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Reviews Software channel strip


A review of the new plug-ins in Universal Audio UAD 8.1.1 software

Another Three from UAD Universal Audio just released a new version of its software for Apollo and other UAD-2 devices. The release is highlighted by three new plug-ins, including spot-on emulations of the Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection, the Tube Tech CL-1B Compressor, and the Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959. read more…

Review of the Waves Butch Vig Vocals plug-in

Vocals Like Vig In the tradition of its Jack Joseph Puig, Chris Lord Alge, Eddie Kramer, and Manny Marroquin signature plug-ins, Waves has released Butch Vig Vocals (Mac/PC), a processor plug-in designed to let you easily dial in great Butch-Vig-style vocal sounds. Featuring a very unusual-looking retro/sci-fi GUI, it offers compression, filtering, EQ, de-essing, and two types of saturation. read more…

Review of the Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack

Slated for Excellence The release of a channel strip plug-in doesn’t typically generate a lot of excitement, but it sure has in the case of Slate Digital’s Virtual Mix Rack (VMR). Slate’s hardware emulations are considered among the best in the industry, and VMR offers a flexible suite of processors in a virtual 500 series rack… read more…

User reviews on Software channel strip products

A comprehensive -yet complex- virtual channel strip (Waves - EMI TG12345)

By Riatto_Music, 25/08/2017
Pro Tools 12.5 / MacBook Pro 2015

This channel strip has to be one of the most beautiful plugins Waves ever released! :8O:

No, you’ll never insist enough on how important it is to work with beautiful plugs (I mean audio plugs, of course), if only to compensate for the hours spent in front of the screen, breaking your back, ruining your eyes – spoiling your health altogether.

As usual, it’s "a faithfull reproduction of the famous EMI channel strip made by my aunt’s janitor’s cousin’s stepbro..."
For all this commercial talk, go and see with Waves directly, even if i’ll admit that this one console is pretty famous, and perhaps the entire British Invasion was recorded on it so yeah, soundwise, it’s a real heavyweight.

After trying it.

It’s a preamp/EQ/comp combo.
Available in mono or stereo versions, but I personally only tested the stereo one and even only in MS mode, so divide by two for an advice on the mono version and we should be there.

(For those who wouldn’t know, the MS mode allows to split the center (Mid) from the Sides, and on a drum buss for instance it’s as lethal as it gets.)

Now, back to the plugin.

Preamp stage – hard to judge a preamp sim, as it may be one of the rare things that can’t be emulated – along with getting a Tokai karaoke mic sound like a U-47. However! The good point here is the volume settings are used to modify the compressor’s reaction, and clearly tweaking the input gains really do change a lot to the overall sound. A good point.

Compressor/Limiter stage – this time it’s different. Touching a knob immediately results in an audible change. Hold, Recovery and Mix. No values, just tweak and listen, this is it.

EQ stage – keep it between us, but the ergonomics is initially quite a bit messy.
The Bass and Treble do what they say (respectively), but in between is a parametrical “Presence” setting that makes things less clear.
Again, you get used to it and it’s approximately as subtle as a sledgehammer. Let’s make it clear, the TG12345’s EQ sounds more like a filtre than anything. A bit like the EQs you’d find on old Korg products (Polyphonic Ensemble, Delta... ) – yeah, i know, this has nothing in common but it reminds me of such effects. And this is MY review so I’ll say what I want.

Finally, the usual output settings are here, with an additional drive that you’ll be careful not to push too far as it can very quickly sound ugly.


It’s a typical sound. A very typical sound. A very, really typical sound… But if you’re working on a neo vintage track ala Amy del Rey, here you are.

On the overheads, on a drum buss with MS treatment or an electric guitar you want to make stand out of the mix, that’s the kind of effects that’ll make you spend more time than you’d thought, keeping you busy playing with the filter – so beware.
Hiss and grain (yes, grain) are brought in, and overall it brings a real identity, provided you need it.

Is it easy to use? Yes and no (that’s for a useful advice, huh?)
Is it efficient? Yes.


- MS mode

- the EQ - filter, as there’s a moment when you have to choose, either you do rock or you knit, and this is no time for knitting.

- the look is a killer, and that’s good news as you’ll have to spend a while on it before getting a really satisfying result

Cons :

A bit expensive for a basic config, especially if you keep adding Waves to Waves: you’ll end up thinking that you could have bought a Trident channel strip of several Joemeek EQs for the same price, and THAT’s a downer. But hey, that’s progress, they say, what could you do about it?

Efficient and cheap, an instant favorite (Slate Digital - Virtual Mix Rack)

By the bubble, 15/08/2017
My configuration : 3rd gen iCore 5 laptop with 12GB RAM + UR 242. Used to mix my first EP – along with other plugs, of course.

Very stable, but it takes long to start. Not CPU-hungry, which is great.

It’s very easy to use, provided you know what an EQ and a compressor are.

The concept of a rack allowing to switch the plugs’ place is pure genius and allows to work your audio chain…

At first I was a bit surprised by the sound of the plugs – before that I only used free plugins, including the Reaplugs, plus a few paid ones such as the CLA which I soon got tired of.

Tweaking the settings, I managed to find THE sound that comes well for each instrument, and instead of using truckloads of plugins a few ones are enough – a VMR EQ, a comp, then also Revival which contributes to carving the sound.

In the end, my virtual drums have THE sound, and I use each of my VSTis like real instruments in the mix – which works wonder. You’d put it everywhere, so you have to take care to avoid overdosing!

The alliance of VMR to Native Instruments (the "solid" suite and "transient master") and reaplug plugins allow me to get the sound I was after with my humble solo home studio artist level. I’m finally satisfied with my sound, and I’m finally gonna be able to release my own record (I’m going to do everything, music, texts, arranging, recording, mixing – all except mastering). For such a price, this pack of plugins is really great – though not exempt of faults…

One of these is the violence of the sound : you soon get everything distorted, especially on the Neve EQ replica which preamp really is heavy-handed. Thankfully, Slate also provides a free trimmer plugin, which integrates within VMR.

Something else : the compressor (FG116) is great, but it seems to “darken” the vocals, so I prefer the “reacomp” plugin which sounds cleaner and less “violent” to my taste (I find its threshold setting to be more progressive, allowing for a lighter compression – more “refined” I’d say, even if I still don’t know the FG116 that well and my opinion might change as I use it more). Anyway, that depends on the music you make, as the FG116 will perfectly suit heavy rock and works wonder on drum tracks when associated with the Neve emulation: the drums stand out of the mix easier than ever!

As for the “SSL” EQ, it makes a great job to add frequences or take them away, and if ReaEQ can’t do the job properly on any given material I’ll use the “SSL” instead. On vocals, it also provides all that’s needed.

To conclude:

Not so many features, but the essential is here – and it’s really well done. For serious mix work, I’d say this plugin is a must-have to give your mixes both punch and color.

Value-for-money is excellent to me, as i got a double discount when i bought it from jrr shop – i paid it almost half off compared with the price anywhere else, so i don’t regret seizing that opportunity. I had used it in trial mode for 15 days before deciding to buy.

Experimental Jet Set, Garbage and 3 stars. (Waves - Butch Vig Vocals)

By Riatto_Music, 10/07/2017
Pro Tools 12.5 / MacBook Pro 2015

Fashion of the time is what it is, and one can think what one wants of it (always start with a deepest thought...)

In Waves’ Signature plugin series (Chris Lord-Age, Eddie Kramer, Jack Joseph Puig...), here comes one of the latest inventions from our friends the Waves Brothers, who seem to have decided to be true to their names in surfing on just every passing wave.

Fot the youngest readers who haven’t bothered to go and check Wikipedia, let’s briefly address the “Who’s that Butch Vig?” question by mentioning Vig is (or was?) an outspoken producer during that (temporarily) forgotten decade we now call the 90s.
From the Smashing Pumpkins to Sonic Youth to Nirvana’s legendary Nevermind, “the Butch” also and mostly was the brain and producer behind fusionist ephemeral sensation Garbage.

Here’s for the outline.
We first could wonder why such an anachronical channel strip would be developed – then thinking again you end up like “yeah, after all why not try and make a few extra bucks recycling famous names?” In the absence of Steve Albini drums, Jeff Lynne guitars, Trevor Horn synths or Brendan O'Brien grunge toolkit models, I’ve tried the Butch Vig Vocals.

First: the look. While we’re at it…

Although I have no remembrance whatsoever of a link between Vig’s productions and the steampunk universe, the GUI seems right out of a crossover between Borderlands et Bioshock. Nothing to do with the music, you’ll say – oh so rightly.

At least, this is a GUI that must have provided a job to a whole team of graphists! Why not after all: it’s much more fun to spend hours in front of a well-drawn interface instead of a factory plug-in that looks like cr*p.

OK. But soundwise, where does it go ?

In a nutshell, on a vocal track (let’s go crazy, huh?) recorded more or less correctly, there it goes:

A lot of Grrrrr, a pinch of Pshhhiii, quantities of Brrrr plus a touch of Fzzzzzz.

Compression + EQ + Distortion + Filter = smashed teeth splattered all around !! :bravo:

Nah, you frankly can’t blame the BVV for sounding either too transparent or thin – no chance it ever will be.

As with most of the aforementioned signature series models, this kind of processing is so hard-hitting that it’s hard to give a neutral review of it.

If you like the Buzzcocks, P.I.L, Transvision Vamp, Television or the Sex Pistols – AND you’re ready to change your wallpapers after the cat has scratched them out after merely listening to all presets…

No way to get anything defined with such a nuanceless processor, but for demoing… Hey, it’s so punkifying it might work!

A bit like with Beretta’s latest model: you need to have a use for it.

News Software channel strip

Special offers on 3 Waves products this Saturday

Published on 06/04/16
This Saturday again, Waves offers three plugins at special prices.

Feature Articles Software channel strip

EQ and Compression Techniques Pt.2: Drums

Published on 08/09/09
EQ and Compression Techniques Pt.2: Drums
Despite the preponderance of exceptional drum samples and loops on the market, for certain genres of music (notably country and rock) there is no substitute for a great session drummer playing on a w…

Forums Software channel strip