I make My own plugins and use to think of making a guitar amp sim. I make good products but I doubt I could beat the Grindmachine 2. Its cab is a bit heavy, but with everything just right; it adds a level of realism to guitar samples or sampled sampler MIDI information unlike anything else.
I've heard some negative talk about this plugin, but it seems all jibes with little substance after My own experience.
Use this plugin all the time! It provides some awesome saturation models to choose from; it can add some smooth warmth, or completely mangle your sounds depending on the settings. It was such a great deal, and is a great alternative to Soundtoys decapitator if you dont wanna pay the big price tag sound toys asks for that plugin.
I dig the 60Hz boost with this plugin, another low-end secret weapon. I snagged this when it was on sale for a ridiculously low price. It has saved a couple kick drums already. It ain't my go-to EQ for most applications, but I'm glad to have it around when other solutions aren't sealing the deal.
I can't recall any other plugin that does what this one does: Multiband transient design. Period. Maybe there is, but is it good as this one? Does it also have mutiband clipping? What's the price point?
Can't afford Fab Filter's Saturn? No problem, get XCTR. It may not be as versatile, nor have the same saturation models, but as for multiband saturation it gets you fast where you want to go with your mix.
Put it on your mixbus or instrument busses to enhance the sum. Use it as an exciter in the master bus. Use it to shape a complex vocal.
Only gripe is it crashes your DAW whenever you press the presets button. But who needs presets with a plugin such as this?
What? Another EQ plugin? Really? No. When I first demoed this, I didn't see anything special with it. But then... I noticed the Scale (from parallel to double effect of the EQ), the filter shape selector (clean or resonant), and the introduced harmonics with tweaking the five EQ bands. It's a great sounding, uniquely designed tool for shaping an instrument or an entire mix.
First off, there are a couple of Audio Assault plugins missing from here.
One of them is Dirt Machine, which is essentially a suite of overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals (amazing value, from a classic boost to an OCD, with the likes of Big Muff, Texan Pride, Soul Food, and even an not-so-shabby acoustic sim).
The other is Emperor, which along Dominator and this here Bulldozer make for Audio Assault's collection of guitar rigs.
Guitar rigs because you actually get it all inside a plugin (except a noise gate/denoiser and rack effects). From 10 bread and butter stompboxes that you can place in front of the amp or in the fx loop, a 2-channel high gain amp, and a cab section with the staple cab choices (American, British, Japanese and German), four different microphones and a user interface to position them and distance them, or the choice to load your own inputs, these three amp rigs bring very different and useful tones to the table.
While the Emperor focuses more on punchy high-mids, Dominator is more of a mid-gain amp, and this Bulldozer goes for the low-mid presence (suposedly a recreation of a certain Diezel amp). And here is where it truly shines, maybe because of the type of frequency response this amp head is amazingly versatile in tone.
I don't do metal whatsoever, I strive for getting delicate textures and tone into the productions I'm involved in, moving towards a more post-rockish, shoegazey, slowcore kind of sound. I can get specific and unique tones out of this plugin, without having to immediately reach for an eq to slice high-mid frequencies and to low-pass above 10k, and this is saying quite a bit.
I'd say in my context, Emperor would be more for scorching leads, Dominator for discerning shredding and Bulldozer for more discrete cleaner presence, although it can do almost anything the other two do.
But hey, get them all, you won't go wrong.
I have only one gripe with these amps: tweaking the reverb stomp has crashed my DAW a few times. Would be great to include a VST loader in the stomp section for loading other plugins (such as Dirt Machine). Other than that, they're great.