Wavegrove UTU: Transient shaping plug-in with a twist

Wavegrove UTUWavegrove has released UTU, a new transient shaper plug-in for your DAW. By letting you adjust and process the attack and sustain phases separately, UTU lets you dial in just how punchy you want a track to be. With added filters and a mid-side processing option, UTU has a few tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from other transient shapers.

Wavegrove UTU

Like other transient shapers, UTU divides the signal into attack and sustain phases, which you can adjust and process separately. The Time control sets the length of the attack phase. Set it to short values for added punch on drum tracks, or to longer values for processing the mix bus without choking it.

The Attack and Sustain controls determine the volume of the attack and sustain phases. These work in both directions, so you can add punch or tone down the attack to make a track blend well with others.

In addition to these basic controls, UTU has a few extras on offer. Both the attack and sustain sections offer a pair of shelving EQs for further shaping of the two phases, along with buttons for high-frequency smoothing. This means that you can adjust the frequency content of just the attack or the sustain, which opens up some interesting creative possibilities. It’s also possible to blend the processed signal with the dry signal using the Wet and Out controls, so the effect can be as subtle or as pronounced as you’d like.

Another interesting feature is located right in the center: Unlike many other transient shapers, UTU offers a choice of stereo or mid-side (M/S) processing. By applying the effect only to the center or the sides of the stereo field, the plug-in can help to shape the stereo image of your track. Nice!

Price and compatibility

Wavegrove UTU is now available for USD 19.99. Enter the code wvgrvnovember2021 at checkout for a 50% discount. And if you support the developer on Patreon, you’ll receive UTU for free.

The plug-in runs on macOS and Windows in VST3 and AU formats.

More information about Wavegrove UTU

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IK Multimedia FAME brings the Muscle Shoals Sound to your DAW

IK Multimedia FAMEIK Multimedia has released FAME, a new reverb plug-in for the company’s T-RackS suite. FAME brings the rooms of the famous FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to your DAW, including both recording rooms, five isolation booths, echo chamber, plate reverb and microphones to match.

IK Multimedia FAME Studio Reverb

The FAME Studios in Alabama were the birthplace of so many hit records that they’ve been declared a National Historic Place. Now you can have a slice of that magic “Muscle Shoals Sound” yourself – by installing IK Multimedia’s new FAME Studio Reverb on your DAW computer.

The plug-in includes emulations of FAME’s two main live rooms. The studio’s five iso booths are also included (three in Studio A, two in Studio B). On top of that, FAME offers emulations of the legendary studio’s EMT plate reverb and newly restored echo chamber. For all of these reverbs, you can choose from Modern and Vintage modes.

IK Multimedia FAME
IK Multimedia FAME
IK Multimedia FAME
IK Multimedia FAME
IK Multimedia FAME

But that’s not all. The FAME Studio Reverb plug-in also offers dedicated mic positions per instrument, which creates the illusion of a full band recording in the room together. For each instance of the plug-in, you can choose from bass, drums, organ/keys, vocals/guitars and piano, thereby adjusting the position of the sound source in the room. A Spread control lets you widen each room’s response.

For even more authenticity, the developer has also modeled the sound signature of FAME’s recording consoles. Studio A is equipped with a Neve 8232, while Studio B boasts an SSL 6056 E formerly used by Stevie Ray Vaughan. In addition to that, there’s an option to use FAME’s original UA 610 console, which helped shape the studio’s sound during the first decades.

All aspects of the characteristic sound have been modeled using IK’s Volumetric Response Modeling (VRM) technology, which the developer describes as an “advanced hybrid convolution technique”.

Price and compatibility

IK Multimedia T-RackS FAME is now available for an introductory price of €129.99 plus tax (down from €149.99).

FAME requires IK’s free T-RackS CS software or the full version of T-RackS 5. The plug-in runs on macOS 10.9 or higher or Windows 7 or higher in AU, VST, VST3 and AAX formats (64 bit). A 14-day trial version is available.

More information about IK Multimedia FAME

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United Plugins Unichannel: 3×3 preamps, EQs and compressors in one plug-in

United Plugins UnichannelUnichannel by United Plugins is a new collection of modeled vintage preamplifiers, equalizers and compressors, all combined in one channel strip plug-in. With three varieties of each processor, there are 27 combinations in total. How about that for a nice collection of vintage gear?

United Plugins Unichannel

Who doesn’t dream of a studio crammed full of rare, vintage outboard gear? That privilege is something only a few of us can enjoy. For all others, there’s United Plugins’ newest release. Unichannel offers a collection of three vintage preamps, three EQs and three compressors, which you can mix and match to your heart’s content. From tubes to op amps to transformers – Unichannel has it all.

United Plugins Unichannel

Unichannel offers three preamps, three EQs and three compressors

According to the developer, the vintage units were modeled using a technology they call VARM II. The process seeks to emulate the slightly irregular behavior of analog circuits caused by component tolerances. This means that each instance of the plug-in sounds slightly different, just like analog devices would.

United Plugins Unichannel

The vintage units were modeled using the VARM II technology

Each section – preamp, EQ and compressor – gives you a choice of three varieties, which United Plugins have labeled British, US, and German. For the preamps, the controls are the same, with input and output gain knobs and a Mojo knob that controls the preamp color.

In the EQ section, the American variant is the most complex with low and high shelf filters, four peaking bands and low and high pass filters. The British variant offers a high cut, low and high shelves and one peaking band. The German EQ has low and high shelves at 60 Hz and 10 kHz, and an adjustable Präsenz band.

United Plugins Unichannel

Each model offers its own set of controls

All three compressors share the same input, output and dry/wet knobs. They all also have sidechain high pass filters. The other controls vary slightly.

The preamp is always active, while the EQ and compressor sections offer individual bypass switches. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an option to reverse the order of the EQ and compressor.

Unichannel is a nice-looking plug-in that has a similar look and feel to something Acustica Audio might do. If you’re looking for a channel strip with a comprehensive collection of vintage emulations and many possible combinations, I think it’s worth checking out, especially at the low intro price.

Price and compatibility

United Plugins Unichannel is now available for USD 40 instead of USD 181. That’s almost 80 percent off! This offer is good through November 30, 2021. A free demo is available.

The plug-in runs on macOS 10.10 or higher and Windows 8 or 10 (64 bit) in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats.

More information about United Plugins Unichannel

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RODE AI-Micro: Tiny audio interface to record mics anywhere

Rode AI MicoThe new AI-Micro from RODE could definitely pass for one of the smallest audio interfaces in the world. The tiny pipsqueak measures just 40mm wide, almost as deep, and only 11mm high. Weighing in at a featherweight 13 grams, it fits easily in your pocket and is always at hand if you want to quickly record stuff with a microphone. The AI-Micro is intended exclusively for this purpose, and also seems great for podcasting, streaming and mobile recording – at a possibly micro, but still competent level.

Rode AI-Micro

Two microphone inputs and a stereo headphone output are available on the interface. The included USB-A, USB-C, and Lightning cables (each 3m long, no less) connect the unit to Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices in a most beautiful, class-compliant (driverless) fashion.

The connection sockets are suitable for all microphones with a 3.5mm TRS plug, as well as the smartLav + from RODE which uses a 4-pin TRS plug. A wireless system such as the Rode Wireless GO can also be integrated. No adapters are necessary. The AI Micro learns by itself whether a microphone uses TRS or TRRS connections, and automatically changes the assignments.

The 3.5 mm headphone output is used for playback from the connected device or for latency-free listening to the recording. The internal converter offers 24-bit / 48 kHz resolution.

The AI-Micro can be configured and updated using the free Rode Central app. You can also use the interface with the free Rode Connect software. This is highly suitable for podcasting and streaming tasks.

It would have made sense for the AI-Micro to have a tiny built-in mic for added flexibility. But the super compact interface will surely appeal to lots of users just the way it is.

RODE AI-Micro
RODE AI-Micro Cables

Price and availability

You can already pre-order the Rode AI-Micro from Thomann at a price of EUR 79. Delivery is expected in seven to nine weeks, basically in time to pull off some Christmas podcasts and streams!

More information about Rode AI-Micro

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