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Blue Cat's Dynamics
Blue Cat's Dynamics
"The most flexible all-in-one dynamics processor"
Price: 129€ or $129 (tax incl.)
Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper Plug-In (VST, AU, AAX, VST3)

Blue Cat's Dynamics is a full featured dynamics processor: it can be used as a compressor, limiter, gate, expander, waveshaper or all at once! The dynamics response of the plug-in can be tweaked with a unique two-thresholds system, and provides detailed visual feedback about its behavior.

MacOSUniversal BinaryWindows Vista or newerWindows x64 (64-bit)VSTVST3AAX64-bit AAXAudio Unit

The plug-in includes several filters 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 plug-in also provides advanced stereo features, with mid/side processing capability, multiple stereo linking options and the ability to choose the channels affected by the processor.

An additional brick wall limiter and clipper with optional lookahead protects the output for complete control over the dynamics response.

Three different modes are available for external side chaining, using either the external side chain input, MIDI control or automation lanes.

The configurable visual feedback shows every detail of what is going on inside the plug-in. You can also record this information as automation curves, to monitor the modifications applied to the signal on top of the audio representation of your favorite host application.

All these features can be controlled from a fully configurable user interface, or from any external controller.

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 plug-in, or Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer that can host this plug-in on multiple bands.

Main Features

  • Full featured dynamics processor: compressor, gate, limiter, expander, waveshaper with a unique two thresholds system.
  • Total control over the processor: continuous peak/RMS and Opto/VCA modes selection, peak envelope shape control, depth control to limit the gain range, lookahead.
  • 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 clipper with lookahead.
  • Optimal monitoring: dynamics response, envelopes and gain reduction 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.
  • Multiple side chaining modes: a unique way to perform side chain compression, ducking, gating and much more.
  • Fully configurable user interface for optimal experience.
  • No latency (except with lookahead).

Blue Cat Audio Standards:

  • Available in most plug-in formats for Mac and Windows.
  • Full MIDI control and automation support, MIDI Learn.
  • No CPU load on idle: processing shuts down when fed with silence (optimal CPU usage).
  • Customizable user interface with transparency & zoom.
  • 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: noiseless plug-in activation / deactivation.
  • Undo/Redo.
  • Full featured integrated presets manager.
  • Copy/paste the state of the plug-in between instances.
  • Any sample rate supported.

Credits: this plug-in includes many factory presets created by Sink.

Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper Plug-In (VST, AU, AAX, VST3) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper Plug-In (VST, AU, AAX, VST3) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper Plug-In (VST, AU, AAX, VST3) Blue Cat's Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter, Expander, Waveshaper Plug-In (VST, AU, AAX, VST3)

User Comments & Reviews

"How can this cat possibly get any better? With its flexible, powerful approach and superb sound, Dynamics 4 could easily become your go-to dynamics plugin." - 9/10 rating - Computer Music Magazine - Sept. 2015

[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

"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]

"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

"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

"[Dynamics] is extremely versatile, it has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use, and it offers informative feedback that allows the user to be efficient and effective. For the price [...], [it] may offer excellent value to home-studio producers who find them compatible with their work flow. [It is] definitely worth a demo download to audition to see if that is so." - Soundbytes Magazine - March 2019 [Read Full Review]

" 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.

Demo Limitations:

  • 5 instances of the plug-in allowed per session.
  • The effect is bypassed for half a second every minute.

System Requirements


  • An Intel or Apple Silicon processor.
  • Mac OS 10.9 or newer.
  • Any VST / Audio Unit / AAX compatible application (64-bit) .


  • An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or newer).
  • Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10.
  • Any VST / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).

For more information about supported platforms, see our Knowledge Base.

Versions History

V4.41 (2022/12/12)

  • Added Apple Silicon support for AAX Plug-in Format.
  • Fixed VST3 version not always loading properly in Ableton Live 11.
  • Improved VST parameter value display in some host applications.
  • Added an option in global & preset input settings to send MIDI events when MIDI-enabled parameters are modified in the plug-in (to update control surfaces accordingly).
  • Improved undo management and automation when using the mouse wheel to move knobs.
  • Fixed VST & VST3 automation not recording properly in some hosts for output parameters (Cubase 11, Ableton Live).
  • AAX: Fixed erratic mouse behavior in Pro Tools on Mac.
  • Mac: installers and plug-ins have been notarized to avoid security warnings on Mac OS Catalina and newer.

V4.4 (2021/10/19)

  • Single Installer on Mac (all plug-ins formats).
  • Apple Silicon (M1 processor) support.
  • Dropped 32-bit support on Mac.
  • Now requires MacOS 10.9 and newer.
  • Arrow keys can now be used to navigate presets.
  • Added MIDI control support (MIDI CC messages) for Next and Previous Preset commands, with MIDI learn.
  • Improved MIDI & automation control settings with lock, reset and "save as global setting" capabilities.
  • Improved smooth plug-in bypass (faster and smoother transition).
  • Unicode support.
  • Windows: improved GUI loading performance.
  • VST3: fixed random crash in Ableton Live 11 upon load.
  • Mac Audio Unit: fixed plug-in listing in some host applications (Plogue Bidule).
  • Mac: fixed GUI performance issues on native P3 displays and improved performance on other displays.
  • Mac: fixed mouse wheel that required large movements to change parameter values.
  • Mac: fixed mouse cursor flickering issues.
  • Mac: fixed Esc key not closing fine edit parameter dialog.

V4.3 (2020/07/07)

  • New presets browser with built-in search.
  • New factory presets.
  • New high resolution graphics for knobs.
  • Reduced disk footprint.
  • MIDI Program Change preference is now saved into session instead of global preferences, so each instance can now use different MIDI channels. It is also saved in the user default preset.
  • VST3: added program change support for VST3 plug-in format.
  • VST3: added MIDI output support for VST3 plug-in format for MIDI side chain effects.
  • VST: the user interface is now properly resized in Cubase on Windows.
  • Mac: faster GUI rendering on recent Mac OS systems (up to 8x faster).
  • Mac: fixed user interface not properly shown on retina displays in some applications built with the 10.14 Mac OS SDK, such as Logic 10.5.
  • Mac: fixed settings panel rendering issues in dark mode on Mac OS Mojave and newer.
  • Mac: Fixed keyboard not responding in registration panel in some host applications (LUNA, Garage Band...).
  • Mac: Fixed demo version that could hang Logic when reloading projects using the plug-in.
  • Mac Audio Unit: fixed plug-in listing in some host applications (Plogue Bidule).

V4.2 (2019/02/07)

  • Brand new GUI design, with improved usability and touchscreen support.
  • The GUI can now be zoomed from 70% to 200%.
  • Lock the GUI state to prevent changes when loading presets.
  • New lookahead function for the dynamics section.
  • New brickwall limiter with optional lookahead.
  • Link pre and makeup gain to compensate gain changes.
  • Lock GUI state to prevent changes when loading presets.
  • Last loaded preset is now remembered in session and displayed in the presets menu.
  • Plug-in state can now be reverted to the last loaded preset.
  • Save and reload dynamics curves and bands as presets (+copy & paste).
  • Now supports retina displays on Mac (text and graphs using high resolution).
  • Mac: new installer.
  • Mac: fixed minor compatibility issues with Mac OS High Sierra and Mojave.
  • Changed demo limitations: up to 5 instances allowed, bypass time changed to half a second, and bypass parameter is not affected anymore.
  • Dropped support for Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier.
  • Dropped support for legacy RTAS and DirectX plug-ins formats.
  • Fully compatible with previous versions of the plug-in (except for VST3 on Mac, as explained below).

Warning: because of a bug of the initial VST3 release, this new version may not work with existing sessions that used the VST3 format. See this blog post for more details and how to fix it.

V4.1a (2016/03/04)

  • (VST only) Fixed a crash when loading the VST version in Ableton Live.

V4.1 (2016/03/03)

  • VST3 plug-in format support, with improved external sidechain compatibility for Cubase and Nuendo.

V4.0 (2015/06/18)

New Features:
  • Fully redesigned algorithms.
  • External side chain input.
  • Control the attack and release shape of the peak envelope.
  • Improved monitoring, with gain reduction and increase histograms and new envelopes view.
  • Brand new fully customizable user interface:
    • New look and feel.
    • Show/hide what you need.
    • Meters and curves can now be frozen.
    • Zoomable GR meters and curves.
    • Improved readability.
    • Animated transitions.
  • New integrated presets manager:
    • Load/save presets from the plug-in's user interface.
    • Organize presets with folders.
    • Customize the default preset.
    • Exchange presets easily.
    • Load Presets using MIDI Bank Select and Program Change.
  • Copy/paste the plug-in's current state from the presets menu using the system clipboard.
  • Automation range and response curve can now be customized for each parameter (in and out).
  • Automation and MIDI settings (channel, MIDI learn etc.) are now accessible from the main user interface.
  • Audio Suite support for the AAX version for offline dynamics processing in Pro Tools.
  • Dynamics response curve is now displayed on the AVID S6 control surface when used with Pro Tools.
  • Limiter and output meter now work in L/R mode when the dynamics section is operating in Mid/Side mode.
  • New presets to get started faster.
  • Plug-in name has been shortened for a clearer display in mixer view for most host applications.
  • Plug-in now shows in the "Dynamics" section of most DAWs.
  • The windows installer now automatically detects the most appropriate VST install path and remembers where the plug-in was initially installed to simplify upgrades.
  • License is now shared between plug-ins types (register only once for all formats).
  • Improved value display in fine edit window.
  • Improved parameters display and response curves on control surfaces.
Optimizations and Performance Improvements:
  • Improved parameters precision (now stored as 64-bit).
  • More compact presets format (uses less space and loads faster).
  • Smaller binaries on Mac (dropped PowerPC support).
Bug Fixes:
  • (RTAS) Fixed parameters control with EUCON control surfaces in Pro Tools.
  • Fixed user interface issues in Final Cut Pro X.
  • Fixed keyboard stealing issue in Digital Performer 7 on Mac.
  • Fixed version number reported to host application for VST and Audio Unit versions.
Note: this new version can be installed side by side with the previous version for backward compatibility reasons. Installing this new version won't break your previous projects.

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.