UPDATE: Replaced the Analog Heat with SSL SiX

Fellow Elektronaut travellers,

I’ve been on the Heat since it was launched and have loved it since.

The last year or so, I’ve moved away from its more extreme functions, since I’ve felt that as cool as they are, they’ve colored the sound to the extent that after some time, it’s become a too familiar trick to use. At least to my ears. It has shaped the character of the tracks so much, I’ve sort of grown tired of the obvious color it applies.

Lately, I have instead used the Heat more and more for its function to just bring out clarity and character in the sound, using the Clean Boost mostly and then applying the filter, EQ and envelope to shape the sound into a more solid mix. It works really well for that, too. It’s also perhaps overkill for such a powerful unit.

I’m realising that I’m more or less using it these days in ways that I believe a DAW can could just as well and maybe even better, and in the areas where it shines, I’ve sort of grown weary since after some time, those tricks become overused.

Clearly, this isn’t a general fact. This is on me and how I use it. It’s still fantastic for all the cool stuff it can do, it’s just not cool stuff that I’m using much anymore.

So I’m thinking of losing it and just not replacing it with anything else, since its mixing duties I can do in a DAW and the tricks it does beyond that, don’t much interest me. For now.

I should add that one of the reasons I’m slightly tired of the Heat’s more sonical bravery, is that I’m getting more mileage out of pedals. A Polymoon and a Chase Bliss is just more in line with what I like to do.

Anyone else had this life cycle with the Heat?


Not to do the Heat down but I’ve thought this every time I’ve considered getting one. It’s an FX unit essentially and once you’ve ‘tired’ of that effect where do you go? I guess the other option is to use it where you feel it fits best nd make it part of YOUR sound. :+1:


Mine is for sale, but I think I’ll keep it.
My main grief is the lack of midi control for direct control of Trigger. Works great with CV/EXP in, A4 sequencing. Analog Heat : Drum synthesis and sequencing
I may make an Arduino to midi to CV thing for that, using AH Thru. Note control.

I think it also lacks drive / gain. Better results with Analog Drive in that concern. It sounds like there’s a limiter before Drive. :thinking:

I can use AH + 2AD, but it is ridiculously huge ! :sweat_smile:


Ive only ever used it in very subtle ways. Not keen on distorted or too noticeably saturated sounds…can understand how one can get tired of it. It’s totally shines at lower settings and there’s always more going on than the ear may realise…namely taming peaks. Even at the default settings it will be taming transients/peaks. Even if you deactivate the engine, you can still drive a signal through it and will function as brickwall limiter. It’s uses are endless! Software is great too but I try to do as much as possible before it goes in-the-box. Only using plugins when necessary.


Intereresting. So do you also think there’s a limiter ?

Don’t think so, it just drives into the amplifier. If you push it, goes into distortion/saturation. Go carefully and it will flatten the peaks.

No worries, totally valid question😊the Polymoon is very lush and dreamy, the kind of fx Tycho would use (not that I know if he does, but it’s that kind of sound). It’s sparse in features but they play well together, especially when you smear out the delays with the Dynamics feature, shift back and forth with the Mix knob for movement and then kick it back to regular delay taps.

I borrowed a Volante for a few weeks but went for the Polymoon. There’s a kind of beauty in it I just couldn’t resist.

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That’s how I use it now and I don’t really mix in a daw at all, so it has its purpose. But it’s a pricey purpose to tame something where I imagine I can get it in shape with some twiddling in a daw before rendering.

Perhaps just try to mix a track heat style and daw style and compare, is the best way to know.


There are loads of plug ins you could sit on your master track that’ll do something similar to the AH (ie compression and some colouration) but none will sound the same as the AH. Have you tried an FET compressor plug a la UA1176? The one in my DAW sounds lovely and does all of the above (apart from sounding like an AH!)

Yeah, I’m like, I don’t want to sound like the AH anymore. Maybe it’s that simple, when I think of it.

Nor do I want to go into computers much for this😊just a simple, no color eq / comp / limiter will do. A gal can dream. As can I😊

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+1, had a Polymoon for a few weeks, very creative and “beautiful” sounding delay. Still holding onto a Timefactor for more precise or traditional stuff, but running a Monomachine pad or arp track through the Polymoon is instantly pleasing.


If you want that bright airy sound with some mild compression check out some 1176 vids. Sounds like it’s what you’re after.


Ooo now we’re talking. I most certainly will. Thanks.

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It’s a sound they do, like it or not. Not the most intuitive but with just an input and output control their easy to set up.

I use the native one on my studiolive desk but it’s an iconic bit of outboard…I’m sure everyone and their dog has done a vst of it!

I’m even thinking of investing in a couple of hardware clones just for versatility and when I’m OTB.

This the one you mean?

Yeah, that’s the one. As I say it’s got a sound of its own so any half decent plug in should mimic it.

My pockets aren’t deep enough for a couple of OG examples; I’m looking at the Klark Tecknik and Warm Audio clones.

Yeah, there’s no way I could afford this, but as a frame of reference, it might lead me to something that I could. Thanks, mate😊


My heat is parked on the record out of my mixer specifically for treating vinyl sampling on way to OT. I’d notice if it wasn’t there I use the stereo filter all the time. Never turned the knob past mid crunch. LFO And ENV not much.

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Me either! The KT 76 gets decent reviews and is around £170 at the moment. But you’d need two for stereo :see_no_evil:

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I think the cycle you are talking about is common to many “special sauce” processors, especially ones used to process your master. Plenty of people overused Waves L2 and BassMaXX plugs, and that’s just an obvious example of something that seems like magic when you start using it, becomes an indispensable tool, then one day you discover the novelty of not using it. However, you were not wrong for loving your AH, and I wouldn’t sell it as it is very likely you will find it useful for other tasks or even for the same one once you undergo your next change of style.

The 1176 is the holy grail of optical compressors, mostly as a vocal compressor. I was lucky to have an original 1178 (stereo version of 1176) on loan for a year, but I can’t recommend it for master bus compression. When mixing tracks, I always wanted to have it inserted on individual channels. When I tried it for mastering it was not effective. Plugins won it for me for mastering, every time.