BlackAsh SC-5

80s All-American Compressor

BlackAsh SC-5 Frontplate
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Manual Download

BlackAsh SC-5 Manual

Supported formats

AAX plugin support VST plugin supprt Audio Unit plugin support

Supported platforms (32/64 bit)



  • Intel Core CPU or Apple SIlicon M1/M2 Processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Mac OSX 10.9 or newer (M1/M2 supported)
  • VST, AU or AAX compatible host (64bit)
  • Display resolution of 1280x1024 pixels or more


  • SSE2 compatible processor (Intel Core CPU recommended)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 or newer
  • VST or AAX compatible host
  • Display resolution of 1280x1024 pixels or more


Accurately modeled after the 'black' version of a classic and sought-after VCA compressor the SC-5 opens up a whole world of versatility: You‘re going for super gentle compression to sweeten up the signal on your masterbuss? You‘re looking for a colorful or smashed sound on your drum buss? You want to tame lively and dynamic material? The BlackAsh SC-5 handeles it all. Compared to its brother, the BlueAsh SC-5, the BlackAsh SC-5 brings you slightly different compression behaviour, a different harmonic structure paired with a darker sounding audio-path and the option to feed in external sidechain signals.


External sidechain input

The BlackAsh SC-5 adds an external sidechain input that can be engaged by depressing the “Ext SC” button. The BlackAsh SC-5 is a feedback compressor design, thus feeding an external sidechain input into the existing feed-back loop circuit would result in feed-forward topology, which would result in different compression behaviour. To overcome this problem, the external sidechain input is treated just like the normal audio signal, while the resulting control voltage is fed into a mirror VCA that modulates the audio signal. This way feed-back operation can be retained in both the normal and external sidechain modes.

Auto gain compensation

The BlackAsh SC-5 is a fixed threshold compressor: More compression can be achieved by increasing the input gain. This will of course boost your signal's volume. Drag the input gain knob while holding the right mouse button and the output gain will be adjusted so the perceived output level will remain approximately the same.

Authentic circuit emulation

Our real time SPICE type component based circuit simulation approach allows to authentically capture the sound and feel of the analog counterpart in all nuances. Every crucial part of the circuit, including the custom VCA design, the dual time-constant detector circuit, the feedback compressor loop and the audio path have been faithfully modeled.

SSE2 optimized code

DSP operations are pipe-lined using the SSE2 instruction set. This ensures highest possible performance operation despite very complex computations.

Auto-adjusted oversampling for maximum audio transparency

Aliasing artifacts are efficiently attenuated using a low latency linear phase Dolph-Chebyshev poly-phase design. The oversampling is auto adjusted to your session‘s sample rate to save valuable CPU power while offering the most transparent sound possible.

HighDPI / Retina support

All our plug-Ins support high pixel density on Mac OSX and Windows to bring you the most enjoyable user experience on high DPI displays. Please refer to your manual to find whether your DAW is HighDPI capable if you‘re working on Windows.

Examples & Videos


Greg Wurth

Greg Wurth

Producer/Mixer/Engineer Mary J Blige, Steve Vai

"I’ve never used the hardware version of the SC-5 but I really dig the coloration that you can get out of the plugin. It’s definitely a useful compressor to have in the arsenal."

Koen Heldens

Koen Heldens

Producer/Mixer/Engineer XXXTentacion, Timbaland, Taryn Manning

"The BlackAsh and BlueAsh comps are great Ashly emulations, just thickness in the right places! I love the combination of the VLA2A and the BlueAsh comp in series on lead vocals. Phat controlled vocals!"