Blond is a plugin suite that contains unbelievably rare vintage units manufactured in Italy from up to 60 years ago.
Some of these have earned an excellent reputation in the pro audio industry over time, while others have become real 'sleepers' and acquired 'collectible' status. As rare and obscure as they might be, we have sourced them to give you sonic options not available elsewhere and that you can use to make your mixes sound stunning.
There is more. We decided to include a few lesser-known Italian-made processors in the suite to give you even more tonal possibilities. Some of them are pretty unusual, so don't freak out if you see some weird curves showing up in your analyzer!
Each plug-in included in the Blond suite comes in a “Standard” version and an alternative “ZL*” version, which operates at *zero latency and is thus suitable for use when tracking, at the cost of extra processing resources. For further details consult the Blond user's manual in the Overview section.
- Model A (EP600) comes from a professional mixing desk hand-built expressly for the Italian national broadcasting company! Very few were produced, and they are almost impossible to find. It is an extremely transparent 4-band EQ, with 24 Line-Mic preamps that faithfully recreate the '70s console experience as intended by one of the greatest Italian designers ever.
We managed to get our hands on this beauty and sample its Line and Mic preamps.
- Model B is a transparent 'Sontec-style,' 4-band Parametric EQ from the '80s that works wonders in mastering. With its Hi-Cut and Low-Cut filters, transformer-based circuitry, and juicy preamps, you get sonic character for days.
It would be an understatement to call this plugin an EQ. We feel that 'Pre Mixer' better describes the creative potential of this processor.
Based on pretty unusual Italian-made studio units from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, you can use and abuse its distinct palette of tones as a 'mojo booster' for your mix. We speak about fairly basic solid-state, tube, or FET units that show a heavily non-linear response! Again, don't jump in your skin if your analyzer goes haywire.
- EQ Model BSN is our take on an 18-channel ultra-rare Italian console. This boutique desk is quite unlike anything we have ever come across in our sampling trips. Yet, despite the reputation of its manufacturer, it has never become widespread.
Did you know?
The manufacturer of this desk began operations in the '40s, building tube radios. In the '50s, the introduction on the market of his iconic tape echo marked a turning point for this Italian entrepreneur. From that moment, Rock legends like David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, and many other artists started using his tape echo to shape their tones, and the rest, as they say, is history.
- EQ Model APX is a 2-band EQ, and it derives from a very rare Italian-made solid-state amplifier presumably manufactured in the early '70s.
The APX features unconventional response curves. When used in conjunction with its preamp (APX, from the CUST bank), it shows its aggressive nature fully.
- EQ Models AVX 1 and AVX 2 both derive from a vintage tube Pre-Mixer unit that we sampled at Nost Studio in Vobarno, Italy.
Each of its 8 channels features a 2-band EQ and two different tubes at its heart. Because they had such a distinct sound, we decided to include two separate EQ emulations. The AVX1 and AVX2 equalizers couldn't be less linear. Try them out together with their preamps to experience some serious mojo.
- EQ Model MZI is a 2-band EQ with fixed frequency bands and Q deriving from an Italian all-transistor mixer from the '60s. The original company that manufactured this unit was founded in 1946. It produced a wide range of instruments and processors for the pro audio industry before ceasing operations in the early '90s.
Blond Pre includes all the preamps we sampled for Blond ( (except for the 5 Blond Comp preamps) divided into 4 banks.
LINE EP: 24 line preamps (Ch.1 through 24) from a '70s console built by one of Italy's most respected designers. All channels exhibit a slightly different response, which you can use to recreate the original desk experience in the box.
MIC EP: 24 mic preamps (Ch.1 through 24) derived from the same console.
BSN: 18 Line preamps derived from channels 1 through 18 of BSN EQ's co sole.
CUSTOM: 6 preamps derived from Blond Pre Mixer, plus 2 transformer-based, definitely ‘colored' preamps.
The Blond Comp plugin is equipped with 5 different dynamics processors:
CM2 derives from a vintage FET compressor manufactured by a small Italian company with over 40 years of experience in broadcasting.
C60: derives from a rare 'Vintage' FET compressor, produced in minimal quantities and inspired by a more famous American dynamics processor from the 1970s. We made this model even more versatile than the original by including extra attack and release times.
LM22 derives from a modern stereo optical compressor manufactured by a renowned, family-run Italian company that began its business in the 1960s. We added extra attack and release times to this processor, too, to make it even more versatile than the original.
CMS: is a vintage tube compressor characterized by a single ratio (1.5:1), as derived from a powerful compressor of the Acqua plugin family. We further tuned it with additional attack and release times from a FET compressor called CM2 and a hot tube preamp.
LIM: the limiter is characterized by a single compression ratio (30:1) and a tube preamp stage.
HOW TO TRY A PLUGIN: TRIAL MODE
For details about the installation/authorization process, please refer to this page.
All updates and bug fixes will be available inside Aquarius under the 'Updates' section.
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