The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Best saturation ITB 2020 edition
Old 30th June 2020
  #61
Gear Nut
 

Does anyone use Blue Cat’s MB-7 mixer to create custom multiband saturation?
Old 30th June 2020
  #62
Gear Addict
Big fan of Softube Tape and the various Soundtoys distortion generators.
Old 30th June 2020
  #63
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
This will explain it all. Enjoy!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dNFCqnrNZCg&t=6s
OK wow, this really opened my eyes. Never tried bringing the gain down that much -80 db and then maxing out the preamp drive and input on plugins like this. The saturation really comes through that way! Makes me question why most plugins of this type don't have a knob to adjust the input on the way in so one doesn't have to use a separate gain plugin?

Just tried it with the Burly 73 from Sonimus as well (although it doesn't have quite the same range of DB increase) and again such a creamy saturation!

Thank you!
Old 30th June 2020
  #64
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomotomoto View Post
Since we are exploring interesting saturation options in this thread, thought I would mention an interview with Trent Reznor I read where he mentioned he loves to run all sorts of stuff through Echoboy with no echo, just for the saturation. Apparently he used this technique all throughout the recent Ghosts albums.
I'm not Trent Reznor but I do this a lot with Valhalla UberMod in Dark mode.
Old 30th June 2020
  #65
Lives for gear
The freshly released MIA Laboratories 413 Tape Saturator is well worth investigating IMHO, I've just completed a pretty great sounding mix using it on my 2buss, and I got there fast.

For some reasons, I dared to push its amp stage a bit (as in, more than what I'd do usually), and the combo of its amp stage / tape sim lead to a dense yet breathing mix, with some super invisible peak shaving.

I'm thoroughly impressed really.

While not comparing their respective tones & feature-sets, I'd say it's on par with ChowDSP's incredible AnalogTapeModel while being as instantly useful as Softube Tape (yet more erm natural sounding and convincing).
Old 30th June 2020
  #66
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nil hartman View Post
The freshly released MIA Laboratories 413 Tape Saturator is well worth investigating IMHO, I've just completed a pretty great sounding mix using it on my 2buss, and I got there fast.

For some reasons, I dared to push its amp stage a bit (as in, more than what I'd do usually), and the combo of its amp stage / tape sim lead to a dense yet breathing mix, with some super invisible peak shaving.

I'm thoroughly impressed really.

While not comparing their respective tones & feature-sets, I'd say it's on par with ChowDSP's incredible AnalogTapeModel while being as instantly useful as Softube Tape (yet more erm natural sounding and convincing).
Interesting! I'm a big fan of Softube Tape and AA Taupe for my tape saturation, so I might take a look at this. I notice MIA also has 3 freebies, FAT, MUSCLE, and THIN. Anyone try those out?
Old 30th June 2020
  #67
Lives for gear
I use Softube Tape a lot too (u-he Satin, Goodhertz Wow Ctrl and ChowDSP ATM being the other mainstays here) but avoid AA. 413 Tape Saturators replaced it here gloriously though, hence my enthusiasm.

Beware it's surprisingly versatile (despite the limited param set), so you might have to fiddle a bit before finding something appealing to you.

Type A & B distortion (Tube & Transistor) seem to enhance the dynamic rather than containing it, so I went for the soft-clipping instead (sounded ace on that given tune, I'd never had thought really), pushed it a bit into Tape Type C @ 20%... and magic happened. So I re-made the mix from scratch minutes after, with 413 directly on the 2buss (with Unisum doing its magic first in chain) and got what could be my best sounding mix to date. I'm thrilled, and genuinely surprised too. Not saying I got there solely thanks to a plugin, but I suppose it's a piece of my puzzle I missed.

FWIW, with 413 TS, engage the NAB 2 IEC switch to get close to Softube Tape's Model B @ 30 ips (similar enhancement).

I own their 925 Compressor, which sounds surprisingly real to my ears, but I still struggle to set it in a convincing way (while I've almost immediately gelled with Unisum).

My $.02 / YMMV / yadda yadda yadda etc...

Last edited by nil hartman; 1st July 2020 at 08:14 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 1st July 2020
  #68
Gear Head
 

Only one of you mentioning Black Box HG-2?

Personally, I still use it but it's a PITA to do so. Might have to check again if I find a replacement that has the sound I'm looking for and is easier to dial in.
Old 1st July 2020
  #69
Lives for gear
 

I've the Black Box HG-2, the VSM-3, Softube TAPE, IRON ...

For Mastering work, I have to say that VSM is really a nice, powerful tool ... when needed ... and I
find I can use it more often than I originally thought I would.

It can go very subtle .... to crazy.

It's quite different from the BlackBox ... or the TAPE.

As for 'tape' ... it's a choice between Softube, AcusticaAudio TAUPE, N4/Nebula CDS Tape Library, or even the Waves J37 ...
Old 1st July 2020
  #70
Gear Nut
 
jBranam's Avatar
decapitator
true iron
ik clipper
jst clip
Old 1st July 2020
  #71
Gear Nut
I'm gonna weigh in...

Waves Abbey Road Saturator
Kazrog True Iron
Black Rooster Magnetite
Acustica Taupe
PA Black Box
IK Tapes
Wavesfactory Spectre
WaveArts Tube Saturator (both versions)
Any number of Acustica preamps (name your poison)
Old 1st July 2020
  #72
Lives for gear
 

Reviver and aroma are awesomeness 👌
Old 1st July 2020
  #73
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 



Here we go.
Old 1st July 2020
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
I've the Black Box HG-2, the VSM-3, Softube TAPE, IRON ...

For Mastering work, I have to say that VSM is really a nice, powerful tool ... when needed ... and I
find I can use it more often than I originally thought I would.

It can go very subtle .... to crazy.

It's quite different from the BlackBox ... or the TAPE.

As for 'tape' ... it's a choice between Softube, AcusticaAudio TAUPE, N4/Nebula CDS Tape Library, or even the Waves J37 ...
@ RJHollins
Reelbus for me, rather than Softube Tape. However, I will admit that I stopped looking after Reelbus. I think that I was tired of the hunt.

Am I missing anything?
Old 1st July 2020
  #75
AA Celestial - sometimes works for projects. It just depends on the source.
I'm not always a fan of SSL gear for some reason, but when it works it's good.

The tool does have a couple of other nice features that work better more often for me.
Old 1st July 2020
  #76
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpanderson80 View Post
@ RJHollins
Reelbus for me, rather than Softube Tape. However, I will admit that I stopped looking after Reelbus. I think that I was tired of the hunt.

Am I missing anything?
Softube has a few 'extra' features that I found interesting/useful.

In no particular order, the High Freq control, and the Crosstalk can, at times, be useful.

Other than that, each of these tape sims have their own sound, texture, and response.

I'll audition several of them to find the best match for the track, and then A/B/C to determine which I'll use.
Old 1st July 2020
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
Softube has a few 'extra' features that I found interesting/useful.

In no particular order, the High Freq control, and the Crosstalk can, at times, be useful.

Other than that, each of these tape sims have their own sound, texture, and response.

I'll audition several of them to find the best match for the track, and then A/B/C to determine which I'll use.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll begin my search again if I ever need to cross that bridge.
Old 1st July 2020
  #78
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
No mention of the IK Saturator X?

My go to itb saturation is the drive control in Console 1 but the Sat X is really handy with loads of different modes.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #79
Lives for gear
 
BezowinZ's Avatar
My favorite effect! My go-tos are:

Softube & Overloud Tape
Soundtoys Radiator & Decapitator
FabFilter Saturn 2
Softube Saturation Knob


I've recently grabbed a few more that I like from limited use:

Kush Omega TWK
Black Rooster Magnetite
Klanghelm SDRR
Plugin Alliance HG-2 & Phil's Cascade
Acustica Audio Celestial (had for a while and keep forgetting about it)


And I may be grabbing in the near future:

Kush Omega A & N
Kazrog True Iron
Plugin Alliance Karacter & VSM-3


I have a handful of preamps & channel strips that I'm learning to use in regards to saturation, without ruining my sound. Much easier for me with saturation specific plugins.

Cool to see others with so many. I thought I was overdosing.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #80
Lives for gear
 

OK I know I listed my top saturation plugins in the first post, but I just bought Omega N on sale from Kush today, placed it on every track in a mix and gently dialed in the knobs, and oooooooooh. Loved it and can't wait now for the next project to test further.
Old 14th July 2020
  #81
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
This will explain it all. Enjoy!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dNFCqnrNZCg&t=6s
So I have been playing with this technique on your suggestion and I do love the sound, unfortunately I have several times forgotten to turn the eq off before turning off the gain plugin when muting and un-muting effects. This causes an ear/speaker splitting overload! I'm not really used to this technique of extreme gain reduction then maxing out the gain / drive on the plugin to get more saturation, are there any techniques out there to avoid this? At this point im to scared of triggering this again to try these sorts of saturation techniques anymore
Old 14th July 2020
  #82
Gear Nut
 

The UAD preamp plugins are actually really saucy for saturation

V76 - better for light saturation to make stuff vintage and pretty sounding. It can also do a pretty unique distortion that doesn't necessarily sound good. Has a definite color to the frequency balance of its sound

Neve 1073 - So good for midrangey saturation and heat

Helios type 69 preamp - gets a cool crackly break-up up high. Adds some noise and its own low-mid heavy color as well
Old 7th August 2020
  #83
Lives for gear
 
nightchef's Avatar
Having just bought the Black Rooster VPRE-73 and put it through its paces, I have to come back here and talk it up. It's pretty damn fabulous. And right now with BR's solidarity discount thing, it's available for under $10, which is just a ridiculous steal.
Old 7th August 2020
  #84
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
I must be the only person who doesn't like the sound of Trash2, never felt right to me.

Current most used picks are:

Neve: Busses: Britson. Tracks: Lindell 80 track (drive only) or AO KONSOL if I want to push and clip.

SSL: PSP InfiniStrip Pre80s

API: Can't find anything I like. Any suggestions?

Tube: Cupwise C660 Passthrough (N4), Warmifier, Unisum (HYGGE circuit), Erin and VPRE-2C

Tape: IK Tapes and Airwindows Tape

Transformers: Omega TWK (plus if wanting to push/clip)

Subtle: DSP Reviver and True Iron

All rounder: Spectre, Aroma, HarmoniQ and Saturn 2.
We seem to have very similar tastes in saturation!

As always, I would recommend the Shattered Glass Audio stuff to everyone. For some reason it never gets mentioned here but Phoenix and Inferno are some of the best saturators around. Especially Phoenix is really responsive to frequency and dynamics in a way most other plugins aren't.
Old 8th August 2020
  #85
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubguy99 View Post
We seem to have very similar tastes in saturation!

As always, I would recommend the Shattered Glass Audio stuff to everyone. For some reason it never gets mentioned here but Phoenix and Inferno are some of the best saturators around. Especially Phoenix is really responsive to frequency and dynamics in a way most other plugins aren't.
Thanks for the heads up, I'll check them out!
Old 10th August 2020
  #86
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpanderson80 View Post
@ RJHollins
Reelbus for me, rather than Softube Tape. However, I will admit that I stopped looking after Reelbus. I think that I was tired of the hunt.

Am I missing anything?
I think they're both essential as far as algo tape plugs go. Reelbus is more tweakable, and does cassette/VHS/lo-fi better (I also love it on the mix bus for that high-end and transient softening analog goodness), but Softube has this magic, minimalist touch with the 3 machine types where you can drop it on some sources, cycle through the options, and it just *works*, and when it doesn't you can just try something else and have wasted little to no time.

Last edited by ziggysane; 10th August 2020 at 04:11 PM..
Old 11th August 2020
  #87
Gear Nut
 

Is there anything comparable to the crane song Phoenix plugins in au? I really miss them now I’m in logic. That and the digi Lofi plug-in.......
Old 11th August 2020
  #88
Lives for gear
 
swartzfeger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaman View Post
Is there anything comparable to the crane song Phoenix plugins in au? I really miss them now I’m in logic. That and the digi Lofi plug-in.......
I've always wanted to try but was never an AAX user (they're PT-only, correct?)

Have read -- don't know if true -- that Ploytec Aroma is very similar:

https://www.ploytec.com/aroma/

Wish Aroma was a tad cheaper now that I'm on a budget (and I don't think it hits the black friday discounts either).

EDIT:

Yes, appears to be inspired by Dave Hill/Hedd:

Ploytec and intelligent sound & music present Aroma
Old 11th August 2020
  #89
Lives for gear
 

I never got on well with Softube Tape... I just keep trying it and then prefer to bypass or use something else... looks like I'm alone on this..

Decapitator - always just "works"
Devil Loc deluxe - Game changer especially on drums
HG 2- Wow!
RC-20 The distortion section is phenomenal
Waves Redd- Nice on vocals
VSM 3 - crazy good and has a lot of control
Waves Omnichannel - Just started using it, the sat section is really nice
Waves Kramer tape - love and hate relationship, sometimes it fits the material really well, and sometimes it just worsen it (great as a slap delay)
Inflator - If you consider it a saturator is just... incredible
Da Tube (!)- An old Steinberg stock plugin. Very simple and... old...but always nice extra harmonics.

I think I'm really happy by now with what I've got, and considering I really like using guitar pedals and other external stuff for colouring,
the single plugin i was interested in trying out is True Iron.
Will keep an eye on the thread for more interesting suggestions!
Old 12th August 2020
  #90
Lives for gear
 
RedBaaron's Avatar
MultiBand: CCAdvanced
Mid-side: Spectre
Tape: TR5
Console: Alex B 9000k
Tube: NI Supercharger GT
Tranny: True Iron
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 975 views: 256027
Avatar for sparqee
sparqee 30th June 2015
replies: 141 views: 36347
Avatar for dream
dream 15th December 2010
replies: 196 views: 79372
Avatar for Bhear
Bhear 10th March 2013
replies: 257 views: 49231
Avatar for JfromRVA
JfromRVA 2 weeks ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump