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All reviews by funky lime

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Reviewed By funky lime [all]
September 24th, 2015
Version reviewed: 7 x64 on Windows

I use this plugin to print subtle mojo to recorded tracks. My microphone selection is severely limited, so I find myself using an SM57/SM58 for most tasks even if they aren't necessarily the best mic for the job. I've found that if I throw an instance of Red EQ on, say, a vocal or acoustic guitar, and dip the mids by about 1db, and boost the highs by about 1db, and adjust the lows to taste based on the source material, I get a sense of brilliance and clarity that wasn't really there (or was just hiding). Boosting the low end with this really gives a sense of character that I haven't been able to get with an algorithmic EQ plugin, and while I'm sure I could get there eventually, I like that I can just throw this plugin on, slightly tweak one or two knobs, and get a nice analog character with very minimal effort. I like very specific tools with only a couple knobs, and this fits the bill.

I don't really use this tool to mix, because of the limitation of frequencies, and because it kind of bogs down my system if I have more than a couple instances running. So I just dial in a really subtle sound that I like, and print that to the track. In that sense, it's kind of like working with hardware, since I'm committing to the sound and moving on with the song. This plugin is more of a "mojo" box than a mixing tool, and while it can be pushed to extremes while still sounding great, that's not really how I choose to use it. That said, try cranking up that high end; it's really quite smooth.

I also make sure to delete the instance from my plugin chain when done, rather than just bypassing it, because each instance seems to add about 5 seconds to my project load time if I don't. Also, I've found that (in REAPER anyway) copying one instance to another track takes several seconds longer than just adding a new instance. Don't know if this is a REAPER thing or an Acqua thing, but the first time it happened, i got really nervous because my DAW became completel unresponsive for about 10 seconds.

8/10 because of latency, load time, and limited usefulness, but I love what this does to my vocals and acoustic guitars.

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Reviewed By funky lime [all]
September 24th, 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

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.

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