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Sonible Smart:Comp 2 – Product of the Week

Smart:Comp 2 is the follow-up to Sonible's original Smart:Comp compressor plug-in, released in 2019.

Sonible Smart:Comp 2
Sonible Smart:Comp 2

Sonible is a leading company for manufacturing AI-powered software, with processors that create settings based on intelligent analyses of your audio. This week marked the introduction of Smart:Comp 2, the follow-up to the original Smart:Comp compressor, released in 2019.

Like the previous version, Smart:Comp 2 is capable of broadband and spectral compression. The latter continuously analyzes more than 2,000 frequency bands and intelligently prevents tonal imbalances in the compressed signal. You can control the frequency range and the ratio of broadband to spectral processing.

Smart:Comp 2 features a redesigned GUI and plenty of powerful new features. The latest version is significantly more versatile than its predecessor, largely thanks to the addition of Mid-Side and 5.1 Surround Sound options.

Another highlight is the new Style knob, which makes it possible to change the character of the compression. The knob is continuously variable between Clean and Dirty. The former is transparent, while the latter provides more color and a punchier response. The Color knob controls how bright or dark the Spectral Compression will be.

Sonible improved the “Learn” function, which lets you choose a source type and then tell the plug-in to analyze it. It now features a significantly more extensive list of sources (30, as opposed to 8 on the original version), making it easier to get results specific to your audio.

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The control over time-constants also received a significant upgrade in the form of the new Attack and Release Shaper, which provides a graphic display (which you can also edit numerically) for independently adjusting the Time, Hold and Shape for the Attack and Release parameters.

The new Free-form Transfer Function lets you choose one of six different compression templates, each with its own characteristics. These include Standard, Balance Mid, Expand Mid, Squeeze Mid, Parallel Comp., and Noise Gate. Sonible also added a Level Histogram that shows, in real time, the relative levels of input gain and compressed output.

Another gain-related addition is Input Riding, which automatically keeps the input level within a user-specified range. You can turn it on and off and adjust the Speed and Intensity parameters.

Sonible enhanced the ability to control the sidechain signal with its new Sidechain EQ, which features low- and high-pass filters, two adjustable bands with variable Q and a choice of bell or shelf filters.

Another significant addition is the ability to compare settings. You could switch between A and B on the original Smart: Comp. In Smart:Comp 2, you can save and compare up to eight separate States.

Smart:Comp sells for $89. Upgrade pricing is available for $29 for registered owners of Smart:Comp.