released: ThrillseekerVBL – Vintage Broadcast Limiter

VOS_Logo_VBBringing mojo back – Thrillseeker VBL is an emulation of a “vintage broadcast limiter” following the classic Variable-Mu design principles from the early 1950′s. They were used to prevent audio overshoots by managing sudden signals changes. From today’s perspective, and compared to brickwall limiters, they are rather slow and should be seen as more of a gain structure leveler, but they still are shining when it comes to perform gain riding in a very musical fashion – they have warmth and mojo written all over.

Thrillseeker VBL is a “modded” version, which not only has the classic gain reduction controls but also grants detailed access to the amount and appearance of harmonic tube amplifier distortion occurring in the analog tube circuit. Applied in subtle doses, this dials in that analog magic we often miss when working in the digital domain, but you can also overdrive the circuit to have more obvious but still musical sounding harmonic distortion (and according side-effects) for use as a creative effect.

On top, Thrillseeker VBL offers an incredibly authentic audio transformer simulation which not only models the typical low-end harmonic distortion but also all the frequency and load dependent subtleties occurring in a transformer coupled tube circuit, and which add up to that typical mojo we know from the analog classics. This would not have been possible with plain waveshaping techniques but has been realized with my innovative Stateful Saturation approach, making it possible to model circuits having a (short) sort of memory.

ThrillseekerVBL is a freeware VST audio plug-in for Windows x32 and you can download a copy in the Downloads section.

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  1. Kevin In Choconut Center says:

    This flat out rocks. Many thanks for another superb plug-in.

    • Another superb plugin! It breathes life into drum bus. I think it has become my favorite plugin for drum bus compression. The second one being Ferric TDS. The third one being Density MK2. The fourth one being Thrillseeker LA. The fifth one being Nasty VSD. Wait, these are all your plugins 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot! Que buena pinta!! Saludos desde Granada (Spain)

  3. wicked work again, bootsy you rule !!!!!!

  4. Can´t wait to test it. I´m sure it will be great like all your plugins. Sorry that I ask but can we except a new version of your fantastic Eq in the near future?

  5. Wow!!!
    I did just a quick check, but this sounds epic! 😀
    The distortion is so pleasant and tube-like. The thing really sounds like it’s coming straight from the 50s.
    Obviously I have to test it on a lot more stuff as well, but on a slow dance song I could get the compression pumping really neatly by turning the emphasis anticlockwise.
    The distortion just rocks!

  6. Thanks a bunch, looking forward to trying this one!

  7. I have just tried this new vst and WOW ! it is great does all what is mentioned and more……. Thank you so much.

  8. JohnMcNeill says:

    Great! Hope for 64 bit!

  9. Thank you, Herbert! After some initial auditioning, I can say that this one can really nicely warm up the channel or a buss. I would commend the range of controls that go all the way from rather subtle warming to almost guitar amplifier distortion. Nice! The only thing I find a bit cumbersome is purely cosmetic, those little knobs that you can’t see the value of clearly, and the GUI is big enough to accommodate bigger ones with clearly visible value-line.

    The sound of it is just so like the “real thing”… wow.

  10. thanks bootsy.. can’t wait to check this out.. cheers..

  11. I grabbed the Waves Puigchild during the sale last week and my first impression with the VBL is that while very different, it is holding up well against the ‘big dog’ in warmth and saturation. Very much looking forward to getting further into this little beastie.

  12. Sounds freaking hot! Thanks!

  13. recursively burning bear says:

    totally amazed here.

    the nonlinear nature of plugin allows for complex ajustments with very few controls,
    which easily replaces a set of eq’s, compressors and saturators.

    i suspect using it in every master channel chain from now on.

    it feels alive 🙂

    outstanding work,
    huge thanks!!!


  15. dinosaur says:

    Excellent, mate! What a plugin!

  16. WoW ! Very happy with this plugin! I can now throw out similar plugins which simply don’t compare… even one’s that I paid for! Thanks very much Herbert! Long live VOS… Cheers

  17. mathias says:

    this is superb! i tested it today on some guitartracks, that just needed a little taming and even flow.
    opened it, compression up so the reduction is between 1and 3 db, instant smile :-).
    then a little ampdrive to crush the harshness just a little bit …. bigger smile :-)))
    i am looking forward to try it on more …..
    thanks a lot!

  18. Thank you for another free plugin, it’s really much appreciated.
    Keep up the great work 😉

  19. incredible. used it on a kickdrum in a trance track, and … what can I say … i cranked it all up, and it worked wonders. added a hint of low end (where there wasn’t anything before), accentuated the “click”, with just the right amount of magic ‘mojo’. thank you so much!

  20. could you please give us some further information on the attack/release internal behaviour?
    I’think we all are curious, since you spoiled us so many times already about it…

  21. thank you so much.. will download and try tomorrow in the studio. but all your stuff is epic… hurray from Amsterdam…

  22. Woah.. !! aggressive and very analog.. nice… i like it.. thanks bootsy..

  23. Thanks ! Will try it soon, and i already know i’m going to love it 😉

  24. susiwong says:

    can’t comment on its merits as a broadcast limiter as I don’t run a ’50s radio station 😉 , it won’t blow up in smoke when used as a track compressor though, one of the best character comps available anywhere, at any price. And it looks nice, too.
    Together with ThrillseekerLA and Density III, getting great sounding compression is easier than ever …
    Big thanks once again, guys !

  25. Alex Wurlitzer says:

    GREAT Plug-in, thank you so much for all your work.

  26. This thing sounds and looks great! Thanks again…again.

  27. zotglen says:

    This is a great one, just fiddled around with it on the drum bus and it sure can bring out anything from brittle to boomy. and when you add compression it just sounds right and sweet.
    Also great for spicing up synths and putting them in their right place in the mix.
    I can only imagine how bass will sound! Off to try that now.

    One thing i noticed though in the GUI is that on the big knobs, the white indicator strip change around 10-12 o’clock. It really doesn’t matter soundwise obviously, but while you’re updating it, have a look for that!

    Thanks bootsy!

  28. Bootsy, you rock – as do your plugins.
    The only thing is that they are all 32-bit, which means using a Bit Bridge and that is something I do not like to do unless there is no option because bridges are a cobble and not a solution.

    Is there any chance at all of 64-bit VST versions, or maybe even VST3 with native sidechain?
    I would gladly pay for these to happen.

  29. Thanks a lot for this one! Not clean at all, but that’s just good 🙂

  30. the island says:

    the futur is freeware ..and varietyofsound is the king …….huge thanks herbert and patrick for this wonderful present !

    another classic in plug’s world…
    sounds incredibly good and looks soo nice .

    your magic team should be awarded for your whole contribution to the audio, musical and education world, giving professional tools to everyone on this earth…

    THANKS .

  31. I have this in my end chain (stereo buss), set to 0.0 output and I get digital overs. Even set to -0.1 it still clips. Bug?

  32. Many many thanks for your plugins! They are absolutely outstanding. BTW, nice review here:

  33. Sam K. Shaw says:

    This looks like it is going to be AMAZING — I can’t wait to try it out! One question, though — any thought of adding Middle/Side functionality in a future release?

  34. An amazing achievement. This compressor sounds more like hardware than anything else I’ve tried. Thanks!

  35. MAN! Your plugins are AWESOME!!!
    I´m from Brazil, loved the sound and concept of your plugs, using a lot!
    I will be donating in the future for sure.

  36. recursively burning bear says:

    after an in-depth test run, I’d like to admit: there’s never been any better bass saturation plugin than this. I mean, there’s plenty of them, adding harmonics and distortion… but only VBL produces the sound I was hunting for for years! you call it “mojo” but for me it’s more like “soul” and “taste” 🙂

  37. The Telenator says:

    Hey, another new VoS entry. So … I’m wondering before I spend time testing: What level(s) is this one calibrated to see on input? Is this one another 0 dBfs plugin or what? Anyone know?

  38. The word “brilliance” is misspelled to “brillance”
    Awesome compressor btw, thanks! 🙂

  39. audiolover says:

    a plugin with a really analog & life-like sound and this for free.
    the best things in life come for free indeed.
    you can’t make it sound bad, which is great!
    thanks a million for all ur hard work, i think we all hope you’ll keep on inventing new gems for long time.

  40. super BALLSY sound!!!Waiting for 64 bits:)bridging is a no go(crashing)….

  41. Oh, man! Sounds fabulous!!! Thank You so much for this one!!

  42. Very nice. Sweet on drums. The compression in VBL sounds too good to exist only as a bus comp. How dependent is it’s sound on fixed timings? Whatever is going on in VBL’s compression, more please! 😉

  43. Wow. Just been using this on my electronic kicks. Absolutely fabulous. Really nice controls it has. Putting it after all the effects in the chain it’s what makes it shine mostly.

  44. I hardly ever comment online, but I just wanted to say this is an amazing plugin and I can’t believe it’s free! It does really sound analog, thank you so much Variety of Sound!

  45. It totally rocks, giving that warm feeling to the mix. A little downer, though. As dddux already said, those tiny knobs are so small that I barely can see what I’m doing. Any chance of make ’em bigger on next update, if any?

  46. Alexander S. says:

    this is the nicest software comp/saturator ive come across.
    i dont have anything in my uad collection that does anything like this.
    For electronic kick drums and bass sounds, this is the best thing i know of in software.
    The thing that does it for me is the way it handles transient, if you set this plugin first in your kickdrum chain, adjust input gain to the spot where the balance between transient, tail and distortion is nicest, you get the best possible starting point for almost any kick imo.
    Amp is great on bass sounds, phew.

  47. That’s the best Bootsie’s creation so far and my favorite compressor too. There is just no replacement to this.

  48. ksavorigins says:

    The BEST free plug EVER … sounds great , looks sexy 🙂 i am in love hehe .. many thanksssssss!

  49. Sounds soo lovely great post love it!

  50. Any Mac version, hopefully?

  51. stockmusicin says:

    Thank you! Its one of my favourites!

  52. k s a v says:

    i used VBL on all audio demos
    tnx for great plug … i feel sorry for mac users … well , pcs are cheap
    this days , so … ok

  53. I just recently discovered your plugins, and I think they are terrific, regardless of price. Your efforts are very much appreciated. That they are free is amazing. Thank you very much for your hard work and for sharing it with all of us.

    I know this is an old subject, but I am another who hopes you will do 64-bit versions of your plugins. I can use the 32-bit versions in Samplitude, but am unable to do so in Pro Tools 11. I do use DDMF Metaplugin as a VST to AAX wrapper, and so could use it your plugins as VST, but the wrapper requires a 64-bit VST plugin to work properly.

    Again, I am very grateful for your work, and for sharing it with us.

    Dean Richard

  54. My #1 and free plugin. With Kotelnikov is best you can get out of free digital vsts.

  55. Not sure if this one is slated for 64 bit conversion, but I use this on my mix bus 99% of the time. I find it has added harmonics that light up the mix. Even if you don’t convert it, I’ll stick to using it but it is a very unique plug-in when I compare it to other mix bus options.

  56. One of my favorites, I hope this makes your 64 bit update schedule soon!


  1. […] More info: Thrillseeker VBL – free limiter VST effect plugin […]

  2. […] Bringing mojo back – Thrillseeker VBL is an emulation of a “vintage broadcast limiter” following the classic Variable-Mu design principles from the early 1950′s. They were used to prevent audio ove…  […]

  3. […] jetzt nur gute Kritiken bekommen, aber ich denke, ihr kennt VoS schon. Vintage Broadcast Limiter:…dcast-limiter/ Biete Mixing und Mastering! Was die meisten schon immer wissen wollten […]

  4. […] ข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม  Variety of Sound / Thrillseeker VBL […]

  5. […] of Sound gone done it again, this time with the VBL. To give it its full name, the Thrillseeker VBL (standing for Vintage Broadcast Limiter) is an emulation following the classic Variable-Mu design […]

  6. […] information: […]

  7. […] history, I’ve constantly extended and improved my Stateful Saturation approach and within ThrillseekerVBL I’ve managed to introduce authentic analog style sounding distortion right into VST land, […]

  8. […] recent history, I’ve constantly extended and improved my Stateful Saturation approach and within ThrillseekerVBL I’ve managed to introduce authentic analog style sounding distortion right into VST land, which […]

  9. […] 20. Brzoza FM Synthesizer Plugin 19. ULTRAkILLER Hybrid Synthesizer 18. NadIR Freeware Guitar Cabinet 17. DuckEQ Dynamic Equalizer Plugin 16. Tyrell N6 V3 Synthesizer 15. EXD-80 Drum Synthesizer 14. sforzando Freeware Sampler 13. Dream 64 V2 Virtual Synthesizer 12. T-Force Alpha Plus Virtual Synthesizer 11. SX36 Mastering Equalizer 10. Venom VB-303 Synthesizer 9. Lisp Freeware DeEsser 8. Luftikus Equalizer 7. Aalto Solo semi-modular Synthesizer 6. Supercharger Compressor 5. sixtyfive Compressor 4. IVGI Freeware Saturation Plugin 3. FireBird 2 Virtual Synthesizer 2. Feedback Compressor II 1. ThrillseekerVBL Effekt-Plugin […]

  10. […] the vast number of reviews and top10/best-of lists around the net. Most attention this year went to the ThrillseekerVBL release around July 1st and most most concern is about having 64bit versions […]

  11. […] of Sound Thrillseeker VBL (though I haven’t really got to grips with this one yet) […]

  12. […] Download: ThrillseekerVBL (32-bit VST plugin format for Windows) […]

  13. […] ThrillSeekerVBL Emulation of a “vintage broadcast limiter” following the classic Variable-Mu design principles from the early 1950′s. […]

  14. […] Thrillseeker VBL – Only windows 32bit so I haven’t even tried this, but it’s another good free option if you are looking for the vari-mu sound. […]

  15. […] OF LIFE, 2013. Released: Thrillseekervbl – Vintage Broadcast Limiter. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 June […]

  16. […] Of Sound has launched Thrillseeker VBL, a free Vintage Broadcast Limiter effect plug-in for […]

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