I regularly find myself working in mixes where the number of plugins used across the different tracks is maximizing my computer’s DSP. That is why I’m always interested in new tools to streamline my sessions and make my workflow easier without jeopardizing the sound quality. The Sonimus Satson Channel Strip is one of these tools! This plug-in allows you to do more with less. It allows you to have multiple modules that you can set up to shape the sound of your mix and make it tighter.
I work extensively with Hip-Hop and RNB, where vocal processing is usually very large. My vocal chain includes a variety of plug-ins (De-Esser EQ, Compressor, Exciter) that sometimes tend to use a lot of DSP. I noticed that this channel strip cut my chain strip in half. It was an all in one type of plug-in. Therefore I decided to use this plug-in on a vocal mix bus.
If you are an engineer with the luxury of having amazing equipment, and you know what you are doing with it, you do not need to stress about proper gain-staging. However, there are times when a client will send poorly recorded vocal files. For the song that I sent in, I could have definitely used the clip gain on Pro Tools or automate levels, but since I had the Channel Strip I wanted to see if I could achieve that same goal. I used the Sonimus Satson CS Gain Staging module to make the vocals clear and cut through the mix a little bit. Luckily for me, the issues with the vocal were loudness and muddiness. A useful parameter of the CS was the Filters that came with this module, allowing me to take off a little bit of the low-end muddiness with the High-Cut filter.
Gain Staging Module includes a saturation enabler (Gain Compression) to ultimately transform the fader into a drive knob. But for this session, I only needed to make sure the gain levels were set right. In future sessions, I will test more in-depth of this feature. The next module was the Compressor module which has all the features that we see in a compressor plus some extra nice addons like a dry/wet knob for parallel compression and a side chain high pass filter. For this mix, adding 23dB to the Amount parameter, and having a fast attack with the medium release, gave me the compressed effect on the vocal that I wanted.
Finally, I used the Satson CS EQ module. This EQ looked like an SSL plug-in but with a little bit of polish to the look. Its slick look definitely made it easier to navigate around the module. I did an A/B test with the EQ to see what sonic difference it would give me, and I found it added a very dark and warm tone to the vocal mix-bus.
My favorite part of the Sonimus Satson CS has been being able to do a lot of series processing. This channel strip allowed me to have up to 8 modules at a time. If I wanted to do a series of EQ, or compression to tame the peaks and the lows, I could. If I wanted to series gain-staging or add a little bit of distortion to my tracks, I could. Just use the different modules up to however times you want! For example, you can have one EQ module acting as a subtractive EQ, while the other one would be adding on and smoothening the frequencies. All in one single plugin!
After checking out kings on the Satson Channel Strip, I can confirm that this plugin will be used a lot throughout my upcoming mixing sessions. This channel strip proved to be useful in many applications.
If you are looking to cut down on CPU, and get professional tools that can upgrade the sound of your mixes and sessions, then definitely take a look at the Satson CS.