Page 1 of 2

Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:59 am
by leedsquietman
Image
CYTOMIC THE GLUE REVIEW http://www.cytomic.com/glue

Available in : AU, VST (win and mac), RTAS
Cost $99.00 - free trial for 14 days, preset saving disabled.

Alternatives - UAD 4K, Waves SSL bundle buss compressor, SSL Duende Buss compressor, Bomb Factory 'Smack', Liquid Mix.

PROS : Sounds great, has a sidechainable high pass filter so you can filter out the bass end which often helps balance the sound better, has a wet/dry control and range control making it great for parallel compression/NY buss compression, has 'some' of the famous SSL 4000 G analog buss compressor characteristics, has an ultra fast 0.01 ms attack time not featured on the others, making it more versatile.

CONS : Doesn't sound quite as authentic to the original hardware as the UAD, Waves and SSL versions, albeit having more control.

WHAT IS IT ?? "The Glue is a high quality analog modeled plug-in based on the E and G series SSL 4000* buss compressor with some additional features."

Tested on - PC VST tested on Ableton Live 7.0.16 Suite, Cubase 5.1.0, Soundforge 9.0e

Review - The Cytomic Glue is a new take on the SSLMaster Buss compressor, as featured on thousands of hits from the early 1980's onwards and otherwise known as the 'good' button. It's a simple looking interface with a VU needle and some fixed attack and release times with an auto release. The buss compressor can be used subtly to 'glue' mixes together (hence the name), with longer attacks, faster release and set to trim around 2-3 dB of gain. Or it can be used in more brutal fashion to 'Smack' the mix up like a volume maximizer, which is quite common in certain genres such as heavy electronic music and even power pop. These are the most frequent use of the compressor, although this plugin form gives more control and range, so it can also be used as a group compressor or even on individual tracks.

The best features of 'The Glue' are the range and wet/dry controls IMHO. This makes NY style compression tricks and parallel processing easy, as you can pump the compressor hard but run it underneath the dry uncompressed signal to give it some extra oomph without sounding too compressed and overdone. This is uncommon in the alternatives. Also a sidechainable low pass EQ is handy, filtering out some bass end can make for a different sound and allows the compressor to work it's magic over the more audible mid-mid high which is optimal in most cases.

Sound wise - the designer claims the plugin uses the same algorithms as the original hardware and while it certainly has some 'character' it is debatable whether it is more authentic than the competition. My opinion is - not quite. UAD's 4K, Waves SSL and SSL's own Duende plugins sound a shade closer to the original character, but all of these plugins cost more and UAD and SSL Duende require dedicated DSP units to run. It is still a good attempt and definately imparts some of the sonic character, this coupled with the extra controls help to make it a great contender still.

I tried 'The Glue' on the buss, subtle gluing and smacking the mix down were both achieved, the former with especially great results. I tried it on a drum group and it nicely brought out the details and definition and even on a bass track, with an attack time of 3ms, auto release and a threshold of about -18 dB at 4:1 ratio, set to 100% wet, it kept the levels up nicely and cut through the mix very nicely.

Other information - for such a modelled plugin, the CPU load was pretty light. It was heavier than native DAW compressors, but less intense than some other 3rd party character plugins. With sidechain filtering switched out it even more efficient. The plugin imparts zero latency according to Cubase's vst plugin information.

I highly recommend you try this plugin. If you have UAD, you might prefer to pay $199 for the UAD 4k plugin, which is slightly more authentic soundwise, but has less control of parameters.

Oh - and er, (whisper it) Deadmau5 loves this plugin - apparently.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:29 am
by UKRuss
Nice one Leeds. I have beta'd it, but cannot part with the cash at the moment... :x

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:39 am
by Kevin Rothi
I use this plugin on all of my productions these days. Excellent compressor.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:46 am
by mr.adl
Kevin Rothi wrote:I use this plugin on all of my productions these days. Excellent compressor.
+1!

Also Andy, the developer, is really responsive to any questions.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:33 pm
by locojohn
Agreed that the Range/Dry/Wet controls are excellent and also agree that Andy is a great guy to deal with and that he knows exactly what he is doing. I haven't tried UAD, but in my own experience, the Glue does glue the parts of the mix very well. It's one of the most essential plug-ins in my collection as it works exactly as it is said to work.

Andrejs

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:15 pm
by yellow
leedsquietman wrote:
Sound wise - the designer claims the plugin uses the same algorithms as the original hardware and while it certainly has some 'character' it is debatable whether it is more authentic than the competition.
hm... i thought that the original SSL unit is a VCA compressor. it should be very hard to find any algorithm in there.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:31 pm
by drako
yellow wrote:
leedsquietman wrote:
Sound wise - the designer claims the plugin uses the same algorithms as the original hardware and while it certainly has some 'character' it is debatable whether it is more authentic than the competition.
hm... i thought that the original SSL unit is a VCA compressor. it should be very hard to find any algorithm in there.
lol yea

So much software is commin out, and marketingwise they compare it to hardware of course, smart and sell a lil more, and people fall for it by the dozen.
But what software can actually produce 2nd and 3th harmonics ?
Still waiting for the the soft that can actually cream my pants, but did not find any, even the much praised uad can't.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:57 pm
by nebulae
nice review - good price!

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:07 pm
by rydan
leedsquietman wrote:
CONS : Doesn't sound quite as authentic to the original hardware as the UAD, Waves and SSL versions, albeit having more control.
Andy has done quite a lot of work with further improving the glue with the later versions, and in a blind test at the gearslutz forum, people failed to hear any difference between the glue and a hardware SSL XLogic G-series buss comp, so, well...

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:08 pm
by leedsquietman
The review is getting on for a year old, so would not have been able to take any improvements into account, however thanks for the information - seems like this excellent plugin has gotten even better since the review.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:23 pm
by anybody human
Nice review. Use it on every track.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:13 am
by andy_cytomic
leedsquietman wrote:...
CONS : Doesn't sound quite as authentic to the original hardware as the UAD, Waves and SSL versions, albeit having more control.
Please check out the latest version. I'm not actually concerned with matching what other plugin manufacturers do, but how close I can get The Glue to sound like the original hardware. To this end also please check out the web page for A/B audio examples ( http://www.cytomic.com/glue#audio ), or download the trial version and give it a blast (http://www.cytomic.com/glue#trial ).
leedsquietman wrote:Sound wise - the designer claims the plugin uses the same algorithms as the original hardware and while it certainly has...
Not sure where you get this from, but this statement doesn't make sense. No DSP code can use "the same algorithms as the original hardware" since the original hardware is analog. I use the same circuit simulation mathematics used by circuit simulation packes like spice and qucs, but optimised for real time use. These packages are what people use to design the circuit in the first place. I model the important aspects of the circuit, preserving the circuits structure and non-linearities.

Another interesting point, you can actually get a cleaner signal by using The Glue than if and ran your signal out your DAC then through the analog compressor and back in your ADC. You can see the mains hum and hiss in the analog version, and the digital version is squeaky clean:

Image

Image
drako wrote:...So much software is commin out, and marketingwise they compare it to hardware of course, smart and sell a lil more, and people fall for it by the dozen.
But what software can actually produce 2nd and 3th harmonics ?
I don't really have marketing, I've just stated in plain language what I'm doing on the web page, and provide some audio examples to show it. I do model the compressor using circuit simulation mathematics, and this does include component variation for asymmetry as well as non-linearities and the structure (how the components are connected) of the original circuit. These all combine to give 2nd, 3rd, and even higher harmonics as you can see in the above plots. In fact you can see that due to modelled component variation The Glue actually has slightly more 2nd order harmonics than the analog hardware. The precise amplitude of the harmonics isn't important, as even two different hardware units will have different amplitude harmonics due to this component variation.

Now as for "selling" things, here is the situation as I see it: If you spend around $2000 on an Apogee Rosetta 200 (2 channel ADC DAC), and around $3500 on an SSL G-Series XLogic compressor you will get a slightly better result than using a single instance of The Glue. But if you spend $99 you can buy The Glue and use it multiple times in your project, and it's very portable as well which is good if you use a laptop with Live on it. If you can afford the $5500 then I recommend you do so, but otherwise I think The Glue offers excellent value for the quality of processing it provides, and will really help give your productions a professional sound.

But I would say that since I wrote it! So please don't believe me, prove me wrong, and tell me that the sound you get from the trial version of The Glue is crap! I can take it! I definitely don't want to sell anything to someone that they don't find useful, that would suck. From the feedback I get continually this seems to not be the case. I usually get a couple of emails every week along the lines of:

"The Glue is unreal - I have a smart C2 here - and the GLUE is gradually staying on the 2bus... NICE NICE NICE!!"

or

"Just thought I'd write to say how impressed I am with cytomic... I'd have to say its one of the most impressive plugin compressors I have used in terms of control and your attention to detail, especially the metering is fantastic... Anyway thanks for the great product, would love to hear if you have other work planned or available."

or

"have just been demoing the Glue. Incredible!"

You get the idea.

Or perhaps check out what people are saying on the official UAD forum: http://studionu.com/uadforums/viewtopic ... 6dccd2f34a

or check out the upcoming Sound On Sound review.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:53 am
by ekwipt
Andy was also one of the guys who programmed FXpansions Synth Squad.

What I love is that he's a boutique audio software designer/programmer who can take on the big companies. Love the Glue, mainly use it on a drum buss, but wack it down over the master output to get an idea of where sounds are going.

Another good example of boutique design would be dmgaudio EQuality and Relab Developments LX480.

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:06 pm
by nebulae
^ gotto give mad props to Andy. I've been using The Glue for a few weeks now, and I'm really really happy with it, both as an insert and on the master bus. It's great for all sorts of purposes, easy to use, and sounds kick ass.

I don't care about hardware anymore, I just want my software to sound good. This compressor is at the top of my list. Well done!

Re: Leeds' compressor review - Cytomic 'The Glue'

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:11 am
by andy_cytomic
Thanks for the props guys! I've now added the oversampling feature to The Glue, so check out v1.1.1 and have a play.

Also the SOS review I mentioned in the previous post is out, so go and grab a copy of the latest issue (November 2010) and read it in full. It's their 25th anniversary issue to boot. I have a subscription to SOS and thoroughly recommend it. In the review Frederick does an in depth comparison between Cytomic The Glue, Waves SSL Bus Comp, UAD 4k Bus comp, the analog TK Audio BC1, and the analog Gyraf SSL with old style dbx chips. A small quote from the review: "Cytomic have gone to great lengths to mimic the sound of the famous SSL bus compressor, with its unique ability to ‘glue’ things together. How does their plug-in compare with established offerings from Waves and UA? ... Compared to similar plug-ins, The Glue sounds more open and has a more defined stereo width — and it certainly provides ‘the glue’ on a variety of instruments ... and at a great price too!" http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov10/a ... e-glue.htm