Bogren Digital have announced the release of the first amp simulation plug-in in their range to utilise their IRDX technology, which is said to add unprecedented dynamic and harmonic detail to speaker cab emulations. MLC Subzero 100 models the hand-built guitar amp of the same name from Mark L Custom Guitar Electronics, a model renowned for its rich, detailed tone.
As with its hardware counterpart, the plug-in is equipped with three channels, each of which offer a distinctly different sound and are complemented by a range of useful tone-shaping controls. Channel 1 provides tones that range from sparkling cleans to classic tube overdrives, whilst Channel 2 promises a more British-inspired crunch sound with a forward mid-range character. Channel 3 then provides more aggressive high-gain tones, but without sacrificing clarity. The original amplifier allows users to switch between 6L6 and EL34 power amp valves on a per-channel basis, a feature which is replicated here in software form.
Even more versatility is provided by the inclusion of two different overdrive pedal models. The MLC Vanilla Sky, which is based on a unit that employs a Class-A circuit which is said to be capable of retaining a guitar’s character at even the highest gain settings, and the Fascination Street OVD-1, which is based on Jen Bogren’s personal overdrive pedal. The unit exhibits a classic mid-range presence, and sees a lot of use on Jen’s studio projects.
Some time-based effects are also present, with the plug-in offering A Fascination Street Max Delay, which offers an analogue-modelled effect that can be used for short slapbacks, or provide almost a full second of delay. It can be operated in mono, or switched to a stereo Ping-Pong mode where the delay repeats alternate between the left and right channels. A Fascination Street Wet Verb then offers a range of reverb sounds designed specifically for guitars. There is also a 10-band graphic EQ section, which allows users to shape the plug-in’s overall sound in yet more detail.
The plug-in is equipped with a comprehensive cabinet simulation section which is loaded with options to assist users in reaching their desired tone. The company have also included a number of presets, too, for those who’d rather get straight to playing without diving too deep into the software’s settings.
The section contains two cabinet slots with a Speaker Mix slider allowing users to blend between two different cabinet models, and there are five different microphone options for each. For those who want even more versatility, the plug-in is capable of loading additional impulse response files.
The cabinet simulation uses Bogren’s IRDX (Impulse Response Dynamix) technology, which uses machine learning technology to add dynamic speaker behaviour to static impulse responses. The method is said to be capable of modelling the way that real-life speakers react to the signal from the amplifier, resulting in a simulation that reacts to playing in the same way that a real cabinet would.
MLC Subzero 100 is supported on PCs running Windows 10 or 11, and Macs running macOS 10.13 and higher. VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available, and there is also a standalone application.
Pricing & Availability
MLC Subzero 100 is available now, and is currently (11 August 2023) being offered for an introductory price of $79£69.99 including VAT / €79, reduced from its full cost of $99£86.99 including VAT / €99.