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Softube Dynamic Processor Software

Softube
( 9 user reviews on products )
25 products15 news items9 user reviews

User reviews on Dynamic Processor Software Softube products

Explosive dynamics tool (Valley People Dyna-mite)

By S2D, 20/09/2014
Softube's Valley People Dyna-mite is a dynamics processor based on a 1980's hardware unit of the same name but originally created by Valley People who are part of the PMI group, which is who Softube licences it from. If you want to find out more about the original Dyna-mite hardware unit made by Valley People then you should have a look on their website or even on Softube's website as they have the hardware manual to download as well as their own plugin version. The manual is informative (as you would expect) and the website has a short and user-friendly PDF guide to each explain each feature and even suggests typical uses such as Limiting, de-essing, gating, expanding and keying and the settings to dial in to achieve each use. The link for this is below if you would like to have a sneaky peak;

https://www.softube.com/files/Valley%20People%20Dyna-mite%20Quick%20Guide.pdf

There are even a few diagrams to show how the limiting, expanding and gating work as well as the circuit layout/configuration for the plugin. Installation is also kept secure, well explained and straightforward enough much like other Softube's products.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The performance of the Softube Valley People Dyna-mite is nothing short of incredible and unique in it's own way. I cannot compare the plugin and the original hardware unit because i haven't used the hardware unit but from what i hear from engineer friends of mine who have used the hardware, it is very very close to the original. The GUI is excellent and even has a short explanation of each setting whenever you change something to guide you through the features sort of, the size of the GUI is perfect and even the look of it is badass.

Check out this link to hear top Producer/Mixer/Engineer Joe Chiccarelli speak about the hardware unit and for anyone who has used the plugin, his description of it's effect matches what you will hear when using the plugin.

https://en.audiofanzine.com/plugin-multi-effect-bundle/softube/valley-people-dyna-mite/medias/videos/a.play,m.35523.html

The Dyna-mite is very stable and i have had no issues what so ever since i started using it with Logic Pro 9 on a macbook with OSX 10.6.8 and 4GB of RAM back in October 2013. This plugin is very light on CPU usage and you can confidently use at least 20 instances of the plugin without worrying about performance issues, you probably won't need anywhere near that many but the possibility is always there. The gating is fierce with this plugin, very strict and tight indeed for audio with a lot of bleed, negative thresholds can also be selected to give a 60's reverse Hendrix like feel to a sound for lack of a better description. The sidechaining and keying options can be selected using the 'EXT' option to achieve that ducking, pumping bassline so prominent in dance music or for voiceover work to turn the music down whenever someone is talking. The Dyna-mite is also a useful De-Esser when the ds-fm mode is selected along with limit mode and peak to control sibilance in vocals or harsh hi hats/cymbal transients. With all of these options it is easy to see why the Valley People Dyna-mite has been described as a secret weapon and hidden treasure by Softube, as it is not as famous as an 1176 or Fairchild for example but it is a classic piece of gear nonetheless, with producers and engineers worldwide being able to benefit from it's convenient migration to plugin land thanks to this Softube emulation.

OVERALL OPINION

If i really had to critique any part of the Softube Valley People Dyna-mite plugin, then i would say it is not the most versatile in terms of compression use due to no 'attack' or 'ratio' settings (ratio is fixed at 20:1 for limiting/compressing), but then again you wouldn't complain about a Ferrari not being good for off road driving or at Arnold Schwarzenegger for not doing romantic comedies.
The Valley People Dyna-mite knows what it excels at, and in my opinion that is smashing drums. It's snappier than a pissed off Jack Russell and can add A LOT of bite to snares, kicks, loops and drum buses amongst other things. The avgDET option with limit mode and fast release (0.01 sec) is best for getting the snap from drums and even basslines, guitars and pluck synths if desired as it uses a slower attack time... although in saying 'slower' it is still below 10ms in my estimation so still pretty quick. Using the Dyna-mite on an aux send for Parallel compression can add so much sustain to a drum track you will still be hearing it the next day, for this effect just set it to limit mode, .1 or .2 sec/20db release time (or even longer depending on the material) and pk (peak) detection to clamp down on the transients in order to lengthen the envelope and add some serious power and weight to the drums. The tendency is to overdo things with the Dyna-mite, and i STRONGLY recommend you do it at least once to get it out of your system and just for the fact that it is ridiculously satisfying to destroy a drum track with 60db of pumping gain reduction. The saturation as a result of high gain reduction is another beautiful characteristic of the Dyna-mite and can be useful for blending in a richer texture to the source or for a blown out exaggerated effect.

Overall the Softube Valley People Dyna-mite is a very effective plugin and an excellent emulation of the original hardware unit. Yes it does gating, sidechaining and expanding very well indeed, but as a headline grabber this thing can crush the life out of any audio you put in front of it, which depending on the type of music you work on could be useful or not so useful when it comes down to how you approach things. It can be inspiring if you are looking to mess about with audio and create some interesting effects using the limiting, gating, expanding or sidechaining. The only reason i can think of to not get this would be the high price tag of over $200, i think to be fair it could be a bit lower. If it's a one size fits all compressor you are looking for then don't get this, but if punch and snap with a tight gate is what tickles your fancy then you'll be hard pushed to find anything else in-the-box that beats the Softube Valley People Dyna-mite.
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Silky Smooth - the Tube-Tech CL1B (Tube-Tech CL1B)

By S2D, 20/09/2014
The Softube Tube-Tech CL1B is a plugin emulation of the original hardware unit by the same name. The hardware compressor has been around since 1987 and was created in Denmark as an updated LA-2A opto style of compressor. It has a legendary reputation and a starring role as the go to compressor in many top studios around the world, so it's easy to see why Softube decided to make a plugin to mimic the hardware. From the beginning, installation is straight forward although you do need an iLok to run the plugin...and the less said about that the better.
Anyway, once you have everything up and running in your DAW the configuration is very simple and the GUI is exactly the same as the hardware unit and beautifully done, infact you'll probably spend the first 5 minutes foaming at the mouth at how good it looks but of course it's not all about the looks, luckily though it sounds even better. The manual should be briefly consulted to get yourself familiar with the 3 different 'attack/release SELECT' sections, or you could just take my word for it when i say;

'Fixed' has an Attack time of 1 millisecond, and a Release time of 50 milliseconds.

'Manual' allows the user to set the attack time from 0.5 to 300 milliseconds and the release time from 0.05 seconds to 10 seconds.

and 'Fix/Man' is a combination of both and you will definitely need to read the manual for this as it is quite complex

It also features a side-chaining option like a lot of other compressors, the manual has a section where it gives settings to try for different applications such as vocals, guitars etc and this could be a starting point for new users of the CL1B.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

Upon opening the plugin in your DAW, the default setting will have the attack and release setup on manual selection which means the user can control the attack and release settings over the left like a normal standard compressor. The ratio ranges from 2:1 up to 10:1 so it is fairly flexible in this department. For a lot of standard compression jobs like bass, piano, guitar and vocals - keeping the ratio, attack and release knobs set to around the 12 o'clock position gives some nice consistent results that are transparent yet a subtly 'goey' and 'gluey' feel just like a good analogue compressor although not quite as strong. On vocals and bass, the CL1B gently and smoothly caresses the signal with modest attack, release and threshold settings, to sit perfectly in most mixing situations and is clean enough to use on voiceover tracks if used with 2-3db of levelling gain reduction.

The performance to CPU usage ratio is excellent, you can safely run multiple instances of the plugin in 1 session along with other EQ plugs and VST's you would normally use as well without any straining of your computers processor. The Tube-Tech CL1B is ultra friendly in this respect i've found while using a macbook with 4GB of RAM on OSX 10.6.8 in Logic Pro 9. It's as stable as a horse's home.

OVERALL OPINION

One of my personal favourite uses of the CL1B is for adding an extra bit of saturation to electric guitar tracks. Put the CL1B on an aux send track to use as a parallel compressor and for any 'Big' choruses or moments when the guitar should be front and centre, then automate the guitar send level generously until you get about 10db of gain reduction from the CL1B and make sure to have the threshold low and the attack/release SELECT at 'Fixed' which will grey out the attack and release knobs and listen to the extra bit of crunch and power it adds to the guitars when blended in with the original tracks. This can also work on vocals, bass, keys, synths and drums. An excellent Parallel compressor with great character when pushed. I would buy the Tube-tech again and again because it really is that good. With new plugins coming out left, right and centre every week it seems, it can be easy to forget how impressive the results are from this plugin which has been around since 2009, but in terms of sound quality the CL1B is up there with the very best along with it's user friendly GUI and classic settings, you really can't go wrong with it and with a price tag that is 2 grand less than the real hardware unit - it's a no brainer really if you have the 200 dollars to spare.

The iLok issue does put a dampener on an otherwise amazing plugin of the highest quality, but looking past that i would recommend this plugin to anyone who works primarily ITB. It's silky smooth, opto sound works a treat on many instruments and works magic on vocals, which is my personal favourite use for it. Having not used the hardware before, i can only go by what other engineers who have experienced the hardware have say about the comparison - and it is mostly all positive opinions on that matter. Mix engineer Tom Elmhirst uses the hardware Tube-Tech CL1B as one of his main compressors and with credits like Adele and Amy Winehouse's biggest hits to show then that says a lot about the quality of the unit. Attack Magazine rated the CL1B in the top 20 compressors of all time (number 4 to be exact) and state that the Softube CL1B plugin is one of the best emulations ever made. The link for that article can be found right here if you wish to look for yourself - https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/top-20-best-hardware-compressors-ever-made/17/

So if you are in the market for a top digital compressor with a clear and engaging layout based on time-tested classic hardware, then the Softube Tube-Tech CL1B should be one of your purchases. Don't think about it, just get it.
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News Dynamic Processor Software Softube

Softube's Drawmer 1973 plug-in now available

Published on 03/21/16
Softube has released the Drawmer 1973 Multi-Band Compressor plug-in.