Capitol compressor plugin by Universal Audio!


Congratulations to Capitol and UA for releasing the CM5511 Compressor plugin!

Looks fantastic and I’m sure UA did a great job modeling it.

Just wanted to set the story straight, since there wasn’t much information about the history of the unit on the UA website.
I designed and hand built all 4 units myself when I was tech at Capitol around 2010, shortly before I moved into mastering and cutting vinyl. At the time, head of studio was Greg Parkin and head tech was Tom Schlum. Everyone was excited to have Capitol back in the designing game. The tech department was top notch but pretty stagnate for many years on the design front. Four were provided to the mastering engineers and eventually one made its way into the studios and floated between A,B and C. At the time I really liked the UA 175 compressor and wanted that front end but with a solid state back end employing 990 discrete op amps. Gain reduction was done with the 6BC8 remote cutoff tube. Also used in the famous Altec 438c and some Langevin units. Basically the little brother to the GE6386 used in the Fairchild and Sta-Level. Unlike the GE6386 you can still find a NOS 6BC8 on eBay for $20.

For mastering it was a logical choice to have a single tube for gain reduction and a discrete op amp back end for amplification making stereo matching easier and still having a smooth tube compression footprint. Matching two UA175’s with its tube power amp can be finicky. The more tube stages you have the more gain drift over time.

Some people asked if the Capitol compressor plugin is similar to my Magic Death Eye compressor plugin. The answer is not really. The MDE comps are more similar to the Fairchild. And the side chain is different. The Capitol Compressor was my first serious stab at design. The Magic Death Eye’s went through way more trial and error with many more producers and mixers that came through than the Capitol compressor did.

It’s a little funny the Capitol compressor was designed around a Universal audio product and they didn’t even know it, maybe they’ll give me a ring one day and ask about it…

I still have the prototype front panel and circuit board!


Hey I should throw one together and make my own plugin with Christian!





Recording equipment by Magic Death Eye LLC.

February 2023



A limited run of 10 mono compressors were made as an experiment to see if these things could be manufactured in a factory. Long story short, they can’t. Its not financially viable. Theses 10 have been made as carefully as the previous models were, but fully documented down to every last screw and wire. Transformers wound just like the originals, custom knobs molded, custom panels made, custom custom custom…to much money to pay someone else to do what I do free for myself.

To be clear, these have the exact same circuit as the previous model: FUTURE mono’s have. Its what the plugin was modeled after. 

Turns out I’m more of an artist/craftsman than a businessman. I took a swing at it and missed, but that’s ok because I don’t want to be the boss of people or fuck around with spreadsheets and make decisions and grow an empire and get rich and… Well yeah.

So I will be going back to making units on my bench one by one for now and want to sell these beautiful mono compressors before I do. These units will be sold for a bit more than the last models so I can try and break even on this experiment. It wasn’t cheap. An email will go out to the mailing list and they will be sold first come first serve. Price will be quoted in the email.





These comps come with new JJ6386 tubes. They are getting harder to acquire so I will be making available a replacement can so anyone with a VOXOXO can use eight 6BA6 tubes instead of the 6386 tubes if desired. All that will be needed is a screwdriver and the tube cans can be swapped out. The cans are on connectors so no soldering is necessary.


********* What the future holds*********

I have been working on redesigning a new mono compressor that will not use the JJ6386 or 6BA6 tubes. It will have tubes transformers AND discrete op amps. Its designed to have the current mono signature sound and look but have some changes and improvements I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. So worry not if the current model VOXOXO sells out, the next generation mono will be something to behold!









STEREO compressor plugin


Available for $149 at the DDMF web site.

Demo it before you buy it!




Hey if you have had your compressor for a couple years now you might need a new set of tubes.
You should be able to really smash some drums on the (1) fast setting without a “fluttering” sound.
If your noticing that you can’t compress things more that 10 dB or so its time to buy
a new set of matched tubes. If you use your compressor for more subtle compression
and your not hearing any “snats” or “pops” then keep the old tubes in there and rock on.
Curve tracer matched set of 8 tubes is $80.