The effect of Saturation, or the introduction of harmonic distortion, on an audio track or mix can add that certain special “flavor” and “warmth” that only magnetic tape, tubes, transformers or transistors can deliver.
The T-RackS Saturator X delivers that classic analog saturation and takes you on a trip back in time to the birth of “modern” recording before computers and opens your recordings to the mysterious, elusive and warm world of analog saturation.
As an additional layer of control, Quad Lim features a master brickwall limiter post multi-band processing that can be engaged to avoid overshoots. Being of the brickwall type this limiter makes sure the program cannot go past the 0 dBFS level no matter how the gain of the previous bands is set. By judiciously setting the gain structure of the band-limiters and master brickwall maximum loudness without distortion can be achieved.
This processor is incredibly handy as a finishing mastering tool on the stereo bus of your mix; by applying limiter only on selected parts of the audio spectrum and only when the level of that band overcomes the set threshold a double effect is achieved: frequency conscious dynamic control. This will allow the perfect EQ balance of a mix that wasn’t properly right, particularly in situations where the program material can drastically change over time, like live recordings.
Comprehensive Warmth and Growl
T-RackS Saturator X is a comprehensive tool for adding analog flavor to your recordings. From tape to tube to transformer to transistor, it provides you with options — 10 individual styles of saturation and distortion from the gentle, subtle hint of drive from a slightly overdriven transistor to the full-on wooly nasty in-your-face mayhem of tubes driven to beyond their limit… and everything in between. T-RackS Saturator X delivers.
T-RackS Saturator X is intuitive and extremely easy to use. It works as a plug-in on the individual tracks in your mix or as part of the T-RackS chain.
It works by imparting distortion into the digital processing which by its nature doesn’t typically change or alter the linearity of the frequency response and harmonic pattern of a signal.
The introduction of distortion simulates the way analog circuitry behaves especially when pushed beyond its limit.
The controls on the Saturator X are pretty straightforward: Input Gain, Ouput drive (can be independent or inverse linked controls), Saturation mode select, Brickwall limiter engage and Oversampling select.
The Input Gain and Output level controls can operate as individual controls, allowing you to freely adjust how much saturation effect is applied and how loud the effect appears in the mix. You can also “inverse link” the two and maintain the ratio of input gain to output volume. This lets you set your overall perceived volume, lock it in, then adjust the amount of saturation applied without changing the output level.
10 modes of Analog
Each of the 10 saturation modes accurately delivers the behavior of the analog hardware component and circuitry or medium, selected for its peculiar character.
The palette of available tones varies from the very subtle “color” of the transformers, which offer a super light change in frequency response and only a hint of breakup towards the very top end of the gain range, to more pronounced and downright “nasty” distortion as in tubes or solid states circuit designs.
The modes include:
This mode reproduces the classic character and high frequency compression of an analog tape machine reaching saturation when pushed above normal recording levels.
Similar to Tape 1 in terms of typical uses, this mode reproduces a more “Lo-Fi” analog tape response with more pronounced distortion and high frequency roll-off.
This is a digitally-recreated soft saturation curve that can be very useful when mastering finished tracks to add RMS level and “body” to a somewhat weak-sounding mix.
Master + 12dB
This is similar to Master +6dB but with a more pronounced soft-saturation curve to make the effect even more prominent.
Tube 1 – Push Pull
This mode produces classic tube saturation with odd harmonics added by the symmetrical clipping of the Push/Pull electronics. This creates a punchy distortion that can make everything sound warmer if used lightly or with an aggressive edge when pushed.
Tube 2 – Class A
This mode produces tube saturation with more even harmonics added by the asymmetry of the Class A design. When used gently on stems or a finished mix, it adds a beautiful “halo” to the audio that is processed, definitely making it sound more analog.
Solid State 1 – Push Pull
Same as the Tube mode, but with the more aggressive character of the solid state circuitry. This mode is best used when transients need to be preserved.
Solid State 2 – Class A
Same as the Tube mode but with the more aggressive character of the solid state circuitry. This mode adds the same kind of magic “halo” the Tube Class A provides but with a more defined transient response.
Transformer – Iron
This mode reproduces the very subtle color of iron core transformer harmonic enhancement which features less even harmonics. This mode adds a very gentle and subtle saturation adding an slight amount of distortion.
Transformer – Steel
This mode reproduces steel core transformer behavior. The difference with the iron is that it provides almost equal amount of odd and even harmonic enhancement. This mode adds a very gentle saturation introducing only a slight amount of distortion.
Magic Eye Metering
Saturator X also features a “Magic Eye” VU meter that quickly gives you a visual indication of the amount of saturation being applied to the incoming signal. This style of VU meter replicates the vintage tube indicators and will instantly transport you back in time.