Slate Digital VBC Virtual Bus Compressors


Three analog modeled, classic virtual bus compressors

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Slate Digital VBC Virtual Bus Compressors are three stunningly accurate dynamic models of analog compressors that have ruled the studio mix bus for decades

The Slate Digital Virtual Bus Compressors bundle gives you the true sound and response of three of the most used mix bus compressors in modern music. Slate Digital put these compressors under the microscope and discovered that their sound was not solely based on compression topology, such as timing and compression curves, there were also very complex, non-linear artifacts in the signal path, including modulation, dynamic harmonic distortion, dynamic phase distortion, saturation, crosstalk, and more, all of which contributed to the signature sound of the analog units. Slate Digital created algorithms for the Virtual Bus Compressors that model the exact compressor topologies, as well as the nonlinear dynamic artifacts of the circuitry. Not content to simply produce “me-too” models of classic compressors, Slate Digital added some controls and virtual circuits that give them and your mixes a life and sound of their own.

Slate Digital Virtual Bus Compressors in one take:

  • Meticulously modeled, comprehensive controls, pro user presets
  • FG-Grey classic SSL G 4000-series G-384 console bus compressor
  • FG-Red analog model of the Focusrite Red 3 Classic Dual Channel compressor
  • FG-MU models the tube compression of the legendary Fairchild 670 and other tube compressors
  • Virtual Rack for added sonic flexibility

Meticulously modeled with comprehensive controls

The Slate Digital Virtual Bus Compressors model every nuance of real analog compressors, including the exact nonlinear characteristics of their transformers, tubes, VCAs, amplifiers, phase distortions, harmonic distortions, and timing. Along with all of the front-panel controls found on the originals, all of the compressors in the VBC bundle have a variable hi-pass filter and a mix knob that can be used to control the ratio of compressed signal to dry signal.. Each compressor of the VBC comes with stock presets made by some of the industry’s top mixers, including Chris Lord Alge.

FG-GREY console compressor

The FG-GREY at its most basic is a very precise model of the classic SSL G-4000 series console compressor. Like its hardware counterpart, the FG-GREY has a unique way of being able to tighten, glue, and gel the components of a mix. Plus, it can transition from fairly transparent in auto release mode, to very aggressive in manual mode. While the hardware compressor is a marvelous sounding unit, it tends to lose bottom end as compression increases, and also sound slightly “choked” in the midrange. To compensate for this, Slate modeled a classic British discrete transformer and added some of the characteristics to the FG-GREY signal path. The transformer stage keeps the bottom big and round and the midrange more open, while still retaining the classic sound of the hardware unit. Not just for a full mix, the FG-GREY sounds amazing on drums and guitars as well.

FG-RED dual-channel compressor

This compressor is based on the classic Focusrite Red 3 faced compressor, which remains a favorite of mix legend Chris Lord Alge, who created presets for the FG-GREY. In studying and analyzing the behavior of the hardware Red 3, it was noticed that the attack and auto-release worked in a very unique and musical way. However, the real magic was in the output section. By increasing output gain, a mix became much more punchy, fat, and aggressive, due to a series of nonlinear reactions caused by the output transformer. In fact, famous mastering engineer, Howie Weinberg, uses his Red without compression just to use the output gain to get that amazing effect.

To provide greater control over this effect, the FG-GREY adds a drive knob that lets you dial in the amount you want regardless of output level. (Very handy if adding makeup gain causes clipping). When you increase drive it adds a beautiful punch and articulation to the transients. Famous rock mixer, Justin Neibank, beta tested the FG-RED and loves the drive, suggesting 6.6 as the magic number. With subtle adjustments, the FG-RED can give your rock mixes a clarity and punch that makes it jump out of the speakers.

FG-MU variable tube-gain compression

With the vintage flavor, solid bass, warm mids, and glossy highs of the Fairchild 670 as its foundation, the FG-MU is the most colorful and sonically complex compressor in the VBC collection. Inspired by several vintage compressors, its saturation and timing behavior, as well as gain-reduction structure, have been custom designed. The complexity and richness of the sound is obtained with a very simple set of controls. The amount of compression is be adjusted by the threshold control and input level, while saturation interacts with input gain, gain-reduction, and output gain, making it a great tool for shaping sound. Like the original tube compressors, the FG-GREY can add character simply by passing audio through it. Putting the FG-GREY after either or both of the other compressors in VBC without any compression will impart a beautiful, open sound. Overall, FG-GREY has tons of analog mojo and vibe for days—a sure way to warm up your ITB mixes on cold nights.

Slate Virtual Bus Compressor Rack

While all three compressors are available for use as separate plug-ins in your DAW, the VBC comes with a Virtual Rack that enables you to use them in series. Simply by dragging and dropping them via their “rack handles,” you can order or re-order them in any sequence and solo them independently. Using the rack also lets you perform an A/B/C comparison on the fly, instead of spending time re-instantiating the plug-ins and losing perspective. Compressing a mix with each one in series doing a small amount of compression can sound amazing.

When you hear the Slate Digital VBC compressors, you’ll notice a depth, life, and “analog vibe” that you’ve likely not heard before in a plug-in compressor. For more information, call or chat with your Westlake Pro sales consultant today.

Additional information

OS Requirements - PC

Windows 7 (SP1) or later


AAX Native, AU, VST2, VST3

iLok Required




Download / Boxed



Compression and Dynamics

e-Licenser Required


OS Requirements - Mac

OS X 10.8.5 or later, iOS 8 or later


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