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Plugin Review: Cytomic TheGlue

In my recent binge of plugin purchases,  I broke down and bought TheGlue, based almost entirely on the recommendation of Dan Clark (of The Dark Clan and ListlessWorks studio).  Like offerings from Waves, UAD and SSL, TheGlue is a compressor that models the famous (infamous?) bus compressor from an SSL G-Series console.

Never actually owning a G-Series console, I can’t vouch for the accuracy, but comparing it to my other VCA-modelling compressors, even the 6030, it’s got a “smackiness” and a thick low-end that I can’t achieve most other ways.  It’s stellar strapped across the 2bus of a rock song.

The original G-Series lacked a few of the nice features of The Glue – it doesn’t have a “range” knob to limit the amount of gain reduction, and it didn’t have a peak limiter, and it didn’t have a superfast attack setting.  In that regard, the Glue loses points on accuracy, but gains them on usability.  The peak limiter is a little iffy – it does a decent job, but it’s not a subtle effect, and if you’re using the peak limiter a lot, chances are you’re hitting your 2bus too hard.  The Glue does model the G-series fixed ratios -1, 2,4, and 10x and the stepped attack and decay, so in that regard there’s very high similarity to the original gear’s workings.

It does sound great, particularly on aggressive material.  However, multiple instances of The Glue on multiple tracks or busses can be a bit wearying – if the Glue is used on a drum bus and also on a 2bus, the end result is going to be fatiguing.  Additionally, the interface for selecting presets is a little weird – they’re not preloaded into a menu, you need to click on a box to get a dialog where you can select a preset to load, and…well, it’s a bit cumbersome.  That said, it’s a compressor with 6 knobs and two switches, so if you’re desperate for presets, you’re likely to get more benefit by reading up on compressors, since this plugin seems to be targeted towards the finicky tweaker type.

By Eric Oehler

Senior Engineer

Founder and owner of Submersible Studios, Eric enjoys talking about microphones and buying audio software he doesn't especially need. He also spends an awful lot of time with a RTA and a reference mic trying to get the acoustics of the studio juuuust right.