Audified have released their U78 Saturator, which is a saturation effects plug-in utilising their models of the analogue circuitry central to the U73b plugin but supplementing the tube saturation circuitry with high-pass and lowpass filters and a unique tone filter to enhance the saturation effect.
Audified recently rebooted their U73b Compressor as a new and improved emulation of the unique-sounding Sixties vintage German broadcast compressor/limiter hardware. Boris Carloff, a Czech Republic producer who just so happens to ‘moonlight’ as a product designer for Audified told us...
I was always crazy about the sound of the U73b. Like this unit — great saturation, but there are situations when I need more saturation and distortion. This is why I came up with the idea of the U78.
Implementing that idea involved removing the U73b Compressor’s compression function and adding filters. The high-pass filter, which has a cut-off frequency range of 30 to 800Hz and the the low- pass filter both come before the saturation circuit in the signal path. Alongside the filters is a Tone control with lower settings producing 'darker' sounds with more low frequency content while higher settings result in brighter, 'sparkly' sounds. Finally, a gain control adjusts the input gain of the saturation circuit — the higher the settings, the more saturation you get. all to Boris Carloff’s satisfaction.
A number of the other features are shared with the U73b. For example, the power and calibration module is identical with an On/Off switch (to toggle between processing and bypassed states) and a -9dB default Calib. (calibration) setting. The software model is designed to work with the signal levels found in the original hardware circuitry (related to the dBu scale), but the DSP in DAWs works with dBFS (Decibels relative to full scale) so users can choose to set the calibration to work within the correct operational range of U78 Saturator’s saturation effect.
The Mix controls sets the dry and wet signal ratio with the dry signal only delayed to match the wet signal path latency to prevent phasing issues, while Output adjusts the output gain of the whole effect and can be adjusted automatically when Auto is switched to On, thereby retaining approximately the same loudness whenever the input Gain parameter is changed.
Continuing onwards and (literally) upwards, just like the U73b Compressor reboot before it, U78 Saturator’s GUI includes a display area. All parameters can be set numerically while Preset management is located on the right-hand side of the display alongside the LOAD and STORE functions and a Services menu to access the User Manual, Check For Updates, go to the Audified Website, etc.
The Audified U78 Saturator is available to purchase as an iLok-protected plug-in — running as an AAX, VST3, and VST2 plug-in on Mac (OS X 10.9 - 10.12) and PC (Windows 7, 8, and 10) and AU on Mac
There is an introductory price of $129.00 which will rise to $149.00 on January 1, 2017 — from Audified’s online shop.