Developer Excite Audio introduced Lifeline Console, a new plug-in and a direct follow-up to Lifeline Expanse which it released last year. This time, it’s all about simulating analog saturation via modular channel strip and multi-effects. It’s powerfull stuff, but the plug-in’s clean-cut interface makes it a breeze to dial in.
Excite Audio Lifeline Console
There are five modules in the plug-in and each is meant for a different analog flavor. You can determine their order and combination via drag-and-drop, just like other virtual racks. According to the manufacturer, up to 243 different combinations of module arrangements and mode selection are possible. You’ll probably like at least a few.
The virtual channel strip’s building blocks include a preamp used to color incoming audio. An adjustable frequency response curve lets you choose the amount of saturation. Moving on, a 4-band parametric EQ is included to further shape the frequency spectrum while selectable Gain, Vintage and Dirt modes regulate the analog character.
A compressor is also present with three modes – Analog, Transparent, and Variable. Controls for ratio, attack, release, threshold, knee mix, stereo link, and make-up gain are available. The latter can be switched to auto.
The next two modules are meant for vintage and Lo-Fi sounds. Mod creates pitch modulations reminiscent of tape, vinyl, and cassette. The parameters include Wow, Flutter, Depth and Speed. Oscillation curves are also available for this type of modulation. A module called Wear keeps it company, generating textures such as noise, hum, mechanical noises, artefacts and dropouts.
All five modules have their own display, which certainly helps with operation. The M/S and L/R processing options are particularly powerful – you can target only the middle and the side signals, or work in regular stereo. This opens up many possibilities!
Lastly, the output section awaits. Here, you determine the input and output volume. You also blend the dry and wet signals from the triangle XY pad. Finally, you can use the Warm and Shine controls to polish up the bass and treble.
Price and availability data
Until June 30 2022, the full version of Lifeline Console costs $49 (down from $69), the trimmed lite version costs $29 (instead of $49) and the bundle of Lifeline Console and Lifeline Expanse costs USD 99 (down from USD 138). The latter seems to be the most economical, especially if you are a newcomer to Excite Audio.
You can purchase any of the Lifeline Console editions from our affiliate partner Plugin Boutique *:
Excite Audio Lifeline Console works in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats under macOS (10.7 or later) and Windows (7 or later). You can get a free demo version from the developer’s website.