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Review: Cytomic The Glue

There are many applications for compression, from subtly fixing dynamics to creating wild effects. In my experience compressors (both hardware and software) are often the subject of heated discussions about analog versus digital, sound coloring and transparency, harmonics, transients, etc. If you are looking for a review that goes into these kind of technical details you are in the wrong place.

For those who don’t know me, making music is my hobby, not my profession. My tools include lots of free plug-ins like Variety Of Sound’s Density mkII and NastyVCS, and commercial ones such as FabFilter’s Pro-C — currently my favorite slap it on anything to make it sound good compressor.

I have a fairly simple approach when it comes to dynamics processing: I use whatever sounds good.

Cytomic The Glue

Luckily there are some great developers out there who know how to create compressor plug-ins that sound great straight out of the box, with minimal effort on the user’s part.

One of those developers is Cytomic founder Andrew Simper. Cytomic might not ring a bell, but Andrew is not exactly new to the scene. Working as the head DSP developer of FXpansion, he was responsible for doing the algorithms for the excellent D-CAM Synth Squad, and the effects for both Guru and BFD2.

With The Glue Andrew basically did a complete re-write of the compressor algorithm he previously developed with FXpansion, improving and adding a bunch of things in the process.

The Glue features

  • Accurate analog model of classic 80′s British big console buss compressor.
  • Ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01 mS.
  • Range knob to naturally control the maximum compression applied.
  • Peak Clip to optionally hard limit transients.
  • DSP coded using C++ and assembler, Interface coded using the Juce framework (C++).
  • Serial number copy protection with generous license agreement.

Similar to Synth Squad, The Glue is a physics-based circuit simulation using the same values of components like resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc., and a matching circuit structure in order for the model to sound identical to the hardware.

The Glue models a design that is somewhere between an E and G series buss compressor of the classic 80’s British big console buss compressor mentioned earlier in the list of features — the SSL 4000.

There are only a few controls on The Glue so let me briefly explain what they do.

  • Threshold, determines at what dB compression kicks in.
  • Range, an additional parameter that allows more natural sounding results by limiting the depth of the compression. This is not available on the original circuit.
  • Makeup, applies gain to the main compression amplifier to make up for the reduced signal level caused by the compression. There’s no auto-makeup so you will need to adjust this yourself.
  • Attack, the speed at which the compression kicks in. The Glue includes a super fast 0.01mS attack mode which is useful for limiting.
  • Ratio, the amount of compression applied. Ratio 2 (50%) has a soft knee shape, 4 (75%) a medium one, and 10 (90%) a sharp knee. For example, the gain reduction with ratio 4 would be -7.5dB per 10dB over the threshold; 75% of 10dB.
  • Release, determines how fast the compressor goes back to the original volume. Setting this control to “Auto” is a handy way to compress a wide range of material in a gentle way. It uses a slow release time for a base compression value, plus a fast one for transients.
  • Comp(ression) in, basically bypasses the compression when off.
  • Mix, mixes the dry and wet (compressed) signal.
  • Peak Clip in, a fixed waveshaper which can be useful on transients.
  • Side-chain, a highpass filter is available to reduce pumping, and an “Ext(ernal) in” button will let you use any signal you like as a detector.

I was going to post some audio clips but decided against it since the demos on Cytomic website do a terrific job showcasing The Glue. Check them out here.

So what do I think?

Product: The Glue by Cytomic
Format: Effect plug-in for PC and Mac (VST2.4/AU/RTAS)
Price: $99 USD

I personally do not have any experience with the SSL 4000 hardware so I can’t make any comparison. I’ve heard good reports on The Glue, but frankly it’s not that important to me whether this emulation is spot on or not. As I mentioned earlier I just use whatever sounds good and boy does this compressor sound good to me. From subtle compression to insane pumping, The Glue shines whichever way you turn its knobs. I have no complaints sound wise.

I do have a minor gripe concerning the presets management system. It currently offers some nice features like copy & paste functions (even across multiple plug-in instances) and A/B comparison, but you can’t select the presets directly from your DAW. Selecting a preset shouldn’t take more than a mouse-click or two. I think Andrew is going to improve the presets system in the upcoming version 1.0.16 update.

Talking about updates… It might also be good to know that Andrew is not only an incredibly talented developer but also a guy who is genuinely interested in having a dialog with users of his products (as demonstrated by almost 150 pages of The Glue at the KVR forum), taking in suggestions, loyally offering support, and keeping people posted with the latest developments.

Anyway, The Glue is an excellent buss compressor, capable of glueing your mix together in a most wonderful way. It is easy to use and the additional features like the ultra fast attack, and range & sidechain controls are valuable additions.

A 14-day trial version is available to download so you can try this compressor on your own material.

More information: Cytomic

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Cytomic updates The Glue to v1.0.15

Related: , , , , , Posted in news on Mar 01, 2010 - comment 0 comments
Cytomic The Glue

Cytomic has released version 1.0.15 of The Glue, a high quality analog modeled plug-in based on The classic 80′s British big console buss compressor with some additional features.

It uses the same high quality algorithms used in circuit simulation packages but optimised for real time use. It’s quick and easy to use and has an uncluttered interface.

Additions include an ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01mS and a Range knob which backs off the compression to give incredibly natural sounding attacks and limits the maximum amount of compression applied. Also included are external sidechain support and an adjustable sidechain highpass filter.

Changes in The Glue v1.0.15

  • Windows RTAS support.
  • Fix for Logic in 64-bit mode using the 32-bit bridge.
  • Fix for Digital Performer, mono mode now works.
  • Fix for Live in full screen mode, menus now appear correctly.
  • Fix for Pro Tools, removal of duplicate plugin menu entry.

The Glue is available to purchase for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) for $99 USD.

More information: Cytomic

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Cytomic releases The Glue

Cytomic The Glue

Cytomic has announced the release of The Glue, a compressor effect plug-in for Windows and Mac.

The Glue is a high quality analog modeled plug-in based on a cross between an E and G series SSL 4000 buss compressor with some additional features. It uses the same high quality algorithms used in circuit simulation packages but optimised for real time use. It’s quick and easy to use and has an uncluttered interface.

Additions include an ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01mS and a Range knob which backs off the compression to give incredibly natural sounding attacks and limits the maximum amount of compression applied. Also included are external sidechain support and an adjustable sidechain highpass filter.

The Glue features

  • Accurate analog model of an SSL 4000* buss compressor.
  • Ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01 mS.
  • Range knob to naturally control the maximum compression applied.
  • Peak Clip to optionally hard limit transients.
  • DSP coded using C++ and assembler, Interface coded using the Juce framework (C++).
  • Serial number copy protection with generous license agreement.

The Glue is available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) for $99 USD.

More information: Cytomic

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Cytomic updates The Glue beta to v1.0.13

Cytomic The Glue

Cytomic has released released public beta version 1.0.13 of The Glue, an analog modelled bus compressor plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Changes since The Glue v1.0.11

  • Fixed Random crashes on exit.
  • Added back all io configs (4-2, 2-2, 2-1, 1-1) to support hosts that don’t support external sidechaining. This will mean on some hosts that you see multiple copies of The Glue, one will be with and one without external sidechaining.
  • 80 Factory Bank 1 presets.
  • Mac Rtas version.
  • Au now supports mono and stereo operation and typed units for automation.
  • Any single Mac copy can be renamed to .vst .component or .dpm and it will work as a vst au or rtas respectively so you only need to download it once.
  • Updated post envelope follower low pass filter algorithm more closely match the analog response.

The Glue public beta is available for download as a 14-day trial. It can be registered for $99 USD.

Purchasing the Beta entitles you to a full license of The Glue, and you have full rights to all 1.x updates, including a Manual and Presets once they are ready.

The RTAS version is only for Mac at the moment. People buying The Glue now will receive the Win RTAS version for free once it is ready.

Visit the public beta page for details.

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Cytomic releases The Glue v1.0.7 public beta

Cytomic The Glue

Cytomic has released released a public beta of version 1.0.7 of The Glue, an analog modelled bus compressor plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Cytomic was formed in December 2007 by Andrew Simper as a company dedicated to producing DSP plugins using analog modelling based on quality algorithms, with a focus on ease of use and reasonable pricing. Andrew has been Head DSP Developer for FXpansion for the past 4 years, where he coded the effects for Guru and BFD2, and created the D-CAM: Synth Squad (to be released Q2 2009). Cytomic software is currently in use by top musicians and has already featured on number one singles on Beatport.

The Glue features

  • Accurate analog model of famous British mix bus compressor of the 80′s
  • Ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01 mS
  • Range knob to naturally control the maximum compression applied
  • Peak Clip to optionally hard limit transients
  • DSP coded using C++ and assembler, Interface coded using the Juce framework (C++)

The public beta is available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU). It times out after 14 days and it has no load, no paste, and no parameter automation. The public beta version can be registered for $99 USD.

By buying the beta you will receive all future updates and product support for all 1.X version of The Glue, and you are a fully registered user with all the same rights as someone buying later will recieve, but you get to use the plugin earlier and in a slightly less stable state

Visit the public beta page for details.

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Cytomic announces The Glue

Related: , , , , , Posted in news on Feb 07, 2009 - comment 3 comments
Cytomic The Glue

Cytomic has announced The Glue Bus Compressor Effect Plug-in, a 4-in, 2-out, Stereo Compressor (second stereo input for external side-chain processing).

The Glue features

  • Accurate analog model of famous British mix bus compressor of the 80′s.
  • Ultra-fast attack time of up to 0.01 mS.
  • Range knob to naturally control the maximum compression applied.
  • Peak Clip to optionally hard limit transients.
  • DSP coded using C++ and assembler, Interface coded using the Juce framework (C++).
  • Meters:
    • Gain reduction meter (dB) 0 to -20.
    • Peak clip LED.
  • Parameters:
    • Threshold (dB): 0 to -40.
    • Range (dB): 0 to Full (-oo).
    • Makeup (dB): 0 to 40.
    • Attack (mS): 0.01, 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30.
    • Ratio: 2, 4, 10.
    • Release (S): 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.2, Auto.
    • Compression In (Switch): On, Off.
    • Mix (%): Dry 0 to Wet 100.
    • Peak Clip (Switch): On, Off.
    • Side-chain HP (Hz): Off, 20 to 2000.
    • External Side-chain In (Switch): On, Off.

The Glue is expected to be released Q1 2009. It will be available direct from www.cytomic.com for $99 USD (+VAT where applicable) for Windows and Mac OS X in VST, AU and RTAS plug-in formats.

More information soon at the Cytomic website.

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