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Britson is inspired by the classic British 8014 console.
One of the most difficult tasks, in my humble opinion, is to recreate the saturation characteristic of analog equipment.
Copying the harmonic content of a particular piece of equipment is not enough to generate a nice, convincing, analog-like saturation. Many other factors have a far more influential impact on the final sound.
We at Sonimus believe that the key is to analyze - analyze a thousand times - the behavior of the equipment to be modeled (for harmonic content at different levels; transfer function and dc offset, depending on amplitude and frequency; dynamic content; etc.). Finally, much listening is required -- which is definitely the most important factor.
Britson, besides being a subtle saturator, can be very aggressive if volume is increased from the input. Just like with a real unit, THD (total harmonic distortion) is low at normal levels, but can easily reach the clipping point without loss of dynamics at normal levels. Britson's sound can be very aggressive without the need for a specific switch dedicated to that purpose.
We truly believe we have accomplished our goal of creating a product that will not only improve the sound of your mixes, but will also optimize and expedite your workflow, thanks to the "suitable" volume-leveling of your tracks possible through Britson.
For this purpose, Britson features a carefully modeled VU Meter which behaves like a real VU Meter (It is fairly well known that VU Metering is much more useful than Peak Metering for the mixing process, since VU Meters behave in a fashion more similar to human hearing).
This plugin has become my most valuable tool during the mixing process. When I'm ready to mix, I use Britson Channel as my first insert on nearly every track (except for drums, where I find myself reaching for the seemingly-punchier SatsonCM instead), as a gain staging tool. For me, this plugin isn't just about the console sound; having a good VU meter, plus a set of very musical HP/LP filters, makes this one kind of a no-brainer for me. Gently rolling off the extremes of the frequency spectrum, in addition to dead-simple gain staging, really gets a track ready for a serious, productive mixing session. And after I've gone through setting all the Britson Channels up, I can just forget about them and get on with the mix. This is made even better by the fact that each instance uses hardly any CPU at all! I can load up a 40-track mix with the channel plug on every track (on my Intel i3 2.3GHz laptop) and still only be pushing 10-15% of my processor capacity.
Britson, when applied across a whole mix like this, really seems to make the mixing process more intuitive. It almost "suggests" certain things about the mix that weren't apparent before; I find it hard to explain, and it's definitely very subjective (and subtle). I've noticed that with the whole crosstalk/mojo/depth stuff going on, I am less inclined to instinctively slap an EQ/comp on everything; just setting up a mix with Britson gives me a baseline sound that I find rather pleasurable. However, there is some kind of high-end harshness (which is source-dependent) that really kind of sticks out when used on stuff like cymbals (which is partly why I use SatsonCM for those channels instead). There also seems to be some kind of "smearing" in the upper-mid range, which may or may not fit your style of music. It's not a bad thing, necessarily; it's just a thing that is. But again, it's subtle, and of course you don't have to put Britson on every single track in your project if you don't like it.
I use the Buss plugin for most of my busses, and even throw an instance on the master channel, making sure to set the crosstalk mode to Modern since it seems to pull the bass frequencies more toward the center. The buss plugin is subtle, but seems to impart this sense of depth and space that makes me want to explore the stereo field more than I usually do otherwise.
You can use a single instance of the channel plug as a saturation effect by using the output compensation switch, but I haven't really explored that too much since I already have a tool I like (SDRR) for the more obvious,"effect" saturation. I also haven't worked the Grouping feature into my workflow, since I've found that setting each channel plugin is pretty much "fire-and-forget."
I've never used a Neve console (or any large-format console for that matter) so I can't say how this compares to the hardware by which it was inspired. But I can say with certainty that I love what this product does for my mixes. I will go so far as to say that Britson has made the mixing process fun again, rather than a chore.
Extra points for the gorgeous, incredibly-easy GUI, and also the absolutely painless (lack of) copy protection.
The purchase was painless and I had the plugin installed just minutes after the transaction. And what a great price for such an indispensable tool! The e-mail with my login DID go to my spam folder in Gmail, however, so just be aware of that possibility. I am looking forward to acquiring more Sonimus products when my budget allows it.
(For context, I am primarily an instrumentalist and a songwriter, who is just now seriously getting into the engineering/mixing side of things).
Windows7 x64, REAPER 5 x64. Stability is rock-solid thus far.Read Review