Universal Audio releases Neve 33609 Bus Compressor

UAs long awaited digital recreation of Neves 33609 bus compressor will be released with version 4.4 of the UAD drivers and software. The 33609 is unique among the UADs fine collection of vintage compressors, as it is our first model of a diode bridge type compressor, as well as our first dedicated bus compressor model.

Many controls on early bus compressors are stepped so that each channel can be set up identically. Advances in electronics have allowed some controls to be continuously variable, but the majority of compressors marketed today as bus compressors have some stepped controls, typically the release times and input and output level controls. Auto-release modes are also common in bus compressors.

The Neve 33609 started its life as various mono bus compressors installed in Neve consoles in the late ’60s and early ’70s. First introduced as the 2252 in 1968, it was a hit for musicians and engineers worldwide for over 30 years. The 2254e revision was installed in mono pairs in many 80-series consoles. The channel strips that fed this compressor were the 1073 and the 1081. Obviously the 2254e was in some good company!

The completely stepped-controlled 33609/SE is made up of separate compression and limiter sections, each with its own threshold, recovery and bypass controls. Two of the recovery selections for each section are dedicated to a program-dependent auto release. The compressor section also offers five ratio selections and 20 dB of make-up gain, while the limiter offers a fast or slow attack. The mono/stereo switch allows coupling/decoupling of the left and right gain reduction elements. DAW software-only control enhancements include an additional stepped 20 dB output gain and a link switch allowing ganged left/right control of all parameters.

A light (SE) version of this plugin is also available.

Universal Audio

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