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Denise Audio God Mode

Tunable Distortion Plug-in By Paul White
Published October 2020

There are plenty of saturation plug‑ins, but one thing that makes God Mode rather different from the rest: a six-band, parametric-style boost-only EQ allows selective parts of the spectrum to be driven harder into the distortion engine, while a Pull control attenuates those same frequencies on the way out. It almost takes you into multiband distortion territory.

Denise Audio God ModeGod Mode plug-in, viewed in Logic Pro X.The EQ frequencies and boost amount can be set numerically or by dragging the nodes on the graph, while the Q is adjusted numerically in the bar above the EQ display. The practical outcome of this push/pull approach is that you can focus the saturation wherever in the spectrum is most appropriate for the source, without making those areas louder. Alternatively, a Random button sets up random EQ curves for when you run out of ideas.

God Mode offers three types of overdrive that can be dialled in at the same time using individual horizontal sliders: Tape, Warp and Buzz. Tape, based on algorithms developed for Denise's Bad Tape plug‑in, is the smoothest type of saturation, Warp is a little more assertive, and Buzz, which uses wave-shaping, can get quite aggressive. A side-chain feature means you can use another DAW track to modulate the Tape saturation amount, and that can help you to build a pulsing beat, especially if fed from drums.

The wet/dry Mix control creates instant parallel-distortion effects, and the wet and dry sounds can be panned individually too. As well as the EQ that's used to shape the distortion, there are separate high- and low-pass filters on the 'wet' input and output. Split mode helps enhance the stereo image or to create one from a mono source, by introducing different small delays into the wet signals of each channel. God Mode uses linear-phase filters, so there are no phase problems when mixing the wet and dry sounds, though a 'no latency' Live mode employs more conventional filtering to avoid the delay inherent in linear-phase filters.

It's a similar story with vocals. You can create an exciter-like breathy high end and tube-like thickness simultaneously.

God Mode is really easy to use, but its presets will still give you a good idea of its capabilities. Its ability to focus the saturation where you need it most means you can, for example, add high-end saturation to a bass guitar to give the sound more edge, or concentrate on the lower regions to add warmth — or both at once. It's a similar story with vocals. You can create an exciter-like breathy high end and tube-like thickness simultaneously. Drums and loops can really benefit from carefully crafted distortion, and that side-chain feature can throw up some very interesting results on just about any sound source.

There's a very wide range of distortion amount, so you can set up tube/tape-like enhancement without obvious distortion, or dial in a deliberately dirty overdrive. But the wet/dry control allows for fairly forensic manipulation too: you can add very small amounts of intense saturation or large amounts of gentle saturation as you see fit. The key is experimentation: each distortion type has its own character and you can combine them as you like.

Given the ease of use and its small number of controls, God Mode is a surprisingly powerful tone-shaping tool.


Full price €69. (€39 discounted price when going to press.)

Full price $67.89. ($38.37 discounted price when going to press.)

Published October 2020