announcing Thrillseeker VBL – Vintage Broadcast Limiter

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 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.

Release date is not yet confirmed but most probably will be in May this year.

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 9

Updates and a brand new release, basically. Since there is a minor issue with the latest TesslaPRO and Rescue versions concerning higher sample rate compatibility, I’m currently into bug-fixing and both will probably make it upfront the summer break. As the next major update you all voted FerricTDS to be the object of desire and I’m already sketching things on the drawing board but developments might not start before Q3.

I’m constantly extending and improving my Stateful Saturation approach and the next incarnation will bring authentic analog style distortion into VST land. It is basically a Variable-Mu based broadcast limiter design from the early days but which is modded to have detailed access to the amplifier distortion – it has warmth and mojo written all over! Patrick also joined in again and will perform his magic user interface artwork. An official announcement will appear very soon, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately, there are no news about 64bit support atm.

Related links:

what next?

ThrillseekerLA 1.0.1 update available

ThrillseekerLA_open

Changelog for Release 1.0.1

  • Stronger 2nd and 3rd harmonics added in the interstage
  • Link algorithm revised and simplified
  • SC lowcut filter revised

The update is available in the downloads section.

 

announcing Rescue MK2 version

In summer 2007 I’ve once started my very first VST plug-in developments and soon afterwards there was an initial release called Rescue – an audio plug-in premiering envelope dependent signal amplification and analog style saturation in a mid/side configuration. This was unheard-of to that time and its success was motivation to me to continue my very own efforts in coming closer to what was still missing in the DSP audio land: All those subtle mojos that we were o-so familiar when working in the analog domain.

While the initial Rescue implementation was a little bit quirky concerning transient handling, I’ve managed to develop a ‘stateful’ approach over the last years which turned out to be way smoother not only in terms of transient response but also in terms of signal saturation. All this comes down now and there is almost nothing to change to the original concept other than the underlying technology which had been emerged and improved.

Rescue MK2 is going to offer transient handling ‘smooth like cake’, stateful saturation and an authentic analog signal path emulation 2.0. Rescue MK2 maintains a super realistic stereo image, increases depth perception and works great as both, mixing tool and summing on the 2-bus. The new Rescue version will be available by end of January as a freeware VST plug-in.

Thrillseeker XTC – behind the scenes

The basic idea to build a VoS style Enhancer/Exciter was already there way earlier but to that time it simply wasn’t doable until my ‘stateful saturation’ approach emerged. Later on and when I asked “how a modern exciter/enhancer should look like“, several concepts were laid out on the drawing board and I knew that with this exciting (sic!) new approach they all would be accomplishable w/o any compromises. Finally, one of them made it into a prototype which led to ThrillseekerXTC.

Old or modern approach?

So, is the audio Enhancer/Exciter just an ancient relict from the days of dull tape recordings or still a valid concept today? In the digital age, technology and production techniques completely changed and of course the production aesthetics did also. Opposed to the old approaches of audio excitation which mostly were focusing on high frequency loss restoration, the demand shifted towards other tasks as well. Presence and definition in the (upper) mid range is the name of the game and getting the low-end right is the key in a modern production. Instrument separation in a busy mix is a tough challenge, also.

What the heck is Mojo?

In some other cases (mostly digital productions) – definition, presence and transparency is all there but at the cost of a rather thin or sterile sounding production. Even worse, the HF department might be exaggerated too much during the processing chain and taming and sweetening is a challenge then. Some of the artifacts that we’ve found in certain analog devices might add tonal qualities described as thick, fat and round by ‘pleasingly degrading’ a sound source. This is what Mojo is all about. Whether that’s some circuit crosstalk, tape flutter or transformer distortion stuff alike. [Read more…]

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 8

I’ve just finished a remix for Soehngenetic which kept me busy for quite some days and hopefully will be released by the end of the year. Now I’m back on track with my developments for the KVR Developer Challenge 2012 and – as of now – everything is on schedule: the overall concept is final, Patrick has already started the UI works and the final tweaking just begins. The (closed) beta already started two and a half month ago and will last until end of October aka deadline. It’s very much unlikely that I will find time to finish Tessla Pro mkII in parallel so expect to see that major update somewhere after that deadline.

announcing Density mkIII – providing depth and dimension, mastering grade

As hinted earlier in a facebook post, the TesslaPRO update will be delayed and probably released after the summer break – it is just not there yet. Instead, a major update for the Density compressor plug-in already made it and it will going to see the light somewhere later this month.

So, lets talk about the Density mkIII update. During the last two years or so I’ve received quite a lot of feedback to the Density mkII release – mostly coming from mastering engineers – on how to improve its dynamic response towards todays mastering needs. Some very early efforts did not made it but with the learnings from the ThrillseekerLA compressor design and the emerging stateful saturation approach everything was possible, all of a sudden. [Read more…]

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 7

Updates, basically. I’m still struggling with a preFIX update due to some technical issues I just can’t get, errrm, fixed (some VST hosts still do not respond to reported delay changes). Well, lets see how many month or years this will gonna take to work around or maybe then those hosts are just obsolete 😉 At least, I’m pretty much sure that we will see two other updates here during Q2: First, there will be a smaller update for the BaxterEQ where small  is indeed the proper wording because it’s mainly about an additional but just smaller GUI version. [Read more…]

the never ending “what comes next ” speculation

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