UI: 9/10 It looks really old skool analog, and is clean and easy to use. The most used parameters are on the front panel, making adjustments quick and easy. I gave UI a 9/10 because sometimes the "analog number counters" aren't as clear as they could be.
Sound: 10/10 Without a doubt this is where VintageWarmer shines. It sounds fantastic! I use it as a track insert all the time on drums, synths, vocals, whatever... it really does give that professional sheen to your sounds! Soft synths sounding a little weak and "virtual"? Run it through this mutha, and laugh with glee. It's also great for guitars etc with the multi band compressor presets (so you can compress bass and midrange separately). Also fantastic as a mastering tool to make tracks loud, big and professional
Features: 10/10 It's a compressor/limiter with vintage warming character (as it says on the tin). The amounnt of control available om the front panel (and hidden back panel) allows VW to be set up just how you like
Documentation: 8/10 The manual is fairly clear and well laid out, though it wasn't until I actually sat down and used VW for myself that I found things crystal clear
Presets: 10/10 The presets cover a great range, covering everything from Kicks and Snares, to bass, mastering, multi band compression, "mix fixes", etc etc. Open up a preset, tweak it for your needs, easy
Customer support: 9/10 They offer email support, a helpful FAQ, and they have their own support forum. But to be honest, I've never had to ask for support. So I gave it a 9, because I wouldn't know exactly how good the email support is, but they do have plenty of support features at hand
Value for money: 10/10 For what is does (make your recordings/tracks sound utterly professional) the price is incredible. Everyone should own VintageWarmer. The effect it can have on your productions is priceless. The amount of times I've had weak/amateur sounding drums and synths, and I've put it through VW and it sounds very pro, is countless
Stability: 10/10 Never crashed on me yet, isn't a CPU hog as far as I've noticed (in fact, it seems to be very efficient for what it does)
Basically, anyone producing any type of music will benefit from VW :)
This thing really works and is definitely a secret weapon for many bedroom composers and professionals alike. You can overuse it, making everything sound too similar but with the correct amount of tweaking, the Vintage Warmer will take your mixes to that place where everything sounds warm and full. Just like tape. I mean exactly. I A/B'd the Vintage Warmer against some things I had heard done in pro tools and some old CDs that I will never stop listening to and I can honestly say that this plug in truly gives a mix that pro-sounding sheen that is so hard to come by. In applications such as FL Studio, it is best not to start off with the VW in the master channel and work around it. Get your mix exactly how you want it and then add this plug in. You'd be surprised at how much better it can make things sound. Remember to use with discretion though. The presets are mainly just reference points for the user to tweak into more personal or esoteric settings. They do however, have their uses.
Have you ever wondered about those magic boxes we hear so much about by pro-engineers? The LA-2A's, 1176's, and Fairchild's? Did you ever wonder what about these particular unit's "characters" made them so particularly great, and why hardly anything in the software realm can seem to add a similar kind of voodoo to a track or mix? Well, Vintage Warmer can. This is a dynamics processor, but it's not quite a compressor or even multi-band compressor, nor is it quite a stock limiter. It's more like a multi-band limiter connected to a tape like saturation device that can even perform some EQ like functions, but can make absolutely anything sound magical. Vintage Warmer is most often pidgeonholed as a mastering tool, and to look at it simply as such is really a shame. Run VW through an acoustic rock drum set and watch how it's magic can give you an instant John Bohnam sound. Listen to how vocals suddenly get pushed up to the front of the mix, or how acoustic guitars suddenly sound so much more present and smooth. This plug-in can make just about anything cut through a mix, the only downside to using it during mixing is its rather large CPU load though. As far as Vintage Warmer's skills as a mastering device; most times Vintage Warmer can suffice as all you need in a mastering chain. It's really that good and that versatile. This plug-in can be driven extremely hard as well with very pleasing saturation sounds allowing you to get loud mixes when you need them without some of the harsh artifacts of other limiters. Vintage Warmer really is one of the few plug-ins that you absolutely must own. I can honestly not think of one other native dynamics processor that I can say comes anywhere near doing what VW can.
Did you ever ask yourself how this "produced" songs sound so loud and open, while all your attempts just make the song pumping and muddy ? Well your dreams may have gotten themselves an answer with this compression / limiting / saturation VST plugin. PSP's VintageWarmer isn't the usual bread & butter tool and it's necessary to learn how the controls affect the sound, but the very useful presets give you a good starting point, though a few presets introduce slightly too much saturation for my taste.
I tried a lot of mastering tools including, db-audioware's quantum-fx, logic's internal ad-limiter and mulitpressor but I didn't actually know how great a computer recording could sound, until I tried this beast. So even if you think your sound is good - try the demo of the PSP VintageWarmer and be sure to be surprised. Actually it sounds so good, I had to remix all my songs, using it. But it's not just useful for mastering purposes, you can apply (and I think you should) it to every single track, for it has multi band and single band compressions and does a wonderful job as 'sort-of-equalizer' and 'all-in-one-tool'.
The supplied PDF manual gives a good overview on how to use it, which includes an installation guide, explanation for every knob and switch, operation guidelines, signal-flow block diagrams and a very helpful faq (frequently asked questions) section. And once you know how the knobs function you'll be able to tweak your mixes in a way you never thought was possible.
You should also try out the other PSP effects... their all pretty damn good.(this review originally appeared on www.maulbeerbaum.de)
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