In music, mixing and production there exists 4 methods of eliminating unwanted peaks of a signal and improving the overall loudness of channels or the whole mix. They are : compression, hard clipping, soft clipping or saturation.
While compression is used most frequently it is not often the best solution to eliminate unwanted peaks and higher overall loudness because compressed signals often lose their dynamics, transients, clarity and transparency - compressed signals often sound pumped, squashed, and unnatural.
Because of this reason, more and more renowned mix engineers are often found using soft clipping and saturation of high signals driven through analog tape or vacuum tubes that enrich the sound and offer a more natural reduction of unwanted peaks and raise the overall level of loudness. Often it is best to combine saturation/soft clipping together with compression and limiting and use 3 different tools together to create more natural sounding elimination of peaks and increasing loudness.
Hard (digital) clipping = all peaks over a certain level are simply cut which can create a harsh distorted sound.
Saturation / soft (analog) clipping = all peaks over a certain level are rounded, not cut, that creates a pleasant and more natural sounding removal of the highest peaks and improve overall loudness, often more natural sounding solution than compressing the signal.
While other solutions offer you concrete emulations of some vintage machines with all unwanted artifacts, new FAT+ offers you a modern and clean style of analog saturation / soft clipping and full control over the style of saturation. You can create and set your own style of saturation from a clean sounding tube saturation from an analog mix console saturation to clean sounding saturation of modern analog tape.
For the most precise and clean sound without digital distortion or artifacts FAT+ offers 4x internal oversampling.
- Input amp - offers attenuation or 2.5x amplification of the input signal. A higher / louder input signal equals more saturation and soft clipping of the peaks in the signal. With this fader you can set amount of soft clipping / saturation.
- Analog warmth - this knob offers you a round and warm sounding analog saturation (rounding of peaks of signal).
- FAT - this knob offers you 1st harmonics that are very difficult to emulate with digital techniques / algorithms and only few plug-ins offer this feature. 1st harmonics represent fat and massive sounds from vacuum tubes and many engineers call this 1st harmonics secret the sound behind vacuum tubes.
- Saturation drive - this knob offers you more hard analog soft clipping / saturation with a harder sound.
- Analog hiss - Renowned mix and mastering engineer Mr. Bob Katz says: Analog hiss has a magic possibility to remove / eliminate distortion. If you are saturating sound too much, little distortion can occur. We designed this knob to reproduce / re-create an invisible thin treble noise of analog tape. You can set minimal or zero noise to a very intensive noise in order to eliminate/mask possible distortion.
- Bass cut - If you separate signal into bass, mid and treble, the bass spectrum often represents more than 30-50% of the dynamic range / loudness of the signal or simply the available dynamic range which is always limited in digital world. This is often a problem because bass and sub-bass consumes more than 30-50% of the available space for loudness. Often deepest sub-bass on individual channels is not necessary (like guitar, piano, vocals, etc). By this knob you can simply cut unwanted sub-bass or bass on individual channels to offer more space for loudness of the remaining frequency spectrum. Simply put, if you cut some sub-bass you can make your sound louder without distortion.
- Output amp - by this knob you can set the level of output volume.