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Complete Guide to LOLCOMP – Compression and Tone Shaping Plugin

LOLCOMP is a compression and tone-shaping powerhouse. The unique combination of 5 ready-made compression modes (which really are complete channel strips), controlled by a single dial, and the sonic shaping capabilities of the PARALOL section gives you results that no other plugin on the market can give you. Whether you are a total beginner or seasoned professional, LOLCOMP with will amaze you!

First Of All: What Is LOLCOMP?

LOLCOMP is a unique audio plugin combining 5 compression modes with multiple effect engines into one beautiful box. The compression modes have been designed by mix engineer legend Ken Lewis, who took 5 of his most-used chains from his daily workflow, and put them into this plugin. That means, at the turn of a dial, you have 5 complete working chains that have been used on many hit records over the years, in one form or another.

Those 5 chains are then supercharged by a section of additional tone-shaping modules to further tailor your sound. The unique arrangement of all these components into one plugin gives you results that you wouldn’t get from any other plugin. Recreating these effects would require many plugins both as inserts and sends, and then manually dialing all of them in so they work together.

LOLCOMP does all that for you so that you get great-sounding results quickly, and in the easiest way possible.

The philosophy behind LOLCOMP

Like any other Mixing Night Audio plugin, LOLCOMP follows the vision of “no parameters”. Once you stop using your eyes to make mix decisions and start to use your ears, your music will start sounding better almost instantly. But you can’t do that with most plugins that look like normal gear, because your brain can’t ignore those numbers on the interface. LOLCOMP helps you achieve this effect, and it’s built in a way that you almost can’t make any drastically wrong decisions. You can fully focus on your musical taste and get quick results that help you stay in the creative zone and make better sounding music.

When we started Mixing Night Audio, we wanted to make plugins with a gamified feel to them and depart from plugins that look like gear. I believe when you stop thinking so much and enjoy your work more, creativity and results come easier. They do for me. My vision for LOLCOMP is to provide producers and mixers of all levels with ridiculously easy to use tools that provide fast, jaw dropping results. No matter if you're an absolute beginner or seasoned professional.

The Main Area: 5 Chains To Rule Them All

The top part of the plugin is where the full power of the 5 compression chains sits. While the interface looks simple, there are a lot of things going on under the hood. Multiple effects in series, parameters moving in correlation with all other parameters, and depending on how hard you push the dial and how strong the signal that you push into the plugin.

Here’s what the main 5 chains do, and what their characteristics are:

1) The Smiley [LOL] Chain

LOLCOMP Smiley Chain compressor channel strip

The Smiley Chain (aka LOL Chain) is your perfect vocal chain, but it also works great on guitars, synths, strings, pianos, etc. It’s a very musical compression chain that doesn’t introduce any distortion or artifacts. Use this chain whenever you want to bring out the details and feel of a track while preserving the sonic character of the sound. Or, to sum it all up into one point: Push the dial and start smiling about the instant results!

2) The Panda Chain

LOLCOMP Panda Chain compressor channel strip

This is your perfect 808 and bass designer. Control your bass foundation with just a little bit of Panda Zen, or introduce that mid presence when you push it harder. Panda chain helps you dial in your low end so it sits right in the mix. It also helps you get your 808s and basses cut through on smaller speakers in a musical way. Much like Panda has a solid foundation due to years of meditation and kung-fu practice, your basses will be the solid foundation you need for your tracks.

3) The Kangaroo Chain

LOLCOMP Kangaroo Chain compressor channel strip

Kangaroo Chain is your punch chain. It’s great for everything that needs control, while also preserving transients. Use this chain to make your drums hit harder, increase the attitude in your rap vocals, make your brass sections stab harder, and so on. Whenever you need more attack, punch and attitude, Kangaroo is your sparring partner!

4) Peacock Chain

LOLCOMP Peacock Chain compressor channel strip

Peacock Chain is a natural beautifier. If you feel your sounds are just a bit dull and lack the necessary sparkle, you might want to run them through Peacock’s plumage and get a more colorful result. It’s the least aggressive chain of the plugin. Peacock gives you gentle compression and makes everything prettier.

5) Dragon Chain

LOLCOMP Dragon Chain compressor channel strip

Beware of the Dragon! He starts sleeping in vibrant saturation, but if you get too close to his treasures, he awakens into a fire-breathing destruction machine. This chain gives you vibe and musical distortion. The level of saturation and distortion strongly depends on how strong the incoming signal is. You can use the input fader on the left L to further adjust the character you’re looking for. Just try to not touch any of the gold…you will get burned!

The Main Knob: Your Chain Reaction

Use the main dials at the center of the interface to control each of the 5 main chains. Everything within the chain will react to this dial, and how much you push it. That’s how easy it is to get results with LOLCOMP. There’s really nothing else to do it you just want quick and easy results.

The more you push the dial on each Chain, the more you’ll introduce the characteristics of the individual chain. This way you have maximum control without worrying about any of the complicated compression parameters like ratio, attack, release or knee.

Peacock Main Dial LOLCOMP

L&L: Input and Output Faders

The two L’s on LOLCOMP host your input and output faders, as well as a VU meter to monitor the signal strength going in, and a Gain Reduction meter to see how much compression is applied to your signal.

LOLCOMP Input fader

Use the input fader on the left L to control the signal going into the compression chains. If you feel that LOLCOMP is compressing too much even on very low settings of the main dial, just reach for the input fader to reduce the incoming signal and have more control over the compression stage.

While there is some Auto-Gain going on under the hood to compensate for some of the internal workings, sometimes the LOL Chains make your signal louder, depending on how hard you push the main dial. While that might be the exact effect you want most of the time, you might want to manually adjust the output gain and reduce or increase it. That’s when you reach for the Fader on the right L.

LOLCOMP output fader

The Chain Selectors

LOLCOMP Chain Selectors

This section at the top lets you select the chain you want to use. The selected chain will be illuminated to indicate that it’s active.

  • Laughing Emoji: Smiley [LOL] Chain
  • Paw Print: Panda Chain
  • Boxing Glove: Kangaroo Chain
  • Feather: Peacock Chain
  • Fire: Dragon Chain

The PARALOL Button

LOLCOMP Paralol button

Pressing the PARALOL button will toggle the LMAO tone-shaping section on and off.

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The PARALOL Section

LOLCOMP Mixing Night Audio Compression plugin Compressor vst audio

The bottom area of LOLCOMP appears when you hit the PARALOL button on the top section. With its filters, LMAO modules and the Mix Knob at the end, this section is home to a powerful array of tone-shapers. Let’s explore what each of them does.

Filters

LOLCOMP Filters

Adjust both the Lo (Low-Cut) and Hi (High-Cut) filters to taste. For more control, we’ve included the possibility to set the “Pre” or “Post”. In “Pre” mode, they are sitting in front of the main LOL Chain, in “Post” mode they are affecting your audio after passing through the main Chain. This way, you can affect the audio before it hits the compressor.

As an example, you might want to use Pre-mode to roll off some of the rumbling lows in a vocal before sending the vocal into the compressor. Otherwise, the low rumbling frequencies might make the compressor react stronger and lead to stronger compression – which in some cases you might not want.

"L" as in LEVITATE

The LEVITATE module helps you rebalance your audio’s frequency spectrum. Or, in other words: Turn the knob left and make your audio fatter and darker, or turn it right to make it thinner.

The center slider lets you decide where the anchor point of the tilting