Fuse Audio Labs has released the VCS-1 channel strip plug-in. With preamps, filters, equalizer, compressor, gate/expander and metering, all in one plug-in, VCS-1 is “complete – not complex”, as Fuse Audio Labs describes it. But they’ve implemented a couple of interesting ideas, including global link groups for managing multiple instances of the plug-in at once.
Fuse Audio Labs VCS-1
According to Fuse Audio Labs, VCS-1 is a zero-latency channel strip. The input signal passes through several distinct sections, which can be activated and deactivated individually.
First in line is a preamp section with a choice of three emulations for different sonic colors. In addition to drive and mix controls, the preamp offers an optional high quality mode that can be activated at the push of a button.
The filter section offers a choice of stereo, mid or side processing and helps to shape the signal using sweepable high and low pass filters. For more sophisticated frequency shaping, there’s a parametric 5-band equalizer, which also operates in stereo, mid or side modes.
The dynamics section consists of a compressor/limiter and a gate/expander module. The compressor has the interesting option of adjustable stereo linking. The gate/expander offers an invert button, which is another nice feature.
The metering section on the right offers an output level meter, as well as individual meters for the compressor and gate. Next to the output level knob, you’ll find a stereo width control. There’s also a sidechain input, which can be processed through the filters and EQ thanks to an integrated routing matrix. Nice!
The aforementioned global link groups are a great idea for working with multiple instances of the channel strip. You can assign instances to virtual groups, which can then be adjusted all at once. This can be a huge time saver if you work with multiple instances across several tracks of your project.
VCS-1 is a fully-featured channel strip that contains all the essential processing tools. It’s also surprisingly affordable, especially at the low intro price.
Price and compatibility
Fuse Audio Labs VCS-1 is now available for USD 29, down from USD 79. This offer lasts until December 12, 2021.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.12 or higher and Windows 7 or higher in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats.