Waves Audio has added the Abbey Road Saturator and MDMX Distortion Modules to the recently released Berzerk in its new line of distortion plug-ins.

Abbey Road Saturator The Abbey Road Saturator is an analogue-modelled saturation and distortion plug-in developed with Abbey Road Studios engineers. Modelled directly on saturation chains at Abbey Road Studios, it provides musical saturation and distortion unlike any other device.

In 1962, EMI Central Research Laboratories patented a tape noise reduction system called the TG12321 – a ‘compander’ that compresses on input (encoding) and expands on output (decoding). The first generation of pop engineers at Abbey Road discovered that using the encode-only part of the process resulted in a high-frequency emphasis that added air and excitement and helped instruments in a mix. Pioneering Abbey Road engineers, including Peter Bown and Geoff Emerick, were fans of using the TG12321 in this unusual way.

Abbey Road Saturator models the original TG12321 unit, feeding into Abbey Road’s Redd or TG12345 console preamps, for a one-of-a-kind excited saturation effect. This plug-in gives you flexible control over the Compander’s crossover frequencies, allowing it to focus in on different ranges depending on the source material – lower settings will be at home on bass and kick drums, higher values will afford unmistakable shine to vocals. The added phase knob causes the saturation to work in parallel, dramatically altering the personality of the distortion harmonics. The plug-in also sports M/S processing options, letting the distortion apply either in stereo or to the mid or sides separately.

From subtle harmonic enhancement that helps any instrument poke through a mix, to powerful distortion effects that strip an instrument of its original character and create an entirely new effect – Abbey Road Saturator is a singular twist on what we know saturation and distortion plug-ins to be.

MDMX Distortion Modules The MDMX Distortion Modules includes three distortion plug-ins based on Screamer, Overdrive and Fuzz pedals. The MDMX plug-ins offer control of dynamics, EQ and tone controls; Temperature controls to tweak overall colour and warmth; Mix controls to blend the clean and distorted signals; and M/S processing to distort just the mids or sides of the signal.

Screamer offers a fat, round saturated tone as from an overdriven tube amp. It boasts a midrange hump in the 470-750Hz range, delivering a smooth tone that flatters synths, bass, guitars and vocals. Features include a Boost knob adding 6dB of gain in the mids; a Tone control acting like a hi-fi system tilt; a Temperature control to blend a custom master EQ curve, affecting the ‘colour’ and warmth of the overall effect; and a Mix knob for blending the distorted and original signals an M/S processing options allowing you to overdrive just the mids or just the sides.

Overdrive is the most versatile plug-in of the trio, this module can add both subtle and not-so-subtle edge to a part. Its soft-clipper musically enhances an instrument, vocal or sample while maintaining the original character. Dialled in aggressively, it has a pronounced overdrive that can be tailored and tuned for precise results. Overdrive includes two drive types – the first is higher gain with a greater emphasis on low frequencies, and the second focuses on the high end. The compressor section has a Punch mode, which acts as a fixed-ratio compressor with a choice of mild, moderate or extreme; a Rider mode, which acts like a gate and will behave dynamically; and a Blend knob, which mixes the dry signal with the dynamic signal. There’s a low cut on the input to tighten the distortion, a four-band EQ on the output to shape the result, a Temperature control, which blends a custom master-EQ curve, a mix knob and unique M/S processing options, allowing you to affect just the mids or sides.

Fuz is an aggressive high-gain fuzz effect that introduces high levels of saturation, while allowing you to shape the distortion, synthesise octaves, and take control over the tonal footprint with compression and EQ. This plug-in offers two different fuzz flavours. It has a compressor section with similar settings to the Overdrive, and the same four-band EQ. The Octave feature is a pitch-shifter on input pre-distortion. Fuzz shares several other features with Overdrive, including the low cut on input and the mid/sides processing options, Temperature to control overall colour/warmth, a Dynamics section to choose between compressor (Punch) and gain rider, Mix to blend the original and distorted signals and M/S processing to control mid/sides separately.

See also:
Waves Audio Berzerk

More: www.waves.com

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