Soundspear has just released its latest audio plugin Supertube, a vacuum tube compressor effect that allows you to craft your own tube circuit.

From geometry to electrical abilities, you can choose how the tube behave. Supertube is a variable-gain compressor that uses a triode as an amplifier, whose characteristics are fully customizable. Those features will affect tube color, distortion and clipping, compression scaling, recovery and punch.

In Supertube, your audio signal flows through a tube triode from its cathode to its plate (amplification). The same rectified signal is sent to the triode’s grid for dynamically limiting the output gain (vari-mu compression). Hence, the amplification stage generates warm tube coloration, while the optional compression stage offers an organic tube compression.

Supertube allows you to modify many tube intrinsic characteristics with ease, and 13 presets are included to get you started.

You can make changes to:

  • Plate voltage: Tube distortion comes from a non-linear relation between their input and their output. Increasing the tube’s plate voltage will increase the plate load and make the non-linearities steeper as well as giving earlier distortion.
  • Charge capacitor: Voltage in a tube can drop completly, causing blocking distortion. A bigger charging capacitor will increase drop recovery time which will make the distortion more noticeable. This setting also increases cathode bias to make voltage drops more frequents.
  • Transconductance: Transconductance will increase the gain reduction caused by the grid, hence making the compression more violent.
  • Tube Geometry: Various physical characteristics of the tube change the way it warms the sound: glass geometry, gas type, grid spires… This setting allows to blend between two tube blueprints that sound the radically different.
  • Output Impedance: The grid stopper impedance increases grid gain excursion time, resulting in a sharper compression.
  • Grid Resistor: The grid resistor alters globally how the grid will react to the input signal, scaling its attack with its release time and increasing the compression recovery.

Supertube is available in VST/VST3 and AU plugin formats for Windows and Mac at the Soundspear shop and from distributor ADSR Sounds. It is on sale for the intro price of $29 USD instead of $40 USD until January 29th, 2022.

Win Supertube

Soundspear has kindly donated 5 licenses for the plugin for a giveaway contest. Just leave a comment below and we will pick the lucky winners from all entries submitted before Friday January 21st, 2022, 11.59pm CET.

Good luck!