Imagine combining an EQ with the Sonnox Inflator, fed through tube saturation. That’s the best way that I can describe the SPL TwinTube Plugin. It works well on individual tracks, but I’ve found that it excels on the mix bus to subtly warm up the entire mix, and offers the ability to pull out a certain frequency range that may need boosting.
The Saturation and Harmonics can work independently or together. The Saturation offers up to 6 dB of boost. The Harmonics add apparent volume for one of the 4 chosen frequencies. Where the Sonnox Inflator is great at adding Harmonics across the entire frequency spectrum, the SPL TwinTube allows you to select just one frequency range, much like you would apply an EQ boost to one range. This is great at pulling out the cymbals or vocals if they just aren’t sitting right in the mix.
Let’s take a look at it in action. Here’s a Jazz type sample, both the dry track, and with TwinTube’s Saturation applied.
Using the Harmonics, and cranking it all the way up, brings out the cymbals.
The reason for this is that the default frequency is about 10 kHz. Various combinations of the 2 Harmonics buttons select one of 4 options. The printed frequencies are approximations, and the actual frequencies are slightly different. This is due to the limited space on the interface. All four options result in 15dB of gain.
The first option, all buttons out (labelled 10) is actually 9.8 KHz. The second option, with the bottom button pressed in, is 6.6 KHz. The third option with just the top button pressed in is 2.8 KHz. And both buttons pressed in is 1.9 KHz.
Switching from 10 KHz to 2 KHz you can hear that the “stick” in now accented, and not the cymbals.
The A,B,C,D options on the right are just quick recall buttons. You can set 4 different options and quickly switch between them to try different settings.
This sample is with the Twin Tube applied to just the Organ track. The Saturation is turned up, and Harmonics is set to 3 KHz. This turns it into more of a Deep Purple type Rock organ.
To accent the Piano and give it more Presence, a little Saturation was added with Harmonics set to 3 kHz, but not fully cranked. It’s brings out the piano, but doesn’t alter the piece in a drastic way.
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If you don’t currently have something to add tube warmth, then this plugin could be a good option for you. If you like the Inflator, but wish you could apply it with more precision, then this could be of use as well. You can also use the SPL TwinTube to fatten up an 808 in a Hip Hop mix.
Check out our other Plugin Alliance Reviews.