Up and coming Neural DSP has introduced a promising distortion pedal emulation. It has been created in partnership with manufacturer Darkglass Electronics and models the latter’s Ultra pedal series — the Microtubes B7K Ultra and Vintage Ultra. The modelling technology used here has been in development for six months, and emulating the Ultra pedals proved a challenge for Neural.
Apparently, the Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra pedal houses up to 10 times more components than a typical tube amp or overdrive pedal — including the 4049 CMOS chip, which had to be recreated in order to match the pedal’s distortion characteristics and capture the sonic nuances of every single component.
Neural DSP claims the result is indistinguishable from the real Darkglass pedals. They are designed for bass sounds, but feel free to throw the plug-ins at anything else you have.
The pedals feature identical controls —Master, Bass, Blend, Lo Mids, Level, Hi Mids, Drive, and Treble knobs; and Attack, Lo Mids, Grunt, and Hi Mids switches. There’s a linked EQ option so changes made to one of the pedals are reflected on the other. The distortions can be used in stereo mode, and there are preset managers and out/in visualizers, too. Good stuff all-around! Just don’t expect any info on their website, which only gives a brief company profile. They’re obviously still arranging the pot plants and hanging the pictures at the Neural DSP offices, so you’ll have to wait for more information on these plug-ins. But we are expecting good things based on this first release…
Price and availability
The Darkglass Ultra pedal emulations cost EUR 99 and are contained in a single plug-in. It’s available for Windows and Mac in all the usual formats.