Home » News » Black Rooster Audio offers OmniTec-436C plug-in as inspired virtual emulation of Fifties-vintage vari-mu tube compressor

Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-436C plug-inERFURT, THURINGIA, GERMANY: Black Rooster Audio is proud to offer OmniTec-436C as its latest release — this time turning to the Fifties-vintage Altec 436 vari-mu tube compressor and subsequent versions thereof that became a firm favourite among mod-happy studio engineers of the time as inspiration for the beautifully-designed vintage gear emulation plug-ins producer’s own potent addition to any contemporary collection, accurately assisting in recreating the distinctive sound of pop music’s early era from the comfort of a present-day DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) — available as of May 4…

History has it that the Altec 436 series of compressors dating back to the Fifties were all-valve, vari-mu designs, meaning that the amount of compression taking place was dependent on the signal level being fed in. Initially, the 436A model had fixed parameters and no user controls whatsoever, but became a firm favourite among mod-happy studio engineers of the time looking for levelling amplifiers with parametric possibilities. The third (436C) version in the series was the result of an extensive modification and redesign by Altec itself, incorporating a parametric THRESHOLD (attack) control and optimised RELEASE TIME to make the unit behave more musically under ‘stress’. Subsequent units such as the famous Fairchild 660 from arguably better-known manufacturers clearly took their inspiration from Altec’s creative circuitry and characteristic sound. Saying that, though, several prominent producers took to the Altec 436 series, which can be heard on popular tracks by American trumpeter Herb Alpert — band leader of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass throughout the Sixties; The Beatles — surely needing no introduction as the most influential (British) band of all time, integral to the development of Sixties counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form; and American singer and actor Frank Sinatra — himself (still) one of the most popular entertainers of the Sixties (and also throughout the Forties and Fifties). Indeed, it served as Beatles’ recording engineer Geoff Emerick’s go-to limiter while working at EMI — now Abbey Road — Studios, where it effectively acted as the foundation of many significant recordings of the time. It is also fair to say, though, that in addition to influencing the sound of so many British albums, it quickly established itself in pop music studios throughout the US and Europe.

Flash-forward to today, then, and Black Rooster Audio’s OmniTec-436C is, itself, a very musical-sounding plug-in. Thanks to the tube-based modelling involved, it never sounds harsh, but rather very mellow over the entire frequency spectrum. Clearly colouration is evident, yet it never overwhelms. On top of that, though, it consistently seems to ‘glue’ tracks together in the most appealing way possible.

Put it this way: with OmniTec-436C, Black Rooster Audio has succeeded in flawlessly replicating the best features from the Fifties-vintage vari-mu tube compressor to which it owes its inspiration, yet modernises them for present-day DAW workflow with the introduction of several further flexibility-inducing features, including MODE and LINK switches allowing for selecting between LIM (limiter) and COM (compressor) and STEREO and DUAL MONO, respectively; gain staging via fine-tuning the volume of both the INPUT and output signals, while MAKEUP gain catches the attenuation from the processed compression; side-chain signal filtering with SC HIGH and SC LOW filters from 20 Hz to 12 kHz and 100 Hz to 20 kHz, respectively, while activating the SC LISTEN mode makes it possible to listen to the isolated side-chain signal after filtering; and MIX, to perfectly blend between the dry and wet signal.

It is still possible, however, to immediately identify with the ‘vintage charm’ of OmniTec-436C as its core sound remains true to that Fifties-vintage vari-mu tube compressor to which it owes its inspiration. It is, therefore, truly the ideal plug-in for anyone seeking out a creamy, vintage sound, one which is suited to bass guitar, brass, drums, strings, and vocals — or even synthesizers! Saying that, it truly shines, of course, when applied across a whole mix. Whatever way anyone chooses to use OmniTec-436C, one thing is certain: it is a potent addition to any contemporary collection of plug-ins, accurately assisting in recreating the distinctive sound of pop music’s early era from the comfort of a present-day DAW. 

OmniTec-436C is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of only $29.00 USD — rising thereafter to its regular price of $59.00 USD — as a 64-bit AAX-, AU-, and VST-compatible plug-in for macOS (10.9 or later) and a AAX- and VST-compatible plug-in for Windows (7 or later) directly from Black Rooster Audio via its dedicated webpage, which also includes in-depth information (including some superb-sounding audio demos), here: https://blackroosteraudio.com/en/landing/omnitec-436c

14-day, fully-functional trial versions of all Black Rooster Audio plug-ins — including OmniTec-436C — are available by signing up for an account here: https://blackroosteraudio.com/en/myaccount/licensemanager (The new License Manager uses a simple serial number-based activation system.)

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