This small freeware is extremely well designed and provides very nice sounds. It’s no less than magical as a mixing tool. I actually don’t use it to saturate sounds but to enhance and isolate instruments within a mix.
I’m currently working on an electro/metal project and I’m a real beginner in metal mixing… So on a same project I can have 2 to 3 oversaturated guitar tracks (downtuned in Bb or dropped D) and an of course equally saturated bass track, all being recorded in my home studio. Of course guitar tracks are often double tracked… And I’m getting worked up with mixing this. Doing all my usual stuff that usually works well on pop / electro / rock (e.g. high- & low-pass filtering, EQing, frequency masking…), I always end up with a mashup sound with mixed saturations, this oversized low-end and the shrieking highs from this ****** Metal Zone that violently destroy both your ears and the mix’s brilliance…
And now, a miracle has happened – I found the IVGI… To give it a try, I cancelled all treatments on my ultra-thrash Bb guitar tracks, put the plugin on… and finally got what I was going for.
The plugin features 5 major controls – trim, drive, output, asym mix and response. Drive goes from barely audible to a nice distorted sound, all very progressive and no high-gain setting. The best part of it are the asym mix and response settings. The first allows to manage the plugin’s dynamics, turning it clockwise giving a natural compression while counter clockwise respects the signal’s synamics. Basically, you get very progressively from the dynamic behaviour of a TS9 to that of a TS808. Finally, the response control allows to choose the frequency band on which the saturation will be applied… and no need for an important drive level, it’s just about adding harmonics to the signal at the selected frequency. The result is a real killer for mixing. A heavy guitar compressed in the low end, the other guitar in dynamic mode in the high-mids, and all of a sudden my mix gets clearer and all instruments find their place naturally, no more mashup – magic, I say!
Another great feat is the VU meter and level controls. It’s recommended to hit the plug at aound 0dB, so in and you adjust the trim then click in/out and see the average in and out level, then aim for 0dB and here you go. Genius!
Finally, the plugin of course sounds very well for saturation too, I used it for such on a DI-recorded bass and the resulting sound is good and very precise.
I have just remixed all guitars and bass tracks from the aforementioned electro/metal project using it, and we’ve reached another dimension in mix quality. It sounds very professional, punchy and clear (ala prodigy metal punk…) and finally now I can hear my electro parts in the middle of all these distorted guitars. I am now going to use it on other sources, can’t wait to try it on vocals… The plugin sounds very well and perfectly respects the original signal.
I love everything in this plugin and no longer could do without it, whatever the project is. Value for money is just huge, it’s a freeware!!! I can’t even understand how such a great thing can be free when you see all the (paid) inefficient and expensive plugins you can find on the VST market.