DDMF re-released Tube Preamp, a freeware circuit-modeled analog saturation effect developed by Philipp Bulling (aka phi-L Audio).

Tube Preamp emulates the distortion characteristics of an analog tube amplifier while letting the user customize the simulated tube circuit. The software is available in 32-bit and 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS.

The plugin’s source code was originally created as part of Philipp Bulling’s thesis work. It was also available for free download from Philipp Bulling’s, but it somehow managed to remain undetected by BPB’s freeware radar. Since the developer moved on to other projects, the Tube Preamp plugin is now maintained by DDMF.

Tube Preamp stands out as one of the most “tweakable” saturation plugins on the market. You can manually adjust and fine-tune almost every virtual component of the modeled tube circuit.

The user can quite easily edit the values of the simulated capacitors, resistors, and other components. Each component is controlled by a tiny knob that directly adjusts its value.

If tweaking tube circuits is not your idea of fun, you can still use Tube Preamp as a standard saturation effect. Adjust the drive amount and the output volume using the main knobs in the upper-left corner and call it a day.

That said, fine-tuning Tube Preamp’s virtual circuit is a great way to come up with a variety of distortion flavors. Quite honestly, I have absolutely no idea what each component does, but I quite enjoyed editing the values and listening to how each control affects the audio on the output.

Here’s more info about the Tube Preamp plugin:

As part of the now probably no longer really secret plan to take over the entire audio plugin industry, DDMF announces that phi-L Audio’s tube preamp plugin is now distributed and further developed via DDMF. This highly acclaimed tube emulation was the result of Philipp Bulling’s thesis work, and both Philipp and I agreed that it would have been a shame for this gem to disappear, now that Philipp no longer has the time for further support.

The only feature that’s lacking at the moment is a dry/wet knob. Hopefully, DDMF will introduce this parameter in a future update.

You can download Tube Preamp completely free of charge from the product page linked below. While you’re there, check out the Freeware page for more useful mixing tools and other music production software.

DDMF already introduced 64-bit host compatibility, as well as a native Mac Silicon version of the plugin. It’s also worth noting that all future Tube Preamp updates will be free.

Download: Tube Preamp (16.7 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & macOS)

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