Digidesign Smack Le
Digidesign Smack Le

Smack Le, Software compressor from Digidesign.

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moosers 12/08/2010

Digidesign Smack Le : moosers's user review


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Digidesign's Smack LE is a great compression plug-in that has become a mainstay of Pro Tools systems all over. It's super easy to use and has a great sound that is much like a Distressor. Installing the plug-in is quick and easy - you'll need an iLok to run it. Figuring out how to use the plug-in is even easier, as there isn't very much at all to using it if you're familiar with the basics of compression. It's parameters include the traditional compression parameters like those for input and output levels, ratio, attack, and release, as well as a side chain EQ with three fixed settings, a high pass filter, and built in overdrive. The plug-in also has three modes to choose from - opto, warm, and normal. The interface also shows you your input and output levels which is always nice. I haven't had a peek at the manual for Smack, nor do I ever expect needing to.


I'm currently running the Digidesign Smack LE plug-in on my system at home, as well as on the systems at the professional studio where I work, as I pull up a lot of mixes from home on these systems. At home I've got Pro Tools 9 which I'm running a Digi 002R audio interface and on a Mac Book Pro lap top computer that has 4 GB of RAM and a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. I've had the plug-in for over a year and have yet to experience any lagging due to running it, and I have been known to run a good amount of these at once within a session...


Digidesign's Smack LE is always one of the first compression plug-ins that I'll try for mixing. I love how easy it is to use as I find I can get a great sound of it very quickly. The sound is pretty aggressive and much like a Empirical Labs Distressor in my opinion. Even though this plug-in has been around for a few years it's still one of my favorites by modern standards. I love the extra side chain EQ it has as I find myself using it almost all of the time for vocals. I also like using Smack on a drum busses and virtually anything that might need some aggressive compression. I do try to use outboard compression when I mix most of the time, but Smack LE is a great in the box tool when that's not possible. Absolutely worth checking out for any owner of Pro Tools!