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DDMF Magic Death Eye

Compressor Plug‑ins By Eric James
Published September 2020

DDMF Magic Death Eye

These two plug‑ins bring you the spirit of their 'unobtainium' hardware counterparts!

I first heard of the Magic Death Eye analogue compressor from an American mastering colleague who'd just taken delivery of one. Intrigued, I looked for more details but sadly soon found a few good reasons for me not to rush out and get one. First, designer/builder Ian Sefchick can only produce them when free from the demands of his mastering career at Capitol Records, so his output is both limited and irregular. Second, even if one were to become available, he doesn't make them for export outside the USA. Finally, the stereo version costs $8,800! That's actually not an unreasonable amount to ask for a superbly designed, hand-built vari‑mu compressor, but it is hardly chump change.

So when I learned that DDMF had created a plug‑in version, I quickly tried the demo. It was good, and within a couple of hours I'd bought it. Recently, DDMF released another 'stereo' Magic Death Eye plug‑in. I bought that one immediately too and both plug‑ins now have a home in my mastering workflow and have already been used on several professional projects.

There are versions for the common Mac OS (v10.8 or higher) and Windows (32- and 64-bit, v7 or higher) plug‑in formats, and an AUv3 version for iOS. Installation and activation on my Windows 10 and Sequoia 14 system was blessedly simple: the license is provided in a ZIP file, and you locate it when you first use the plug‑in. Sadly, I've no way to confirm how close the sound of the plug‑ins are to the originals, so I've had to assume a very close kinship and evaluate them on their own terms.

It Takes Two

Despite the names, both Magic Death Eye plug‑ins are fully stereo in operation. One, which I'll refer to as MDE, is called 'Mono' because it is based on the mono version of the hardware; the 'Stereo' version (MDEST) is modelled after the stereo hardware unit. There are enough differences between the plug‑ins to consider having both in the toolbox, though their basic design is similar and you'd be unlikely to use them in the same chain.

Both have variable 'switched' input and threshold...

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Published September 2020