Soundevice Digital Plamen

Multiband Saturation Plug-in
By Paul White

Created by Soundevice Digital and marketed under the United Plugins umbrella, Plamen is a five‑band saturator, in which each band can be processed using one of five different saturation algorithms. In my own studio, I tend to use subtle multiband saturation mainly when mastering — something I’ve done since before plug‑ins took over the world! — but with Plamen there’s enough scope for adding considerable character to individual tracks too. All the common Mac and Windows plug‑in formats are supported, including AAX, and authorisation is via a personal licence key file that allows you to run the plug‑in on more than one machine.

The resizable GUI is very straightforward, with a dynamic spectral display showing what is being processed within each frequency band. It looks nice enough, though it’s worth noting that ‘selectable’ text is dark purple on a darker purple background, changing to a light blue when selected — I found the purple on purple a bit hard to read on a smaller screen, and would have appreciated the option to make this a little more visible.

Because adding saturation affects the level of the signals being processed, the plug‑in has a set of master controls that include input gain, with a range of ‑24 to +24 dB. There’s also a wet/dry mix control for setting up parallel distortion, and those after a vintage tape vibe can also add a subtle amount of simulated tape wow. An output gain control is available to compensate for any overall level changes caused by the processing. By increasing the input and decreasing the output (or vice versa), the...

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Published October 2023

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