LOLCOMP Review- The New Hot Compressor On The Block?

If there’s one thing that is true about producing and mixing in 2023, it’s that you have a gigantic amount of options for plugins. EQs, compressors, delays and reverbs all have so many household names at this point, that it can be hard to pick out an exciting newcomer that could change the game. 

Enter Mixing Night Audio, a plugin and audio plugin company founded by industry heavyweight producers and mix engineers Ken Lewis and Dom Rivinus. Mixing Night Audio has just released its sophomore plugin, LOLCOMP. Let’s see how it stands against the fierce competition!

LOLCOMP Quicker VERDICT

Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP
4.7
$149

LOLCOMP is a fantastic sounding, easy to use and unique compression chain plugin. The UI may not be for everyone, but it certainly sets it apart from other plugins like it, and adds to how easy it is to use. You’ll be getting great sounds with this one in no time!

Sound Quality:
5.0
Presets:
5.0
Ease of Use:
5.0
User Interface:
4.0
Level of Control:
4.5
Value for Money:
5.0
Pros:
  • Very easy and quick to get a great sound out of
  • Isn’t just a great compressor, its tonal shaping section does what numerous plugins would do in just one!
  • Versatile, with each of the 5 compressors giving great different results for different applications
  • Very fun to use, encouraging intuition and creativity
Cons:
  • Not Cheap
  • The UI won’t be for everyone
  • No control of attack or release on the compressors
Trial?: 14 days
OS Compatibility: Windows: 10+, MacOS: 10.12+, Apple Silicon: yes
Plugin versions: AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, AU, VST3
Version tested: 1.0.1

How Much Is LOLCOMP? Is It Worth It? 

LOLCOMP is $149, a pretty steep price for a compression chain nearer the high end of the market when compared to companies such as Fabfilter. However, for what this plugin does in compression alone, and then what it adds with its tone-shaping chain, we think it is very much worth it. 

However, if that price seems steep to you and you’re still on the fence, give their free 14-day trial a go and see what you think for yourself! 

Features: What is LOLCOMP And What Does It Do?

LOLCOMP is a compressor and tone shaper designed with speed and efficiency in mind, quickly dialling in compression and finding the exact sound someone is after, or perhaps even surprising them with a different one that takes the cake!

LOLCOMP’s interface contains 5 different compression chains which are hand-crafted by Ken Lewis, who boasts over 30 years of experience which goes straight into the design of these chains. These five different chains are specifically designed with different situations in mind.

LOLCOMP compression chains
LOLCOMP compression chains

The Smiley Chain is the perfect vocal processor chain, whilst the Panda Chain is made for helping 808s, bass and low-end elements rumble through your mix. The Punch Chain is great for drums and transient elements, using a slower attack to get your percussion sounding just right. The Peacock Chain is the choice for sparkle, and finally, the Dragon Chain is all saturation and distortion.

LOLCOMP tone shaper section

Alongside the initial compressor, LOLCOMP has a LMAO tone shaper section which can be routed pre or post-compression. The Levitate setting makes your audio thinner or heavier, Mash acts as a finishing limiter for cranking and controlling your sound, Awaken adds smooth mids or air to your sound using the lavender or haze setting, and then finally Oxidate gives you a choice of five reverbs at the end of the chain.

To finish this chain off, you get a Mix knob to determine how much of the effect you want, and a Filter section to cut your audio in certain frequencies should you wish. LOLCOMP comes with 100 presets, all used by Ken Lewis himself for different instruments and mix situations. 

Ken uses LOLCOMP in his sessions, stating that he built the plugin to mimic his multi-plugin processes and simplify his mixing life. We’re incredibly curious to see how this plugin sounds given Ken’s impressive credentials and experience, so let’s dive in! 

Using The LOLCOMP

To best get the idea of what LOLCOMP is capable of, we thought of using it on drums, bass and guitar in a thrown-together beat we made on the spot. The sounds used have some basic EQ but nothing else before the LOLCOMP, and nothing after. 

LOLCOMP On A Kick 

We started with a simple kick pattern, let’s hear how it sounds on its own. 

Opening up the plugin, we thought of trying out the Punch Chain as it was said to be designed with drums in mind. With no control over the attack or release with LOLCOMP, you control the input gain and then see how much gain reduction is being applied on the right which has an output gain control. 

After getting around -3db of gain reduction from the compressor and matching the volume input, we ended with a more controlled and punchier kick which sounded pretty great if you ask us! See for yourself: 

With this being a great start, we were curious, however, and wanted to try the Panda Chain. We preferred this sound actually as it made the kick even tighter. Moving on from this, we started to mess around with the LMAO tone shaping.

LOLCOMP Panda presets

We used the Levitate setting to thin the kick out a tad, the Mash limiting to push the sound further, and then finally a very subtle touch of the lavender mids on the Awaken setting. Check out how this sounded! We were very happy. 

LOLCOMP On A Snare

LOLCOMP Punch presets

Feeling pleased with our kick, we started using the LOLCOMP on an 808 snare hit. Here’s how it sounded with some simple EQ.

Kick Before:

Utilising the Punch Chain all the way through this time, we loaded up the Chunky Snare Slap preset, which helped demonstrate how effective this plugin can be very quickly. We took off the reverb that came with the preset and shifted the settings slightly, then were again, very impressed with the result below.

Kick compressed:

The snare felt a lot snappier and more controlled than the uncompressed version and sounded very good with the kick now. Let’s compare the snare and kick together pre and post-compression: 

Beat (before)

Beat (after)

It sounds tighter, boomier and better to us so far. Now we wanted to add some movement to the beat with a hi-hat loop and see if LOLCOMP could add some interesting tonal shape to it. 

LOLCOMP On Hi-Hats

LOLCOMP Dragon preset

We don’t usually compress hi-hats, but after seeing some presets made for them that seemed to be more focused on tonal shaping than compression, we were very interested to see how it would come out. Here’s our beat with a hi-hat loop over it before we got LOLCOMP involved: 

Beat With Hats:

Once again seeing how a preset would work, we tried the Hats Off To You setting, which took us to the Dragon Chain. This added a very satisfying, crisp saturation to the Hi-Hat loop which made it feel scrapy and vivid in such a fun way over the beat: 

Beat With Hats and LOLCOMP:

Sounds great so far right? 

We even went a bit further with the plugin, using it for some parallel compression on a bus for the drums, which worked a treat to our ears: 

Drums Parallel Compressed:

LOLCOMP With Guitars 

LOLCOMP Smiley

With a solid drum beat in place, we wanted some melody on our loop. We quickly grabbed a guitar sample and warped it to the beat, here’s how it sounded before we put LOLCOMP on it to work some magic: 

Guitar Loop (before):

We thought we would try the Smiley Chain after seeing some guitar-based presets utilising it, and with some tweaking of the Levitate setting to make the sound a bit thicker and the Awaken knob to give it some air as well, we arrived at this great sound! 

Guitar loop compressed:

The guitar feels a lot more forward, and focused and has more body after going through the LOLCOMP, giving it a big improvement in sound for us. Let’s now pair this melody with some bass! 

LOLCOMP With Bass 

LOLCOMP Panda

We started with a very simple 808 bass sample for this, as we wanted to hear how much LOLCOMP could compress and shape the tone of a simple sound source. Here is what we started with: 

808 Bass:

Wanting to test out the specifically designed for 808’s Panda Chain, we jumped right in with the 808 GOD preset as a foundation to dial in some settings. The difference after tweaking and compressing this sound was unbelievable: 

808 Bass Compressed :

After beginning with a pretty characterless bass sound, we suddenly had a distorted, yet controlled and defined bass that slotted very well into our quickly-made beat. Check out everything together now below: 

Full Beat:

Sounds like we could get a mixdown in no time at all after such a great start with just EQ and LOLCOMP on every track! With drums, bass and guitar ticked off the list of testing LOLCOMP out, we wanted to try it on some vocals. 

LOLCOMP On A Vocal 

LOLCOMP Smiley

We did some basic cuts to our vocal with an EQ, had the volume automated and started using a de-esser, but other than that, we left it completely dry and free of effects. Hear how it sounded before we started going crazy with the LOLCOMP: 

Vocals before:

Our clear choice was to use the Smiley Chain, which gave us great results very quickly. Pushing the compressor to around -3db of gain reduction and then going to the LMAO section, we focused on the thinner end of the Levitate setting, added some air with Awaken, and then utilised the surprisingly decent reverb on the Oxidate knob. 

Vocals compressed:

What surprised us is that the EQ choices we would have made to boost the vocal after the compression were already present after using LOLCOMP’s tonal shaping section. We understood Ken’s philosophy of this plugin being made as a multi-plugin chain in one when using it for vocals. 

LOLCOMP With A Synth 

Peacock

For our final test of this plugin, we thought specifically to use the Peacock Chain on a pad sound that we had made with Granulator in Ableton. Whilst it sounded pretty good on its own, we wondered if this “beautifier” chain could give it the sparkle to push it as far as it could go. Here’s how it sounded before processing.

Synth before:

We got the gain reduction to around -3db and before even adding some tonal shaping, the air and control added to the sound were clear. With some added limiting, mids and shaping, we got a pad sound that would sound incredible over a beat. Check it out! 

Synth Compressed

Overall, we were very impressed with what LOLCOMP did on every track we used it on. The reverb in the tonal shaping section of the plugin wasn’t great, however, and we would personally much rather use a reverb separately on a bus for total control of the effect. Although, you don’t need to use the reverb, so it’s far from a serious complaint.

The lack of basic compression settings such as attack and release can be a drawback if you want true control of your sound, but the five chains are all very good at dialling in the sound you most likely would have chosen. 

What About The Technical Side?

Georges iMac specs

It’s a great plugin, but how does it run on your computer? Or on a CPU-heavy production or mix? We tested the LOLCOMP on a 2017 iMac, running Monterey 12.5 with 16GB RAM and a 4.2GHz quad-core. 

We used just 17 instances of the plugin open with several tracks in the project with a high sample rate, there were no crashes, and the CPU increased to 51% usage. This is pretty good, especially since the project we were using had Granulator and numerous plugin-heavy chains open in the project. 

What Are The System Requirements? 

LOLCOMP is compatible with MacOS 10.12 or higher and Windows 10 or higher, requiring either Intel 64-bit or Apple Silicon on the CPU end of things. The plugin is compatible with all major DAWs such as Logic, Ableton, Reaper, Pro Tools, Reason, Cubase etc. 

Is It Easy To Use? 

LOLCOMP is incredibly easy to use, especially since it removes the attack and release stage that you usually need to go through with compression. These are pre-dialled in on each of the five chains that come with the plugin. 

The tone-shaping LMAO section is very to use, the bright colours and big controls make it easy to shape your sound and hear what each knob does to it. Whilst the design of the plugin and UI won’t be for everyone, it does make it very easy to control and visualise as an effect.

How Does The LOLCOMP Stand Up Against The Competition? 

With compression being the essential effect that it is, there’s plenty of competition out there with big mainstay names such as Fabfilter and Waves, so we tested the LOLCOMP against them directly.

LOLCOMP gets you quicker results than most compressors out there, and it’s important to remember that it isn’t just a compressor with its additional tone-shaping qualities. It can sound as good if not better than Pro-C2 or CLA compressors in some situations, especially with tonal control. 

However, the lack of attack and release does mean that it won’t be as precise as these other amazing compressors, so naturally, it won’t always be the best tool in the bag for every situation. That being said though, it is a great tool to have alongside your other trusty and well-used plugins. 

You can refer to our full best compression plugins guide.

What’s our verdict? 

We love LOLCOMP. It’s quick and easy to use and encourages you to be creative with how you shape and control your sound. The UI isn’t for everyone, and not entirely for us either, but it is effective in standing out from the usual design of compressors. 

LOLCOMP feels powerful, and slightly cheating at how quickly you get a usable sound out of it. To be the perfect plugin, we would personally love an option that allowed you to have complete control of the compression style in each chain, but it does offer five chains with great settings already dialled in. 

The LMAO section of the plugin is fantastic and simple in shaping your sound beyond compression, with every control aside from the Oxidate (reverb) control adding incredibly varied and usable results to your sound. 

We can see LOLCOMP becoming a mainstay in our mixing racks and production processes, which at the end of the day, means we have a great plugin on our hands. 

Mixing Night Audio LOLCOMP
4.7
$149

LOLCOMP is a fantastic sounding, easy to use and unique compression chain plugin. The UI may not be for everyone, but it certainly sets it apart from other plugins like it, and adds to how easy it is to use. You’ll be getting great sounds with this one in no time!

Sound Quality:
5.0
Presets:
5.0
Ease of Use:
5.0
User Interface:
4.0
Level of Control:
4.5
Value for Money:
5.0
Pros:
  • Very easy and quick to get a great sound out of
  • Isn’t just a great compressor, its tonal shaping section does what numerous plugins would do in just one!
  • Versatile, with each of the 5 compressors giving great different results for different applications
  • Very fun to use, encouraging intuition and creativity
Cons:
  • Not Cheap
  • The UI won’t be for everyone
  • No control of attack or release on the compressors
Trial?: 14 days
OS Compatibility: Windows: 10+, MacOS: 10.12+, Apple Silicon: yes
Plugin versions: AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, AU, VST3
Version tested: 1.0.1

FAQ

Is LOLCOMP Good For Beginners? 

As much as we think it’s a great plugin, we wouldn’t say it is good for beginners. We would say to beginners to learn how compression works properly so that they can get the most out of something like LOLCOMP. 

Is LOLCOMP Easy To Use? 

LOLCOMP is very easy to use. The plugin already has attack and release settings dialled in for the compression, and the LMAO tone-shaping section is very simple to use. You can get a great sound very quickly with this plugin 

Will LOLCOMP Improve My Mixes? 

Like any mixing tool, if you use it correctly, then yes it will improve your mixes. Less is more with compression, and be careful to match the volume of your sound pre-compression as it’s common to be tricked by the sound being better because it’s louder.

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