Compression with musical soul
Presswerk: Dynamics processor with musical soul
Presswerk is more than an emulation of a single hardware compressor. Like Satin, Presswerk is a toolkit, drawing ideas and inspiration from a number of sources. It starts with warmth of classic analogue units and adds features only possible in the digital realm. The result is a powerful compressor with a rich feature set and a very musical soul.
Presswerk was designed to fit into any workflow, no matter what task you throw at it. Presswerk gives you the tools for better sound.
Presswerk in the spotlight…
Hover over the dots below to learn about Presswerk’s features
- Dual channel (stereo) or 2 independent channels
- Compression ratio from 1:1 to 20:1, adjustable linearity and knee, auto-makeup option
- 6 special views for better workflow: Easy, Vocal, Drum, Bus, M/S and Limiter
- Capable of internal sidechaining, with bipolar delay, low cut and high cut filters (6 or 12dB per octave)
- Internal parallel (New York) compression
- M/S mode
- Dual Phase Rotator (DPR) emulates classic broadcast transient option
- Variable detection topologies: Feed-forward, Feed-back or Interactive
- Complete set of response controls: attack, release with adjustable auto-adapt, RMS window time
- Saturation before or after the compressor, with variable warmth and dynamics
- Dry / Wet mix controls with highpass filter, downward expander option
- Global preferences page
- MIDI learn page and editable list
- Resizable UI from 70% to 200%
- Skinnable UI
- Over 120 factory presets for common compression tasks
The current version of Avid's toolkit for building AAX plug-ins is not compatible with the Apple SDK needed to build plug-ins for Apple's new ARM/M1 processors. We are therefore not able to provide updated AAX versions on macOS, neither for Intel CPUs, nor for Apple M1. If you're a Pro Tools user on macOS, please continue using the previous version of Presswerk for the time being. Once the AAX toolkit supports Apple's M1 processor architecture, we will provide new AAX versions for macOS, with support for Big Sur and both Intel and Apple M1 CPUs.
Sights and sounds
- Audio Demos
Power to Fly --:-- / --:--
Power to Fly is a short demo of a rock song, courtesy of Blacky Schwarz-Ruszczynski, featuring Marian Gold (of Alphaville) on vocals.
Whispers Remix --:-- / --:--
We applied various Presswerk presets to the song Whispers Remix by Ebo Element . These presets were created to work well on drums.
Open Door --:-- / --:--
Here we applied a few vocal oriented Presswerk presets to the song Open Door by Ebo Element .
Power to Fly was recorded in Logic and mixed in Cubase with 18 instances of Presswerk in total.
Power to Fly (dry) --:-- / --:--
First, the song mixed without Presswerk.
Power to Fly (final) --:-- / --:--
Now, the song mixed with Presswerk.
What was done in the Presswerk version:
- Drum Group (bass drum, snare, high-hat, ambience, overheads, toms): uses the Drum Compressor View. Ratio and Input for compression; Saturation for harmonic overtones; Soft Clip on.
- Bass: uses the Easy Compressor View. Threshold and Ratio for compression; Adjust Response; Soft Clip on
- Guitar: uses the Bus Compressor View. Adjust Attack and Release; Ratio is 4 fix; Soft Clip on
- Vocal: uses the Vocal Compressor View. Adjust Input and Ratio for compression; Enhance to open the voice
- Master: uses the Limiter View. Mode is Balanced; Threshold for limiting; Saturation for harmonic overtones and warmth
Whispers Remix - version 1 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Tailcleaner.
Whispers Remix - version 2 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Subkick.
Whispers Remix - version 3 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Attack.
Whispers Remix - version 4 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Needlework.
Whispers Remix - version 5 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Speaker Blower.
Whispers Remix - version 6 --:-- / --:--
Preset used RC Kick Typewritter.
Open Door - version 1 --:-- / --:--
Preset used Vintage Vox Compression.
Open Door - version 2 --:-- / --:--
Preset used Vox Comp Warm Airy.
Open Door - version 3 --:-- / --:--
Preset used Fat Compact Vox.
Presswerk is a powerful dynamics processor with a musical soul. An easy-to-use interface and a rich feature set give you hands-on control over all details of your sound. Presswerk doesn’t emulate famous compressors, it blends the warmth of classic hardware models with developments that are only possible in the digital domain.
Presswerk has all the features you expect in a compressor…
- Sidechaining: Use ducking to create more space in your mixes, or get creative with keying and pumping effects.
Note: For help on how to get Presswerk sidechained in your DAW, please read these instructions compiled by our KVR forum members.
- Adjustable compression curve and envelope: Find the best settings, get the most out of your audio using the soft knee, compression ratio, attack and release and other controls.
- Loud: Oh yes, Presswerk is more than capable of making your tracks louder.
- Soft clip: Roll off those harsh peaks and avoid distortion when output levels get too high.
…plus what we added to enhance Presswerk’s capabilities:
- 6 special views for better workflow: Drum Compressor, Vocal Compressor, M/S Program Compressor, Easy Compressor, Bus Compressor, Limiter (see the screenshots above).
- M/S mode: More detailed stereo signal processing
- Dual Phase Rotator (DPR): applies a radio broadcaster’s trick to reduce unwanted asymmetries in the signal. It smears phases, increases headroom a little and adds bass ‘oomph’.
- Saturation: This is where Presswerk really shines—adding colour and character to your audio. Apply Saturation sparingly for subtle warmth and transient-taming, or crank it up to create tape overdrive-like effects.
- Internal parallel compression: The Mix controls let you blend the compressed and uncompressed signals. This helps preserve some of the original, natural dynamics.
- Variable detection topologies:
- Feed-forward is modern and ‘surgical’, it tracks the input very precisely.
- Feed-back is ‘musical’, loose-sounding and forgiving—like classic hardware.
- Interactive continuously analyzes the signal and blends FF and FB accordingly.
- Adjust and store global preferences
- New MIDI learn controls
Top Product Award 2016
“Presswerk is one of the most comprehensive compressors available.”
“30 years have passed since I first used a compressor—but I still learned a few new things playing with Presswerk.”
“…nul doute que Presswerk trouvera une place de choix dans votre arsenal de traitements audio…”
Performance Award 2015
Editor’s Choice 2015
“…a concise and extremely versatile processor that easily rivals emulators many times its price…”
Dual channel (stereo) or two independent channels
Compression ratio from 1:1 to 20:1, adjustable linearity and knee, auto-makeup option
Dual Phase Rotator
DPR emulates classic broadcast transient option
Dry / Wet mix controls with highpass filter, downward expander option.
Variable detection topologies: Feed-forward, Feed-back or Interactive
- Resizable GUI from 70% to 200%
- MIDI learn page and editable list
- Global preferences page
Complete set of response controls: attack, release with adjustable auto-adapt, RMS window time
Saturation before or after the compressor, with variable warmth and dynamics
Download the demo and enter your serial number to unlock the full version. The demo version emits crackling sound at irregular intervals.
Presswerk 1.1.5 (revision 12092)
Released August 10, 2021
* About Linux: Before purchasing, please be aware the Linux versions of our plug-ins are still considered beta. While the plug-ins are stable, we are not able to provide the same level of support for these products as we do for the macOS and Windows versions. Support is provided via the Linux and u-he communities on our forum .
Mac OS X 10.9 or newer
Windows 7 or newer
- Host software / DAW
- 1GB RAM, more recommended
- 50MB free disk space
- 1000 × 600 or larger display
- Modern CPU required:
Windows/Linux: Intel Nehalem or newer, AMD Bulldozer or newer
Mac: Intel Nehalem or newer, Apple M1
- Linux: glibc version 2.28 or newer
Presswerk is not a standalone product, it requires host software. Presswerk is compatible with nearly all DAWs.
AUv2, VST2, VST3, 64-bit only
temporarily no AAX (read more)
VST2, VST3, AAX*
* AAX requires Pro Tools 10.3.7 or later
Presswerk is Native Instruments NKS-ready and compatible with Maschine and Komplete Kontrol hardware.