Slate Digital VCC 2.0 Review
Slate Digital recently released the highly anticipated 2.0 version of their popular Virtual Console Collection plugin. VCC was originally released back in 2011 with the goal of bringing mixing desk style signal path coloration to digital audio workstations. VCC is now a part of the same virtual rack as Slate’s new VMR signal processing plugins, but perhaps the most talked about aspect of VCC 2.0’s release is that it’s now available in all major plugin formats: VST2, VST3, AU, RTAS, and AAX. VCC 2.0 also ships with an all-new console emulation, the Brit 4k E and some new parameter controls. Now on to the review!
Previously the only controls on VCC were a console selection knob and a drive knob. Now there are controls to select the console, control the level of drive (the nonlinear response of the console with no volume increase as in the previous version), select which group the channel or mixbuss is interacting with, and lastly there is an input and output knob. The link button sets the plugin so that increasing the input to drive the coloration harder decreases the output to maintain a constant volume. There is also a “hidden” control under the VU meter; by using the screw on the GUI one can control the calibration of the VU meter. Lastly there is noise reduction button to disable the character noise inherent in each modeled console.
Control-wise there’s a lot more versatility in the latest version. The new console is punchy and has plenty of pleasant saturation. VCC 2.0 has not been without its bugs (for example now when I drop Revival in the mix rack it crashes it) but Slate seems to be acting vigilantly to release fixes. Performance-wise, CPU usage is down – which is a huge bonus considering this is the kind of plugin that ends up on just about every track.
Overall, I’m finding VCC 2.0 is creating a bigger impact on my mixes than it did in its previous incarnation. I won’t throw all the usual buzz words and adjectives at you (warm, fat, smooth, etc…) but it definitely livens up a mix. It should be noted that like all Slate Digital plugins VCC requires an iLok, which some people tend to cite as a deal breaker. But it’s as good a time as any to jump on the iLok wagon, especially since Slate typically throws in a free one with the purchase of a plugin.
- + New Features
- + Update Is Free
- + Lower CPU Usage