SummaryAnalog sound with additional features and control, also CPU friendly.
This week’s free VST plugin is Leveling Tool, a tube leveling amplifier by ADHD Audio Tools. Leveling Tool is inspired by some of the best vintage leveling amplifiers hardware units, perfect for adding character to any track in the mix. Download it by clicking on Leveling Tool.
The interface is loosely similar to the original LA-2A, 3A with some unique features cannot be found on original hardware. I like the additional controls that are available in every compressors like, attack, release, ratio and it has the dry/wet knob to use this plugin in parallel without any extra efforts, so now let’s look at its features and controls.
The meter for visual monitoring, select whether you want the VU meter to show the gain reduction or the output volume. The VU meter is very responsive that you can rely on.
Sidechain High Pass Filter
Add a Highpass filter to the signal the compressor is listening to. Can be used to get rid of the pumping effect on bass heavy stuff and make the compression a little bit more transparent.
The Drive knob allows you to controls the quantity of the tube saturation to the signal, makes it useful on both analog or transparent dynamic processing.
After adding the peak reduction the volume of the signal will get lowered. Add some makeup gain to get it back to level again. The Leveling Tool has a tube drive effect built to it and the more gain applied the more the tube drive is working.
Peak Reduction, Attack And Release
Sets the threshold from where to start Peak Reduction. Attack sets the speed(slow/fast) at which the compressor acts on the input signal once the signal has passed the threshold, attack parameter usually measured in milliseconds.
The Release parameter or knob determines how fast or slows the compressor stops processing once the signal rise above the threshold, it is also measured in milliseconds. If you need a refresher on audio compression process, click on Mix with Compression.
The compression ratio is the relationship between the output level and the input level. In other words, the ratio sets the compression slope. For example, a 3:1 ratio means that for every 3dB the signal rises above the threshold only 1dB will be heard above the threshold.
Use this knob for parallel compression style, nice for adding extra fatness to the sound, set it to 100% for total wet(fully processed) sound and less than 100% (usually less than 90%) for the parallel compression.
The user interface is easy to use and understand, the plugin itself is very CPU friendly, hence you can use as many instances of the plugin as you want.
This plugin is meant to be used for the vocals, but believe me, it adds punch and warmth to the drums and bass, especially the 808s.
With the additional features not available on most Premium VST plugins nor on the original hardware unit makes this VST plugin very unique and interesting to use as a goto compressor plugin. I can’t say it is close to the original sound of the legendary hardware but is very unique and useful in its own way.
Get It Here: Leveling Tool