The Millenia Twincom TCL-2 Plugin is a model of an Optical Compressor with Mid/Side capability. It offers Class A Tube and J-FET modeling.
It has your typical compressor controls, Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio. The Attack ranges from 2 ms to 100 ms. Release is 100 ms to 3 seconds. The ratio starts at 2:1 and goes up to 30:1, which they call limiting. It defaults to stereo mode, and there’s identical controls on the left and right. By clicking the Stereo Link button, you can control both sides from just the left controls.
By selecting M/S, you can switch to Mid/Side mode with the left side controls controlling the mid and the right side controlling the right. The DYN IN button is enabled, the audio signal will be processed by the dynamics. The meter can be switched from gain reduction to output level. The TT (Twin Topology) button switches between Class A Tube twin triode vacuum tubes and solid state discrete J-FET servo amplifiers.
Let’s make believe we are running a brand new studio. Money is tight, but we managed to get a Millenia TCL-2. We are excited, so we are going to use it on every track, and even the mix bus. Plus we have no other outboard gear because we are broke from buying this unit 🙂
We’ll start with a pluck track. Let’s see if we can widen it a bit by playing with Mid/Side.
Notice how it sounds wider and fuller. It almost sounds like reverb was applied.
Now let’s take a synth bass track and see what a bass preset can do.
This is really subtle using the Electric Bass preset. I want to say it adds a bit of clarity.
Now for the piano track. Let’s see if we can affect it a bit more.
This is a cool effect. It gives that over compressed piano type sound that could work in dance tracks.
Let’s see how the 3 tracks sound together, all dry and then all with the TCL-2 applied.
Now for the pads. I want to push the pads to the sides to make it fuller, and remove a little from the center to reduce the energy there.
Wow that really made a significant impact.
Check out our other reviews of Plugin Alliance plugins.
I want to bring out the snaps a bit more so I’ll use the preset called For Excited Ambience MS.
Now let’s see what all tracks sound like with and without the Twincom.
I think the Twincom on each track definitely sounds more polished. Let’s see if adding another instance on the 2-Bus puts it over the top.
I think less is more, that sounds like a great example of over usage of compression. I think the Twincom noticeably improved the pads and the pluck with it’s widening effect. I don’t think it hurt the bass, but I’m not sure that it helped much. The LA-2A is an optical compressor and known to be good on bass, so maybe it would have been better on an electric bass guitar (as this is an optical as well.) It had a cool effect on the piano, but some people will hate that sound. I’m not sure it was great on the drums, I’d probably opt for something else.
There are plenty of compressor options out there. This offering is optical only, but claims to do tube and solid state. I didn’t hear a big enough difference to make that option a huge selling point. I’d recommend the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor over this since it can do Optical AND VCA. I just didn’t care for it on the mix bus. I think the Millenia Twincom TCL-2 Plugin has one strength over an LA-2A, and that is in the mid/side capability (and the interface is a little more updated looking. ) I did like it on certain individual tracks.