Classic PreSonus sound

Pepper your tracks with a tasteful dash of PreSonus flavor via these two State Space modeled plug-ins recreated from classic PreSonus hardware channel strips, available in Studio One® Native Effects, VST3, AU, and AAX formats for use in your DAW of choice. The RC 500 is modeled from the PreSonus RC 500 FET Channel Strip; VT1 is modeled from a PreSonus classic tube channel strip. When the engineer who designed the original analog circuits can get together for drinks with the master of State Space Modeling, the resulting plug-in sounds so true to the original that even the designer of the analog hardware can’t tell the difference.

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VT1: A tube legend

Stunning high-end sound and incredible versatility are hallmarks of this top-of-the-line, tube-driven channel strip, which integrates a boutique-quality tube preamp; a custom-designed FET compressor; and a custom, four-band, semi-parametric EQ. The VT1’s FET (Field-Effect Transistor) compressor includes fully variable attack, release, threshold, ratio, makeup gain, and bypass controls, and employs a soft-knee compression curve. The 4-band semi-parametric EQ combines isolated filters and optimized, per-band Q (width) control to provide subtle signal-shaping without harsh artifacts. All bands have Gain (±16 dB) and Frequency controls, with overlapping frequency ranges and fixed Q (0.55). The low and high bands are switchable between shelving and peak. Designed with musicality in mind, the VT1’s smooth and refined sound is a great addition to any serious mix engineer’s plug-in arsenal.

RC 500: Solid-state smoothness

The RC 500 plug-in combines a custom-designed FET compressor and semi-parametric EQ in a distinctive, ultra-low-distortion, high-gain design. The RC 500’s FET (Field-Effect Transistor) compressor includes fully-variable attack, release, and threshold controls, as well as bypass controls. The “soft knee” compression curve and a fixed 3:1 compression ratio can be driven harder at the input-gain stage, with a lower threshold, to emulate higher compression ratios. This combination provides flexibility without adding complexity, making dialing in just the right sound quick and easy. The RC 500’s 3-band semi-parametric EQ combines isolated filters and optimized, per-band Q to provide subtle signal-shaping without harsh artifacts. The low and high bands are switchable between shelving and peak. The result is a sonically magical plug-in for recording engineers and musicians with a sound that is reminiscent of classic, vintage solid-state channel strips.

So how are these two strips different, exactly?

The VT1’s input stage offers an uncommon complement of tone-sculpting options and is great for making a particular track shine from inside your mix; the tube-modeled input section can be dialed up for boosted warmth and color, and the six impedance options allow for some nuanced filtering—lower settings are darker. The four-band EQ allows for serious filtering.

The RC 500, on the other hand, is here to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible without calling attention to itself. That fixed 3:1 compression ratio and 3-band EQ removes a significant amount of guesswork, and since it’s modeled on a Class-A solid-state preamp, don’t expect any tube overdrive, here.

In short, if you want a lot of control and deliberate, surgical tone-shaping added to your tracks, pick the VT-1. If you need some signal processing quick, easy, and transparent, choose the RC 500.