Softube have announced the release of their latest plug-in, Bus Processor, which combines a modern compression algorithm with a classic interface layout, and also includes saturation and spatialisation processing along with some helpful side-chain facilities.
The compressor section is based on the processor found in SSL’s classic G-series console, a design renowned for its transparent sound, and one that is often praised for its ability to act as a final ‘glue’ compressor when used across instrument buses and entire mixes.
The plug-in offers some additional functionality over the original device, utilising continuous controls in place of the hardware’s stepped switches, as well as providing full control over the knee settings and introducing a Tempo Sync function that synchronises the release time with the DAW session tempo. Bus Processor aims to offer more than just compression, however, and is also equipped with dedicated sections that offer some variable saturation and stereo width processing.
The Saturation section can be placed either before or after the plug-in’s compression processing, and works by introducing a mix of odd and even harmonics, but with a focus on odd order. Two Enhancement buttons are present: Tone and Hrmc (harmonic), and aim to provide some additional ‘flavours’ of saturation to extend the section’s versatility.
A Tone Shift parameter then applies a tilt filter to the saturation being produced, allowing the section to favour low-frequency content when turned anti-clockwise, and high-frequency content when turned clockwise. Parallel saturation processing is also possible thanks to the inclusion of a wet/dry mix control.
A Stereo section then houses three controls dedicated to manipulating a source’s stereo width. An Air knob increases high-frequency content using mid-side processing, an option which Softube say can be useful for carrying out slight tonal rebalancing, whilst a Width control provides a gain control of the sides element of the incoming signal. Lastly, Mono Bass allows users to define a cutoff point up to a value of 500Hz, with frequencies below it being summed to mono.
Additional control over the plug-in’s compression is then provided by a Sidechain section. A Stereo Link parameter allows users to gradually shift the detection between fully linked channels and a dual-mono mode, whilst a Low Cut control places a variable high-pass filter with a maximum value of 500Hz into the side-chain. Another Tone Shift knob again uses a tilt filter, but this time applies it to the compression section in order to favour either high- or low-frequency content.
Take a look at Softube’s official walkthrough video to hear the plug-in in action.
Bus Processor is supported on PCs running Windows 10 or 11, and Macs running macOS 11 and above. VST, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available, and an iLok account is required. The plug-in is also fully supported for use within Softube’s Console 1 system.
Pricing & Availability
Bus Processor is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $99 until 28 April 2023, after which it will be priced at $149.