateful saturation is adding a brand new dimension.
    With this combination, you get a killer sound all in the box 😉

    Thanks for this amazing plugin !
    Because i know it is going to be amazing 😉

  25. Can’t wait for the release 🙂

  26. look forward to it

  27. Excitement: …growing.
    Anticipation: …building.

  28. please let there be a 64Bit version 🙂

  29. A very large thank you. You guys seriously rock.

  30. Can’t wait to try it, but I’m a little disappointed about the missing “-18dB” switch – like the one incorporated in Thrillseeker. Density’s range might be enough, but that was a very good idea in terms of “analog behaviour to analog outboard”.
    Any chance to get that switch in all updates?

  31. Good news !!!!

  32. excellent cant wait to get this installed 🙂

  33. Thank you Thank you very appreciated

  34. Josh Murray says:

    … Links are down and I’m tired of my… “Other” plugins. If you could get the link for Density that would be great ^_^

  35. This compressor shines on the master track………..Its so simple to dial in with a very warm musical tone……..

    Many kind blessings ahead -love your work Sir-

  36. Your processors are things of beauty… Subtle but effective! Wonderful stuff.

    I’ve heard people say ‘they don’t do anything!’.. That, right there, is what makes them great, IMHO. They do, but very very carefully. Compared to a lot of VST chaff out there, yours are 100% prime wheat.

    If everything else you do is like your code, you’ll likely go places 🙂


  37. Hi.the LINK button is for stereo linking.AmI right?

  38. Its good!

  39. Why is it not available in vst 64 format ? Or is it but all I saw was 32 vst hopefully I missed it because I’m hearing great things about this compressor but my daw will only host 64 bit vst’s…please tell me I’ve missed it and it is available in vst y4 format ….help !!!

  40. super work


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