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Big Blue Compressor Continuing where Big Blue Limiter left off, our upcoming addition to the Big Blue series is now firmly in beta testing. For those unfamiliar with the software lifecycle lingo: that means that the plugin is basically ready as far as we're concerned. So as we speak a select few--our faithful beta testers--get to put the plugin through its paces. Not just to find and eliminate any bugs that may still be lurking in there somewhere, but also to provide valuable feedback on the sound, the interface, and whatever else may need commenting on.

Big Blue Compressor

Just like the limiter the compressor is heavily inspired on the celebrated tube hardware of yesteryear--the Big Blue trademark is vintage sound, and this compressor more than delivers! But we also added some interesting features that greatly expand the sonic arsenal of this plugin. More traditional goodies like variable hard/soft knee, dry/wet mix, and mid/side operation, but also novel additions such as the ability to control the amount of overshoot of fast transients, stereo narrowing or widening, adjustable latency, and a separate preamp section like the one in Big Blue Limiter.

Unless anything catastrophic comes up it shouldn't be long... fingers crossed!

Posted by: dj! | Add comment

Happy new year! The latest addition to our Redline Series is called Preamp, and surprise surprise: it emulates an analogue-style preamp. You may recognize some of its functionality from the Harmonic Distortion section of Redline Equalizer, except Preamp is sort of like a bigger brother to what's on offer there. Some very dramatic artwork to get the saliva going:

Redline Preamp

Once upon a time during its beta cycle, Redline Equalizer didn't actually feature harmonic distortion. The way we work is we sollicit ideas and feedback from our beta testers, and some one--there may have been more, it's been a while--suggested that since it already featured vintage-style EQ curves we might as well go the whole hog and add some vintage-style harmonic distortion as well.

While I was investigating--and the fun part: experimenting with--this I came up with a great many ideas on how to implement a great-sounding distortion section. (You see, that's the great thing about writing plugins as opposed to "just" using them. You get to try lots of ideas, which in turn lead to new ideas, and so on. The hard part is pruning everything down to size afterwards so the final plugin doesn't have a gazillion knobs and sliders and whatnot for every tiny little feature. Usability and lots of features tend don't get along all that well.)

To make a long story short, Redline Preamp is the culmination of my ideas on how to build a really flexible harmonic-distortion-and-more section. It has a lot of features (and much more going on internally--you won't believe the amount of work that goes on internally when you turn the Warmth knob, for example) . It can do vintage-style coloration, convincing tape saturation, very subtle analogue seasoning, and full-blown grunge. It can do mid/side processing and even has the ubiquitous wet/dry control, so you can make the signal as dirty or clean as you like. But the best part: it sounds great! Don't think distortion in the traditional sense, but instead vintage or analogue flavor: everything's nice and subtle, and as such Preamp is not so much an effect as a tool. At times you probably won't notice it's there, but I promise you will notice when you bypass it!

Also we managed to keep the CPU load really low, so you'll be able to insert a copy on every channel and not even notice it much. And unlike Equalizer is has absolutely ZERO latency, so that's one less thing to worry about.

I'm very excited about it and I'm sure you will too--once you hear it, of course. It definitely shouldn't be long.

And oops, I almost forget: happy new year!

Posted by: dj! | Add comment

Headphones really did sound better in 2009 2009 has been a pretty good year for 112dB, and the plugin that put us on the map--errr... that would be Redline Monitor--is still one of my favorite tools, both from a user and a developer point of view. When we released it I was quite anxious about how it would be received, to be frank. After spending months and months listening and tweaking (and listening some more and tweaking some more, followed by listening some more... you get the picture) I always feel my take on reality may at this point be slightly skewed. Or worse. So it's great to see that I'm not crazy after all and it really does work well. Of course there's the usual nay-sayers but so far they've been far and few between.

One thing that took me by surprise is the response from audiences that I didn't even think about targeting: people who just want to listen to music, as opposed to mixing or mastering or other (ahem) "serious" applications. So now I'm thinking whether it might be a good idea to make a simpler version--Redline Monitor, Jr. (so to speak)--with fewer controls, a lower price tag, and possibly compatible with Media Player and Foobar (and of course the ubiquitous iTunes, should Apple in their infinite wisdom ever decide to open it to 3rd party developers).

Decisions, decisions.

Posted by: dj! | Add comment

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