Audified is an experienced Czech audio software development company producing an interesting plug-ins and stand-alone products line, focused on effects, amp and recording solutions, at times inspired and modelled after real hardware units.
After reading this overview I invite you to a visit their website where you will find a bunch of really neat and good quality freebies including:
GK Amplification 2 LE, a very nice bass amp and speaker simulator based on the well known Gallen - Krueger hardware, ampLion Free, another for guitars, inTone 2 Solo, a live fx multieffects processor, MultiCabinet, a simulation of several cabinets and microphones to match accordingly to your needs, and many other stuff usch as free phasers and overdrive pedals.
These all fully working streamed down free versions of the ful commercial related versions, which are very good (try them your own) and allows you to get a glimpse of the Audified plugins quality and philosophy.
Being involved in following also some hardware development and teaming up at times with some Czech academies and universities they got really serious and effective during years.They've been one of the first company to release dsp based plugins for e.g. TC Electronic’s hardware.
If you have a couple of minutes more read about their history. We all dig and use tons of vst, au and such daily, without really knowing who's behind them and how they work, so spending just a minute on reading a developer's background and history (whenever you have the time and will) is always a nice way to get a more vivid feel about this "digital stuff", made by humans and for humans.
There's always more than digits only behind music software, there's passion, experimenting, studying, development, skills, creativity, days, months and years of energy and commitments spent on it.
In this quick article we're having an overview of one of their latest and affordable modeled audio plugins (available both for Mac and Windows) the inValve Effects.
It's composed of three different effects modeling some valve outboard gears.
About the interfaces
Each gui is pleasant to the eye, though one may observe that their size could be a bit excessive on the preamp and the compressor, considering the minimal amount of needed controls, well...specially on the preamp, were actually there is only one knob you're going to use. Would be a nice option to have a resizable version or be able to chose among a big and a medium/little gui too.
Nevertheless is understandable the need of keeping a similar view on each effect to visually replicate real outboards, in fact they're nice to look at.
Specially when you have all 3 of them opened it gives really the impression of tweaking on a real stack of hardware.
Eyecandy and pretty realistic are the power switch with the green led light reflected when on, the screws at the 4 corners and the valve hidden behind the grid getting visibly warm when processing the incoming audio signal, kinda looking at a real bunch of valves working. The knobs too have a nice visual feedback, you'd really like to touch them. The color choice for each interface is good as doesn't tire the eyes even after hours of use.
Parameters and how they sound
The specific purpose of each one is to color sounds adding a warm saturation tone given by the valve through its related knob.
The effect can go from very subtle to quite drastic depending on the chosen amount.
Let say while working on a project you have a drum track and you use some light warm compression on it, then you have very cold and static digital synth part, and you warm it up with some touch of valve, like adding some spices.
Even though could be not so much noticeable on the single track, when summing up all of those in the master you'll feel the whole song starts to breath and is less "static".
That said obviously only if and when you want to achive this on a production).
Each plugin brings clearly visible the save and load presets option right at the bottom of the gui and a clip led on the left next to the on-off switch, pointing you if the audio treated gets too loud and clips.
The inValve preamp as said gives you mostly one knob to use, the valve saturation amount.
The inValve Equaliser again brings a nice valve saturation color, well..that's the goal of these 3 plugins you know ;-).
Being a 4 bands parametric it gives you the possibility to work on Low, Middle-low, Middle-high and High frequencies.
On each them you're centering the specic frequency you're going to work with,
how much you'll increase or decrease it, and its nearly affected frequency range, widening the shelf or narrowing it down thanks to the Q knob.
The first LOW SECTION and the last HIGH SECTION can either be set to work as Peak or Shelving.
Happy choice the presence of two independent high pass HF and a low pass LF filters, besides the 4 parametric equalisers.
Again you have many presets as a starting point to use as well as make your own tweaks.
The compressor has its typical parameters: threshold, ratio, attack, release and make up gain.
A quick explanation about compression for those not so keen on it:
the threshold sets at which point of the sound pressure intensity you want the compressor to start working, pushing down the level of those volume peaks, as much as you'll set with the ratio knob, from 1 on 1, to 1 on 50 times, from very lightly to heavily.
The attack sets in milliseconds when the compression will start to work and the release when it will stop (at times there's a "look ahead" parameter too, in some compressors, but not here).
When you squash a lot the overall track because you want to narrow its dynamics, the resulted sounds will get very low if compared to the pre-compressed one, that's were the make up gain come handy, pulling up back the general volume after being compressed.
Try it out starting to load some of the presets, you will instantly hear how it works and its effectivness.
I kinda like how it works specially on drums or some clean guitars, both acoustic and electric, and on vocals too.
Meant to be used in a single chain I guess, I tried all together (although quickly for lack of time during these past days) on a drum part and on some guitars I was having on an opened project. I must admitt are really working well.
Starting from material dynamically a bit weak or dull, after warming it up, equalising it properly and with the right amount of compression, I eneded up bringing back life and the right breathe to the overall song mood.
The eq filters are well sounding and the compression behave as expected, while on each of them the valve tone deliver a nice outcome.
On my personal opinion the limited investiment on the inValve Effects will pay you back in a satisfactory way.
On their website you can find youtube clips showing you a bit of how they work, though being valve emulations I feel it's not 100% the proper way to listen to how they work, going through compressed youtube audio quality in some case is not the best solution.
So I encourage you to get the demo and experiment on your own as well as again while you're there get all the awesome freebie. (Pretty handy about performing live the inTone 2 Solo).
Audified is a reliable team and committed to follow and make their customers happy, so go ahead peacefully.
Thanks for reading and as always go have some fun making music.
Diego - DCSI