Micro Review: PSP Vintage Warmer2

lostnthesound

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#1
I figured I'd try writing a mini review to see what kind of response I get. If you're into it or find it useful, I'll post more in the future. Feel free to post feedback about either the review or the product itself.

PSP Vintage Warmer2
Created by PSP Audioware
Cost: $127 – $150.


What is it?
The PSP Vintage Warmer2 (PSPVW2) is a mixed bag: it's part single/multi band limtier, part soft-knee limiter, part saturator. In analog production, when a "hot" audio signal (great than 0dB) was sent to tape it would cause "soft clipping," which in turn would create a pleasant, gritty "warmth" to the sound through characteristics best described as natural compression/limiting. Hence the name "tape saturation."

How would I use it?
Lately I've been trying to obtain a "warmer/thicker" sound with my productions, drum bus and bass bus' is particular. I've often found some success through creative FX sending to distortion/overdrive plugs, but that has not been without some consequence. For example, just a little bit too much overdrive on a drum bus can suddenly suck the life out of your kick or create a bit of mud and "boominess." After doing some research I found several reviews praising the effects of tape saturation, in particular, the emulated tape saturation of the PSPVW2.

After placing instances of PSPVW2 on the bus' of my drums, bass, and vocals, the change was instantly notable. Even in its default state, the perceived loudness was noticeable. In other words, my channel strip levels had barely increased, yet they "sounded" much louder. After bouncing down two versions of the mix (one with PSPVW2 and without) and playing the result back on several systems (car system with proper subs, iPhone, home theater, docking station) I could immediately tell which mix had been hit with the PSPVW2, and which one had not.

Three Flavors
When purchased, the PSPVW2 plug comes in three versions:
Micro Warmer. CPU friendly, low latency, single band; great for individual tracks (guitar, snare, etc.)
Vintage Warmer (LE). Exactly like Vintage Warmer 2, but without FAT double sampling. This is good when still trying to conserve CPU, Good for individual tracks and/or group busses.
Vintage Warmer 2. The alpha of the group that contains FAT double sampling, enabling an even greater analog emulation. This is best used for group busses, mixes and/or mastering.

Conclusion
I've always read nothing but praise about this plugin and put off trying it out until recently. I regret having not tried the PSPVW2 sooner. It's everything you want in a plugin: it has character, it has high sonic fidelity, and most importantly, it makes your tunes/tracks sound "bigger" without the need for stacking multiple compressors or other dynamic processors that can leave your tunes sounds wimpy. And then there's the price. I purchased mine for $127 from pluginboutique.com. It's, without question, worth every fucking penny.

When I have free time I'll post some audio samples with before/after results.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ratings Key
5 = Legendary, belongs in your studio.
4 = Very nice bit of kit that will appeal to most.
3 = Niche' at best. May be useful for some, but not the majority.
2 = Well, at least you're trying.
1 = I'd rather spend the money on cheap hookers and booze.
 
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lostnthesound

Burns Easily in the Sun
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#7
Ahh the vintage warmer! Top piece of kit! I got quite a few psp products! All of which are good
Definitely. I'm a fool for having slept on them for so long...but damn that PSP Warmer is lovely. I was actually looking at their reverb which is on sale right now...dammit all.
 
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