Gear reviews

Sonalksis – SV315 stereo compressor

What’s in there

The Sonalksis SV-315 Compressor employs physical modelling technology to provide a classic compressor/limiter with true analogue characteristics. Whether you want to gently smooth a vocal, totally crush some drums, or compress an entire mix, this processor will do it with superior polish. and imparts classic character on programme material through its essentially analogue design..

ok.  So this lovely piece of software is very analog. Got it.


The main-strenght of this plugin is the ease of use. Ratio, treshold, attack, release and a built in limiter. that’s it. All the additional stuff is awesome to play with but you can operate it using those 5 controls. You can use the sidechain feature, engage the EXT button and sidechain it from another track. Works.

In use
The graphic metering is cool as it’s really fast, and tells you what happens. The GUI is not the most fancy one in the world but you can’t beat it’s performance. You load it on a track and it’s there. Sonalksis plugins never crash. They show up immediatly after installation (both windows XP SP3 and Windows7 SP1) and they work fine in Samplitude 12, Cubase 6 and Protools 9. I can not say this about all the other plugins I run. I mostly use it to compress toms, or put it on the masterbus. It’s very transparent. It smoothes out cymbals and reacts differently to percussive stuff as other stereo compressor plugins. You can not say it get’s a lot fater with this plugin, nor is there any other immediate advantage… but if you put it there, shave off some 1 or 2 dB on the masterbus before hitting your limiter you know why I recommended it.

Same with the already mentioned cymbals. It’s simply not possible for me to get the same cymbal-sound with another plugin. It somewhat “reduces the transients, while still deliver enough of them to make it sound right”. You know, I try now to explain sound which is impossible but I hope you get the idea.

The limiter section is fun. I would not limit a masterbus with this plugin but it works fine for bass and most non transient heavy stuff. If you put it on a drumbus and engage the limiter.. no I didn’t like but I guess it was not intended for this application.


There is a 14 day demo on the Sonalksis website. It’s not going to be better then this. Try it 14 days and I am pretty sure you want to keep them. A simple “buy it” from George.

One Response to “Sonalksis – SV315 stereo compressor”

  1. Martin says:

    Since 2006 I am using Sonalksis plug-ins, actually I have all available plug-ins of them. Price / Performance ratio is great, these plug-ins are some of the few native ones which can compete with DSP-based like UAD and TC. I can confirm, never I had any crash in case of a sonalksis plug-in.
    A further big advantage of sonalksis plug-ins is that its cpu-usage is very low.

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