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Overview

Meet your mix buss’ best friend: The Black Box Analog Design HG-2.

There’s good reason why celebrated mix engineers like Dave Pensado, Bob Horn, and Jack Douglas use the high-end Black Box Analog Design HG-2 tube processor on their mixes. The boutique stereo processor’s multiple, diverse tube circuits not only make tracks sound richer and fuller, they also make them sound louder, bigger and punchier at the same peak level. Much more than a mere distortion box, the HG-2 can impart subtle harmonic coloration and sparkle without compromising fidelity, or add brilliant saturation that totally changes the character of a sound.

Now you can have that lush and vibrant sound in the Black Box HG-2 plugin. Brainworx collaborated with Black Box to model the HG-2’s sweet tubes and creamy-sounding transformers, and then added a host of powerful digital mods to greatly expand the processor’s tonal palette and range of saturation-based compression.

Paint Tracks with Different Colors
A smorgasbord of assorted tube flavors, HG-2 emulates four different vacuum tube stages combined in series and parallel circuits to color your mix and individual tracks with a wide range of rich and varied harmonics. Separate gain controls for emulated 6U8A pentode and triode tubes are placed in series between buttery virtual transformers warming the plugin’s input and output. Dial in the perfect blend of pentode and triode tube sweetness, then adjust the Density control to drive both tubes harder without changing their relative balance or the plugin’s output level, adding more girth and mass. The Calibration menu emulates the effect of an internal trim adjustment in the original hardware unit, instantly modifying the HG-2’s high-frequency response to produce Dark, Normal or Bright coloration. An added Air knob lets you control how much high-frequency fairy dust you sprinkle on vocal tracks, string instruments, piano and full mixes. Turning down the Mix control adds back dry signal at the plugin’s output, combining HG-2’s beautiful tube softness and luster with your mix’s perfectly preserved detail and punch.

It Gets Nasty, Too!
Two virtual 12AX7 tubes—each voiced differently—can be alternately driven in a parallel Saturation circuit to add tube sheen or blistering overdrive distortion to just low or high frequencies or across the entire frequency spectrum—great for shaping individual tracks, creative sound design and adding energy to full mixes. The Saturation circuit’s output feeds the pentode and triode tubes, giving you a massive combined effect that transforms thin, digital tracks into fat analog beasts. Drench just the bass and low-midrange frequencies in the Saturation circuit to grow a beard on a sterile bass track or add massive body and weight to a kick drum. Crank the pentode gain and dial in some crunchy AX7 tube saturation to make rock guitars sound bigger, louder, richer and in-your-face. Broaden a thin-sounding singer’s low-midrange band with extra pentode gain, and push the triode tube and Air boost to make their track sparkle and shimmer.

Every type of tube colors sound differently. Every track and mix needs different coloration. HG-2 lets you create the perfect blend of tubes for the best-sounding mixes and individual tracks. Color your world.

Activate the fully functional 14-day demo with your Plugin Alliance account today to hear for yourself (no dongle required)!

Features

  • Faithful emulation of the high-end Black Box Analog Design HG-2 tube processor, with additional digital controls—Input Gain, Density, Calibration, Air and Mix—providing a greatly expanded palette of tube flavors and saturation
  • Modeled transformers and separate gain controls for virtual 6U8A pentode and triode tubes add warmth, body and tube sweetness to thin mixes and sterile mono and stereo tracks
  • Parallel Saturation circuit selects one of two modeled 12AX7 tubes—one voiced more aggressively than the other—for adding tube radiance to scorching overdrive distortion on instrument and vocal tracks
  • Saturation Frequency selector adds generated 12AX7 harmonics to only low or high frequencies or across the entire audio spectrum
  • Calibration menu mimics an internal trim adjustment in the HG-2 hardware to give high frequencies Dark, Normal or Bright coloration
  • New, continuously variable Density control boosts gain equally for virtual pentode and triode tubes while making a compensatory adjustment to output gain
  • New, continuously variable Air control adds silvery sparkle and sweetness above 10 kHz
  • New, continuously variable Input Gain control simultaneously trims gain for all active virtual tube circuits: Saturation, pentode and triode
  • New, continuously variable Mix control adjusts wet/dry balance, preserving detail and punch

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Dave Pensado
    Dave Pensado

    The HG-2 plugin is destined to become a classic. The hardware unit seduced its way onto all my mixes for the last couple years, and now the plugin is finding its way onto multiple tracks like… Read More

  • James Wiltshire
    James Wiltshire

    21st Century mixing is now totally dependent on controlled distortion and overdrive techniques. The Black Box HG-2 spews out harmonic warmth and crispy tones in bucket loads without the need for… Read More

  • Josh Newell
    Josh Newell

    Most saturation plugins drastically change the sound of your source material without giving you any control over the coloration. You either like their sound or you don't, so you're stuck with one… Read More

  • Stonebridge
    Stonebridge

    We all love that analogue air that is so hard to get right in the harsh digital world. Until now that is. I’m blown away by how easy this plug makes the mix sound $$$ and it also has all kinds… Read More

  • Deniz Koyu
    Deniz Koyu

    Valve distortion plugins that actually sound like the real deal are very rare but this one nails it! Sounds fantastic on clean 808s and drums in general, as well as guitars, pianos or anything… Read More

Customer Reviews

  • ★★★★★
    Amazing
    by Tx
    Simply amazing, get your
    I got mine.
  • ★★★★★
    Black Box HG-2
    by Aleksey
    Very good plugin.
    I have not seen such analogs, he paints the sound in his own way, unusual.
    Instruments immediately begin to stand out in the mix.
    Highly recommend.
  • ★★★★★
    Black Box Hg2
    by Attacker
    This plug in is very good like many from Brain Worx & Plugin Alliance.
    Keep up the great work. Thanks
  • ★★★★★
    HG-2: a saturation marvel.
    by Ariston
    The HG-2 is the best software saturation unit I have yet heard. It's an absolute marvel on busses and single tracks, and even on the master track. Used judiciously, it has beef and air to spare, with… Read More
  • ★★★★★
    WoW!!!
    by John
    Seriously amazing plug! Can give you subtle harmonics if you're looking to warm up or spice up a track...or you can seriously make this thing bark!
    Also +1 for the mix knob to use in parallel.

Specification

Supported Plugin Formats
AAX DSP, AAX Native, AU, VST2, VST3

Supported Operating Systems
Mac OS X 10.8 through 10.13
Windows 7 through 10
Pro Tools 10.3.10 or higher or any VST/VST3/AU-compatible host running on a supported operating system

Mac
Intel CPU only (minimum 2 GHz recommended)

PC
Intel-compatible CPU with SSE2 instruction set (Pentium 4 compatible or higher; minimum 2 GHz recommended)

System Requirements
Display resolution: 1440 × 900px or 1280 × 960px or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM

Downloads

With the Installation Manager, you can select, download and install just the Plugin Alliance products and formats you need for your system. During this initial release, we at Plugin Alliance look forward to hearing the feedback of our valued customers, as your input will help shape future versions of this utility.