Slate Digital has been moving in a different direction this year, which makes sense to me. As one of the OG circuit modeling powerhouses in modern production, Slate has had near-perfect analog emulations for quite a while. Meanwhile, the competition has grown vast and generally robust. That said, the market for analog emulations has reached a level of maturity and saturation to the point where keeping on rolling without things getting a bit stale is a challenge all of its own. Look at dear Acustica Audio – they’ve turned audio archeologists, dusting off vividly obscure vintage gear for digital restoration. It’s intriguing on the outside, but running that kind of operation alongside software development must be taxing on all levels.
Slate, though, is onto a more straightforward path. It’s been wooing the lucrative pop, hip-hop and EDM producer segment with just the right stuff – plug-ins like Murda Melodies and metaTune that are made of flashy visuals and punchy sounds. Understandably, that’s exactly what younger producers with money to spend crave. Most could care less about another go at the venerable 1176 or the Pultec EQ. Thus, Slate setting their sights on the famous OTT preset from Ableton Live’s stock multi-band compressor is a solid decision. If there’s some new blood in the house of Slate switching things up , it certainly shows!
Slate Digital MO-TT
Being an unapologetic snob, I’m generally disinterested in mainstream dance and rap music, so the whole OTT craze really went past my head. Luckily, EDM Prod is admirably on-point with its article on it – just head there if you need a full recap (and feel like learning something along the way). The gist of it is that OTT is instant ‘bright, bold, and punchy’ gratification for the characteristic sounds of modern EDM, hip-hop, and pop. It also goes nice with rock drums, as punchy compression tends to do in general. But OTT only lives in Ableton and there isn’t much wiggle room to dial it in. Still, there is a diamond in there to dig for, and it seems Steve Duda (of XFER Serum fame) caught onto it earlier than most (he likes to do that). The outcome is the free Xfer OTT plug-in. Tell you what, if Mr. Duda’s been on it, then spinning OTT into a standalone plug-in is clearly worthwhile!
While the XFER OTT plug-in is more of an interpretation to be given away for free, Slate went the whole nine yards. It studied OTT like it does analog circuits and developed the findings into a beast of its own. MO-TT is the sound of OTT with upgrades like Quick modes (OTT / Hip-hop / Vocals), transient timing styles (Classic / Smooth / Smack), Global Macros, HP and LP filters, and the all-important ability to dial in the effect per frequency band (the original OTT is global). These are all no-nonsense ideas with a practical purpose, and the execution is typical, polished-up Slate. I reckon MO-TT will be well-loved at launch, and beyond!
Price and availability
Slate MO-TT is available now for USD 149 (perpetual license, iLok USB dongle required). You can also have it from the Slate All Access subscription bundles, starting at USD 10 a month (for the first 6 months). Note that the subscription is free from the USB dongle curse.
I have a hard time with subscriptions to be honest, but I always found the Slate one of immense value. The choice is there, so get whatever floats your boat! Trials are available for both MO-TT and the subscriptions if you want a test drive, too.
Slate plug-ins work under macOS 10.12 (or later) and Windows (8 or 10) in 64-bit AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX formats.