Review: d16 SilverLine
It’s been quite a while since “Phoscyon” came out and a small coder team named d16 got loads of attention by music producers. While first being critical about just another TB-303 clone it became clear those guys know what they are doing – so no surprise there the plugin’s successors, being emulations of famous drum synthesizers, were a huge success as well. The next big deal to be announced was the effect series “SilverLine” – enough reason for us at pro|tone to have a close look at these. Enjoy!
At first glance…
The SilverLine is a collection of basic, important effects to enrich your productions: reverb, chorus, phaser, bitcrusher, multiband distortion and vintage tube distortion. As there are similar bundles available on the market, for example the uhbik series from u-he, we’re trying to comment in detail on the uniquie sound character, ease of use and some more.
Well, first of all the visual aspect has never been a problem of d16 but much more sweet eye-candy, and these plugins are no exception: a clean and clear GUI, easy to see and to use with respect to all parameters, kind of vintage metal optics. However, the parameter fonts could use a bit more size, it’s sometimes not that easy to read. The menus have a good structure, you can copy and paste and do other things comfortable for creating another preset. Of course, all parameters are fully controllable via midi commands. All plugins deliver quite some inspiring presets to get started with.
The plugin installation works smoothly and simply requires a registration file to work – no hassle with dongles. Loading time in the sequencer is somewhat around the average, but what quickly becomes clear is the relatively high cpu consumption. The experienced producer would say now: sure, good plugins with a great sound simply need some cpu power. True in many cases, although it’s often a question of code optimization which can at least save you some % cpu load. Let’s see whether the sound is worth it!
According to the adjustable parameters, this is a state-of-the-art plugin. Room size, diffusion, early and late EQ – just everything you need. Reverb quality can be set to 4 stages, the last one sadly really eating your cpu, but revealing a truely great sound. Using this plugin makes you see one thing at once: it’s not that kind of precious use-on-anything reverb like ArtsAcoustic – it’s a plugin that adds very unique, character reverb to your audio. Listen to recent tunes of reknowned artists in the edm scene you’ll find loads of “strange” reverbs on samples and other audioparts, where people would have said “uh that sounds wack” just some years ago. Nowadays these effects are regarded as “cool”, and that’s exactly what we think: Toraverb is cool. Musical. Very unique. Taste it below!
This plugin turns out to be one of the sweetest additions to a bassline or lead in house music (and other genres, of course). You can “phase” your audiosource up to 8 stages, add a lot more life by two LFOs using 6 different waveforms from saw to random, tempo-synced if desired. Moreover, you have full stereo phase control (0-180°). It’s just a very vivid addition to your sound.
When using a chorus you often want one or all of these aspects: warmth, rich and thick sound, precious leads or basses. All this requires more or less an (emulated) analog pathway as digital harshness is often just the very wrong sound here. d16 even included a Bucket-Brigade Device (BBD) emulation, an analog delay line, giving rise to even more character sound. Enough words – get an impression of what Syntorus can do.
Vintage Tube Distortion: Redoptor
This plugin is a true treasure for all lovers of tube distortion. Using Redoptor on audio or a plugin, it adds everything distortion-related to the sound, but moreover a very warm way – one could call it “warm distortion”… It’s not the brutal kind of hell-screaming fuzzyness your sound becomes, it’s true vintage sound at it’s best: you’ll experience why a tube always has been and will be desirable for distortion sound. Remarkably, there is stereo processing available, allowing to use completely different settings on the l/r channel, thereby going beyond the typical “distortion sound is always mono” thing. However, it requires some knowledge and tweaking to make this cool feature fit your sound…
Decimort is probably one of the “most normal” plugins of the Silver Series. It just delivers the typical lofi sound, from subtile to screaming or even annoying once taking care of the high frequency region. Really nice to see again is the stereo signal split, allowing once more for independent bitcrushing on the l/r channel. d16 also included an additional filter for each channel – a true eldorado to get creative.
Multiband Distortion: Devastor
For sure you know the nasty sound of Roland’s TB303 – and probably you didn’t miss Phoscyon, d16′s software version of the legend. Exactly the legendary distortion qualities now found their way to a dedicated plugin: nasty, screaming overdrive – this is what Devastor delivers with a punch. However, a configurable diode clipper and 3 filter sections (that’s where the “multiband” declaration comes from) with flexible routing options take things even further. Actually, we experienced that d16′s official text is just so much true: the anti-aliasing algorithm truely avoids the scream-only and first-of-all-cold sound of this distortion plugin. As “normal” as this effect seems, it’s still a very precious sounding one.
All our testing can be summed up quickly: the SilverLine series is outstanding and unique in sound quality. – you might have realized this by our kind of passionate writing as well. You pay for this with a cpu load somewhat above the average, so some optimization could probably be done here. However, your production will get a lot more precious character with these – in fact, that’s all SilverLine is about: giving a special touch to the sound, not being just another standard plugin series.
Plugin price: each 39 €, Bundle: 179 €, check the website for the current winter sale
More information & purchase at d16.pl
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