Rough Rider
by Audio Damage
4.2 / 5     (25 votes)
Win32 Win64 OSX
Rough Rider is a modern compressor with a bit of "vintage" style bite and a uniquely warm sound.

Perfect for adding compression effects to your drum buss, it also sounds great with synth bass, clean guitar, and backing vocals. Definitely not an all-purpose compressor, Rough Rider is at its best when used to add pump to rhythmic tracks. Of course, you can use it however you'd like. The Compressor Police aren't gonna come to your house and give you a citation. Slap it on a track and crank some knobs.

The front panel layout is done the same as many hardware compressors, so it will be immediately obvious how to use it. A brief overview of the controls:
  • Ratio: The ratio knob is logarithmic in operation. Completely anti-clockwise is 1:1, and completely clockwise is 1:1000. The 12 o'clock position is 1:10, so everything to the left of center is single digits, and everything to the right is "atom bomb squish," essentially.
  • Attack and Release: We left off the actual time values, so you're gonna have to use your ears, like the he-men did it in times of myth.
  • Meter: That honking big dial in the middle of the UI is the gain reduction meter. It basically shows how much compression is occurring.
  • Sensitivity: usually called "threshold" now, but we think "sensitivity" always made more sense. Turn to the right, you get more compression, essentially. Turn it all the way to the right, and you've got a distortion box, the sound of which is tuned by Ratio, Attack, and Release.
  • Makeup: 30 dB of gain to compensate for the attenuation caused by the compressor.
  • Active: From the front panel, this is simply an off/on switch, but if you automate it, strange things happen...
  • MIDI Learn: Like all of our products, the VST version has MIDI Learn. Download any manual from the current product line for an explanation of how this works, as it is common among all our VST products.
dj Nov 17 2022
(1 / 5)
Nov 17 2022
Doesnt work well with FL Studio, takes ages to load and very high cpu usage. Sounds a bit too coloured for my taste.
Akan_ Feb 05 2022
(5 / 5)
Feb 05 2022
Great for parallel processing basses but suppresses the highs. (colour)
Anonymous Feb 14 2020
Feb 14 2020
32 bit Installation doesn't work for my DAW. Just get an error 126 cannot locate module error message. Much better when things come as a folder with a dll file rather than an installer.
Ugo Nov 29 2023
Nov 29 2023
Just use 7-zip to extract the .dll files from the package. The .exe installer in this case is a regular archive and plugins can be extracted without installing.
Darius Oct 01 2019
(5 / 5)
Oct 01 2019
I am seriously in love with this compressor. It's not incredibly precise, but more of a character tool, but woooooah WHAT a character tool!!! I find myself grabbin' this one more and more regularly. Excellent, really really excellent!
OOTW BOI Feb 04 2020
Feb 04 2020
Yes g, its one of kind, soul touching and warm sounding digital solution for rough compression on drums and anything u could think of that needs to either slap more or be tamed, amazing piece.
Lucian Feb 28 2019
Feb 28 2019
Can anyone tell me why this compreesor is turning my bus in mono?
cyber_T Mar 01 2019
Mar 01 2019
Maybe there is just a problem with your DAW, maybe it has has the following background: This VST is more an effect- compressor than a comp for general taks an it can deliver very, very intensive results. It´s easy to drive this plugin with an extreme amount of gain reduction. It´s an acoustic "law", that any kind of massive compression reduces the stereo width in a really notable way, so it seems to be more and more mono! If you set an analyser plugin after the "rough rider 2" (e. g. "Voxengo SPAN"), maybe you will see the bus is not completely monophonic. Hope that helps...
GigitoEQ Oct 13 2018
(4 / 5)
Oct 13 2018
It would be great if the gain reduction meter had numbers that showed how much you were applying.
DJ proloy Jul 10 2017
Jul 10 2017
Super vst of hard kick creat of dj mixing
Anonymous Mar 31 2013
(5 / 5)
Mar 31 2013
Great on the drum bus on the just a touch preset. Best free compression for drims
Zari Apr 12 2012
(5 / 5)
Apr 12 2012
Excellent. The best Free Plugin Compressor. Excellent on drums. Makes the Snare sound snappy. Just what I'm looking for. God bless to those who design and work on this plugin.
xombi Sept 28 2011
(5 / 5)
Sept 28 2011
Very "aggressive" compressor. As alxi said, great for ny compression.
Anonymous Mar 14 2010
(0 / 5)
Mar 14 2010
cuts the high end, sounds very digital and raspy no matter what. nice gui won`t cover that.
Songbuilder May 07 2012
May 07 2012
@Anonymous: Of course it cuts the high end. All compressors do this to an extent. It's a great compressor, but really shines at making rhythm tracks fat and loud. It will work for vocals, but there are better plugs for this. For punch, Rough Rider Kicks but!!!!!
alxi Feb 28 2010
(5 / 5)
Feb 28 2010
excellent for parallel compression. It's dark and fat.