HCL Islander

(1 customer review)

39,00  + VAT

Islander Vari-Mu compressor with a clipper

Wavegrove X Handcrafted Labs X Tape Over

HCL Islander is a dual gain stage feeder with time controls that doesn’t get in the way. This is a classic vari-μ design filled with a gritty groove. This is a high-end clipper with added tonality options. This is your gain stage’s first or final step.

This is Islander – our take on Handcrafted Labs ingenious parallel tube driven design.

Be sure to try the plugin out in the trial mode before your purchase, download at

AAX, VST, VST3 and Audio Unit



Check out the manual for HCL Islander!

Compressor features Additional features
  • Stereo and Mid-side modes, Linking or Dual Mono.
  • Two controls for gain, one for WET and one for DRY.
  • Gain Link to inversely mirror your movements between the gain  controls, to allow you to blend between wet and dry.
  • Threshold to control where the compressor starts to react.
  • Attack from 0.2 ms to 40 ms.
  • Release from 50 ms to 2000 ms.
  • VU meters to gauge your compression.
  • Side Chaining with Feed Back and Feed Forward, at both 75 Hz and 150 Hz, and also of course Full Range.
  • Mastering-grade clipper allows you to push your LUFS to the limits, and maybe over them.
  • Different emphasis styles for wet and dry. The wet side saturates to a brighter tone, while dry saturates to a smoother tone.
  • As everything isn’t completely linear, we include Level Calibration too.
  • Control linking to allow you to control both sides of the compressor with just one set of movements.
  • Delta monitoring to let you hear the change from the original signal.
  • Oversampling to allow you to get the smoothest operation at the cost of a bit of performance.

Made with iPlug2

Testimonials for HCL Islander


Mastered with HCL Islander


A/B Test with original hardware


For the first time ever there is a Handcrafted Labs based plugin!

Handcrafted Labs is a Ukrainian high end audio company known worldwide for their tube equipment. Their bestseller devices such as Varis and Thermos can be found in numerous studios around the globe. Sergey Rakovich and Gennadii Burzak started their company over twenty years ago in Ukraine, Kiev and since the occupation of Crimea in 2014 they have relocated their business to more stable grounds.

Gennadii has worked in world class classical studios in Kiev as a main technician and his passion shows in every wiring he does. Point to point old school soldering combined with innovative ways to approach the modern needs of engineers.


Tommi Langen from Tape Over Mastering is a mixing and mastering engineer from Finland. His merits include nine #1 albums in Finnish national album chart, mixing and mastering of Emma and Teosto Award-winning records and over fourty releases that have gone gold, platinum or double platinum.

Tommi is also known for his solo music, co-founder of critically acclaimed group Ruger Hauer and in his downtime Langen has toured over forty countries as a FOH engineer. Langen has also wrote an album titled “Ukraina” in 2013.

Handcrafted Labs and Tommi share a long history together, but first and foremost it’s based on sound and engineering quality.



Version 1.2.6 – Update frameworks, fix crash reported on Cubase in Trial mode

Version 1.2.5 – Added noise variance control for compression, fixed bug in Channel bypasses from 1.2.3

Version 1.2.4 – Maintenance release, remove unused stuff

Version 1.2.3 – Fix for some DAWs that loaded the custom default preset on top of pre-existing instances of the plugin

Version 1.2.2 – Custom user preset saving, Delta mode fix for some DAWs

Version 1.2.1 – Further oversampling improvements, gain match accuracy improvement

Version 1.2.0

  • Combined trial and full version
  • Added help menu with links to manual etc.
  • Added license deactivation feature under the same menu
  • Improved oversampling

Version 1.1.2 – Logic and StudioOne specific fixes

Version 1.1.1 – Added control link for SC Feed modes

Version 1.1.0 – Feature Creature

  • VU Meters completely redone with vector graphics. Smoother action, more accurate.
  • Input and Output gains added with +/- 16 dB of Gain on tap.
  • Smoother clipper action at insane gain levels. ( -1.8 LUFS without compensation etc. )
  • Compressor topology update for feed modes
  • Sidechain FF/FB (legacy mode from earlier when used with FF comp mode)
  • Plugin scale recall

Version 1.0.3

  • Improvements to sidechaining circuit
  • Ease of use improvements for Activation
  • CTRL Link on by default
  • Made UI scaler area more visible

Version 1.0.2

  • Fixed issue with sidechaining at 96kHz and above.
  • Changes to how the Trial works.

Version 1.0.1

  • Fixed rare issue where activation would open the URL again once returning to the plugin.
  • Decreased the click area size of the info/manufacturer links.
  • Set the saturation knobs to 0 in the Factory Default preset.


Handcrafted Labs
HCL Instagram
HCL Website
Tommi Langen
Tommishock Instagram
Tape Over
Tape Over Instagram
Tape Over Website



1 review for HCL Islander

  1. Francis Cleary (verified owner)

    Absoulutely brilliant!
    Easily the best compressor plugin I have used, really is like using a real tube comp. Great on drum and vocal bus, but exceptional for mastering and applying the subtle tube warmth, then the extra abillity to add saturation and smooth clipping. Lives on the 2 bus!

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.