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Softube Console 1 Hardware Controller and Plug-in Software

Softube's UK 4k plug-in software gives you the sweet sound of a vintage British channel strip -- and Softube's Console 1 is the ideal control surface for it. Rate and review this product
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Product Description

The Softube Console 1 is an integrated hardware/software mixer. The software part gives you a full-featured mixer channel strip that you can insert on any or all mixer channels in your DAW. The hardware gives you physical control of that channel strip -- not just the effects settings, but all aspects of it. Select channels, tweak the settings -- complete your mix from beginning to end without using the computer mouse. All the settings you make with Console 1 are saved with your DAW project, so you have total recall.

Used together with any major DAW, Console 1 will not only give you the analog sound that Softube's plug-ins are world-famous for, but also the analog workflow of using physical knobs and buttons when you mix. Console 1 is all about great sound and intuitive, hands-on control.

The workflow

Inserting the Console 1 plug-in on any or all mixer channels of your DAW routs the sound from the DAW into the Console 1 mixer. Press a track selector button on the Console 1 hardware, and start tweaking the knobs. That's it! The full-featured channel strip is at your disposal and each function has a corresponding knob or button on the hardware. Very few functions are accessed through menus.

The visuals

The on-screen display gives you perfect and detailed visual feedback of the selected channel's settings. At the bottom of the window, the meter bridge displays the levels of the currently selected channel bank (unlimited number of banks, each holds 20 channels). But you also get plenty of visual feedback from the hardware. LED rings show the knobs' positions, and meters display input and output levels, as well as gate and compressor gain reduction. So for an even more analog mix experience, just turn off the on-screen display and use your ears! You won't get lost.

The sound

The Softube plug-ins are all world-class quality, and the Console 1 software is no exception. Included in the purchase is UK 4k, a model by Softube of an analog console. UK 4k perfectly mimics the sound of a well-known British large format console, used on countless records from its introduction in the late 1970s and onwards. There will be more channel strips for Console 1 in the future.

The channel strip does not only include the world famous four-band equalizer and compressor from the modeled console, but there's also the Drive section which models analog console saturation. And then there's Dynamic Shape, a unique processor that combines expander/gate and transient shaper functions. Each channel also have high/low pass filters and phase reversal. Plus Solo, Mute, Pan and Volume.

The extras

An added bonus is that each channel can be separately customized by adding in any Softube equalizer or compressor. So if you have, say, the Tube-Tech CL 1B Compressor and prefer it to the UK 4k compressor for a certain track, just exchange it.
The hardware offers some useful extra functions, such as the ability of grouping any or all channels to tweak the settings simultaneously across the group, and changing the order of the effect sections. You can copy settings from one channel strip to the other, or just the sections you want to. You can also use parallel compression and route an external sidechain signal into the gate or compressor. The on-screen display is toggled on and off with a dedicated button on the hardware.

The History function is simply an undo feature. To our knowledge, no DAW offers undo for plug-in settings, but you get that with Console 1.

With the purchase, the Console 1 software comes loaded with UK 4k for Console 1, a Softube model of a mixer channel from a classic large-frame British console from the late 1970's. The mixer channel encompasses an equalizer, a compressor, a gate, a transient shaper and Drive, a model of the saturation you get from running the signal through the analog circuits, with adjustable intensity and character.

Features:

- Tightly integrated hardware/software system
- World class analog channel modeling
- Hands-on control and intuitive workflow
- Use with any major DAW
- Parametric equalizer, compressor, gate, transient shaper, high/low cut filters and analog console distortion
- Customize the channel by adding any Softube equalizer or dynamics plug-in

A Dedicated Control Surface for the Softube Console 1 Plug-in

Console 1 isn't quite a DAW controller: The hardware doesn't affect any of your DAW's settings or functions. The software part of Console 1 lives within your DAW, and the hardware only controls the Console 1 software with its loaded effects. To get full control of your mix, Softube recommends that you insert the Console 1 plug-in on all the mixer channels of your DAW, as well as on auxes, subgroups, and the master buss.

Once you have the Console 1 plug-in inserted on all your DAW tracks, the tracks will show up in the Console 1 system. You can now select and control each of them from the hardware. You'll get an overview of all the tracks' levels via the Console 1 meter bridge in the On-Screen Display, and you can select which track to work with by using the channel selector buttons on the hardware. Every time you select a track, you'll see the settings for that channel strip on the On-Screen Display and the LEDs around each knob and button on the hardware. Use the hardware knobs to adjust the settings to your liking. Then select the next track you think needs work, and tweak that.

UK 4k: Softube's Model of the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E

Your Console 1 software comes loaded with UK 4k: Softube's model of the classic analog console Solid State Logic SL 4000 E. Softube has modeled the equalizer, the channel compressor, the gate/expander, the high- and low-cut filters and also the harmonics and non-linearities you get from overdriving the signal through the analog circuits of the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E, with adjustable intensity and character. Softube also added Transient Shaper, which is purely a Softube effect and not part of the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E console.

Hands-On Hardware Controls

The Dynamic Shape section is a unique combination of an expander/gate and Softube's own Transient Shaper. The Transient Shaper lets you soften or sharpen the onset of the sound, and also make the sound sustain shorter or longer.

You will find phase reversal and input gain/output volume. There is also pan, plus Solo and Mute switches. You can change the order of the sections, if you for example prefer to put the compressor before the equalizer in the signal chain, and you can group any or all channels to tweak their settings simultaneously. You can copy settings between tracks and save and call up presets. You can route external sidechain signals to the compressor or the gate/expander. Everything is controlled from the hardware and almost all functions have their own dedicated switches or knobs.

You'll see 20 channel buttons on the hardware, but you're not limited to 20 channels. Press the page up/down buttons to flick through all your channels quickly. Just press Up once, and you'll see channels 21-40, etc. The limit to your channel count is how much your computer can take, just as with other plug-ins.

On-Screen Display of All Settings and Functions

The On-Screen Display gives detailed visual feedback on all settings and functions of the Console 1 system. You can toggle it on/off with a dedicated button on the hardware to reveal your DAW behind it, or make the window smaller to fit next to your DAW window, or drag it to a second computer monitor if you have that. You can also have it automatically pop up as soon as you change a setting on the hardware. But the LED meters and rings around the knobs on the hardware also give you plenty of visual feedback, so it's possible to complete an entire mix without watching the computer screen at all.

On the Go? Use Your Softube Plug-ins Without the Hardware

The Console 1 software and its effects DSP isn't powered from the hardware. All signal processing takes place within your computer. The hardware only controls the software and has no built-in processing power. You can actually use the Console 1 software without even having the hardware connected to the computer. You can change the settings from a graphic user interface on the computer, that resembles the hardware unit. In this case, you will of course need to use your computer mouse.

Softube is known for making plug-ins with a low CPU usage (with TSAR-1 reverb as a possible exception). When you first add the plug-in to a channel, all its sections are bypassed by default, and if you keep it like that, the CPU usage is barely measurable. But you still get pan, input level and output volume for that channel (as well as Solo and Mute), so Softube recommends that you create a mix template with the Console 1 plug-in inserted on all channels to get complete control of your mix from the Console 1 hardware.

You do not need to worry about latency using Console 1. In this respect, there is no difference between the Console 1 system or any other plug-in: The signal processing induces latency, but all major DAWs today have automatic latency compensation.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Softube products.
- Mac OS only at the time of launch, Windows support will follow.
- Console is 17 x 7.5 x 2 inches
- Seamless integration with any DAW that supports AAX, VST, or AU plug-in formats
- Loaded with UK 4k -- a DAW plug-in that models an analog console channel strip
- Allows you to insert other Softube plug-ins for sonic variety
- Every plug-in parameter is directly controllable from the hardware
- Rugged, compact controller connects and draws power via USB

System Requirements:

- Version 2.0 of the Softube plug-ins have the following minimum requirements.

- All native versions:
- - Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8, with the latest updates.
- - Screen resolution larger than 1280x800
- - Any VST, VST3, AU, RTAS (Pro Tools 9) or AAX (Pro Tools 10.3.7, 11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application
- - iLok USB key and the latest iLok License Manager (download them from www.ilok.com)
- - Broadband internet access for downloading installer and register licenses.

- All Softube plug-ins support both 32- and 64-bit hosts and operating systems. Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo.
-
- Please, make sure that you always use the latest iLok License Manager. It is not included in the Softube installer, but can be downloaded from www.ilok.com.

- AAX DSP version
- - For AAX DSP you need to meet the requirements for the Native version. You also need to have an Avid HDX processing card. For plug-ins available for AAX DSP, see Which Softube plug-ins support AAX DSP?
- - Different plug-ins will have a different load on your HDX card, please see the AAX DSP Supported Instances per DSP card for more information

- TDM version
- - Please see Softube's Legacy Installers page for available plug-ins
- - For requirements and TDM CPU consumption please see the Softube Plug-ins Manual
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 5 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 19 x 9 x 4 in
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