Channel3 is the classic freebie analogifying plugin, Channel, brought up to date again as the antialiasing techniques evolved. It’s been sort of my test bed for the ‘house Airwindows sound’, often with little tweaks and experiments.

The selector switch bug is still fixed, so you can play with the Neve and API settings! The other change between Channel2 and Channel3 is this: instead of defaulting to a gain boost going into the Channel saturation effect, Channel3 links that to the saturation slider. So, at low settings the curve is even more gentle, halfway it’s pretty much the same as the other two versions, and at full crank there’s more boost on tap than in any previous version. So, Channel3 is the version which has the ‘highest gain’, if that matters: but it’s the same ‘circuit’ as before, just letting more signal in.

Channel3 works in three ways. First, there’s a very faint touch of highpassing, reining in the extremes of digital bass to more of what’s practical in analog circuits. This was worked out by measuring impulses from real hardware, but the application is very simple. Then, there’s a slew clipper that restricts the slew rate of the plugin. Lastly, there’s the same type of saturation present in Density, but applied in the simplest way, and then blended with the input signal as dry/wet—which means the curve becomes gentler and gentler as you saturate less. It’s this super-gentle saturation curve that people loved in Channel.