About the Alliance
Plugin Alliance LLC– based in Wilmington, Delaware with offices in Santa Cruz, California– is far more than just a web site. Plugin Alliance is a new “Über-standard”, supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best-known international audio companies under one, virtual roof. Plugin Alliance empowers world-renowned analog hardware companies with a digital strategy and provides software developers with services that allow them to develop products with increasing quality and quantity.
We do this by providing world-class marketing and distribution as well as platform features like a state of the art authorization system. Plugin Alliance invites all developers, engineers, and artists to join our fast-growing community. Below is a list of our current partner companies, and some valuable information on what makes them unique. But Plugin Alliance is more than just a group of companies; check out our contributors page to meet some of the artists, engineers, producers and industry luminaries who have joined the Alliance community to share what they’ve learned.
Acme Audio Manufacturing Co. is a boutique audio companythat prides itself on it high quality hand-build audio gear. Acme founder Al Sutton has been producing, engineering and recording music in Detroit for over three decades with bandslike Sponge, The Detroit Cobras, Bob Seger, Uncle Kracker, and Kid Rock. Acme Audio all-tube optical limiters and DI boxes can be found in many top recording studios across the US and worldwide.
While most things these days are made over seas in huge factories with the singular goal of maximizing profits by cutting corners and using the cheapest components, Black Box Analog Design does things differently. In fact we take a different approach to most things. We are not interested in creating clones of old gear or building derivatives of popular gear. We are interested in creating gear that does something that hasn’t been done before, addresses a need we come across in the studio and takes a new approach to a problem or design.
We didn’t start out as gear designers. We come from the studio world and years ago, our quest to solve certain problems we came across lead us to begin tinkering with circuits of our own. Since we came from an audio engineering background and not a circuit design background we weren’t influenced by standard designs or restricted by thoughts of what we “should” do. Instead we allowed our ears to lead us in the right direction.
Every part of our all analog circuits is assembled by hand and every component is painstakingly and precisely matched. We use a real, high voltage, linear power supply, custom wound transformers and the best quality components made.
This old school approach to creating something is MUCH more labor intensive and costly but the end result is truly a work of art that looks, feels and sounds incredible!
Outside Black Box, Eric is a platinum mixer, engineer and producer working with some of the top artists in the world like Katy Perry, Pharrell, Lil Wayne and many more. Robert is an award winning film mixer and engineer with a background in satellite and microwave communications.
Since 2006, Brainworx Germany has developed a reputation for creating sonically-advanced plugin tools as well as a multi-platform development framework that is second to none. Brainworx highlights include the M/S-standard EQ, bx_digital V2, and world-class guitar amp simulations. Founder & CEO Dirk Ulrich started Brainworx to develop tools that would solve problems and improve workflows for his own production and mastering projects. The ethos of “built by professionals for professionals” remains a core value of the company.
Founded in 1998, Chandler Limited is based outof a small town in Iowa, “in the center of nowhere” according to founder Wade Chandler Goeke. Growing from “just a guy in a garage” to over 35 people lovingly hand building 12 products, Chandler is, and always has been, a laborof audio love. Chandler product designs are inspired by the vintage equipment used to record so many ground breaking bands.
Working directly with EMI and Abbey Road studios, Chandler has reintroduced some of the legendary equipment used to record such bands as The Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios.
A lifelong love of the electric guitar led Wade to design his first guitar amp, the Chandler GAV-19T, which, not surprisingly, is based on the design of classic British amps like Marshall,Vox and Selmer. Plugin Alliance is proudto have Chandler as a member.
The company’s mission is to solve the problems of the ‘hybrid studio’ by leveraging the best of both worlds: seamless integration of analog and digital equipment’s strengths and eliminating their weaknesses. Since product designer Chris Muth’s time has been spent almost exclusively designing custom equipment for many of the world’s preeminent mastering engineers and facilities, the combination of a mastering quality audio path with an intuitive feature set became the company’s baseline. It is worth noting that these designs evolved not in a vacuum but with input from some of the best ears in the business, refined in a working mastering environment instead of on paper. In the end, listening makes all the difference.
Born out of the shop at Dangerous Music recording studios, the equipment company was officially founded in 2001 with the commercial release of the Dangerous 2-Bus analog summing amplifier. Dangerous Music product designs were created to answer the sonic and ergonomic challenges presented by the changing studio environment as it moved from analog consoles and analog multi-track tape recorders to hard-disk recording and software-based digital mixer/editors, collectively known as digital audio workstations, or DAWs.
The process of recording and mixing without an analog console or tape deck created the opportunity to develop products that allowed engineers to embrace all the power and convenience of a DAWs automation, editing and recall, while continuing to work as they had, with console-style tone and headroom, hardware monitor control, metering, speaker and input source switching, and the ability to insert analog processors into the signal path easily and with the highest quality results.
Founded in Nettetal Germany in 2005 by Ruben Tilgner and Dominik Klaßen, elysia began as an obsession: Would it actually be possible to really build the special machine they had in mind, with all the features and sound characteristics they dreamed of? The answer, in the form of their first and still flagship product, the alpha compressor, was yes!
Since then, elysia has become a union of creative audio enthusiasts who have a clearly defined objective: The development and production of high-quality audio equipment featuring that certain something. Elysia do not want to settle for the status quo and rehash existing concepts time and again. Their goal is to adapt their products to current demands in everyday studio life.
These are the fundamentals on which elysia products are built. The elysia name has come to represent the highest sound quality, the exclusive use of top grade components, perfect workflow and reliability, and the implementation of innovative features without Voodoo, but with a real profit in daily usage.
ENGL has been a hurricane force amp builder for rock and metal guitarists and producers for 4 decades. Beginning back in the '80s, with a mean machine of an amp called the Straight--now a legend in hard rock and heavy metal circles--ENGL upped the ante in the 90’s with the SAVAGE line of amps, which raised the bar for performance, power, and tone for axe-wielders who like to punctuate their musical statements with a mighty roar. Now, in the 21st century's second decade, ENGL has become the standard by which metal amps are judged with a broad product line including the E765 RT and the E646 Victor Smolski signature amp. With eye-catching visuals, stellar tone and rock solid reliability, ENGL has become the choice of an extraordinary list of artists worldwide. Old world craftsmanship and highest quality components are part of what makes ENGL amps so special, and we are proud to have them as members of the Plugin Alliance.
Lindell Audio, since its founding in 2010, has quickly gained a reputation for producing high quality analog gear. Record producer Tobias Lindell--resident producer at Bohus Sound Studios--set out to design recording equipment to satisfy his own way of working. Developing functions and user interfaces that he couldn’t find on the market. Now, with the introduction of Lindell’s plugin product line, that same authentic attention to audio quality and efficient workflow can be found inside your DAW.
Tobias Lindell has produced and mixed many hit records throughout the years including Europe, “Last Look At Eden”, Mustasch “Latest Version Of The Truth” & “Hardcore Superstar” and many others. The Lindell audio plugins bring along with them Tobias’ deep understanding of the recording and production process. Their goal is to adapt their products to current demands in every day studio life.
ELITE PROFESSIONAL AUDIO GEAR TO COMPLIMENT THE AUDIO ENGINEER’S CRAFT
Mäag Audio was founded by Cliff Maag Sr., a recording engineer by trade with over 35 years of tracking and mixing experience. Cliff’s strong passion for high quality sound is the catalyst behind all Mäag Audio gear. As the inventor of the acclaimed NTI EQ3 and the Nightpro PreQ3 & EQ3D, Cliff introduced the AIR BAND® to the world in the early 90’s. The AIR BAND® is a respected and unsurpassed element of Mäag Audio gear.
The Mäag Audio team is committed to excellence. Our goal is to provide all audio engineers cutting edge technology that they need to compete in their industry. Audio gear isn’t the most important thing in life, but to us it’s pretty close to AIR on the “got to have it” list.
Only the finest components are used in Mäag Audio gear. Build quality is among the highest in the professional audio industry. You can rest assured your Mäag Audio gear will perform at sonically superior levels, every day.
QUEST FOR PERFECTION
The Mäag Audio team is driven by its quest for perfection. Each unique piece of Mäag Audio gear is designed to be perfect for its intended use. From initial inception, our products are designed with the clear purpose of aiding the Audio Engineers of the world in making their craft as close to perfect as possible.
The Mäag Audio team has worked hard to make the technology sound and function even better than the original NTI/Nightpro gear. The need and desire for the best possible sound continues to be the catalyst that drives Cliff and the Mäag Audio team.
Get some award winning AIR BAND®!
John La Grou’s passion for audio was sparked when his dad brought home the first stereo reel-to-reel home tape recorder, a 1/4" half-track machine made by the Voice of Music Company. John starting playing electric guitar at seven and was building amplifiers and guitar pedals in junior high school. After his first AES Convention – 1974 at the LA Hilton – he was hooked on audio for life.
John and Cynthia La Grou founded Millennia Media. John began working around Northern California as a classical music-recording engineer in 1991. He has worked with some of the world’s greatest classical and jazz artists. Today, Millennia’s remote division produces scores of recordings each year for public radio and other clients.
Millennia’s engineering and manufacturing division was conceived during John’s earliest recording sessions with the Sacramento Symphony. Realizing that the recording equipment then available was limiting his ability to achieve great sonic results, John determined to apply his years of experience in recording and audio design to develop tools that would respond to the most critical and creative professionals in the industry.
Best known for their stellar microphone preamplifiers– over 10,000 channels are currently in use around the world– Millennia has also developed critically acclaimed signal processors including the NSEQ-2 equalizer and the TCL-2 compressor. Millennia is one of the most respected analog brands in all of professional audio and that commitment to excellence shows up in their digital product line as well.
Noveltech Audio is a business unit of Noveltech Solutions Ltd and focuses on innovative high-quality audio processing technologies. The bases for Noveltech Audio’s processing technologies are innovative signal processing methods originally conceived to improve the spectral resolution in spectrometers. They were later adapted for audio restoration by Noveltech board member, Dr. Ismo Kauppinen.
Dr. Kauppinen's desire to overcome the disadvantages of conventional sound-shaping tools led to the development of another invention, the Intelligent Adaptive Filtering (IAF) technology. The first product based on this technology was the Character™(™) plug-in, initially released on the TC's PowerCore platform. Character was the first pro-audio product branded under the Noveltech name. Vocal Enhancer was the second product utilizing IAF technology, and it was released in 2006.
The demise of the Powercore platform, along with the increase in power for Mac and PC computers, allowed Character and Vocal Enhancer to launch as native plugins in 2012. These products are now available exclusively through Plugin Alliance.
Pro Audio DSP is composed of Paul Frindle and Paul Ryder.
Paul Frindle has 40 years of experience in the pro audio and music industries. He has been part of the development of some of the most beloved products in recording history, including the SSL E and G-series analog consoles, the Sony Oxford digital mixing console and more recently the Oxford Plugins (which later became Sonnox). On leaving Sony Oxford, he co-founded Pro Audio DSP in order to make novel sound-processing applications to fulfill many issues he had identified in the audio production chain over his career.
Paul Ryder is a software developer and musician with 10 years' experience in the pro audio industry. During this time, Paul was a key member of the development team for the Sony OXF-R3 console. He was also the principal software engineer responsible for the development and implementation of the Sony Oxford plugins.
SPL has been developing and manufacturing analog and digital audio gear for the music, film, multimedia, and broadcasting industries since 1984. SPL products are respected worldwide for their innovative approach and user-friendliness, but most of all for their outstanding performance.
Among SPL's most celebrated developments are the patented Vitalizer® sound-optimization processing, the first-ever level-independent dynamic processor known as the Transient Designer, the 5.1 microphone system Atmos, as well as compact monitor controllers and channel strips.
The development of the SUPRA op amps by SPL allowed analog signal processing to outperform the best digital processing in terms of quality. These op amps, which make use of the unsurpassed 120-volt technology, were first used on the MMC mastering console. Ever since, the 120-volt technology has become a quality trademark of SPL products, including the Phonitor headphone amplifiers. More recently, SPL stormed the USB and MADI audio-Interface market with the introduction of the Crimson and Madison interfaces.
Its collaboration with German company Brainworx resulted in the Analog Code plug-Ins, which translate to the digital realm the same quality expected from all SPL products. This relationship has led SPL to become a member of the Plugin Alliance.
With the Car Vitalizer app, SPL entered the smartphone market and redefined the concept of audio enhancement inside a car - without the need of any additional hardware or expertise. This know-how has allowed SPL to license its technology to major players in the auto industry.
Unfiltered Audio is a music software company from Southern California. It was founded with one simple idea: music software should be created by musicians. Joshua Dickinson studied composition at Columbia University in New York City. After stumbling into a full-wall RCA Mark II at the Computer Music Center, he became obsessed with signal processing, custom instruments, and computer-aided creativity.
Michael Hetrick, PhDC, studied digital media at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee while working as a Pro Tools tech for local studios. His passion for modular synthesizers and experimental sound design has led him towards a goal of developing performance-focused interfaces for feature-rich audio processors.
They joined forces with Dr. Ryan Michael McGee at UC Santa Barbara while working on their Masters degrees in the prestigious Media Arts and Technology department. There, they trained under some of the greatest minds in DSP and music technology while receiving guidance in developing their own cutting-edge algorithms. After releasing their first two plug-ins, Sandman and G8, they have received awards from many sources, including the Audio Engineering Society and Computer Music Magazine.
Munich’s Vertigo Sound is a respected manufacturer of products that aspire to integrate the best of modern, hi-tech design with the best sonic qualities of the past.
Their first hardware product, the hand-built VSC-2 Quad Discrete Compressor, contained four high-quality 70’s-style VCA compressors and a collection of smart features that earned the company credibility as well as customers—Sound On Sound magazine called it “stunningly good.”
Founder Andreas Eschenwecker has been involved in high-end analog equipment since the late nineties. His company HE Studiotechnik provides technical services in modification, repair and sales of high-end vintage equipment. Consummate analog audio technicians, recording engineers, and musicians, for years they have worked with the very best audio designs in German Broadcast and Recording.