Softube has launched a pair of compelling new mastering tools, both recreations of coveted digital hardware processors. These are the Weiss MM-1 Mastering Maximizer and the Weiss DS-1 MK3. Here’s more about each of the new plug-ins:
Weiss MM-1 Mastering Maximizer
Softube based this plug-in on the Weiss DS1-MK3, a “mastering centerpiece” found in professional studios. The plug-in brings the same algorithms found in the original digital hardware unit. This makes for five types of limiting, all in all — Transparent, Loud, Punch, Wide, and De-ess.
The plug-in is very simple to operate. There are five buttons to choose the limiting algorithm with; an Amount button to specify how much of the effect you want dialled in; a Parallel Mix knob to get both the dry and processed signal going in unison; and a Limiter Gain knob so you can make up for lost gain or tame the excess happening as the result of limiting.
The maximizer has Input, Gain Reduction, and Output meters available — all three working in Stereo so you know what’s happening with both Left and Right channels. We really like the simplicity here — it’s a hallmark of clever design! At least for those that don’t need all the options at their fingertips…
Another recreation of a hardware unit, the DS1-MK3 is a more elaborate mastering tool with extended possibilities. The plug-in consists of a compressor, limiter, and de-esser — all three coming with presets from renowned audio mastering guru Bob Katz. Unlike the original hardware, Softube’s replica works at resolutions up to 32-bit/192 kHz. It’s also able to de-ess the mid and side sections of your audio independently.
The compressor has a variable soft-knee, letting you take it from subtle levelling to signal smashing. Finally, the limiter has been extended with two all-new algorithms so there’s more flexibility available to you.
By the way, purchasing the DS1-MK3 also brings you the Weiss MM-1 Mastering Maximizer, so that’s two punches in one go. Very good on Softube‘s part! Both units supposedly represent a line-by-line code port of the original hardware’s DSP algorithms, so you are getting something quite authentic here.
Price and availability
Both plug-ins are available now, priced at 179 USD for the MM-1 and 499 USD for the Weiss DS1-MK3. That’s a lot of money to pay for a pair of mastering tools, but we’re talking emulations of 10 000 USD hardware here. So the money Softube asks for is sensible, all things considered. The plug-ins are available in the usual formats for Windows and Mac systems.