Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection Review

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Barry Rudolph

DIGITAL SIMULATIONS OF CLASSIC CONSOLES FOR YOUR DAW

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VCC allows you to select any of the four consoles’ channel strips to emulate.

VCC allows you to select any of the four consoles’ channel strips to emulate.

The Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection plug-ins model the sonically pleasing harmonic distortion, noise and saturation effects of overdriving the transistorized channel and mix bus amplifier circuits used in four of the most highly prized vintage English and American analog recording consoles ever made. The four consoles’ channel and mix bus topologies modeled are identified referentially in the plug-in GUIs as Brit N Discrete, Brit 4k, US A Discrete and by the Greek “trident” symbol.

Available as VST/AU/RTAS/native plug-ins for PCs and Macs, the Virtual Console Collection comprises two products: Virtual Channel processes individual mono or stereo tracks in your DAW mixer as if the audio passed through the channel strips of one of those four consoles; and the Virtual Mixbuss plug-in mimics the coloration of those consoles’ stereo summing buses.

VIRTUAL CHANNEL
Virtual Channel has a compact and simple GUI with three controls beneath its VU meter. The Console rotary switch selects any of the four consoles’ channel strips; the Input control sets the throughput gain of the selected channel—just like cranking up a real channel’s line input gain to boost level and nonlinearity operation (i.e., saturation, compression, noise and distortion); and finally the Drive control decreases/increases those characteristics without increasing output level.

The Mixbuss plug-in selects up to four modeled-console stereo mix buses that can be further adjusted with the Drive control.

The Mixbuss plug-in selects up to four modeled-console stereo mix buses that can be further adjusted with the Drive control.

Without using any DAW bus resources, it is possible to group any number of channel instances together using any of eight internal groups. You can use the same console model on all your DAW channels or build a hybrid mixer—mix ’n’ match them using combinations of the four consoles’ channel strips.

By designating any Virtual Channel as group master, it asserts global control over all other Virtual Channels assigned to its group. All knob settings, including automated changes (but not the Bypass button), are replicated on all group members, with grouped Virtual Channels’ controls becoming grayed out and disabled. With the exception of the Console selector, Control + Click any individual control on any Channel and return it to local control.

Turning on a Channel’s group toggle switch expands the GUI horizontally into Group view to reveal the group’s Console, Input and Drive controls; 1 through 8 group Channel assign (green) and display (red) buttons—you can edit any group and rename it from any Virtual Channel; group bypass button for turning off processing on the group; a track list of all channels in a group; and the plug-in’s Settings or Preferences window.






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