In The Works – The Subtler Side of Analog

Posted by Ken on June 24, 2010 23 Comments


Our Decapitator plug-in was built out of abused and tortured analog gear, and is meant to be used as a not-so-subtle effect.  The feedback has been amazing, and so many of our users having been telling us that we really nailed the sound of analog with this one. If you’re interested, check out this new GearSlutz thread. But it’s also been interesting to see how many people have been using it for much subtler stuff than we designed it for. For some people, even ZERO drive isn’t clean enough, so they’ve been inserting trim plug-ins before Decapitator to pad the inputs and dial the effect back even more.

As thrilled as we are by all the love for Decapitator,  we also thought it would be even better to create a new tool designed for the subtler side of analog. So meet Juice™, our upcoming analog input channel modeling plug-in.

We learned so much developing the modeling technology that’s in Decapitator, and plan to take it even further with Juice. We’ve also collected a ridiculous amount of rare and high-end analog input channels here in the lab, and need to put those to good use.

Our plan for Juice is to develop 4 to 6 entirely new input models based on console input channels and/or mic pres, running at normal to slightly driven levels (just the preamp part, not the EQ… yet.) And with this one we’re going to hold our destructive urges in check (sorry, no punish button!) to give you just the right amount of sweet juicy goodness for all of your tracks.

We’ll have more to say soon, but here’s a look at the first draft of the interface for Juice. Whatcha think?

– KB

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  • Hi Ken,

    That new tech blog is a very very good idea. It’s always interesting to have in depth comments for the designers, sneak previews and so on. A good way of interacting with your customers for sure.

    So thanks for sharing the first draft of what is going to be another software masterpiece, and must-have plugin for every musician, mixer, producer being serious about his music.

    After reading all that and looking at the first GUI concept, here are my impressions.

    I would more see an horizontal GUI. Considering that a screen is horizontal and that it fits better this way, it would look more natural and less disturbing, as well as being more usable.

    The font used for the plugin’s name “Juice” and “Analog Input Channel” clearly suck IMHO. It lacks character and is not stylish at all. A font more in the lines of the one used for DECAPITATOR would look and fit better on the UI.

    The VU-meter is nice but too dark, and is not positioned well on the UI. Looks like it was added at the end in a rush…

    For the DRIVE and TONE knob, I would use a different color for each : keep red for DRIVE and make TONE blue.

    And I would replace the OUTPUT fader by a knob in the same style as the DRIVE and TONE one, but with a different color, black should do it.

    The buttons are perfect as they are, as is their font.

    And for the name : “Juice”. I think it’s well found ;-) !

    In the end, I have made a draft of what I think this plugin should look like IMHO. Forgive me for the crap design skills, but it gives you an idea.

    So here we go, and let’s keep in touch !

    • Hey, thanks for all the comments! We’ll TRY to live up to the expectations…


      • I have the native bundle and love all the GUI’s . That being said I think the GUI for the Juice looks wicked . I have a 22 inch screen and vertical GUI’s don’t bother me one bit . In fact I find they are a nice change of pace . The colors and the faded vintage look of the buttons , VU – meter and fader are pleasing to me as well as the face plate’s greenish hue . To each his own I suppose . I would like to shake the hand of the artist . Nice One Soundtoys team !

  • Here is another try, vertical this time, as people seem to prefer it this way.

    Would look better this way IMHO ;-) !

    Any word about that ?

    • Jay,
      Love your enthusiasm. It’s a bit too soon to make those choices on UI layout since you don’t want your UI to define functionality, but the other way around. Not sure if your a fan of our other plug-in UIs, but Ken really is a master of pulling it all together for the look and functionality for the final product.

      Mitch – SoundToys

  • will this be free to people who recently purchased/upgraded the bundle?

    looks great can’t wait to hear it.

    • No, this one’s going to be on it’s own. We’re keeping the bundle for “Effects”, and this is solidly in the realm of mix tools.

      • OK.. :)

        i guess that’s kind of splitting hairs though.. they’re all “mix tools” and they’re all “effects”. well, i certainly don’t mix w/o them.

  • Love the look of the plug. Love the sound of decapitator. I hold my breath for this ‘juice’…

  • Oh HELL YEAH guys – I’m psyched. (I’m the beta tester who suggested you label the buttons things like “Gorilla Scrotum”).

    Seriously – Decap is awesome, but limited – but what is apparent is you guys understand words like “warm”, “phat”, and “woolly” (and “testosterone”, “german girl’s underarm”, etc). So PLEASE… keep some useful warm, phat, wooly, “my sweater just came out of the dryer” magic in this one!!! (And don’t forget a little sparkle, too).

    This is exciting news.

  • Any chance of zero latency?

  • This looks fantastic! I demoed Decapitator and thought it was the most “real” sounding plugin I’ve ever used, but it’s too heavy-handed for what I’m looking for (something to put on every channel, console-emulation of a sort). There’s some other stuff coming down the pipe but I don’t think I’ll be able to purchase anything until I try this. Do you have a rough time-line on the development of this plugin? Thanks!

    • This great do you can add midi learn function to map the fader to my console
      in protools, i hate pro tools fader they don’t let you map third party consoles

  • Looks like a great idea. I wonder whether products like this might have implications for the future of DAW design. Using it as a standard plug-in would be fine when there were only a few instances but if it were used on every channel, wouldn’t it make more sense if there was a way to use it _instead_ of the DAW’s default fader? What would it take for DAW manufacturer’s to modularize their fader section so that they could be replaced by the user’s input model of choice while still being able to see relative fader levels with one scan across the mixer page? Out of your hands I know. Just a thought.


  • So, any news on this? I have some money burning a hole in my pocket!

  • I’m with David! It would be so great to be able to (somehow) turn this into the default fader/mix setup on my DAW (cubase). I realize that creates a host (no pun intended) of issues… but still. would be cool. Is there some crazy ReWire way to do this?

  • Hi ken,

    Love Decapitator and can’t wait to try this! But i know i would like an input gain? with a red pot cap please :)

    Or better still 2x input gain pots! one for mic tone and one for line? (This one with a yellow pot cap please!!)

    You Wrock


  • Good Work ! For the Gui :
    I like the old design more, specially the VU Meter and Knobs. The new ones looks a bit like “API ” Knobs. Fo me a bit displaced.
    The black ones fitted more into the Gui. Same goes to the VU Meter. Verry nice old school VU style.
    And Button whise, I see why they are now vertically alligned since a new model came into play and you had to make it more compact. You used the space better in the new Version, no blank spots. What about the low cut ? No Implementation ?
    Can´t wait to see AND HEAR the Plugin finished. Keep up the good work !

  • I am looking very much forward to this, I’ve been using SoundToys plugins since 2005 (the 1st actual 3rd Party plugs I ever brought, then McDSP’s). I love what your company makes and the support behind your guys remind me of Apple (which is a AWESOME thing). You stand both behind and beside both your products & customers. Please keep us ALL in-the-loop with the advancement for the Juice.

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  • You’re so interesting! I do not believe I have read something like this before.
    So nice to find somebody with original thoughts on this subject matter.
    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

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