I had the pleasure to review Audified’s all-new U73b Compressor an updated version of the U73b that was released back in May 2015. This new version sports a new GUI with photo realistic rendering plus new features. I took my time playing with the U73b putting it on anything I could think of. You can find my rundown on how it works below.
What Is it?
The U73b is an authentic emulation of the unique-sounding 60s vintage German broadcast compressor/limiter hardware that was a favorite in European mastering circles. Audified crammed all that goodness into this new plugin and added some cool new features like a High Pass Filter, Calibration, True Sidechaining, Automatic Gain Control, Improved Processing and Over Sampling, Retina support and Selectable Display Color. U73b plug-in runs as AAX, VST3, VST2 plug-in on Mac and PC. You also get to use as Audio Unit on the mac as well. Also, the plugin runs on the latest OS versions of Mac and Windows 7, 8 and 10.
The U73b does have a unique character when being applied to a track. You will notice that the compressor adds beefiness to the sound which can work great on vocals and kick drums. The Auto Gain feature is good when you want to lock the input and output knobs together. I have a video demonstrating this below. The High Pass Filter is always on by default but you can turn this off. This might get annoying but you just have to remember turning the filter off especially if you are working on tracks with bass. The U73b does warm up material but only on a subtle level. It’s not a night and day comparison but the plugin does affect the material quite nicely. In sidechain mode I put the U73b on a bass track and chained a kick drum as the input. I was able to duck the bass every time the kick drum hits. You will definitely have to massage the ducking with the release knob. The Calibration is set to 9 by default but you can adjust this to a different value. I notice that if I turned calibration to a lower number, the track would get louder. There are other features that are not that big of a deal like Selectable Display Color. I really can’t justify using this for anything unless changing colors is a big deal to you. I found this feature useless and Audified could have left this out entirely. The limiter will take the compression to another level. Using the limiter I notice that it’s not a Brick Wall because I heard transients being able to get through. This is not bad though since I’m sure some mastering engineers hate dealing with the loudness wars.
The U73b Compressor definitely has the goods to be useful in the studio from mixing on individual tracks to slapping it on a master bus. The compressor adds subtle warmth and fullness which is a plus. Also the U73b is simple to use and very useful to add color to your sound. Some of the useless features like Selectable Display Color could have been left out. I could live without it. Anyway, I still think the U73b is worth grabbing just to add another color to your sound palette.
Price $149.00 USD