Death of Chris Capel, Creator of Chris’s Dynamic Compressor for Audacity

With great sadness, I must tell you that I that Chris Capel, the creator of Chris's Dynamic Compressor plugin for Audacity, died near the middle of April, 2011.

Chris's blog posts frequently conveyed a spirit of depression, between mathematics, puzzles, and programming. His last blog post was on April 11, 2011. In that most recent post, Chris's dad commented on April 20, 2011:

I don’t know if anyone follows Chris’s blog in it’s entirety. It was one of the ways I tried to keep touch with how Chris’s life was going. If you have read it, you know that Chris struggled with life.

Chris’s agony with living has ended. Sad does not begin to describe the emotion I feel.

I hope you have peace now son.

I had several times requested to interview Chris on The Audacity to Podcast™. I respected Chris's work and losing him means losing more than a great programer—it means the end of a life that was worth cherishing.

UPDATE: I've been in touch with Chris's dad Chuck and working to host Chris's Dynamic Compressor in memory of him.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

18 comments on “Death of Chris Capel, Creator of Chris’s Dynamic Compressor for Audacity

  1. Elena says:

    I am truly saddened to hear this news. I myself used, and still currently use, Chris’ Dynamic Compressor. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  2. Tim says:

    Too often we do not verbally let those who have touched us know that they have. Today I got a call from a client who was thrilled with the work I did for them. I wasn’t satisfied with it, but they were. It was nice to hear. Though I didn’t know Chris, I hope he knew his work was appreciated.

  3. James Dibben says:

    How horrible!

    I had just come by to get a copy of his plugin and I find this news. Yuck!

  4. Alan says:

    Not sure if anyone is aware, but Chris's website is no longer available. I hope that someone finds a way of hosting his excellent work in his honour and perpetuating the memory. I also hope that someone interested in the technology can get hold of the source and keep it alive and growing.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I'll see what I can do.

  5. JosepZ says:

    I'm in a state of shock. I periodically checked Chris's Metablog only to see how he was doing. I tried to cheer him up a few times, telling him how I had went through stuff similar to how he described his bipolar disorder back when I was younger. And I was not the only one to try so. But, in the end, it was useless. Very, very sad news.
    Rest in peace, bro. And it also makes me sad to see that this is the only reference to his death in the whole World Wide Web… 🙁

    1. Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, it was a great loss. I've been in touch with Chris's dad and the family is still in pain but trying to keep on living.

  6. Nameless one says:

    I'm shocked, I didn't know. I was searching the last version of his great plugin (the 1.27 was beta yet) and I found this sad news. My sincere gratitude for him and his work.

  7. Gasto5 says:

    Wow , a great loss for humanity, and more directly to me because I admired and highly used his ·Compress Dynamics· work. Hats off to a great man.

  8. Barbara Hullett says:

    I am new to the “Audacity to Podcast” show. I have been listening, starting at episode 1. However, I am not new to the audio processing program, “Audacity.” I have used it from version 1.1 beta. But I had not heard of “Chris’s Dynamic Compressor” and eagerly came here to find the link to the plugin. Imagine my shock when I see this memorial page. In the last three months I have lost my elderly dad and two beloved family pets, so even though Chris died nearly 5 years ago as I write this, this old news brought familiar tears to my eyes. I pray that his death gave him the peace he sought.

  9. Thomas says:

    wow … this is really really sad … I ported Chris’ dynamic compressor from lisp to python, C++ and VHDL and it is now living in one of my projects as real-time look-ahead dynamic compressor for mp3 audiobooks on a DIY ARM board. After I finished porting I realized, Chris passed aways a couple of years ago … That made me very sad 🙁 Does anyone know an archive of Chris’ blog? I would be very interested in who he was and what he did.

    1. Chris’s dad actually gave me an archive of Chris’s old blog. But his dad took it down so I think it best to leave it offline.

      1. Thomas says:

        I found a large part of the blog in internet archives … I’m shocked because he openly wrote about his wishes to die and about best ways to peacefully past away 🙁 About 2 years before he commited suicide … It’s disturbing to read something like this and to know he really ended his life 2yrs afterwards …

        1. Yes, I wish I had paid closer attention and could have given encouragement through friendship.

          1. Thomas says:

            Nothing you could have done … It’s not easy to become friends with someone who is incapable of having friends and you’re not a therapist … 🙂

  10. Tem says:

    Damn just got his plugin, RIP, what a talented programmer and person

  11. Alex says:

    How amazing that his life continues to touch total strangers – brought here on the ebb and flow of the internet, looking for something he created.

    That’s what happens when you create things. You leave a part of yourself that keeps giving. I’ll think of you every time I use this, Chris.

  12. Ross Warren says:

    Was very sorry to read this in 2018. I had been looking for the “missing link” to help my audience recordings of live shows sound their best, and found your article on using Chris’s Dynamic Compressor. It is exactly what I needed to make my recordings sound awesome. Every show put up on the Live Music Archive by “tapers” that benefits from the use of Chris’s Dynamic Compressor is part of his continuing legacy well past his death.

    I have found it very easy to use compared to other compressors, and it just “works”. I use the more “musical” settings of CR=0.5, CH=0.5, Floor=-96, NGF=0, and Max Amp=0.99.

    I wish I could have met Chris. Such a good programmer and human being he must have been.

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