Review: Weiss DS1 Mk3 Mastering Plugin by Softube

Weiss DS1 Mk3 Mastering Plugin

We are pleased to present you a new plug-in that we tested and excited us with all of its capabilities.

More specifically, we are talking about the Weiss DS1 MK3 plugins launched by Softube.

Weiss DS1 MK3 it’s all in one mastering solution, an emulation of the legendary Weiss DS1 MK3 hardware unit.

The original was a hardware Digital D-esser, Compressor and Limiter first built over 30 years ago and worth $9,000.

It remains till today an indispensable part of any world-class mastering studio.

WEISS DS1-MK3 Mastering Plugin

The original Weiss DS1 MK3 is digital, not analog. Exactly this makes it so interesting. It is has a completely neutral sound.

Back when they first built the Weiss, analog to digital converters were not what they are today and having high-quality equipment that you could use without converting was a revolution.

The Weiss is famous for the clear and transparent upward expansion it delivers, but does it deliver as a plugin?

The idea is fantastic because who has $9000 for one piece of hardware and secondly as a plugin we can use it on several different tracks at once which is a huge advantage to the hardware version.

The interface is straightforward enough. Choose a bandwidth to de-ess or broadband for compression, adjust the threshold for gain reduction and set the ratio for limiting. There are some great visuals in this plugin.

I have the knobs to the right when I hover over them I can see the exact settings in numbers.

If I want to be able to see the values at all times I can go to settings and choose the Bob Ludwig mode.

Aside from the usual ADSR settings, there are some really interesting release options. Release delay, release fast & slow and average between the 2.

This is an amazing tool. This concept allows you to sculpt out the compression around the transients and sustains.

I suggest having a look at the manual to get an image of the release routing.

It takes work and understanding but it has enormous potential for a detailed envelope.

Weiss DS1-MK3 Plugin ADSR

On the right side, we have the visual meters that you can sett by dragging if you prefer that. You can see the bandwidth, gain reduction ADSR and limiting working all side by side in one view.

Here Softube has added some options that were not on the Hardware version. We can switch to wave frequency view and see how it´s working on the signal.

Clicking the options buttons opens the hood so to speak, offering variables for dithering, side chaining, copying, meters, and ranges, make up, and 2 brick wall limiters not included in the hardware version.

Weiss DS1-MK3 Plugin 1

My personal favorite section here are the buttons on the bottom right side.

Here we can create 2 different presets: A & B and then switch between the 2.

We can monitor the bandwidth and hear exactly which frequency range we are compressing. We have a side chain link and parallel compression.

This is basically New York compression at the push of a bottom. It´s so powerful.

The expansion of blending the treated signal with the untreated signal is stellar. It has a brilliantly clear and boosting effect. We can also work in mid/side and choose between channel 1/side, channel 2 /mid and gang their parameters if you choose.


Even the absolute layman has an easy go at it with the Weiss DS1 Mk3. The preset section is beautifully laid out and easy to navigate with categories to help you find the right approach for your track.

Flipping through presets does not leave you wondering if it changed anything. Each preset comes with a wow effect.

The enormous sonic effect is indisputable. Each preset has a distinct sound to give you the framework for tweaking to taste and delivering an awesome master.


There is nothing confusing or demanding about this plugin it just works and sounds incredible. I honestly feel like I might be able to finally master my own tracks.

It´s very inspiring. If i compare it to working with Ozone products it offers a much pleasanter experience. It does cost $500 but once again it´s still cheaper than other mastering softwares.

As the original hardware was a revolution when it appeared so is the software version. No doubt. I have never achieved such clear enhancement and brillant masters.

Available in VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools)

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