Output has released Thermal. As the name suggests, the new effect plug-in is all about warmth, distortion and saturation. Thermal pairs a multi-band distortion stage with the modulation engine from the Output Portal granular effect for hot-rodded overdriving that’ll make your head spin.
Output continues its effects series with the new Thermal plug-in. If you’ve used Portal before, the GUI will look familiar. That’s because Thermal uses the same modulation engine with two looping envelopes. The two modulators can sync to the host tempo if you wish, and offer a humanize parameter for some subtle variations and a random feature for the adventurous. Like Portal, the plug-in also features a large X/Y pad with animated graphics, which lets you control and automate two assignable macros at the same time.
So this is no static overdrive or distortion effect that you slap on a track and leave it (although it can probably do that, too). Like Portal, Thermal is about adding movement to your audio, this time by modulating a wide variety of saturation and distortion effects.
Thermal features a multi-band distortion engine with a total of 19 analogue and digitally modeled algorithms. A frequency analyzer provides visual assistance while adjusting the crossover frequencies in multi-band mode. You can adjust the distortion algorithms with a shape control, frequency modulation, feedback and more. The signal for each band then reaches a filter, mid/side and time based stereo width and a tone control for final adjustments. Thermal also features an integrated effects section with nine built-in effects, which can of course also be modulated.
With multi-band processing and its very flexible modulation engine, Thermal makes adding distortion a part of the creative sound design process. If you’re into animated, modulated effects, it’s probably worth a closer look.
Price and compatibility
Output Thermal is now available from the developer’s website for USD 149. It’s also part of the Output Bundle, which gets you 10 virtual instruments and effects for 65% less than the cost of the individual plug-ins.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.9 or higher and Windows 7 or higher in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats (64 bit). Installation and activation is handled by the Output Hub software.