Let's kick off with a stunning triple-decker unit, and one of the best software emulations of analogue gear that we've encountered to date.
The VBCs are unofficially sourced from three classic designs: the SSL 4000 Console Compressor, Focusrite's original Red 3 Stereo Compressor/Limiter, and the valve-based variable mu of the Fairchild 670 and Manley 'Vari-Mu' units.
During development, Slate made a conscious decision to focus on non-linearities like harmonic distortion, phase distortion, frequency alteration and noise, as well as the underlying compression characteristics - so in theory, we really are talking 'warts and all'.
All three units offer interesting effects on the input signal even when they appear to be delivering zero gain reduction. It's when you start compressing, though, that the personality comes through. FG-Mu is just beautiful across drum overheads, drum sub mixes and overall mixes. The high-frequency sheen is accompanied by a low frequency "glue", and there's plenty of flavour even at gentle settings.
VBC presents everything you need to compress your master buss, sub mixes and plenty more besides with real character and analogue authenticity.5 Stars