Back in 2011 Satson was Sonimus' first effort to bring that sweet analog desk sound to your DAW, allowing you to emulate analog summing in the digital domain. Although Sonimus's never made such claim Satson can be seen as a successful effort to mimic that famous SSL sound. Since then Sonimus have released several other quality plugins, and all of them carry that warm signature of subtle saturation. Great! Being fans of the first hour, we gladly embraced the opportunity to check out Sonimus' compressor plugin, simply dubbed TuCo.
Don't let TuCo's simple looks fool you. Based on a tube Vari-Mu design TuCo is a nifty little compressor/limiter with plenty options to tweak. Vari-Mu? Well "Mu" is tube-speak for gain. Check this article for an in-depth explanation of what a Vari-Mu compressor actually is (and learn about Opto, VCA and FET designs at the same time). Also check this video that explains all dials, switches and menu's available on TuCo. For this review we'd like to focus on how TuCo behaves as a glue compressor to finalize your mixes, or 'glue' together a drum submix or any other stuff routed to your mixbuses.
Mostly I use the Izotope's Vintage Limiter from Ozone 7 for that purpose (said to be an Fairchild 670 emulation), with Ableton's Glue Compressor in soft clipping mode as a second choice (yet another SSL emulation). So it was obvious to load all three plugins on the masterbus of a mix I was working on for a first impression. TuCo comes with a neat set of presets offering a good starting point for what you plan to do, and the preset 'Mixbus Glue' is an obvious choice (as are two other 'Glue' presets). Of course you can't expect these three plugins to be similar sounding as they're based on totally different compressor designs, but you can try make a judgement what magic they bring to your mix, if any. As with all mixing issues, that is a matter of using your ears.
Of course TuCo sounded different from the other two. But dialing in a sound that I liked for my mix wasn't that dificult. Now take in mind my humble studio is not equipped to produce the sound of a mastering studio, but I could easily hear the effect of tweaking TuCo's dials and controls on the mix.
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