Fall 2021 plugin buying guide: Spring Verb Black Rooster, Goodhertz Tupe, Softube Overstayer, Sonnox Claro

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In this series we are talking about Virtual Studio technology for your digital audio workstation. It’s the future. The hardware is great, but the good plugins are better. Okay, they’re both awesome, but the focus of this review is the best of the best plugins, because we’re living a bit of a renaissance in this area, and while some are OK others are amazing. So, we break it down for you while keeping it simple – if a plugin is on this list, it’s definitely worth it.

Black Rooster Audio RO-SPR

1. Black Rooster Audio RO-SPR

To be fair, there are a decent number of spring reverb varieties on the market, and of course, some original plugins are up to the task, but how many of them sound the way they should? You know what I mean. You fire up the reverb and it starts – first it’s five minutes, ten minutes, then you start to think of it as too much of a DIY – maybe a different take or even a completely different effect would be better.

This process ends with RO-SPR. Black Rooster Audio did it. The RO-SPR sounds so fresh it’s inspiring – just like when you route audio through traditional hardware and there’s that sparkle the moment you hear the sound come out. The mainstay of RO-SPR is six selectable and incredibly unique springs that have been modeled after various spring units spanning four decades of technology – wonderfully, wonderfully low-tech, really, but technology that has absolutely revolutionized the world. music.

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The RO-SPR graphical interface is even dazzling. It’s good looking and tall by default and there’s genius in the graphic design – somehow, even with a mouse, it feels like you’re interacting with the hardware (obviously not, but quite close to it). You’d be surprised at how many recordings use at least some spring verb – RO-SPR brings the spring verb into the modern era. It’s really special and incredibly musical. Composing the perfect sound is easier than most spring verb plugins. It has great sound qualities and plenty of options to help filter and stage the signal. At this point, it’s clear that Black Rooster Audio is a symbol of incredible quality and value – some of my absolute favorites. A home run from Black Rooster Audio, once again, adding RO-SPR to their already impressive lineup. Price: Intro: $ 59 Regular: $ 129

Goodhertz tupe

Tupé

2. Goodhertz Tupe

When it comes to plugins that are really worth the money, Tupe (a / k / a Tube + Tape) is a clear contender. It’s awesome and it looks just amazing. Tupe is one of those plugins that I continually search above most others. Why? Several instances of Tupe are relatively light on the processor. Tupe has some great presets for inspiration. Goodhertz (Ghz) ​​has fun in its culture and software design. And, Tupe claims layers upon layers of simulated analog heat and saturation. Goodhertz put some soul into the software on this one, and this plugin is extremely versatile.

Inspired, I asked Devin Kerr, engineer / co-founder of Ghz Principle DSP, what was the philosophy behind its development and learned that Tupe originally started out as a collection of existing Goodhertz saturation algorithms. bundled into a prototype plug-in by Goodhertz co-founder Rob Stenson. After using this Tupe prototype for a while, the team quickly realized that there was something essential about this all-in-one combination – tubes, tape, and flexible filtering – that warranted a plug. -in dedicated Ghz tube / band.

“With all of his modules working together, Tupe has this magical quality, more than the sum of its parts, where he can sonorously transport you to specific eras of recorded music: the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., that had all signature sounds and distortions. All of Tupe’s “historic” presets, for example, are just iconic recordings, ”Devin Kerr said.

It’s true. While I use Tupe to add color, vibe, and fullness to all kinds of instruments, it’s especially fun to add Tupe to a vocals, guitar, bass, and drums and walk around vintage sound presets to inspire me. From there it’s a super adjustable plug-in, with all parameters ergonomically placed, allowing for fine tuning and nearly endless levels of sound exploration.

“Unlike many plugins, Tupe doesn’t try to copy specific analog material, although we’ve spent a ton of time in the lab modeling. Instead, Tupe is more about providing different levers of coloring and saturation that allow an engineer to achieve a certain sonic result. Something like the Emphasis section in Tupe is totally new to the saturation world but incredibly handy when you need to shape the tone in a specific way, ”Kerr said. In true Ghz fashion, Tupe is a perfect combination of fun and utility. Price: $ 129

Softube Overstayer MAS

Softube Overstayer MAS

3. Softube Overstayer MAS

Two things: Overstayer MAS is serious business. Softube gently crushes its rivals. That being said, in my opinion, saturation plugins are like chips, you can’t take advantage of them. We all know this, because saturation is too important for the engineering process and too fun to use. Above all, Overstayer MAS is an absolute beast, really excelling at adding nuanced levels of hi-fi saturation, tone sculpting, and peak flexion to productions.

The original Overstayer MAS hardware is handcrafted in Los Angeles, California by artist Jeff Turzo and is a secret weapon for discerning mixing engineers. It brings energy to the tracks, sticks the buses and improves the mixes and the masters. Most of us won’t have much experience with the hardware unit that this plug-in emulates and expands. However, for those who do, some say that this plug-in actually improves the hardware since the Overstayer MAS Extended version of Softube offers more precise filtering controls than the original unit.

With the addition of the extended functionality of Softube, the latest update to Softube added easy access panels with workflow innovations such as measurement, margin control and level matching to over 60 of the company’s most popular plugins.

Comprised of four versions: MAS, MAS Extended, MAS for Amp Room and MAS for Modular, Softube’s officially licensed plugins and Overstayer modules are incredibly versatile, especially if you are a fan of the Softube ecosystem (highly recommended). I enjoy Softube’s Overstayer MAS in all its forms. I’m especially having fun implementing Overstayer MAS for Modular as a plug-in in Softube’s modular synthesizer plug-in, where I’m able to overdrive tones and waveforms and add color and tone. warmth to custom sound design projects. The tone is unique and adds a touch of fire. I also really like Overstayer MAS as a replacement insert in Console 1, where the sound fattening qualities of Overstayer MA-S really shine through. Try Overstayer MAS on individual tracks in a mix for cumulative benefits. Put it everywhere in your productions. Price: $ 249

Sonnox Claro

Sonnox Claro

4. Sonnox Claro

Claro is a traditional high equalizer. It is remarkable for the level of insight it provides to your mixes. It displays your EQ in three distinct modes: Produce, Tweak, and Mix, following the traditional order of operations during production and engineering.

Produce encourages wider sweeps based on what you hear (and see, thanks to a super cool “energy” based visual display). Tweak then takes your corrective EQ and allows for finer granularity, adding more visual components to help you make good mixing and sound design decisions. on the sound.

The most interesting part of Mix Mode is that it displays all of your instances of Claro in a single window while highlighting areas where frequencies can clash between tracks in a mixing session. While this feature is somewhat available in other EQs, I haven’t seen it do like this yet and it’s damn near perfect.

Overall, Claro takes the workflow of the traditional EQ (M / S included) and makes it visual in a way that supports your ears, without replacing them like many smart EQ-based EQs do. ‘IA. Claro is the perfect balance between a smart and traditional equalizer and it is one of the few plugins that offers a refined yet simple union between future advanced programming and tradition. Its interface is pretty new, so it might take a minute to get used to it, but once you try it out, you’ll feel like you’re missing out on something without it, especially the Mix feature. Price: $ 99


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