Channel is a phenomenon! This freebie has more stories about it than anything Airwindows ever made. It has two controls, and one of them didn’t work for ages, and it didn’t even matter. There was a shootout among Virtual Console Emulation plugins once, with the finest for-pay plugins from other companies, and the person doing the shootout didn’t want to pick up BussColors and just grabbed Channel and called it a day. Channel won that shootout…
Here’s all it does. There’s a selector between Neve, API and SSL settings. All this does is apply an Airwindows interleaved highpass tightening up the deep bass, plus setting one slew clipper (also seen in Slew). For some time due to a bug, no matter what you set you got SSL. Then, you get one stage of the Density saturation effect, but rather than being applied with gain staging it just generated the saturation in the simplest way possible and then did a dry/wet control to apply it. That’s all! That’s all it does.
And when I tried to alter it, seemingly the entire Internet rose up with wails of anguish and yelled at me until I put it right back, just as it was.
The lessons learned have taken many years to really understand. In a real sense it’s the sheer simplicity of these algorithms that give them the sound they have. The math operations are simple and few. It’s like an analog circuit that sees very few elements: the sound isn’t weakened through overprocessing.
Also, the dry/wet application of the saturation curve gives you access to incredibly gentle overdrive, like no other Airwindows plugin has ever done with the exception of Single Ended Triode.
There are several versions of Channel, but it all started here. This is the one where the selector doesn’t do anything, by the way. No sense breaking people’s old mixes by altering settings. Just enjoy the tonal purity and don’t worry whether the button says ‘Neve’. Bottom line, it sounds good.
Channel declares one sample of latency.