Goodhertz WowControl by PB+J
Formats: AU/AAX (64-bit) Mac Only
Demo: 15-days fully functional
No ilok, web authentication. it's not expensive once you grasp what it is.
Goodhertz makes a really interesting line of unique and innovative plugins. To date they are MAC only. They all have an extremely simple and clear interface with no fake analog knobs. Most of them combine digital and analog in novel ways, and a lot of them combine two functions. (For example "LoHi" is a combination resonant filter and saturating limiter. Slap it on bass and smile with joy.)
WowControl combines a high quality basic tape sim with a lot of extreme tape effects. it's like Slate's VTM, or U-He's Satin, but with more possibilities.
Important: it comes with a really great set of presets. Explore them!
All goodhertz plugins have main screen and a secondary screen with more features. On the main screen you have controls for , left to right, the speed of the "wow" effect, which can be set to a frequency or synced to your tracks BPM. Then you have three sliders for the depth of the WOW effect, the a "multiples" of the wow effect, and the shape of the wow. Then there are two sliders for controlling analog noise (basically hiss and other analog artifacts) and saturation.
In this image below it's set to emulate a high quality tape machine running at 15 ips. There's very little wow and the analog "dirt" effects are set in the middle. You can increase or decrease to control the amount and the sound of the tape effect.
I sat with it and tried to imitate Slate's VTM. I was able to get exactly the same effect, very easily, to the point where I could hardly tell them apart in an ABX test, except I liked the Goodhertz version better. It's really beautifully done: you can alter the sonority of, say, a snare crack by using the shape control. It's easy and straightforward--push it up and you get a sharper crack, but not in an artificial gimmicky or displeasing way. You can augment the "tape bump" by using the saturation control. It turns the tape sim into a tone shaper, rather than a kind of blanket effect. But it dens't look like a tape machine--the design is clean, effective, and fun.
On the left red bar there are two simple "meters" that give you a graphic image of what you are doing-one shows the amount of saturation as a series of dots that vary in density, the other shows the wobble shape, which goes from triangle to square.
On the secondary screen a lot of interesting things appear. In the lower right there is a "high quality" button, which introduces oversampling. Also on the left are sliders which let you randomize aspect of the analog effect--the wobble can vary in time and you can set the extent and depth of the randomization, or you can set it to randomize stereo phase relationships.
WowControl can also act as a widener, by altering the phase relationships of a stereo track. it can sound like two drummers, or three drummers. On this screen you can also add "flutter" and control the gain level of the analog noise. You can also find the usual input and output controls which, on other tape sims, are placed more prominently on the main screen.
In general the wow effect is really pleasing--it's not too extreme sounding, even when you push it--it sounds "real."
I think Goodhertz has marketed this the wrong way. They seem to be positioning it as if it's a plugin for imitating old cassette players. It will do that, but it's also an extremely high quality basic tape sim plugin.
It's just creative, effective, and unique.