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How close is the UAD API Vision to API hardware? Saturation Plugins
Old 28th April 2016
  #1
How close is the UAD API Vision to API hardware?

I get it, there is a difference between the hardware and software. But does this channel strip really provide you with the sound of API?
Old 28th April 2016
  #2
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
I get it, there is a difference between the hardware and software. But does this channel strip really provide you with the sound of API?
Having used both. It's got the right flavor. I really enjoy the plugin a lot, its just a DSP HOG. I can only get 16 of them at 44.1kHz (!!!) with an Apollo Quad. If I had an octo or more it'd be my go to channel strip for sure.
Old 29th April 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
I get it, there is a difference between the hardware and software. But does this channel strip really provide you with the sound of API?
not even close. 2520 opamp along with the i/o transformers have a very unique texture. Can't be reproduced with a plugin.
Old 29th April 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 
waxman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
not even close. 2520 opamp along with the i/o transformers have a very unique texture. Can't be reproduced with a plugin.
I work on a 70s API 40 channel... the plug is a perfect emulation and sounds as good IMO. The extra magic happens in the summing section. So put on the UAD Vision API plug and run it into the aux in of the Control section on the API console and it sounds the same.

If you just do a ITB comparison then there is a audible difference. So the affordable solution is a UAD API Vision Channel strip into an external API 8200 Summing mixer which uses the 8520 opamps and it sounds the same.

The same is true using the UAD NEVE channel strip through the NEVE 8816. In a blind test you cannot tell. So don't forget the control section of the console when you use UAD plugs is a factor. If you want to stay in the box try the Slate Virtual Console Channel on US A setting and it sounds great... but if youu start loading up 30 plus channels and the itb summing chokes. OTB is a necessity IMO...
Old 29th April 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
I work on a 70s API 40 channel... the plug is a perfect emulation and sounds as good IMO. The extra magic happens in the summing section. So put on the UAD Vision API plug and run it into the aux in of the Control section on the API console and it sounds the same.

If you just do a ITB comparison then there is a audible difference. So the affordable solution is a UAD API Vision Channel strip into an external API 8200 Summing mixer which uses the 8520 opamps and it sounds the same.

The same is true using the UAD NEVE channel strip through the NEVE 8816. In a blind test you cannot tell. So don't forget the control section of the console when you use UAD plugs is a factor. If you want to stay in the box try the Slate Virtual Console Channel on US A setting and it sounds great... but if youu start loading up 30 plus channels and the itb summing chokes. OTB is a necessity IMO...
whoa! so many "same"'s in this post! i can't get anything to sound the same in my own dang studio using the same exact chain 5 seconds later. more power to ya ..
Old 29th April 2016
  #6
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waxman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldi View Post
whoa! so many "same"'s in this post! i can't get anything to sound the same in my own dang studio using the same exact chain 5 seconds later. more power to ya ..
try restarting... hahaha
Old 29th April 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
I work on a 70s API 40 channel...
.
curious why you would use a plugin if you have a desk? especially a large format desk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
If you want to stay in the box try the Slate Virtual Console Channel on US A setting and it sounds great... but if youu start loading up 30 plus channels and the itb summing chokes. OTB is a necessity IMO...
I think those slate plugins are terrible. Until someone comes up with a usable dsp ITB guitar emulation is the day they come up with a good console emulation as well. I'm not holding my breath. It will never happen imo. You just can't get that warm distortion and saturation with digital. 95% of the plugin developers can't even emulate a digital reverb and it's digital !! , go figure?? Why anyone thinks they can emulate tube or transformer distortion is baffling to me. A couple days ago I posted on another thread with regards to a pcm 70, and I was told I was "ignorant" to think they actually have digital reverb that can emulate digital hardware...?? huh? but somehow the developers have miraculously emulated an opamp and a transformer? what? unbelievable the inconsistencies in plugins opinions don't you think?

I bet those same guys over in that other thread think the UAD compressors and console plugs are great but yet they will still use those crusty old lexicon reverbs from 1980... all in their 12 bit glory. Absolutely bizarre how much contradiction there is on this topic.

Electrical engineers and audio designers have spent decades trying to copy API pres and comps using analog components and they can't really do it exactly. Now some software developer does it his first try? nope, no way. There must be 10,000 threads here on how no Neve hardware clone is exactly like a real neve. yet they plugin developed figured it out? (roll eyes)
Old 29th April 2016
  #8
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waxman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
curious why you would use a plugin if you have a desk? especially a large format desk.
Walk into Ocean Way any day of the week. Racks of outboard and the engineer is staring at the display setting up a plugin.

Recall and odubs plain and simple. Mixing multiple projects. The same reason the Studer is gathering dust. Tape emulation plugins work... The API desk is awesome for tracking multiplayer projects especially live kits. But when writing using new tools the plugins are just better.

I think those slate plugins are terrible. Until someone comes up with a usable dsp ITB guitar emulation is the day they come up with a good console emulation as well. I'm not holding my breath. It will never happen imo. You just can't get that warm distortion and saturation with digital....

When you know what it supposed to sound like it's no big deal. I do it all the time with UAD Marshals and Amplitube 4. As far as Slates first try? Really? Slates VCC sounds great.


Electrical engineers and audio designers have spent decades trying to copy API pres and comps using analog components and they can't really do it exactly. Now some software developer does it his first try? nope, no way. ...

I assume you mean Slate as first try. UAD guys are definitely no rookies... Slate is nailing it and as with most disruptive tech the OG goes down kicking and screaming singing "say it ain't so."
Old 29th April 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
Walk into Ocean Way any day of the week. Racks of outboard and the engineer is staring at the display setting up a plugin.

Recall and odubs plain and simple. Mixing multiple projects. The same reason the Studer is gathering dust. Tape emulation plugins work... The API desk is awesome for tracking multiplayer projects especially live kits. But when writing using new tools the plugins are just better.

I think those slate plugins are terrible. Until someone comes up with a usable dsp ITB guitar emulation is the day they come up with a good console emulation as well. I'm not holding my breath. It will never happen imo. You just can't get that warm distortion and saturation with digital....

When you know what it supposed to sound like it's no big deal. I do it all the time with UAD Marshals and Amplitube 4. As far as Slates first try? Really? Slates VCC sounds great.


Electrical engineers and audio designers have spent decades trying to copy API pres and comps using analog components and they can't really do it exactly. Now some software developer does it his first try? nope, no way. ...

I assume you mean Slate as first try. UAD guys are definitely no rookies... Slate is nailing it and as with most disruptive tech the OG goes down kicking and screaming singing "say it ain't so."
plugins are still not there yet. They are usable for some stuff but analog saturation is not one of them
Old 29th April 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
plugins are still not there yet. They are usable for some stuff but analog saturation is not one of them
Quick! I'd better recall all those releases I mixed using plugin saturation!

The more of your posts I read, the less I think you've used the stuff you're writing about...have you ever tried the plugin the thread is about? Honestly? I haven't, so I can't offer an opinion, but I certainly disagree with your summing up of other things.
Old 29th April 2016
  #11
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smackmastering's Avatar
The UAD API Vision is right on point.

It sounds like an API, plain and simple. Does it sound like the actual desk, no clue, and most haven't worked on a Vision Desk anyway since there isn't many of them around in commercial studios. Have i worked with API hardware, yes, and this plug-in sounds like an API.

IMO one of the best plugs on the UAD platform.
Old 29th April 2016
  #12
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smackmastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Quick! I'd better recall all those releases I mixed using plugin saturation!

The more of your posts I read, the less I think you've used the stuff you're writing about...have you ever tried the plugin the thread is about? Honestly? I haven't, so I can't offer an opinion, but I certainly disagree with your summing up of other things.
Couldn't agree more psycho monkey
Old 29th April 2016
  #13
All good replies, I think many studios with consoles track with them and at the mixing stage use plug ins with their recall, and other benefits etc.

I want to buy the API Channel strip but I can't afford it right now with my sons college bills. I have the UAD API Vision plug in and really like what it does on drums and rock guitar tracks. Just wondering how much of the API sound I am missing. Will no one notice a difference in a mix?
Old 29th April 2016
  #14
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
curious why you would use a plugin if you have a desk? especially a large format desk.



I think those slate plugins are terrible. Until someone comes up with a usable dsp ITB guitar emulation is the day they come up with a good console emulation as well. I'm not holding my breath. It will never happen imo. You just can't get that warm distortion and saturation with digital. 95% of the plugin developers can't even emulate a digital reverb and it's digital !! , go figure?? Why anyone thinks they can emulate tube or transformer distortion is baffling to me. A couple days ago I posted on another thread with regards to a pcm 70, and I was told I was "ignorant" to think they actually have digital reverb that can emulate digital hardware...?? huh? but somehow the developers have miraculously emulated an opamp and a transformer? what? unbelievable the inconsistencies in plugins opinions don't you think?

I bet those same guys over in that other thread think the UAD compressors and console plugs are great but yet they will still use those crusty old lexicon reverbs from 1980... all in their 12 bit glory. Absolutely bizarre how much contradiction there is on this topic.

Electrical engineers and audio designers have spent decades trying to copy API pres and comps using analog components and they can't really do it exactly. Now some software developer does it his first try? nope, no way. There must be 10,000 threads here on how no Neve hardware clone is exactly like a real neve. yet they plugin developed figured it out? (roll eyes)
It's not an emulation, but you should demo Acustica Audio's Pink (API) channel strip ASAP. You may be surprised with where we are today in our ITB tools.
Old 29th April 2016
  #15
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waxman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
plugins are still not there yet. They are usable for some stuff but analog saturation is not one of them
Wrong
Old 29th April 2016
  #16
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sam c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post

I want to buy the API Channel strip but I can't afford it right now with my sons college bills.
C'mon now, you can't let a little thing like "lack of cash" stop the creativity! . Sure doesn't stop the government.
Old 29th April 2016
  #17
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nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
Wrong
no you are wrong, and you are degrading your audio if you use them.
digital distortion is not good, it is horrible sounding
Old 29th April 2016
  #18
Gear Nut
 
waxman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
no you are wrong, and you are degrading your audio if you use them.
digital distortion is not good, it is horrible sounding
wrong again...
Old 29th April 2016
  #19
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nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The more of your posts I read, the less I think you've used the stuff you're writing about...
I've tried most of the plugins on the market. We all have different standards. which is fine.
Old 29th April 2016
  #20
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nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
wrong again...
Ok I get the point. Digital distortion is not my thing. Digital is only good for one thing, and that is storing and editing digital information. Oops that's 2 things... DSP Emulation is just fun for developers to play around with. You can use it, I won't be. You can be a vocal proponent of it and I will feel free to do the opposite. I really don't want to get into a flame war over this.
It's not worth my time.
Old 30th April 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
no you are wrong, and you are degrading your audio if you use them.
digital distortion is not good, it is horrible sounding
Uh huh. I'm not being as blunt to say "you're wrong". More just that it doesn't work for you. Fine - each to his own. I assure you the way I use "digital distortion" as you put it, it doesn't degrade the audio, and doesn't sound horrible. Please don't insult me or other professionals by insisting our work sounds horrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
I've tried most of the plugins on the market. We all have different standards. which is fine.
Pretty sure my "standards" are up their with the best of them, as are my clients - the primary one being one of the 2 biggest labels in the world. Don't passive-aggressively insult me by implying I don't care or can't hear as well as you. You don't know or work with me.

The other thing, of course that varies between people is prejudice.
Old 30th April 2016
  #22
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nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Uh huh. I'm not being as blunt to say "you're wrong". More just that it doesn't work for you. Fine - each to his own. I assure you the way I use "digital distortion" as you put it, it doesn't degrade the audio, and doesn't sound horrible. Please don't insult me or other professionals by insisting our work sounds horrible.



Pretty sure my "standards" are up their with the best of them, as are my clients - the primary one being one of the 2 biggest labels in the world. Don't passive-aggressively insult me by implying I don't care or can't hear as well as you. You don't know or work with me.

The other thing, of course that varies between people is prejudice.
I would like to respond in depth but not going to debate with a moderator. These plugins debates are not that important to me
Old 30th April 2016
  #23
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Jay Asher's Avatar
 

Why You Shouldn’t Care About Digital Clipping

That said, I have yet to hear anything where I thought it brought anything positive to the table and most of the records people cite to show how well it works sound terrible to me anyway.

But I am 67 years old and almost everything recorded nowadays sounds sonically way down from Fagen's The Night Fly."
Old 30th April 2016
  #24
They are talking about emulated harmonic distortion, not about clipping...
Old 30th April 2016
  #25
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smackmastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
They are talking about emulated harmonic distortion, not about clipping...
Are they? My first thought was Nevefreak was referencing the Bob Katz's theory that just adding plugins to the signal chain adds distortion to the sound.

I should note that its an old theory. Computers have gotten much more powerful so the DSP code has gotten much better.

Katz began hinting this back in 2009 that digital is catching up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Let's just say that the audible (not just measured) performance of many plugs has now reached the transparency, resolution and depth of image that we expect from the best outboard gear. Among them (in no particular order): PSP Xenon, Sonnox Suppressor, Algorithmix Plugins (all as far as I've auditioned), some of the UAD plugs, some of the TC powercore, many more. I try to be a selective individual, but you're pinning someone up against a wall by asking him to name names when there are no official "authorized" objective criteria to go by. But I'm happy enough with the names above to sleep well at night having recommened them :-).
Old 30th April 2016
  #26
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
I've tried most of the plugins on the market. We all have different standards. which is fine.
So what is your opinion of Acustica Audio's Pink?
Old 30th April 2016
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackmastering View Post
Are they? My first thought was Nevefreak was referencing the Bob Katz's theory that just adding plugins to the signal chain adds distortion to the sound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
plugins are still not there yet. They are usable for some stuff but analog saturation is not one of them
I think he is rather complaining about software emulation of hardware distortion & saturation.
Old 30th April 2016
  #28
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
plugins are still not there yet. They are usable for some stuff but analog saturation is not one of them
OK, now I understand, you have definitely have not tested Acustica Audio's Pink or even Nebula. You should clarify your statement to say "algorithmic plugins are still not there yet", when referencing analogue saturation ITB.
Old 30th April 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
OK, now I understand, you have definitely have not tested Acustica Audio's Pink or even Nebula. You should clarify your statement to say "algorithmic plugins are still not there yet", when referencing analogue saturation ITB.
Algorithms and plugs are synonymous. You can't have plugins without algorithms.

What these plugins do is make assumptions for you based on an static algorithm. An algorithm with a limited number of inputs and limited number resulting outputs. When you drive the inputs of high quality tube or analog device, it's overloading the circuit, by nature the analog circuitry reacts in a certain manner. The result is in many cases (not always) a very warm and pleasing sounding artifact known as harmonic distortion. And we all have heard this by driving up the gain knob on our guitar amps to get that overdrive. This is essentially what's going on when you drive the input of a desk or a mic pre albeit more more subtle and overall less aggressive than a Marshall stack.

One of the best examples of a console or preamp distortion/saturation is the guitar tone on Blackdog by LedZep.
that is a les paul direct into a line amp with the gain all the way up coupled with compressor inserted and driven hard. The result is of course one of the most famous rock guitar tones of all time.... So here is what you do to prove me wrong. Take your guitar direct into your interface, add nebula or acme saturator or slate or UAD....and record that riff. or somehting like it.. Then when you are done post that riff here and prove me wrong. It's that simple to resolve the debate. since any old school class A analog or tube hardware preamp/line amp will give you this sound. I have tried it with $300 GAP pres, Vintage Neves, MA5s, Vintechs, BAE, BLA an some API and Calrecs. they all can get "that sound".... sure the intensity varies but the sound is the same as far as warmth and saturation and sustain. The harmonics jump out to you the same.

I have countlessly tried this with plugs without success. This is how I test all the console emulation plugins to hear what they can really do under pressure. None of them I have tested even result in anything close to that sound. This is what I base my opinion on. It's nothing personal. I would love to have plugins be able to to this. But it's not really possible. Software doesn't use analog components. Software can only model the behavior of analog components. The real issue is the random nature and behavior of the analog components and how they react to certain signals and certain varying aspects of those signals. Software developers model based on statistical samples (I don't in any way mean digital samples). They rely on data acquisition tools and methodologies to gather the data necessary to reverse engineer the hardware. The problem is, even if they could gather all possible data (which they can't) they would still have to be able to decipher it and parse it 100% and understand all the aspects of the samples' information. The fact of the matter is, it's more complicated and has more to do with just circuit analysis. It encompasses these entire disciplines such as psycho-acoustics and audiology. To have true grasp on these sciences you would need PhDs or have lots of time to comprehend these complex topics in depth.. and still, you would still only be emulating the real thing and you are still making assumptions and educated guesses why it sounds the way it does and when it sound the way it does. Analog is not digital, digital is not analog so why try to make it so? Just store your audio as 0s and 1s and be happy, get your distortion from physical components that do so naturally. You will be better off for it. First let's get a plugin reverb and a digital multi effect that trumps all the hardware units, then they can start seriously thinking about console plugins.. .This is years away. Maybe in 10 years they will have accurate console emulations, which are still only going to be emulations by the way.

Digital is good @ processing static information, once you start modeling organic information things get hairy and chaos begins. How long have they tried to digitally modeling weather patterns??? 65+ years? They still only get it right 50% of the time. Or in my view, wrong 50% of the time. Regardless.......

I have used Nebula.
Old 30th April 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
Algorithms and plugs are synonymous. You can't have plugins without algorithms.

What these plugins do is make assumptions for you based on an static algorithm. An algorithm with a limited number of inputs and limited number resulting outputs. When you drive the inputs of high quality tube or analog device, it's overloading the circuit, by nature the analog circuitry reacts in a certain manner. The result is in many cases (not always) a very warm and pleasing sounding artifact known as harmonic distortion. And we all have heard this by driving up the gain knob on our guitar amps to get that overdrive. This is essentially what's going on when you drive the input of a desk or a mic pre albeit more more subtle and overall less aggressive than a Marshall stack.

One of the best examples of a console or preamp distortion/saturation is the guitar tone on Blackdog by LedZep.
that is a les paul direct into a line amp with the gain all the way up coupled with compressor inserted and driven hard. The result is of course one of the most famous rock guitar tones of all time.... So here is what you do to prove me wrong. Take your guitar direct into your interface, add nebula or acme saturator or slate or UAD....and record that riff. or somehting like it.. Then when you are done post that riff here and prove me wrong. It's that simple to resolve the debate. since any old school class A analog or tube hardware preamp/line amp will give you this sound. I have tried it with $300 GAP pres, Vintage Neves, MA5s, Vintechs, BAE, BLA an some API and Calrecs. they all can get "that sound".... sure the intensity varies but the sound is the same as far as warmth and saturation and sustain. The harmonics jump out to you the same.

I have countlessly tried this with plugs without success. This is how I test all the console emulation plugins to hear what they can really do under pressure. None of them I have tested even result in anything close to that sound. This is what I base my opinion on. It's nothing personal. I would love to have plugins be able to to this. But it's not really possible. Software doesn't use analog components. Software can only model the behavior of analog components. The real issue is the random nature and behavior of the analog components and how they react to certain signals and certain varying aspects of those signals. Software developers model based on statistical samples (I don't in any way mean digital samples). They rely on data acquisition tools and methodologies to gather the data necessary to reverse engineer the hardware. The problem is, even if they could gather all possible data (which they can't) they would still have to be able to decipher it and parse it 100% and understand all the aspects of the samples' information. The fact of the matter is, it's more complicated and has more to do with just circuit analysis. It encompasses these entire disciplines such as psycho-acoustics and audiology. To have true grasp on these sciences you would need PhDs or have lots of time to comprehend these complex topics in depth.. and still, you would still only be emulating the real thing and you are still making assumptions and educated guesses why it sounds the way it does and when it sound the way it does. Analog is not digital, digital is not analog so why try to make it so? Just store your audio as 0s and 1s and be happy, get your distortion from physical components that do so naturally. You will be better off for it. First let's get a plugin reverb and a digital multi effect that trumps all the hardware units, then they can start seriously thinking about console plugins.. .This is years away. Maybe in 10 years they will have accurate console emulations, which are still only going to be emulations by the way.

Digital is good @ processing static information, once you start modeling organic information things get hairy and chaos begins. How long have they tried to digitally modeling weather patterns??? 65+ years? They still only get it right 50% of the time. Or in my view, wrong 50% of the time. Regardless.......

I have used Nebula.
Black Dog is a very specific unusual use of hardware. Not a great tone imo (and I'm a big fan of direct guitar tones), but an interesting one. Asking plugins to do that is asking way too much I think.

On the other hand, using plugins for reasonable levels of saturation and distortion, you can get pretty realistic results. Very usable, listen to all the decapitator and sansamp on Tchad Blake records.

And now with UAD culture vulture, we have the first plugin distortion that sounds really good.

And the saturation on the Vision is maybe the most console-like saturation available in software.
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