United Plugins Autoformer: three stages of dynamic control
United Plugins has released Autoformer by SounDevice Digital. Combining a preamp and saturator, volume rider, and compressor, the plug-in is designed to keep your levels in check and deliver a punchy sound. The developer says that it shines on bass and drums, but Autoformer looks like it’ll be useful for other signals, as well.
United Plugins Autoformer
After Front DAW and Verbum Entropic Hall, Autoformer is the next plug-in created for United Plugins by Prague-based developers SounDevice Digital. This one is all about precise control over your signals’ dynamics. Autoformer includes three separate processing stages: preamp, balancer and compressor. Each of the three sections has its own bypass switch and you can use them independently or together.
The preamp section is first and takes care of boosting the level and adding saturation. The mojo knob lets you dial in the desired amount of colour. There are three flavours to choose from: British, American and German.
After the preamp is the balancer section. This is an automated volume rider which constantly adjusts the volume without compressing the dynamic range. Imagine someone riding a fader. The leveller knob sets the intensity of the effect. Seer is a look-ahead parameter, which determines how quickly the balancer reacts to changes in volume.
Lastly, there’s a compressor, which United Plugins describes as gentle, fast and modern. It’s not meant for colouring the signal, but for smooth dynamic control. The compressor offers gain, squash, time and ratio controls, though the latter two aren’t labeled with exact values. So you’ll have to play by ear, which is best anyway. There’s also a mix knob, which means that it can be used for parallel compression.
Autoformer also features an overall output level control and a comprehensive metering section.
The developer says that Autoformer works especially well on bass, double bass and drum tracks, as well as vocals and voice-overs. I think that the combination of saturation and colour, volume riding and compression in a single plug-in seems quite useful for many other types of signals, as well. I liked SounDevices’ other plug-ins, so I’ll make sure to give this one a try.
Price and compatibility
United Plugins Autoformer is now available at Plugin Boutique* for USD 30 / GBP 25.55. That’s almost 70% off the regular price. This introductory offer lasts until April 5, 2020.
The plug-in runs on Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats (32/64 bit). A 15-day free trial version is available from the developer’s website.