AudioThing Speaker by Tommy Zai
Speaker by AudioThing is a tasty little overdrive plugin with speaker emulation and compression.
The purchase, download, authorize/register, and install process could not be easier. For Mac, double click on the .dmg image and follow the prompts to install. On Windows, I have no idea, but I’m sure it’s easy. There are no dongles used for protection, just a license file that looks like this: speaker_license.atl. Simply follow the prompts and locate/load the file.The plugin loads quickly and runs smoothly in every major DAW as an AU, VST, or AAX. Upon launching, users will notice a neat, clean GUI. A faux wood frame gives the interface a vintage touch.
I’m a registered user of a couple good distortion/overdrive plugins, so I wasn’t in the market to add to my collection. However, I’m always interested in something new spin on something old. Speaker provides a unique twist in the form of three knobs (Driver, Gain, and Mix), one button (Compressor in/out), and a lever to selects speaker models (High, Mid, Bass, and Off). I’m sure there’s a manual, but I can’t imagine it being many pages. It comes with ten good presets that serve as a good start point. It’s easy to navigate and fun to tweak. I enjoy twisting the knobs, flipping the level, and popping the compressor in and out. It’s extremely easy to locate a good sound for a variety of tracks — guitar, bass, vocals, etc. I had fun degrading drum loops, especially top loops into lo-fi. This little plugin is capable of tones that range from small and squished to cheap and crunchy and whatever is in between. It’s not the most versatile plugin around, but what it does, it does well — and it does it quickly! It seems very stable — no crashes or freezes. Good user preset management. Randomizer is extra cool!!!
• Simple, attractive GUI
• Fun to use and easy provides quick results
• Provides an excellent little speaker emulation
• Useful randomizer
• Responsive knobs
• Stable and efficient
• 32/64 bit
• Bargain price
The Thing I Dig Most of All (besides the price)
• Drive-in Movie speaker sound (not exact, but close enough)
• Cheap sounding in a good lo-fi way
• Additional speaker algorithms (and corresponding presets) would be fantastic.
• Drive: Controls the amount of overdrive/distortion
• Gain: Controls the gain level of the wet signal
• Mix: Controls the balance between wet and dry signals
• Compressor: Enables or disables the Compressor, which is a hard clip limiter
• Speaker Model Selects the type of speaker emulation
Speaker delivers an excellent overdrive and/or speaker simulation effect that is perfect for giving guitars a cheap catalogue cabinet crunch and vocals an old time “radio effect.” I happily added this effects plugin to my virtual toolbox. I'll surely get my money’s worth out of it. I highly recommend Speaker to anyone looking for a fast, fun way to accomplish a small, gritty sound. It’s well worth checking out. A demo is available. Without hesitation, I give this little gem a big cheap thumbs up. Cool Stuff! Great job, AudioThing.
• Sound Quality: 4/5 - With the proper settings, it sounds excellent.
• Ease of Use: 5/5 - It couldn’t be easier.
• Features: 4/5 - It does what it does, but could benefit from additional speaker simulations.
• Bang for the Buck: 5/5 - It cost less than the turkey burger I ate today.