I'm not an expert on compression, nor have I a huge amount of experience using different compressors, but perhaps that's precisely what will make this suggestion interesting to beginners or hobbyists. Breebaart's TB Compressor is the first free compressor plugin I've tried that I actually like the sound of.
Last month, I tried the demo of Jeroen Breebaart's Tonebooster 'track essentials' plugins and was immediately drawn to the TB Compressor. Good points:
a. simplicity of the controls
b. the visual element: the sound is shown coming in to the compressor like a wave that gets
reduced 'live' as you tweak the settings, so you get a visual confirmation of what you are
c. I think it sounds nice
With the demo version, your plugin settings aren't saved when you shut down the project (which is actually more of a pain than I imagined it would be!). You pay 25 euros for the whole set, which includes his Ferox plugin, the old version of which I've been using for years. I've started using the TB Compressor as my go-to compression plugin for most of my individual tracks.
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Jeroen Breebaart TB Compressor
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