Overview

Meet your mix bus’ 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
  • Continuously variable Density control boosts gain equally for virtual pentode and triode tubes while making a compensatory adjustment to output gain
  • Variable Air control adds silvery sparkle and sweetness above 10 kHz
  • Added Mix control adjusts wet/dry balance, preserving detail and punch

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Greg Wells

    Greg Wells

    Producer, Mixer, Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist

    The HG-2 is one of the best plugins I've ever heard in my life. Plugin Alliance have a monster on their hands.

  • Soundprank/Colin E. Fisher

    Soundprank/Colin E. Fisher

    Anjunabeats, Armada, Enhanced Music

    This thing now lives on my two buss, and is one of a very few select saturation plugins that gets extreme repeated use in every project. I don't know how they did it, I don't know where they did… Read More

  • Dave Pensado

    Dave Pensado

    Grammy Winning Mix Engineer/Host of Pensado’s Place (Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce)

    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

    Producer (Freemasons, F9 Audio)

    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

    Producer/Engineer/Mixer (Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne, Anthrax, Puff Daddy)

    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

Customer Reviews

  • Distortion to Static

    ★★★★★
    by Rock Solid
    A saturation unit that can be bent to your whims; it performs small miracles or larger ones should you desire it. Truly a desert island plug in that mustn't be missed should you wish to be a truly… Read More
  • Black Box is full of magic

    ★★★★★
    by T. W. Tobin
    Just used this for there first time on a mastering project to add some nice harmonic sizzle. Excellent result. Looking forward to using this on a lot of things, from mixing to mastering in future.
  • Add 3D to your Mix Bus

    ★★★★★
    by Alex Picciafuochi
    I don't use it as a distortion, for me it is an excellent sound and spatial modeler, it creates the right 3D depth to the sound
  • Desert Island Saturator

    ★★★★★
    by Tony Kuhn
    Swiss knife to make the sound clear and loud with dynamics, pleasant gentle to hard saturation, the two saturation modes are good and really different. The calibration and sat freq can help you… Read More
  • Hg-2

    ★★★★★
    by Ian
    Amazing emulation of the analog gear!

Specification

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

Supported Operating Systems
MacOS 10.9 through 10.14
Windows 7 through 10

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

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