This gem is on the edge of musicality ITB. A really great M/S update with a"sound". Great job team ;-)
Plugin Alliance response
Thanks! And enjoy...
I am never taking this off my Mix Bus, Also WOW on Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synths... well... Everything !
Black Box HG-2MS
by Matthias (without instruments)
I have many plugins from different manufacturers. I tested the Black Box Analog Design HG-2MS. I only used the plugin in the master channel. My statements refer to hip hop with a lot of bass, drums, guitar, trumpet and vocals. I used the preset zero as a guide. Then I optimized the settings with the controls and switches. The result is phenomenal. I compared my Black Box Analog Design HG-2 directly and it's true: The Black Box Analog Design HG-2MS offers even more options and gives the sound a fantastic tone colour. So, in my opinion, the upgrade is really worth it. The plugin offers a total of 74 presets. Almost all presets are assigned to specific styles of music and instruments, including vocals. Great sound, great design, the plugin is just fun and really easy to use. That's why I give it 5 stars. Matthias (without instruments)
Character & depth of field
This has become my first plugin in my mastering chain. I always used the HG-2 in mixing, but now with the M/S features I can add those same colors with more width and depth of field when mastering. My clients noticed the subtle difference right away. If you are mixing or mastering in the box, this plugin is a game changer!
A serious update on a mainstay tool
As soon as Black Box HG-2 was released it has become a mainstay tool on my mixbus, some sub busses and in mastering, as you can add density to the sound and color without raising the peak level, negating the need for much compression/hard clipping/intense limiter work down the line, so it keeps the dynamics in the material close to what it already was, only bigger, louder and prouder. Then, you can push this box further, not unlike tape, but it is its own beast with the interaction of triode and pentode, right into glowing and steaming crunchy territory if need be. With the MS version you can now choose to focus on the density of the mid or side signal, which while doable with an MS/matrix with other processors is highly convenient and gives you more control all in one GUI The now classic PA features with width, monomaker, and TMT for subtle left right differences make it suitable for even finer work up to new creative lanes, let’s say if you would want to beef up and crunch the sides, while leaving the mid vocal intact, or just crunch the mid drum and bass (by selecting low frequency saturation only on the mid signal). Easy to use, smooth, stable, light on cpu, sounds frikkin great, what’s not to like? The only thing I might want is a linked function between the triode/pentode and output knobs to level/loudness match your tweaks, but it is not too hard to dial in, what is hard is resisting leaning into the glow and smoothness of the processing More and more curious to try the hardware, which otoh would not provide the level of control of the MS version with PA’s additional tweaks Homerun from PA Best Nico
guess close to everyone considering buying HG-2MS has used the HG-2 before and most likely adores its usabilty and simplicity in use (including me). i mainly use the HG-2 in rather mild settings, the HG-2MS although allows me to get much more radical without loosing to much of control esp on grouped signals. love it
It actually got better, by a lot
All I can tell you is that from the first moment I realised that I could colour in MS mode I had a new world of options opened up. This is something more than special this is a new beast entirely and it’s time to unleash it on my mixbuss.
by Petr Kopcil / Sunteem records
For several years, I happily used a smaller brother, HG-2, who did a great job. But this is really strong coffee! More colors, more options, absolute satisfaction. It works well in the mix buss with VSM-3.
by Vanryne Audio
This is by far the most useful and musical saturation/distortion plugins I've got. With addition of M/S function it's even better! I use it extensively for mastering and mixing. Adding a touch to drum overheads (or on a 'crush' group) and on snare etc. gives a sprinkle of magic fairy dust that no other plugin can! Love this plug it is so very creative. Thanks Black Box and thanks PA!