Audiogridder is the best addition to a DAW which you never knew you would need. But if you got it, you ask yourself why this isn't available in DAWs natively yet.
I'm using it with Ableton Live and it made my Computer so much more powerful.
Review is based on 1.2b6, although also 1.1 has most features, but is not as good to use on a local computer.
- sandboxing plugins (if plugin crashes, DAW does not crash).
- offloading work to other CPU cores (if you have a 4+ multi core processor), and this really works. I can load more plugins than ever before, especially on the master bus.
- offloading work to other computers.
- plugin chains within a single instance.
- open source.
- it's free.
- introduced latency is still quite high (it's by design because of the roundtrip time/renderning overhead), but I maybe this could be imrproved in future versions maybe a bit.
- no commercial product available (that means you have to hope the developer has an interest in supporting the product for a longer time and keep it compatible with previous versions).
- uses free JUCE framework with added overlays when loading (minor negative point).
All in all the pros outweigh the contras, but still it is unclear how long it will be supported. I encourage people to donate to the developer, even small amounts, to keep him working. Since this is the best thing that happened to multi-core CPUs/heavy DAW processing since a lot of years.
positive - Main knob adjustment is fine, allows good control of output - saturation sounds good - fat saturation possible, gives good lowend on programmed drums - some presets are good, eg Kick Punch nicely cleared my self programmed kick and made it rounder - tuning the default preset gave a bass sound more definition in a subtle manner, without destroying the mix - works in conjunction with other saturators (eg. VSM-4, to clean up muddiness in one of my cases).
negative - need to give full adress when requesting trial key - UI looks amateurish/unfinished -- clipped graphics, not smoothed edges of cutout graphics -- knobs not sharp, look blurred -- UI elements placement looks a bit off -- too many elements of different shape in the UI -- on mouse over tooltip stay visible when leaving element (and look off compared to each other) -- DI switch settings are not clear, at strange positions, needs markers. Also mouse needs to travel a long way to switch DI states - needs an output meter to quicker be able to set the output trim setting - price is very high (215€, even discounted by 20% it is high), other plugins can do similar things (at least in my ears), which are priced 50% or less of that price.
compared against other saturators I use (in about the same price class) the workflow is not immediately clear. compared against VSM-4, Kelvin, Overstay M-A-S. P42's results are not as immediate and clear. Maybe need to test it more, but on the other plugins it was more intuitive to use.
I'm beta tester for some well known companies and this would be the feedback I give them about the product. It's not in any way towards or against the dev, I try to stay neutral, and this is usually honored by the companies I test for.