Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel (ESD); channelstrip plugin; Tube-Tech CL 1B, ME 1B und PE 1C combined in a channelstrip with switchable signal routing or available as single plugins; detailled emulation of the analog Tube-Tech hardware; supported formats: VST2/VST3/AU/AAXnative/AAXdsp; system requirements: Win7 (64-Bit) min., Mac OSX 10.8 min., Dual Core CPU, 4 GB RAM, 6 GB HD, internet connection, iLok LicenseManager
As an answer to the age-old question and quarrel: no, I don?t own nor have used the original hardware. My opinions are based only on the software version. So the neverending software vs. hardware dispute shall continue?.
But as far as the software version is concerned, it sounds wonderful in it?s own right!
The Pultec-style PE-1C and ME-1B eqs are gorgeous units. As they are character EQs, you can?t DO everything with them. But very likely you?ll end up using them ON everything! These PE-1C and ME-1B ?finalize? your mixes wonderfully, the low-end body and high-end sparkle you can add with them is very addictive. It?s relatively rare that I use them as the only EQs in my whole sidechain, but there aren?t many tracks that will be without them? They are wonderful, airy and large-sounding.
But as far as the CL-1B compressor is concerned, I?m in love!! It?s brilliant, versatile, larger-than-life-sounding compressor! It?s everything I?d except a high-end optical compressor to be: creamy, lush, smooth, but still articulative, punchy and snappy if needed. This is by far the best software compressor I?ve ever used, and easily beats hands down many ?real? hardware compressors. In my opinion, CL-1B is a real must! Does it sound as good as the original hardware? I don?t know. Does it sound darn good by itself? Yes it does!!
As a side note: Softube?s own presests are actually very useful and carefully thought! Quite often when I use them as a ?starting point?, I end up using the preset "as is" or doing really minor tweaks.
I highly and warmly recommend the Softube Tube Tech Classic Channel!
Before this, my typical vocal chain was a borrowed copy of CLA-2A and the Puigtec EQP-1A. Wanting to invest more in the software I'm using, I was keen to see what the Softube was like.
The compressor is hugely musical, very transparent. It tends to level things off nicely without ever sounding pumped. Reminds me of the LA-2A style comp, but you get the added benefit of being able to change the Attack/Release/Ratio settings. I like it on vocals and bass.
The PEQ works a charm. Nothing ever sounds harsh, and you can do that wonderful smoothing off the top thing and then dial back in just the right amount of presence. Works great on ribbon mics too. The bass drum thump trick is there too if that's your bag.
The MEQ is useful (I'll be honest it's my least used of the three) for adding body or cutting out that 1.5k honk.
Overall, very pleased with it. Great interface (it really does look stunning too), and Softube are highly recommended.