The Slate Digital Virtual Tube Collection (VTC) is a set of three plugins for Virtual Mix Rack that recreate the sound of classic vintage tube circuits. Each module can act as a preamp, a saturator, and even a virtual tube summing console. Using VTC, you can add color, warmth, depth, and vibe to your mixes and masters. VMS users can also use VTC preamps with the microphone models for rich and vibey tone on their tracks.
The Virtual Tube Collection costs $179 on its own. You can also get it along with every other Slate Digital plug-in, present and future, as part of the Slate All Access Pass, which costs $14.99/month with a one-year commitment or $180/year paid upfront.
VTC London is inspired by some vintage tube circuits originating from Europe. The sound is big, warm and bold in the lows and low mids, and slightly smooth in the top end. The transient response has a slight thickness to it without being overly aggressive. London sounds amazing for fattening up tracks in preamp mode, or thickening things up with it’s preamp saturation, and can add fat analog body in Console mode on the whole mix.
VTC New York is inspired by some vintage tube circuits with a hint of inspiration from some New York solid state discrete circuits to give it some tightness and impact. New York is aggressive in the mids, and tighter in the lows due its unique dynamic harmonic saturation. It can add incredible focus and punch to tracks in preamp mode, especially in boost mode. It’s also an all-around winner for many genres in console mode when used on the master fader. You really dial in the saturation with New York and then find the perfect blend with the mix knob.
VTC Hollywood is perhaps the most colorful of the three modules, and it’s got some beautiful air, depth, excitement, and some really big bottom! Use it on boost mode and make your tracks come alive. It’s fantastic when paired with some of the vintage VMS mics to add some extra top-end flavor and warm lows. In console mode, it can simply transform a lifeless mix into something larger than life.
Each of the three VTC plug-ins has the following similar features:
• Output VU Meter - Monitors the output signal level, i.e. after the Mix. The meter is calibrated to display 0 VU when being fed by a 1 kHz sine wave with a peak level of -18 dBFS.
• Clipping Bulb - Helps to visualize how much the signal is being clipped.
• Mode (Preamp/Console) - This chooses which algorithm is selected in each VTC module. Preamp models a tube preamp circuit, and therefore the saturation will emulate cranking the input amplifier while attenuating an output trim. In Console mode, the module emulates a tube summing circuit including unique crosstalk and saturation properties.
• Color (Normal/Boost) - On Normal mode, the Module recreates realistic properties of the studied tube circuits. Boost amplifies these nonlinearities to add even more expression, color, and vibe.
• Saturation - In Preamp Mode this will emulate the tone of preamp saturation. For most audio sources, this will be more subtle up to 12 o’clock, and then start to get more severe, likely ending up in rich tube distortion. In Console Mode, the saturation replicates mix buss overdrive (such as when you push faders hot into the master section of the console), so it is more forgiving and can add a thick, glued, colorful tone when pushed.
• High-Pass Filter - When used as a preamp to enhance the tone of clean preamps, the 6 dB/oct hi-pass can clean up low rumble if needed.
• Output Gain - Controls the output level of the processor.
• Mix - This controls the balance between the dry unprocessed signal and the wet processed signal. This parameter is great when using preamp mode to add some thick distortion (like to a snare drum or vocal), and then blending the distortion back.