SoundToys Little Radiator
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this guy adds tube-like clipping and compression.... heat is gain and mix is self explanatory. The pad is handy for hot signals when you can't get subtle enough even with the heat way down although in most DAWs you will have a trim control hiding out somewhere before the effects chain if you know your software, still the fixed pad is a quick way to jack it down a fixed amount fast and you can trim up or down from there.... and the blend is great for sub group use. I like it on drum busses especially where there's a lot of synth and drum machine and not much in the ay of loops or real drum samples. Cool on some vocals too because its a smooth distortion that's not dark. With vocals its like different effects depending where you fit it in the chain. If tis first the dirt slies one place and then gets compressed (although if the esses are hissy I would de-ess and THEN use this, for real) and then sandwiched between compression and EQ you get another thing, and then driven by EQ? yet another. Try it on an echo send after your delay or on a reverb send before and/or after the verb.... try putting it before that delay but after an expander set pretty extreme so only the attack is overtly crunchy and that can just trail into space. What can't the little radiator do? well, it ahs a sound that's not tweakable. Wanna get some control? spring for the big version, but this is fast and musical so I am fine without the fancier one.