Recently Native Instruments released a FREE (for a limited time) plug-in called SUPERCHARGER. Native Instruments boasts that “Supercharger” is dripping with high-octane attitude of a one-of-a-kind tube compressor.

Thanks to Modern Mixing subscriber Ben Busack for giving me the heads up on this cool plug-in so I can share it with you.

I’ve been able to get my hands the Supercharger and test it out and I like that its super simple to use. It’s definitely one of the easier compressors to set up and begin working with.

Anyone from a beginner to an expert can use it and get a lot of mileage out of it. No need to fiddle with attack, release and ratio settings because this compressor allows you to focus on the tone and character while the Supercharger handles the rest. That makes this compressor very intuitive and should fit very easily into any workflow.

Some of the Key Features of the SUPERCHARGER

  • Harmonic rich sound of pure tube compression
  • One knob design for fast results
  • Create effects that are subtly warm or brutally crushed

My Thoughts From Testing Out the SUPERCHARGER

With any new plug-in I get these days it comes down to three things that eventually make me take the leap:

  1. It sounds good
  2. Is easy to understand
  3. It can be added to my workflow seamlessly

Of course I’m not including price in there and it is important to consider but when it’s FREE, than it’s usually a pretty simple decision.

But not everything for free is actually good. I’ve tried and scrapped a lot of Free plug-ins in my time but their is definitely something cool about the Supercharger. For example I love how it can bring a bass sound to life without making it sound overly obvious that some distortion was added; it just seems to colour the original sound naturally.

Another thing to mention is the makeup gain aspect of the Supercharger. As long as the input LED is lighting up green (sweet spot) then you can add compression without having to adjust any make up gain. Pretty Cool!

I can already see myself using the Supercharger more on Drums, Bass, Vocals, Pianos and even Guitars.

This is an absolute NO BRAINER so Go download the Supercharger now for free (limited time) and enjoy it while it lasts.

What Else Can it Do?

Another handy tool that this compressor comes equipped with is an easy to set up side chain compression function. You can do anything from light ducking to heavy pumping.

A Breakdown of The SUPERCHARGER

This photo was taken from the NI Supercharger Manual

SuperCharger

1. Input Indicator
2. Input Trim Knob
3. Side Chain LED Indicator
4. Gain Reduction Level Meter
5. Compress knob
6. Output Level Meter
7. Dirt LED Indicator
8. Punch LED Indicator
9. Output knob
10. Mix Knob

 

Examples of the SUPERCHARGER on BASS

Here is a simple bass track that I manipulated in a few different ways using the Supercharger, let’s check it out.

This first audio example is how the Bass originally sounded

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click each tab below to see the plug-in settings and to listen to the examples.

Bass Example 1
Bass Example 2
Bass Example 3

 

Examples of the SUPERCHARGER on DRUMS

Then I decided to check out the SUPERCHARGER of a simple drum loop to see how it would perform, here’s how it sounded.

This first audio example is how the Drum Loop originally sounded

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click each tab below to see the plug-in settings and to listen to the examples.

Drum Loop Example 1
Drum Loop Example 2
Drum Loop Example 3
Drum Loop Example 4

 

Final Thoughts

Like any other plug-in, you should really try it out and experiment with it to see if it works into your workflow.

With Native Instruments plug-ins I feel like for me it’s either a hit or a miss but this one is definitely a hit. There’s no doubt that there is something special about the sound of this little guy and it’s so ridiculously easy to use that I don’t even have to think when I’m using it – I love that.

Did I mention it was FREE? Well not exactly.  The Supercharger is free until December 31st, 2013 and at that point it will cost $49. But I actually am willing to stick my neck out and say it’s a fair price (actually more than fair) as I can see myself already using it for vocals, drums and bass.