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SPL IRON mastering compressor by Brainworx Dynamics Plugins
Old 9th January 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
BadYodeler's Avatar
 

Software SPL IRON mastering compressor by Brainworx



In 2015 SPL released the IRON mastering compressor based on an original concept.

Their goal was to conceive a compressor that provided a pleasant, melodic-sounding, transparent compression, inspired by the vintage compressors of the radio era. But they wanted it to be versatile enough to adapt perfectly to the needs of modern mastering studios.

Thus, the IRON combines not only the sonic virtues of legendary vintage tube compressors with the advantages of the High Dynamic 120 V operating voltage in a single unit. It also sets a new benchmark in terms of tube compressor technology, with the innovative implementation of a parallel dual-tube circuit.

Iron is a variable-bias tube compressor, often called a “Vari-Mu” design. Unlike most standard variable-bias designs, which use the bias of a single tube for compression, Iron uses a dual circuit topology. This means, the incoming signal is split between two tubes via a specially designed Mu-Metal iron transformer, running in parallel and then recombined. One tube is a 12AX7/ECC83 and the other a 12AU7/ECC82. Each tube yields a slightly different compression curve and feel.

The Attack and Release parameters have six different settings ranging from Slow to Fast. The times are not constant, they vary according to the Rectifier circuit selected: There are six different Rectifier settings available with different diodes (Germanium, Silicon, LED, mixed).

Mastering is not the only domain where the IRON sets new standards. It can also be used to process subgroups or individual signals, like vocals, bass, guitar, strings, etc.

FEATURES
Variable Bias Tube Compressor
Parallel Dual Tube Circuit
Custom Mu-Metal Iron Transformers
Feed-forward resistive Vactrol-Opto-Isolator
Six different Rectifier settings available
Sidechain that allows you to choose between Off, four sidechain-filter presets or an external sidechain signal
In Link mode, the Threshold, Tube Bias, Attack, Release, and Rectifier parameters, as well as the Sidechain EQs, are controlled with the right side (channel 2) of the unit
Master out features an additional, Passive Equalizer with two fixed sounds
Brainworx plugin only features such as TMT, M/S Processing, Mono-Maker and Stereo Width, Parallel Mix and Headroom

SPL IRON - Plugin Alliance
Old 9th January 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Looks nice.

Anyone demoed yet?
Old 9th January 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usgggg View Post
Looks nice.

Anyone demoed yet?
I am going to demo both of these. But, doesn't this Hawk Eye looks quite like Youlean Meter? Damn, that lettering and colors and everything else looks sooooo similar! Maybe spl bought Youlean and somehow it all ended at PA.

And maybe I may be way off!

Krešo
Old 9th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
javahut's Avatar
SPL Iron looks great. I'm afraid to imagine what the price might be... though I'm not doubting it may be worth it.
Old 9th January 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Still on my first cup of coffee. Can't find a price on the site. How much?
Old 9th January 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I like how it sounds on the Master! The width and the Mono wow!
Old 9th January 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyd View Post
Still on my first cup of coffee. Can't find a price on the site. How much?
There are no prices at this moment. First you d/l, test and tomorrow or the next day (actally in max. next 14 days) the price will pop up. If you're "someone special" in PA's eyes then you're gonna get your own "special" price.

Stand-by till tomorrow or so...

I expect SPL Iron is going to be 299/279/249 USD and for "special people" less. And if you're lucky and having good vouchers then even further down the scale!

I just received my 75 USD voucher so... I am waiting!

Not sure which one will I pull the trigger if for any... Well, I might as well reconsider after demoing.

Krešo
Old 9th January 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Whooooa, regular installation packages (for Mac anyway...) are around 25-75 MB. This SPL Monster is 150 MB! I think this one needs a bit more computing power than their other stuff. Maybe even the baddest of them all untill now regarding CPU and being thirsty...

Krešo
Old 9th January 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

It's actually really efficient, barely registering a single bar in Logic's CPU meter.

Very nice sound testing on an electronic futuristic piece I try new effects on. This is on my wishlist until I buy it for sure.

A lot of control in this, with the monomaker, stereo width control, mix dial, many different methods of adjusting the compression strength and feel, tone shaping options too with the different SC EQ curves. Check out the video with the original creator saying his piece. Really makes working with the plugin make more sense. He's saying it's about energy creation, not loudness smashing. Taking that into working with it allowed me to work towards an energetic conclusion in the workflow where I felt that the energy had increased and the level had been controlled in a very smooth and warm manner but with clarity, depth and height over the original sound.

Good saturation. It can really emphasise transients and give smack to snares while smoothly compressing the body of the sound. Interesting. MS is great.

I like it
Old 9th January 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Nice! Time to compare this to Coral :¬)
Old 9th January 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by V4nger View Post
It's actually really efficient, barely registering a single bar in Logic's CPU meter.

Very nice sound testing on an electronic futuristic piece I try new effects on. This is on my wishlist until I buy it for sure.

A lot of control in this, with the monomaker, stereo width control, mix dial, many different methods of adjusting the compression strength and feel, tone shaping options too with the different SC EQ curves. Check out the video with the original creator saying his piece. Really makes working with the plugin make more sense. He's saying it's about energy creation, not loudness smashing. Taking that into working with it allowed me to work towards an energetic conclusion in the workflow where I felt that the energy had increased and the level had been controlled in a very smooth and warm manner but with clarity, depth and height over the original sound.

Good saturation. It can really emphasise transients and give smack to snares while smoothly compressing the body of the sound. Interesting. MS is great.

I like it
I am really looking forward trying SPL Iron today and in next two weeks.

From the looks of it, 2019. has started early. And good!

Krešo
Old 9th January 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Looks amazing, gonna take this puppy for a walk tomorrow!
Old 9th January 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by biksonije View Post
I am really looking forward trying SPL Iron today and in next two weeks.

From the looks of it, 2019. has started early. And good!

Krešo
I'm keen to read about your experiences
Old 9th January 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Yeah baby here we go



I know it s long one but this beast deserve it and i play with it sonically until the end so be patient and try to watch to the end

Taling this occasion to wish you all a happy new year !!!

So far i don t want you guyz to be biased by , here it s easily on my top 3 if not number one , period !!!
Old 9th January 2019
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Just tried the demo. I love the huge transparent sound with beautiful detail, doesn't suffer under any settings unlike pretty much all other mastering compressor plugins. This will be the go-to master bus processor

BUT

The AAX version interface was lagging badly, the mousewheel movements were jumpy & unstable, and also settings changes with the mouse cursor. After sometime it got a bit more responsive. Meanwhile the CPU usage didn't go crazy. Never encountered that once before. If all that gets solved, then this + Weiss ... OOOOHYEAH
Old 9th January 2019
  #16
awaiting the price...
Old 9th January 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by I1ski View Post
Just tried the demo. I love the huge transparent sound with beautiful detail, doesn't suffer under any settings unlike pretty much all other mastering compressor plugins. This will be the go-to master bus processor

BUT

The AAX version interface was lagging badly, the mousewheel movements were jumpy & unstable, and also settings changes with the mouse cursor. After sometime it got a bit more responsive. Meanwhile the CPU usage didn't go crazy. Never encountered that once before. If all that gets solved, then this + Weiss ... OOOOHYEAH
Be sure to go deep , he can be transparent , but at the same time a beautyfull and noticeable color ....

Mastering alwayz ryhme with sterile sometime or not that much exiting ... this is the perferct exeption !!! A super great surprise here !!!
Old 9th January 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

How does a compressor sound 'melodic'? I hope they mean 'musical'.
Old 9th January 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
Really impressive. Also pretty fantastic on bass DI.
Not quite sure yet if I actually need it though.

Huub
Old 9th January 2019
  #20
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b0se's Avatar
Yet to test the comp, but isn't it a bit odd to have a mastering compressor with input and output gain limited to (very large) 2dB increments?

Is there a shift+click or similar to allow fine control? (Especially for the output, since the headroom dial allows for input fine tuning.)

Thanks for the vid @Jeezo, will watch that this evening!
Old 9th January 2019
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Yet to test the comp, but isn't it a bit odd to have a mastering compressor with input and output gain limited to (very large) 2dB increments?

Is there a shift+click or similar to allow fine control? (Especially for the output, since the headroom dial allows for input fine tuning.)

Thanks for the vid @Jeezo, will watch that this evening!
Check out the features overview video for some answers about that. It is more for tone shaping than a simple gain staging option. It controls how the how unit behaves. Going by that, if you have a +6db input gain with a gain plugin before with internal input gain set to neutral 0 and then compare that with no external plugin and +6db set within Iron, I believe there will be a difference.

Haven't tested that though but that's what the creators sound like they're saying, to my mind.
Old 9th January 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
I hate to say it but it sounds fantastic. I havent touched the settings and left it on default. Just popped it on the mixbus of a track Im working on and love what it is doing, beating out Acustica El Rey. Hanging with Acustica Water. I dont know about a purchase though but I can see people loving this on the mixbus or mastering. I expect the price to be an arm and a leg.

Last edited by Asher Bay; 9th January 2019 at 10:50 PM..
Old 9th January 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
This looks tasty AF
Old 9th January 2019
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Only had a brief go on this but I loved it. The air and bass control is wonderful. If it’s supee efficient that will be amazing for group busses. Which was obv the idea with multiple TMT channels!
Hope it’s not too much tho!
Old 9th January 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
jsvalmont's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by biksonije View Post
Whooooa, regular installation packages (for Mac anyway...) are around 25-75 MB. This SPL Monster is 150 MB! I think this one needs a bit more computing power than their other stuff. Maybe even the baddest of them all untill now regarding CPU and being thirsty...

Krešo
The size of an actual algorithm, where most of the processing/ CPU consumption happens, usually takes up a very small amount of the package size. The vast majority of the MBs are usually in the graphics for algorithmic plugins (samples or impulses can take up considerable space as well, but neither of those apply in this case). My guess is they made additional hi-res graphics for this one or something like that.
Old 9th January 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 
jsvalmont's Avatar
Thank you for AAX DSP! I’ve been anticipating this plugin since 2015. You guys worried me with the omission in Phil’s Cascade. Kept me from buying that one actually.
Old 9th January 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

First impression is the best possible. Gives the track a nice body and makes the stereo image wider. I have to investigate better what it's doing and how, but sounds really good.

The BIAS control can really change how clean the unit is, I love it.
Old 9th January 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Just had a quick play with it on electronic mixbus - it's a glue machine. Great body. Very impressive, as is the versatility. Lots to learn with this one. Great compression at higher GR.

On headphones at the moment that I'm not entirely familiar with so proper separation and depth is hard to gauge. Beat bx_townhouse out easily (you can get a bit of SSL snap in the LED mode) though in another test. Look forward to playing with this through main monitors tomorrow and comparing to Coral, El Rey, L-BUS, Cream C660 and Flucti Mew. Pretty mental if it could hold its own against that setup.

I hope PA don't price everyone out of this one. Said it before but will say it again, I'm not a fan of this no-price-demo system. They know the price, it's just to get users on board to generate early hype (GAS) without having to deal with 'too expensive complaints'. Rather insulting to one's intelligence imo.

Last edited by b0se; 10th January 2019 at 12:15 AM..
Old 10th January 2019
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
nuemes's Avatar
 

Can anyone compare it to Softube Weiss DS1-MK3? Too apples and oranges?
Old 10th January 2019
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Not demoed yet but just listened to the demos posted in the PA site.

VERY seriously impressive sounding demos!

But the controls seem super convoluted. The amount of compression and
frequency response seem to be jointly affected by 6 knobs/switches:
input level, bias, side chain eq, rectifier, side chain filter, headroom and air/tape.

But lacks ratio?!

How long is it supposed to take to find the setting one wants?
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