This free compressor from GVST has a very simple interface (sometimes that’s a good thing) and you may find yourself mostly adjusting just the compression percentage knob, but I find it comes in handy fairly often both on instrument tracks and as a bus compressor.
It’s often repeated that you should use your ears and not your eyes when mixing but I find it handy to see just how spikey a waveform is to indicate if it would benefit from some compression.
The waveform in the box on the right, updates in real time and you can instantly see the effect of any changes to the settings. The lightly coloured waveform is the compressed wave and behind it, in a darker colour is the uncompressed wave.
I only have 2 issues with this plugin. The interface is a little small and dark (I’ve brightened the above image), but I can live with it. It’s worth a look. It does help that the small slider under the image (that currently reads 2.74% – that’s a zoom factor) can be used to zoom in on the wave form.
Check it out and download it for free from the Gcomp2 download page.