Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP: What is it?
Although there are plenty of celeb-endorsed plugins about, these are typically created in collaboration with existing developers. Mixing Night Audio, headed up by producers Ken Lewis and Dom Rivinius, sets about this process from scratch, aiming to tap into its own processing chains and settings. The team’s first plugin, 2021’s excellent GreenHAAS, is a multifaceted width enhancement processor and here we are roughly two years later checking out their latest offering. How time flies!
LOLCOMP is a user-friendly channel strip plugin that combines a choice of five compression-based channel strip chains with a 5-part effects section. Each chain has a clear targeted purpose and uses a single control to dial in the amount of processing, with auto gain makeup making level setting pretty straightforward.
Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP: Performance and verdict
In line with the gamified interface, each chain gets its own skin and avatar. At first, this may seem a bit lateral, but the five chains – Smiley, Panda, Kangaroo, Peacock and Dragon – do match their target task. Each mode is selected at the top, and below this, the central amount dial forms the centrepiece of the LOL design with input meter and input level to the left and gain reduction and output level to the right.
We worked our way through the main chains, comparing their performance to the descriptions and are happy to report that each is suitably distinct. Smiley is a reasonably transparent chain that’s ideal for bringing up any instruments. We found the compression didn’t impart too many artefacts even when we tried trickier instruments such as acoustic piano.
Panda beefs up your bottom end using a combination of dynamics and harmonics and adds both depth and presence. We found this worked pretty well with a number of sounds including basslines. But where it really excels is 808s, with added harmonics, a nicely enhanced tail and plenty of sub. We’re not sure we’ve found another plugin that does this so effortlessly thus far.
The third option (Kangaroo) is your punch setting. With a slightly slower attack and medium fast release, it’s designed for emphasising attack. It does this pretty well, and although not as extreme as some of the snappy outcomes you can achieve with certain compressors, for a one-knob design it provides a reliable option on kicks, snares, vocals, basses and more. Peacock, as the name implies, is a beautifying chain, and applies gentle compression and sweetening EQ. It works pretty well on submixes and buses. The final option (Dragon) is pretty aggressive saturation that responds both to the input level and the main dial, with dial settings gradually increasing the harmonics. Despite being powerful, the harmonic balance is not too harsh or bright.
A para-lol universe
The compression chains are complemented by a 5-module foldaway tone-shaping panel – PARALOL. This comprises high and low pass filters with pre and post-compressor chain switching, four one-knob (LMAO) effects: Levitate (tilt EQ), Mash (limiter), Awaken (exciter) and Oxidate (reverb), and a global wet/dry control. There are various options within these processors, including two exciter modes, five reverb sizes and a centre frequency control for the tilt EQ, which can also be placed pre or post the compression chain. The same one-knob approach still applies and we particularly like the tilt EQ (great for final shaping!), the limiter, with its simple one-knob loudness delivery, and the fact each process can be bypassed alone.
LOLCOMP includes 100 presets derived from Ken and Dom’s real life mixing sessions. You access these from the dropdown menu in the middle and can use the same dropdown to save and load your own presets. Alas, the preset menu is not categorised. Still, with descriptive naming, finding suitable presets is pretty easy.
Unsurprisingly the list kicks off with five 808 options offering varying degrees of enhancement. Beats are further catered for with a range of quite varied presets. For snares you’ve got everything from core settings (Where’s My Snare) to quite tough reverb options (Snare Disrespect). There’s also a decent selection for hats from fizzy (Drippin’ Hats) to lo-fi (Hats Off To You). For basses, you’ll find synth, electric and even acoustic (Upright Bass From Heaven) are all covered. There are loads of presets for lead and backing vocals including some straight-up sweeteners (LV Shine) and more coloured edgy options (Vocal Burn). Finally, it’s good to see a decent acoustic piano preset (The Big Boy Grand Piano), which we finessed with one of the Oxidate reverbs.
There’s clearly a large element of levity about LOLCOMP, from the gamified skins and chain modes through the parameter and preset labelling. But make no mistake, under the hood this plugin is packed with quality processing, and quickly delivers a broad range of tones and effects. Once again Mixing Night Audio has delivered a great plugin that you’ll love using, and we can only wonder what they will come up with next.
MusicRadar verdict: Mixing Night Audio’s second plugin sticks with the gamified interface, but don’t be confused: this is a powerful plugin that sounds fantastic and is a joy to use.
Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP: The web says
"If you are someone who is intimidated by all the regular audio plugins and would like something that would ease you in OR if you are a producer who wants an easy, quick and fun way to spice up your production and mixes, LOLCOMP is THE plugin to check out."
Audio Plugin Guy
Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP: Hands-on demos
Mixing Night Audio
Tim Talks Audio
Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP: Specifications
- System Requirements: macOS 10.12 or higher. Windows 10 or higher. Intel 64-bit or Apple Silicon. AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, AU, VST3.
- CONTACT: Mixing Night Audio