The UAD Helios Type 69. It softens the highs and lows without you doing anything. (Oh golly gee, “analog”-sound.)
You can read a little history of the hardware (very little!) on my post for the Waves HLS.
If you compare this to the Waves version, the UAD Helios Type 69 has less noise and THD. It also has an analog looking and (I assume) more accurate frequency curve. Take a look at this and you can see why it softens the highs and lows as I mentioned before. Which is actually closer to the hardware? If someone has a Helios console, let me know!
I use this frequently as an insert for virtual instruments, as if I was tracking through it. You can clean up the low end nicely while adding a bit of subtle preamp coloration. It’s like I’ve got a Helios board. Kinda sorta. The EQ gives you just enough subtle control and… [see the hint].
- Experiment with the Line vs Mic input. You can get right on the edge of that cool vocal distortion (oh, I mean “saturation” lol) that hits only on the loudest transients.
- Try the hint above as a unison insert! The Mic input can overload pretty quick, for a variety of effects as you record.