As a two inch 16-track recordist, I'm pretty wary of digital plug-ins that claim to offer the "analog" sound. But, I'd heard really good things about this plug-in from a few people so I wanted to give it a try. Bottom line is that this really does sound great and it looks, feels and sounds like older analog circuitry with broad bandwidths and a saturated sound. I had used the compressor circuitry a bit on individual tracks with good results but the ultimate test came after I'd used the plug-in a bit and brought it along to a mastering session. The engineer was running a 2-track mix I had recorded from two-inch 16-track and mixed to 1/2" analog through the EQ on a UA-2-610 pre and an Avalon 747 EQ/comp. I asked him to try Vintage Warmer instead just to see how it stacked up, not really expecting too much. To our surprise, we both felt that the Vintage Warmer version sounded better than the version going through $5000 worth of high-end analog gear. We made CDs of both versions for the band and in a blind listening test they picked the Vintage Warmer version as well. Am I saying that Vintage Warmer will replace an Avalon 747 and a UA-2-610? No way, not even close as both those units have a unique sound and are much more versatile. But, I am saying that Vintage Warmer can hold it's own sonically with hardware units costing 4-5 times more money, so if you're working in the digital domain you should really check this plug out. Usage is pretty straightforward although the names of some of the controls are a bit different from what I'm used to. The compressor has a knee, attack, release and threshold controls along with a "Drive" knob that works with the threshold. There are also low and high EQs with sweepable frequencies. The metering is really nice and versatile. One nice added bonus is the mono switch which isn't always easy to do with a lot of recording software. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

Or Learn More