PSPaudioware is an unassuming little plugin developer based in Poland. Their marketing materials are slim, they lack the pervasive press coverage of the largest brands, and they keep their GUIs plain and efficient and their prices low.
But despite their boutique size and project-studio pricepoints, I’m consistently surprised to find that PSP is making some of the best plugins on the market. These are tools that compare favorably with – and sometimes outperform – the biggest names in the business.
The team at PSP was among the first to put out audio software with a convincingly analog edge. Their original Vintage Warmer plugin, released back in 2002, is now a classic, and its latest iteration, the over-sampling Vintage Warmer 2, is still one of the most powerful tools available for adding some natural-sounding sheen and attitude to digital tracks.
The largest software companies have gone on to develop their own tape emulators, some of which are more straightforward than the Vintage Warmer, but in large part, those big fish have just been playing catch-up with what small developers like PSP were doing a decade ago.
On the other hand, PSP has been a little late to the game when it comes to more conventional compressor plugins. Their tweak-friendly MixPressor and MasterComp plugins have been a popular part of their line, but it wasn’t until the release of the oldTimer in 2009 that they really took off with a traditional, simple-to-use compressor that had a distinct sound of its own.
The oldTimer has fast become a go-to character compressor on digital systems around the world – my own included. But where the oldTimer was PSP’s homage to classic tube compressors, the new BussPressor was made to fill the role of the classic VCA buss compressors made famous by SSL.
Sound and Vision
PSP’s slogan, “It’s the sound that counts” couldn’t be more apt. The BussPressor’s graphical interface may be plain, perhaps even a little drab compared to some of the other SSL-style compressor plugins out there, but its performance is among the best in its class.
When I compared the BussPressor to some of the most popular plugins in this style, it…