Say you wanted something similar to an Analog Heat but were too stingy to pay that kind of money. What’s your solution? This could be stand-alone hardware or an iPad app (or two).
I’ve often thought to sit an EHX LPB2ube on OT main outs after watching the Late Night Tips video on it (he used in on Rytm I think), but that thing is way huuuuuge!
Seems like most use clean boost or enhancement only for main mix duties, a touch of tube overdrive would probably do the job nicely.
What other gear have you got? What would you like the Heat substitute to do first and foremost?
Some, actually most of the stuff that I do with the Heat I could very well do with the following:
Overdrive of many sorts (I often use the overdrive in Logic for some boost and warmth)
Distortion in the Octatrack filter page (same purpose as above)
A cheap 4-track recorder (I just got a Fostex 280 which cost me 30 euros - the tape side doesn’t actually work atm, the belt needs to be replaced, but the EQs work really nicely for either a bit of warming up or just total fucking obliteration)
For someone who’d use the Heat a lot and in a versatile way (distortions, EQs, LFO etc.) I think the price is actually pretty fair. For me it’s definitely a luxury item.
I’ll give another vote for the EHX LPB 2UBE. I would own one again. I also like that you can run the two channels in serial dual mono by running one channel into the other. You can also get different flavors with different tubes.
FabFilter Saturn 2 is available on iPad and is hands down the best saturation/overdrive/distortion VST I’ve ever used. Very suitable for the master bus, aux send or insert. Has a great EQ on board which is very useful. I often just use it as an EQ with light saturation settings. It is also only 23.99 USD. Doesn’t get cheaper than that really.
Audio Damage Grind is also an iOS option and inexpensive.
Analog Heat - I’ve had one for a few years. I think that 2nd hand they’re a good price (mk 1). I wouldn’t pay new prices for one though.
Black Box HG-2
When on sale, they can be had cheap enough and are both excellent. M/S processing with the VSM-3 is a whole different ballgame.
I’m waiting on an Erica Acidbox 3 to arrive this week… I’m hoping to get some tasty results with that! I’ll compare it to my Heat, but if it sounds how I think it will… The Heat will probably be up for sale soon!
FWIW played around with Saturn 2 on iPad, have it strapped to the outputs of my Digitakt. Haven’t used it in a minute and forgot how it allows you to have multiple frequency bands each with its own full set of controls over the saturation/drive/distortion type and parameters. It has tons options for slope at the crossovers.
I don’t love it but the EHX Platform might be worth a look. I mainly just use for some light limiting or compression, with option to introduce overdrive for a little fizz. Can’t think of any stereo pedals with these features at this price.
Edit: the Line6 M5 demoed in the Late Night Tips vid might be more fun/flexible as a sort of Eventide H9 on the cheap.
This. I sold my AH and get this VSM-3 for sale for something like 30$ and it’s really do the job.
Strymon Deco for Tape Saturation. Actually only 150 cheaper, Elektron Heat offers a whole lot more.
He is right, it’s controversial. Rytm has built in distortion and compressor. That’s not creating enough oomph?
I bought a acidbox III from Erica synths for testing. This thing ist f***** crazy. It has a build in Analog Saturation->Overdrive->Distortion the more you turn the input gain. Sounds very musical and has much more character than an AH. It’s pricey but you get an absolutely fantastic stereo Filter & Warming Unit. I had it on the master and it glued everything together in such a musical way I never expected
had a heat mk1, I loved it (of course).
sold it in an effort to go itb, I don’t miss it too much now, I use Fabfilter Saturn and sometimes another tube saturation plugin (forgot the name sorry)
Yes indeed, glad to hear you’ve found it to be that good! Can’t wait for mine to arrive!!
…ah…another discussion about THE most underrated swedish device of all…
and the next discussion why analog is not digital…and what makes THE difference…
Two Minifooger Drive pedals. Just one, if you’re okay with mono.
This is the thing - I do like the Heat, but plugins get close enough and in the case of something like the VSM, the M/S treatment and convenience of using multiple instances etc. out-does the Heat for me in many scenarios.
Moreover, the Heat does seem to lack some character… It’s capable, and flexible, and can be very useful. But it’s not amazing at any particular thing. I’m possibly a bit contrary in that I only really use it for the higher gain settings to add noticeable distortion – I haven’t found it good enough at the subtler saturation side of things. I’ve fallen into the camp that finds it to sound a bit flat…
The only flaw is that you have to wait a few minutes to heat up so it does not clip.
Good to know, thanks! Most of my synths need warm-up time too, so I’m used to that kinda thing.