What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
dangayle
KVRian
1056 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:30 am

I've tried other saturators, but they all tend to get fizzy when you push them. What other saturation/overdrive/distortion boxes can get close to what Black Box HG-2 does?

escalona
KVRian
574 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:05 am

It really depends on what you want to use the saturation for.
You can try with something like waves NLS, or Slate VCC, or Sonimus Britson or Satson on each one of your tracks and sum them up on your buses or mix bus.
You can also try other similar tools to HG2, such as Audified U78 (my personal favorite for quick and easy application), True Iron by Kazrog, the Omega transformers by Kush are absolutely amazing... any of those will do the same (or actually better than) HG2. Even in the PA catalog you can probably buy the VSM-3 for next to nothing in the Market here. I find it clunky and mostly unpleasant, but it may tickle you.
If you´re looking to compress / saturate, there are a number of compressors that will do this, my favorite one is AR-1 by Kush, but there are many.
If you want to saturate / clip my recommendation is SIR StandardClip. I can´t recommend this tool enough. https://www.siraudiotools.com/StandardCLIP.php
If you already have a tool that you like but you feel it gets too fizzy, try working in a multiband environment, applying saturation only on that range you want, or you can use a dynamic eq such as TDR Nova to tame the harshness, fizziness, or also you can send the track you want to saturate to an aux and filter the signal, saturate it and mix in as needed.

sinkmusic
KVRAF
6298 posts since 28 Apr, 2004 from france

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:12 am

You may try BlueCat Destructor : it can do subtle, it can do heavy, and it features plenty parameters to shape your sound.
Image

User avatar
dangayle
KVRian
1056 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:42 am

escalona wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:05 am
It really depends on what you want to use the saturation for.
You can try with something like waves NLS, or Slate VCC, or Sonimus Britson or Satson on each one of your tracks and sum them up on your buses or mix bus.
You can also try other similar tools to HG2, such as Audified U78 (my personal favorite for quick and easy application), True Iron by Kazrog, the Omega transformers by Kush are absolutely amazing... any of those will do the same (or actually better than) HG2. Even in the PA catalog you can probably buy the VSM-3 for next to nothing in the Market here. I find it clunky and mostly unpleasant, but it may tickle you.
If you´re looking to compress / saturate, there are a number of compressors that will do this, my favorite one is AR-1 by Kush, but there are many.
If you want to saturate / clip my recommendation is SIR StandardClip. I can´t recommend this tool enough. https://www.siraudiotools.com/StandardCLIP.php
If you already have a tool that you like but you feel it gets too fizzy, try working in a multiband environment, applying saturation only on that range you want, or you can use a dynamic eq such as TDR Nova to tame the harshness, fizziness, or also you can send the track you want to saturate to an aux and filter the signal, saturate it and mix in as needed.
Thank you for that very detailed answer.

I use it in two ways: I add it to individual busses, mostly synths, to add some bite. I also use it first on my master as sort of a compressor/EQ, again adding some grit to the high end and also taming some of the spikes.

Cooker
KVRian
797 posts since 29 Jul, 2008

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:18 am


escalona
KVRian
574 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:32 am

dangayle wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:42 am
escalona wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:05 am
Thank you for that very detailed answer.

I use it in two ways: I add it to individual busses, mostly synths, to add some bite. I also use it first on my master as sort of a compressor/EQ, again adding some grit to the high end and also taming some of the spikes.
If you want to tame spikes, the SIR StandardClip is pure magic, and it's very affordable. For the synths, I really enjoy SynthWarmer by Kazrog, but I also use Audified U78 or also tape emulations, depending on the case (how much or how little bite, or mangling I want to add). FabFilter Saturn is also amazing for anything related to saturation and distortion and I believe we may see a new version at some point soon.
For mastering purposes I usually tread with a lot of care. I only use very subtle saturation tools like what you get from high end or rare compressors (El Rey, Nebula-Tim P's RA6...). But the SIR StandardClip is a very good one for mastering (it has a very functional oversampling feature). I call it the working-class "Inflator".
The previous recommendation from Voxengo is also a great sounding one. In fact all saturation tools from voxengo are highly recommendable https://www.voxengo.com/group/saturator ... -download/
...and we should not forget Klanghelm SDDR https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/SDRR/SDRR.php

Symphony Sid
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2019

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:23 pm

Based on all the raves I read about HG-2 I was looking forward to trying it when I subbed. I wasn't as impressed as everyone else and now prefer Softube Harmonics.

User avatar
satYatunes
KVRAF
2011 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Earth

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:32 pm

If you haven't tried PSP VintageWarmer, then please do. It doesn't sound good when pushed hard but does perform well when kept under certain threshold.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
Premium / free skins and soundsets
Melda plugins, Hive, DUNE 2, DUNE 3, Patchwork and many more...

escalona
KVRian
574 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:51 pm

satYatunes wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:32 pm
If you haven't tried PSP VintageWarmer, then please do. It doesn't sound good when pushed hard but does perform well when kept under certain threshold.
I totally agree with this. Vintage Warmer is magic.

escalona
KVRian
574 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:52 pm

Symphony Sid wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:23 pm
Based on all the raves I read about HG-2 I was looking forward to trying it when I subbed. I wasn't as impressed as everyone else and now prefer Softube Harmonics.
+1
I just bought Harmonics the other day (when it went down to $49) but honestly haven't tried it yet. I completely trust Softube though. I'm sure it will end up being one of my go-tos.

lwj
KVRist
318 posts since 3 Feb, 2018

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:39 am

True Iron definitely. Not the same sound but up there in quality. Harmonics from Softube can do a similar sound but it’s grittier than HG2.

Otherwise you might want to look at pre amp emulations. I got the ones from arturia and they work a treat in fattening up sounds before processing them further.

Out of PAs catalogue I’d say Elysia Phil’s Cascade is probably more similar to HG2 than VSM, but I like them both.

User avatar
sqigls
KVRAF
4029 posts since 25 Dec, 2004 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: What is the closest thing to Black Box HG-2?

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:41 am

+ 1 for True Iron

and Fire Cobra, it's amazing, but CPU ballbreaking, a bit

Return to “Effects”