Tone Empire has taken on the “King of Compressors” with the new Firechild plug-in, which emulates four models of the legendary Fairchild. With three tube versions and a “clean” model that doesn’t color the signal, Firechild aims to cover all your Vari-Mu compression needs.
Tone Empire Firechild
At the heart of Firechild are three different tube versions of the Fairchild (A, B and C), which provide different tube saturation colors, according to the developer. Tone Empire says that they sampled the actual hardware units at multiple gain and compression settings, and then used dynamic convolution technology to turn these samples into accurate software recreations of the classic. A bias knob lets you dial in additional saturation.
In addition to the three tube modes, the Firechild plug-in offers a transparent mode that deactivates the convolution and provides a coloration-free, “clean” emulation. This can be handy if you want the typical Fairchild characteristics, including the fast attack times and various release modes, but without the tube coloration.
The developer has taken the emulation a step further by adding a knee control for further shaping of the compression characteristics. There’s also a side-chain section, which allows you to adjust the side-chain signal using a pair of high pass and low pass filters (24 dB/oct) and side-chain gain. And finally, Tone Empire has added a mix knob for parallel processing.
While Firechild aims to provide an accurate software recreation of the timeless classic, it also offers a couple of interesting options and possibilities that many other emulations don’t have. At the low intro price, it looks like a great addition to any plug-in folder.
Price and compatibility
Tone Empire Firechild is now available for an introductory price of USD 49. The regular price will be USD 99. A 15-day trial is available.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.13 or higher (M1 supported) and Windows 10 or higher in VST3, AU and AAX formats (64 bit).