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The evil analog level destroyers are here. Devil-Loc and Devil-Loc Deluxe are a Soundtoys twist inspired by the classic Shure Level-Loc mic limiter. These plug-ins add huge sucking compression, grit, dirt, distortion, and take drums (but try it anywhere) to a wonderful hellish nightmare. It's not for the faint of heart.
Essentially a distorting compressor but so much more, it's really quite simple but also a bit supernatural. Because the release time of the compression is affected by the input level (like the Level-Loc) it's a bit hard to predict exactly what will happen the first time you work with it. Luckily, with just two knobs, you can find the magic spot for your track fairly quickly and you'll be going for that sound more and more. Don't be fooled by its simple front panel, this plug-in has a lot more cool sounds than you'd expect out of two knobs. Get crushing kick drums, to almost rhythmic level sweeps with the crazing sucking compression, to blitzed out blasting beat loops. Drive it hard and you get straight hardware sounding break-up and drive. It's a devil in disguise, and the devil's in the details, and the devil made us do it and all those other devil references.
To take things beyond the hardware that inspired it and give you even more creative flexibility, we've created a second plug-in, Devil-Loc Deluxe. The Deluxe version adds a "Darkness" control for tone, switchable slow or fast release times and the ability to mix the original back in right on the front panel. The addition of these controls opens up the sonic palette immensely. Dark thundering drums, to driven lo-fi loops, and more, and the mix control saves all that tedious routing and lets you automate mix to keep the Devil from taking over the soul of your tracks. This time, evil is good. But it isn't free.
A Bit of History
The original Shure Level-Loc from the 1960s was a brick wall limiter designed to be used in public address systems. Its extreme compression and gritty sound eventually became a secret weapon of some well-known and very creative engineers and producers. It's an extreme effect, and can create huge sounds with drums and room mics, and in small amounts can add sizzle to things like vocals or acoustic guitar. The controls were very simple, with only a switch for three "distance" settings based on how far from the mic you were. The M62V upped the control a bit by adding an input level knob. The reason it became famous was largely thanks to Soundtoys user Tchad Blake and his desire to push, abuse, and do deliciously evil things to his tracks. He discovered that the Level-Loc was gritty, dirty, and unusual. The kind of compression that made drums gigantic and nasty - which is a good thing.