Black Salt Audio is an up-and-coming brand founded by Jordan Valeriote from Hardcore Music Studio in Canada. Its first releases are the Low Control and Escalator plug-ins, both meant to deliver big sounds with simple controls.
Low Control applies compression and harmonic distortion to consolidate bass frequencies, add weight and make them audible on small speakers and other listening equipment that doesn’t go down far low. The low frequencies are compressed independently by dialing in the threshold, without affecting the signal above it. Then, the enhancer adds harmonics to fill out the low end and make it more present. The controls include low end gain (set level of controlled low frequencies), solo low (hear only the low frequencies being processed), and separate on/bypass switches for the compressor and enhancer.
Escalator picks up on the one-knob plug-in concept where you have one macro control change a bunch of effects parameters that are hidden out of sight. Adjusting the plug-in’s sole control at its lower range saturates the sound while preserving transients. At higher ranges, more saturation and soft-clipping is applied for a more focused sound. At extreme ranges, the saturation and clipping cause audible distortion.
Price and availability
Low Control costs EUR 101 and Escalator costs EUR 81. While such prices are steep for this kind of plug-ins, buying both gets you 20% off the final price to soften the blow a bit. Trial versions are available for further convincing alongside video and audio samples. The plug-ins work under macOS 10.11 or later and Windows 10 in 64-bit AAX, AU, and VST3 formats.