Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Plugin from LVC Audio

PreAMPed is a new plugin from LVC Audio. I like the sound and features of this plugin but wish there was a way to bypass the individual sections. PreAMPed allows you to add color, saturation and apparent volume without increasing the levels of your tracks/busses. I was able to get better sounding drums that hit harder/louder without going into the red (by using the Clip Level control). This was done with the AU version on Logic Pro X. Here's a snapshot of the setting I used.

From the website:

"PreAMPed is a plugin designed to simulate many of the analog qualities of hardware preamplifiers. This includes subtle EQ response curves, low- and high- frequency saturation, differences between left and right signals, crosstalk, noise, transformer/coil impulse response, and saturation and EQ changes due to gain changes. Overall PreAMPed utilizes over forty separate parameters to determine each of the preamp modules within PreAMPed. As a tool, PreAMPed can be used on multiple tracks to provide subtle enhancement to individual track elements, or on overall mixes. PreAMPed includes many controls that are common on mixing consoles and separate preamps."

Preamp Types

1. The Black preamp model features a neutral sounding mid and top end, with a bass response that gradually rolls off from 200 Hz and below. The Black preamp has a fairly even level of saturation across the frequency section, with higher levels of even-order harmonics.
2. The Grey preamp is a modern preamp with a very flat frequency response. There is a gentle low frequency roll-off below 50 Hz, but the bass remains solid with response of approximately -0.5 dB at 20 Hz. Saturation levels are considerably higher with lower frequencies. Higher frequencies have minimal levels of saturation. In general, the Grey preamp model has fewer harmonics than many of the other models, with mainly odd-order harmonics.

3. The Blue A preamp
model has more brilliance than other models, with a gradually rising EQ above 2kHz. The upper bass register is slightly scooped, with a decrease around 125 Hz. The bass saturation level of the Blue A model is considerably higher than upper EQ frequencies, providing more warmth for bass frequencies. The odd-order harmonics fade quickly, with minimal harmonic distortion above 5th order.

4. The Blue B preamp model is similar to the Blue A model, but with an overall cleaners response. There is a slight increase for the high mids and treble frequencies, but the overall response is very linear. Just like most of the other preamp models, the saturation is more stronger with lower frequencies. Both even- and odd-order harmonics are present at a similar level.

5. The Steel preamp model is another relatively flat preamp; however, there is a slight emphasis on upper midrange frequencies and a bass boost. Saturation levels are more evenly spread across the frequency spectrum, although there still remains slightly more saturation in frequencies below 350 Hz. The Steel preamp has minimal even-order harmonics.

6. The Purple preamp model has a pronounces EQ curve, more than most of the other models. There is a reduction of low mid frequencies, with a boost in low bass. There is also an increasing frequencies bump from 2 kHz to 12kHz. This boost is pronounced, with a total gain of +2 dB from 12kHz to 18kHz. Saturation is greatest with frequencies below 100 Hz, and with frequencies in the upper treble range. The Purple preamp also has both even- and odd-order harmonics.

7. The White preamp model has a slow +1 dB peak in the low bass and high mid frequencies. Both the bass and treble edges of the audio spectrum are rolled- off. Despite the obvious peak, the preamp still has a response between +/- 1dB between 25Hz and 20kHz. Saturation is greatest below 100Hz, and even and odd harmonics warm up the entire frequency spectrum.

8. The Red model simulates an older studio-grade preamp. The noise and distortion levels are higher than most of the other preamps. The frequency response has a prominent high frequency roll off, with the preamp being -3 dB at 20kHz. Additionally, sub bass frequencies drop quickly, although there is a gradual boos from 50 Hz through 20 Hz. Saturation is most prominent below 100 Hz, and the Red preamp uses both even and odd harmonics for added saturation warmth. Harmonics fade quickly into the noise floor above 5th order.

9. The Limit preamp model tries to emulate the sound of classic analog compressors and limiters. Although there is no compression occurring, the preamp model seeks to provide the same sonic characteristics of the internal amplifier sections. The frequency response of the Limit model is a rising response, with a slight reduction in bass frequencies and an emphasis on treble frequencies. Although there is more saturation with the bass frequencies, the overall saturation level is more even across the frequency spectrum than most of the other models. Both even- and odd-order harmonics are used for the saturation algorithm.

10. The Tape D model simulates the output of an analog tape devices, but without the mechanical artifacts of tape (e.g. wow and flutter). The bass response of the Tape D model has a boost from 40 Hz to 70 Hz, with a fast roll-off below 30 Hz. The mid-range is scooped, with a prominent emphasis on the high- mid/treble frequencies. The high-end response above 10kHz falls off quickly, to -3 dB at 19kHz. Saturation is high and level across the entire frequency spectrum, with both even and odd harmonics.

11. The Tape R model is a more refined sound than the Tape D model. Similar frequency peaks occur, but to a lesser extent. The overall response is between – 2 dB and +1 dB from 25 Hz to 22kHz. The treble boost in the Tape R model is centered higher in the treble range than the Tape D model. Saturation is more centered with bass frequencies below 200 Hz, but overall there is a fair amount of saturation across the spectrum. Harmonic distortion fades very quickly into the noise floor, with only 2nd and 3rd order harmonics being discernible.

12. The Old model shares many similarities with the Red, Tape D, and Tape R models. Bass response falls quickly below 40 Hz, with a slight peak around 70 Hz. There is also a scooped low-mid response, before a +1 dB increase in the upper midrange. Above 6 kHz, the frequencies drop from +1 dB to -1 dB around 22 kHz. Bass saturation is emphasized, but saturation is evident across the entire frequency spectrum. As with the Tape R model, harmonic distortions fade quickly into the noise floor. Only 2nd, 3rd, and 4th harmonics are noticeable above the preamp’s self-noise.

13. The Modern preamp has a bass and mid boost, but the frequencies are different than many of the other models. The bass boost is due to a slight scooping of the frequencies between 70 Hz and 300 Hz, with a slight increase at 30 Hz. Bass falls quickly below 30 Hz, but remains at -1 dB at 20 Hz. Above 300 Hz, the frequency has a gentle curvature that emphasizes the low and high mids. A gradual roll-off occurs above 8 kHz throughout the treble range. Saturation is fairly even across the frequency spectrum, and many even and odd harmonics are noticeable throughout the entire range.


  • Virtual preamp emulator with 13 separate preamp models
  • Common hardware preamp controls, including gain, phase, and left/right channel swapping
  • Four-band EQ, including high and low shelf filters, and two parametric mid band EQs
  • Drive control that simulates increasing or decreasing the internal gain of a hardware preamp, while maintaining a consistent output level
  • Stereo controls, including balance, stereo width, and mid/side processing option
  • Adjustable output clipper
  • Additional saturation with controllable high pass filter
  • Selectable oversampling
  • User-friendly graphical input and output metering with VU-style, PPM-style, and loudness meters

Available as AU, VST for Mac OSX and VST for Windows.


  1. Hi, Thanks for the write-up. I am interested in your idea about bypassing the sections. Are you talking about being able to bypass the preamp modeling section and still use the other controls? If so, what do you think about the idea of a blend control that mixes between the preamp section and the clean (i.e., unaltered) channel?

  2. Hey Matt, That would be a great option. I was referring to being able to bypass the Drive, Saturation and Eq sections independently. It would make it much easier to make comparisons while mixing. For now you can work around it by saving different presets & switching between them. A bypass switch on each section would be more convenient. Great plugin btw.

  3. Hi, I think I can add that to the list of improvements for the next version. I never thought about using different bypass controls as an A->B comparison, but that is a really good idea. If you have any more suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

  4. Hi, I wanted to let you know that I released PreAMPed version 1.0.1 as a public beta. I have numerous changes, including the ability to bypass the EQ, Preamp modeling, Saturation, and Stereo controls. I also added a new feature with the knobs that lets you double-click to compare different values.