IK Multimedia released two new mixing and mastering plug-ins which can be used as single plug-ins for any DAWs or they can be integrated in the new T-RackS suite of mixing and mastering effects, recently updated to 64-bit compatibility both as standalone software or plug-in mode. The Black 76 Limiting Amplifier and the White 2A Leveling Amplifier Plugins are virtual identities of the well-known analog compressors.
The Black 76 Limiting Amplifier is modeled after what is probably the most used, most known or most wanted compressor / limiter in the audio production industry. It’s a true legend and a piece of history. The engineers that made this FET based compressor reached a level of cleverness and magic that only true visionary geniuses can make. While there are many revisions of this hardware, IK Multimedia modeled the LN version, revision E, because it’s the one that has the most sonically recognized and wanted character thanks to its input transformer and class A output stage. This compressor can be used on everything: drums, drum sub-mixes, vocals, bass, guitars, piano, choirs, brass, strings, etc. It adds its sonic footprint to the sound that for many reasons simply makes music sound better. Vocals, for example, will gain presence, consistency, clarity and punch in a way simply not obtainable with other units. Drums will gain power and density with total control over the level of “snap”, and guitars will get a magic midrange zone that makes them truly sing. The Black 76 is a must for mixing, but it can also be effectively used for mastering if used with care.
The White 2A Leveling Amplifier is based on a legendary vintage unit that is entirely tube-based. It’s a totally different device in terms of construction where all the compression magic happens inside an optically coupled element formed by a fluorescent panel and some photocells: the famed T4A element. There is no electronic circuitry involved with the compression itself. It’s just a tube amp with photo-resistors, lighted by a fluorescent panel driven by the output signal. At the time of this invention, there were not many ways of making an audio compressor: only variable-mu and optical. Optical was the simplest one, and if proper elements for both the light emitting panel and the photocells were matched, magic happened. Originally intended for use in broadcasting, it immediately became a truly signature unit for music recording and mixing. It’s a must-have for both tracking and mixing vocals, but it’s also tremendously effective on electric bass, upright bass, piano, winds and many other tracks where you need a gentle compression with great warmth and consistency. This is one of the few units in the audio production industry that nobody will allow to be substituted for anything else.
Two years in the making, these two units have challenged IK Multimedia’s superior modeling capabilities and pushed them to the extremes. These units have been modeled down to the finest detail in each of their stages, matching all the controls and their behavior, including the ultra-accurate VU-Meter response. Perfected with countless measurements and A-B listening sessions, IK has produced two of the most realistic emulations available in software so far.
Both the Black 76 and the White 2A are available as single T-RackS mixing plug-ins for all popular DAW platforms in RTAS, AU and VST formats. They also give the flexibility to be perfectly integrated with the T-RackS suite of effects as they can be opened inside the T-RackS twelve slot serial-parallel processor chain, both in standalone and plug-in mode, taking advantage of T-RackS advanced routing, metering and preset capabilities. With the addition of these two new classics, TRackS users will have a total of 12 superior dynamic and EQ effects to choose from including a full-fledged professional metering suite for all of their professional mixing and mastering needs.
Furthermore, T-RackS and all its effect processors have been updated to version 3.5 – now supporting all 64-bit DAWs – and the update is available a free download to all existing T-RackS Deluxe, Standard, shell and singles users. The T-RackS 3.5 standalone application is fully compatible with the new ARC version 1.3 which also adds native 64-bit compatibility.
Pricing and availability
The Black 76 and White 2A cost only $99.99/€74.99 each (excl. tax) and are immediately available as a download from the IK Multimedia online store or selected music retailers carrying T-RackS singles in Multibox format.