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Blue Cat's Dynamics
"The most flexible all-in-one dynamics processor"


Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper (VST, AU, RTAS, DX)

Blue Cat's Dynamics is a complete dynamics effect processor: it can be used as a compressor, limiter, gate, expander or even waveshaper for distortion. You can manage the dynamics response of the plug-in with a unique two-thresholds system. The plug-in includes an input filter as well as a side chain filter, in order to control the frequencies affected by the compression. Its continuous VCA/Opto and Peak/RMS controls let you smoothly and precisely choose the behavior of the envelope detection like you have never been able to.

The plugin also provides advanced stereo features, with mid/side processing capability, multiple stereo linking options and the ability to choose on which channels to apply the effect.

An additional brick wall limiter/clipper protects the output for complete control over the dynamics response. You can use this software as a real time side chain compressor as well, thanks to its unique MIDI CC & automation output. Side chaining has never been so easy, as you can see in our tutorial, and it even lets you trigger external hardware devices. It's also possible to trigger other effects according to the dynamics response, as shown in our dynamic EQ tutorial: you can build your own dynamics processing effect with your favorite plugins.

The real time display of the detected envelope under the compression curve lets you know what's exactly going on in the dynamics processor. You can also visualize what's been applied to your audio signal with the real time in/out envelopes display: there is no easier way to compare the input and output signals in real time. You can also record all this information as automation curves, so that it's possible to monitor the modifications applied to the signal on top of the audio representation in your favorite host. See our monitoring tutorial for details.

All these features can be controlled from a user-friendly and skinnable user interface (customize it to your own needs!), or from any hardware/software MIDI controller. MIDI learn has not been forgotten so that MIDI setup is fast and reliable.

The package includes a mono and a stereo version for optimal CPU usage.

If you are looking for a multiband dynamics processor, check out the Blue Cat's MB-5 Dynamix plugin.


Main Features

  • Full featured dynamics processor: compressor, gate, limiter, expander, waveshaper.
  • Total control over the processor: continuous peak/RMS and Opto/VCA modes selection.
  • Total control over the signal: dry/wet control for parallel compression, input and side chain filters.
  • Stereo or mid-side processing with multiple channels linking options.
  • Post brickwall limiter or waveshaper.
  • Optimal monitoring: dynamics response and input/output envelopes real time display with zooming capability, the main compression information can be recorded as automation curves.
  • Best quality: up to 4x oversampling for the best sounding quality.
  • Side chaining made easy: a unique way to perform side chain compression, ducking, gating and much more.
  • Multiple skins included for optimal user experience.
  • Plugin window transparency management.
  • No latency.

Blue Cat Audio Standards:

  • Available as: Mac-AAX, Mac-AU, Mac-RTAS, Mac-VST, Win-AAX, Win-DX, Win-RTAS, Win-VST, Win x64-AAX, Win x64-DX, Win x64-VST.
  • Native DSP code for optimal performance.
  • Full MIDI control and automation support with silent, zipper-free parameters update, advanced response control and MIDI Learn.
  • No CPU load on idle: when the plug-in is fed with silence, the processing smoothly shuts down, to optimize the CPU usage of your Digital Audio Workstation.
  • Skinnable and customizable user interface with transparency management.
  • Automation and MIDI output: record output parameters as automation curves or send MIDI CC messages to other plug-ins for powerful side chain effects.
  • Smooth Bypass: activate/deactivate the plug-in with absolutely no noise.
  • Undo/Redo.
  • Import/Export presets in a host independent format.
  • Any sample rate supported.



Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.

Blue Cat's Dynamics - Dynamics Modeler Skin (Stereo) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper (VST, AU, RTAS, DX) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper (VST, AU, RTAS, DX) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Brickwall Limiter Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper (VST, AU, RTAS, DX) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Dynamics Modeler Skin (Mono) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Mono Compressor Skin Blue Cat's Dynamics - Side Chain Dynamics Processing Capability Blue Cat's Dynamics - Choose the appropriate range for the graph and meters

You can find more skins for this product here.

User Comments & Reviews

"Approximately 10 months ago I began a quest for finding a single channel dynamics processing plug-in that I could use while mastering any mix.[...] With 6 months of trying different plug-ins I was unable to find one, until Blue Cat. [...]

I am strongly considering using the plug-in as a main software example in advanced dynamic processing instruction at RID.[...] I am convinced that you could probably use it with good results for any job that required single channel dynamic processing and that it could be used where other single channel dynamics processing can't do the job.

I am therefore recommending it as a main dynamics processing tool."
- Bob Dennis, Recording Institute Of Detroit / Superdisc Mastering. [Read full review]

Blue Cat's Dynamics was granted the Performance and Value awards by Computer Music Magazine

"[Blue Cat's] Dynamics 3 is the latest incarnation of Blue Cat Audio's multitalented dynamics plugin [...]. On the face of it it's all pretty standard stuff, but scratch the surface and there are plenty of subtle features that makes Dynamics 3 stand out.[...] All told, Blue Cat's Dynamics 3 is an excellent plug-in for a reasonable price." - 8/10 rating and performance and value awards granted by Computer Music Magazine (CM) - August 2009 -

[read review on musicradar]

"Blue Cat's Dynamics is a very well-specified compander which, with the exception of multi-band capability, offers just about every form of dynamics processing there is, including simulated VCA and opto compression, true downward expansion, gating and limiting. [...] Its strongest suit, to my mind, is the ability to apply both conventional compression and downward expansion at the same time, which is useful if, for example, you have a recording with a wide dynamic range and a lot of background noise.[...] For the price this is a versatile and powerful Swiss Army Knife of dynamics plug-ins." - Sound On Sound Magazine - May 2008

"You would not believe how long I have been searching for a side-chain dynamics effect like [Blue Cat's Dynamics].

I have had dreams about what I wanted to use in the studio, but could never explain exactly what I was looking for - you have created my dream come true!

They even function in the exact same way I would expected them to! The midi CC send/recieve function is GENIUS and works perfectly, as opposed to so many sidechain plugins that fail when you re-open the project or don't even work correctly. These plugins are more exciting to me than ANY other I have purchased since I began my studio. […]

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to have found them. I was looking for a dynamic equaliser for so long that I would have compromised on quality just to get one, but I am happy to say that that is a not even an issue." - Absent Professor, Producer - [More comments on his blog].

"I would dare say that this could be the most important new VST compressor on the market. The amount of control here is just mind-boggling.

I can get a thunderously good parallel compression going in seconds with this. I can dial parameters in by ear or I can type in exact ms amounts, blend between RMS or Peak compression, plus adjust the RMS average for even more control. And to top it all off, there is the ever-popular side-chain filtering and a great visual graph so you can see what you’re doing. It’s like Blue Cat set out to make the dream software compressor, that could satisfy every user’s needs.

This is above and beyond the call of duty, and I think it's a masterpiece, destined to be one of the “greats”. Excellent job." - Jeremy Dahl,

"A very flexible, "tweakers dream" compressor. When you know what you are doing you can create some very interesting compression. It also works rather well as a transparent compressor for all kinds of material. [...] You can perform tasks with this thing that I have not been able to reproduce with anything else. The overall 'sound' of this compressor is clean, very clean.[...]

Overall it's a very flexible compressor that provides just enough unique features and sound to be highly recommended!" - Niklas Silen, Producer/Composer

"I'm addicted! After playing around for another 2 hours with the demo, I really got tired of the dropouts - so i just ordered my copy. This thing is fantastic - I'd say the most flexible compressor out there! " - Stilianos Doussis, DOUSSIS MEDIA.

"The Dynamics Gate is one of the best Gates that I have ever used." - Glen Heffner, CakewalkNet [Read full review]

"I enjoy using this plugin a lot because it can do lots of different things and rewards experimentation. [...] The sound is fantastic, at a great CPU point[...]. For features it's hard to beat.

[...] In summary, the key word here is flexibility. If you're in the market for a dynamics processor, or something to augment what you've already got, give this demo a spin and see what you come up with -- you might just surprise yourself!" - Neil Pullen. [Read full review]

"No CPU load on idle channel is fantastic: I find that the feature by which the CPU load of the Dynamics plug-in (and I believe all BCA plugins) decreases to zero when the inputs are idle is just great. This simplifies quite a bit the CPU management strategy in a live setup whereby I do not have to worry about shutting down this particular effect when it is not being used.[...]

After using it for a while it becomes so natural that I wondered if all effects are like this...I tested a few others and no way, there does not seem to be many out there with that particular feature. Very nice touch. - Patrick Cournoyer. [Read full comment]

"[Blue Cat's] Dynamics 3.0 has a lot to offer. Advanced (yet easy to use) side-chain options, innovative real-time MIDI control, detailed monitoring of what’s going on… Sometimes more really is more.

I love the flexibility of this plug-in. While it is lots of fun dialing in some experimental settings, [Blue Cat's] Dynamics also performs really well doing some of the more bread & butter type compression styles.

[...] The interface is easy to get around, with controls clearly labeled and grouped in sections (outlined with a blue border). The option to set the opacity of the plug-in is a nice touch.[...]

In the end it is the sound that counts though, and I think [Blue Cat's] Dynamics does a great job here. [...]

[Blue Cat's] Dynamics 3.0 is perfectly suitable for beginners, as well as advanced users who can’t stop tweaking. - Ronnie - [Read full review with audio samples]

"Overall [Blue Cat's] Dynamics is an extremely flexible dynamics processor providing the majority of commonly used dynamics functions within a single unit." - Simon Millward - Fast Guide to Cubase 5

" Anyone in the market for a good single band compressor should seriously consider Dynamics. [...] It offers a very high value for money rating. It will easily become your to-go to compressor. The skinning system makes it usable in both simple and complex situations, and eases the learning curve. It also has enough tricks up its sleeve to keep the creative compression freak happy. Strongly recommended!" - Wouter Dullaert, Wusik Magazine. [Read full review]

To add your own comment about this product, please contact us.

System Requirements


  • An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or later).
  • Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.
  • Any DirectX / VST / RTAS / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).

Mac OS X

  • An Intel or PowerPC processor.
  • Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10), Mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7), Snow Leopard (10.6), or Leopard (10.5).
  • Any VST / Audio Unit (32/64-bit) / RTAS / AAX compatible application.

For more information about supported platforms, see our FAQ.

Demo Limitations

  • One single instance of the plug-in per session.
  • The effect is bypassed for 4 seconds every 45 seconds.

Versions History >subscribe to our newsletter

V3.12 (2014/03/20)

  • Fixed 64-bit VST MIDI Events not sent for the first output parameter in the list.
  • Windows VST installer now detects the VST plug-ins path and remembers previous install location for updates.
  • Fixed Audio Unit validation issue on OSX Mavericks/Logic Pro X.
  • Fixed VST plug-in window frame not showing in Cubase 7.5 (32-bit) on Mac.
  • Fixed VST version that could not be loaded in Audio HiJack Pro (Mac).

V3.11 (2013/06/27)

  • 64-bit AAX support for Pro Tools 11.

V3.11 (2011/02/10)

  • Fixed keyboard focus stealing issue in Pro Tools and several other host applications.
  • 64-bit Mac VST support.

V3.1 (2010/04/13)

  • RTAS plugin format support for Pro Tools (Mac and Windows).
  • 64-bit applications support for Windows DX and VST under Windows x64.
  • Mac AU 64-bit format support (compatible with 64-bit Logic 9.1 on Snow Leopard)
  • Space bar does not trigger plug-in buttons anymore (avoids conflict with transport control in most applications).
  • Demo version now displays a nag screen only once per session, and only when opening the user interface of the plug-in.
  • Fixed MIDI learn issues.
  • Windows 7: fixed hand cursor that displayed a green square under the hand symbol.
  • Mac: fixed user interface crashes in some hosts under Snow Leopard.
  • Mac: fixed keyboard/mouse focus issues in some hosts.
  • Mac: fixed multiple screens issue.
  • Mac-AU: fixed user interface resizing issue when changing skin in some hosts (Logic).
  • Mac-AU: fixed settings lost issue when doing offline rendering in some applications.
  • Mac AU: output parameters routing now works for more than one instance in Logic Pro's Environment.
  • Mac AU: fixed output parameters that could exceed defined range and not record properly as automation curves.

V3.01 (2009/05/05)

Mac VST update: fixed incompatibility issues with Cubase 5 on Mac.

V3.0 (2009/04/27)

  • Mac VST support.
  • Mac Audio Unit support.
  • Mid/Side processing capability.
  • New stereo linking options.
  • Enable/disable processing on each channel.
  • Customize the range of the meters and zoom/navigate in the display.
  • Automation output can now be disabled for hosts that do not propose automated parameters choice.
  • Improved accuracy of MIDI output.
  • New Presets.
  • New installer (much faster install, improved upgrades).
  • Brand new documentation.

V2.1 (2007/10/18)

  • Improved skin loading speed.
  • Improved user interface performance.
  • Improved the display of parameters values in the MIDI settings panel and the host application.

V2.0 (2007/08/30)

  • Smooth Bypass: activate/deactivate the plugin with absolutely no noise.
  • Undo/Redo.
  • Load/Save presets in a host-independent format: you can now share presets between the directX and VST versions.
  • New toolbar to access main functionalities.
  • Ratio is now displayed in a standard way.
  • Blue Cat's Skinning Language 1.3.4 support.

V1.4 (2007/03/21)

  • New user interface design.
  • Several ergonomics improvements.
  • Skin loading performance improvement (up to 80% faster).
  • Reduced memory consumption when using several instances.
  • Compression graph clarity and rendering performance enhancements.
  • Window Opacity Management: make the plugin window transparent and see behind.
  • Blue Cat's Skinning Language 1.3 support.
  • (Bug fix): on the stereo version the sidechain filter did not work as expected in some situations.

V1.3 (2006/12/19)

  • (Bug fix): the frequency and time values were not accurate when using oversampling.

V1.2 (2006/12/11)

  • (Bug fix): the preset MIDI output settings were not restored correctly when re-opening a project or changing a preset.

V1.1 (2006/11/29)

  • (Bug fix): in some plug-in adapters (such as FxPansion's VST to RTAS adapter) the GUI did not display properly when first loaded.

V1.0 (2006/11/15)

First release.