When we released the 2d card and MIO Console v.5 for our interfaces, we introduced a new feature called Character. To create Character we asked our beta testers to send us their favorite analog processing devices; the mic pres, DIs and EQs that they used for recording, mixing and mastering. We then used SpectraFoo TM to measure the ways that these processors changed the sound run through them, in particular the way the analog circuits add distortion. Finally, we modeled this distortion using our +DSP technology.
Character provides over 20 different models, incorporating the sound of tubes, transformers and solid state devices. Character for Pro Tools also adds a Drive control to allow you to push the distortion even harder for over-the-top sound mangling.
Character allows you to completely adjust the effective analog signal path with just 3 simple controls.
Character Model: Allows you to select from the available circuit models:
- Transformer: Jensen transformer-coupled input.
- Valve: A tube-based EQ input stage.
- FET: Model of a solid state (transistor) front end.
- Soft Sat: Tube-based EQ with saturation.
- Boutique Tube: Hand-made tube mic pre.
- American Transformer 1: A variation of the “Transformer” model.
- American Transformer 2: Second variation of the “Transformer” model.
- California Tube Mic: American designed tube mic pre.
- California Tube Line: American designed tube line input.
- Modern Tube DI: Mastering quality tube DI.
- Modern Tube EQ: Mastering quality EQ.
- Modern Tube Soft Sat: Mastering quality EQ with saturation.
- Modern Tube LG: A tube mic pre with a low gain setting.
- Modern Tube MG: A tube mic pre with a medium gain setting.
- Modern Tube HG: A tube mic pre with a high gain setting.
- Modern Tube Sym: Mastering quality EQ
- Modern Tube Soft Sat: Mastering quality tube mic pre with saturation.
- Classic British Mic Pre: A favorite large console mic pre.
- American Solid State: FET mastering EQ.
- California Vocal Box: Transformer coupled tube vocal processor.
- California Vocal Box Drive: Transformer coupled tube vocal processor with increased gain. British Mic Pre Clone: A popular clone of a favorite British mic pre.
Drive: Controls the gain of the signal feeding the Character model, so that you can boost or cut the input to the model by ±24 dB.
Output Gain: Tailors the final output level by ±24 dB.
Character uses a complementary gain amplifier for the Drive control; this means that as you turn the Drive up to get more harmonic distortion, the gain is automatically lowered by the same amount after the model. This allows you to change the tonal quality without changing the ouput level. Since Character fully supports Pro Tools’ automation, you can record changes in the Drive level to create dramatic changes in your audio’s timbre without having to ride the output level as well.
There are many ways to use Character; insert it on several tracks and “mix and match” model types to create a virtual analog console, use one of the “soft satura- tion” models on your master bus to get that analog tape “gooeyiness”, or use it as an automated effect for sound design.