Overview

Meet Your mix buss’ best friend
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 emulation of sweet tubes and creamy-sounding transformers not only make tracks sound richer and fuller, they also make them sound louder, bigger and punchier at the same peak level.
 
Paint Tracks with Different Colors
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.
 
Sprinkle, punch und tube softness
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.

Features

  • Additional digital controls like Input Gain, Density, Calibration, Air and Mix
  • Separate gain controls for virtual 6U8A pentode and triode tubes
  • Parallel Saturation circuit selects one of two modeled 12AX7 tubes—one voiced more aggressively than the other
  • Saturation Frequency selector to add generated 12AX7 harmonics
  • Calibration menu to mimic internal trim adjustment
  • Variable Density control to boost gain equally for virtual pentode and triode tubes
  • Variable Air control to add silvery sparkle and sweetness above 10 kHz
  • Added Mix control to adjust wet/dry balance

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • 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, Anthrax, Avril Lavigne)

    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

  • Deniz Koyu

    Deniz Koyu

    DJ & Producer (Spinnin' Records, Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike)

    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

  • David Arnold

    David Arnold

    Composer (Casino Royale, Independence Day, Sherlock)

    It's like being able to move the mics around after you've done the recording. A great tool for emphasis, clarity, highlighting and allowing your sounds to be where you need them in a mix.

Customer Reviews

  • i love it for glue on my bus

    ★★★★★
    by arkemist
    its just the best thing you should add on a vocals bus
  • Love this

    ★★★★★
    by MS
    Great for tracks that need a little extra mojo. Especially good on synth and electric guitar.
  • best

    ★★★★★
    by shadow hills
    the best plugins
  • pugin

    ★★★★★
    by jesse
    plugin top
  • Black Box Analog Design is a great tool

    ★★★★★
    by Pinthar
    I use this as a preamp for my amp sims. It really helps to define the character and nuances of the high frequencies as well as adding stability to drive my sims. I can achieve that sparkle guitar… Read More

Specification

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

Supported Operating Systems
macOS 12 down to macOS 10.11
Windows 11 down to Windows 8

Mac
Intel, or Apple Silicon (except for AAX) architecture

PC
x64-compatible CPU

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

Downloads

With the Installation Manager you can select, download & install all the Plugin Alliance products. Select any and all formats you need for your system! Mac & PC.

ChangeLog

HG-2

Black Box Analog Design HG-2 - Changelog

Version 1.8.1 (Jun 28, 2022)
- General: Fixed potential blacklisting of VST2 on Windows
- General: Fixed potential crashes on Windows
- General: Fixed processing being Mono with VST2 in FL Studio
- General: Fixed value readouts not being present when clicking knob

Version 1.8 (Mar 15, 2022)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for VST3, VST2 and AU
- General: added macOS Monterey support
- General: added Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H1 support
- General: discontinued Windows 7 support
- General: discontinued macOS 10.9 and 10.11 support
- General: fixed metering behavior in block sizes of 2048 samples and higher

Version 1.7 (Mar 22, 2021)
- General: Compatibility with Logic on Apple Silicon devices via the Rosetta-2 layer
- General: Fixed possible artefacts when freezing or bouncing tracks in Pro Tools
- General: Fixed automation highlighting disappearing in Studio One
- General: Improved license dialog visibility in dark mode
- Fixed artefacts at render start when freezing or bouncing
- Added scalable UI feature
- Improved metering behavior

Version 1.6 (May 27, 2020)
- General: Qualified for use with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
- General: VST3: Fixed potential hangs in a DAW upon loading
- General: Fixed logical issues in undo / redo behavior
- General: Fixed UI resizing issues in Ableton Live on Windows
- General: Fixed audio processing initialization issues on amp and delay products

Version 1.5 (Nov 06, 2019)
- General: Qualified for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina
- General: Qualified for use with Windows 10 November 2019 Update
- General: Fixed plugin validation in Logic under macOS Catalina
- General: Fixed preset name restore in Logic when reopening a session
- General: Fixed opening authorization dialog triggering automation
- General: Improved instantiation times for plugins
- General: Improved license functionality and branding for subscription
- General: Removed 32-bit support on macOS and Windows

Version 1.4 (Jul 10, 2019)
- General: macOS 10.14.5 Update compatibility
- General: Windows 10 1903 Update compatibility
- General: Fixed activation issue in Windows hosts set to non-English language (e.g. Cakewalk)
- General: AU: Fixed issue with increased CPU and memory on reopening UI
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with adapting to host knob mode, and now prioritizing linear
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with VST3 preset permissions
- General: VST3: Improved synchronization between parameter states and some UI functions, e.g. toolbar reset

Version 1.3 (Nov 16, 2018)
- General: macOS Mojave compatibility
- General: Windows October 2018 update compatibility
- General: adding Windows High DPI support for VST2/3 plugins
- General: Fixed potential crashes in Cubase and other VST2 / VST3 DAWs
- General: Fixed potential CPU spikes and audio dropouts
- General: Fixed rendering in Pro Tools on the start of a session
- General: Fixed missing presets in Wavelab and other VST3 DAWs
- General: Improving keyboard control, fixing issues with catched keys preventing it from passing through to DAW
- General: Fixed parallel use of host sessions (e.g. with Live)

Version 1.2 (May 24, 2018)
- General: Microsoft Windows Redstone 4 compatibility
- General: Added computer keyboard control for plugin parameters
- General: Fixed Mouse scroll wheel not working in Windows 8
- General: Fixed an issue where plugins will not validate or load after a certain amount of plugins have been loaded (Windows)
- General: Fixed visual GUI freezes when adjusting DAW parameters, meters, analyzers (Mac)
- General: Fixed possible issue with Pick Pack licenses
- General: Small licenser stability fix
- Fixed bug where plugin produces a buzzing sound when inserted

Version 1.1 (Oct 23, 2017)
- General: Mac OS High Sierra compatibility
- General: Fixed possible crash on online activation (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed Logic Pro X not validating AU plugins (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed CPU spikes and crashes with Cubase (Windows)
- General: Fixed bug that could lead to "AAE -6 error" in ProTools (Windows)
- General: Fixed crash with FL Studio
- General: Fixed crash when cross-opening plugins in various hosts
- General: Fixed crash when using mixdown in Audition
- General: Fixed crash in Final Cut Pro
- General: Fixed delayed parameter handling and crackling issues in Cubase with VST3
- General: Fixed bug where plugin settings were not saved in Harrison Mixbus
- General: Fixed bug that led to AAE error -9317 in ProTools when instantiating plugin
- General: Fixed bug where plugins did not render properly when "x ray" option is enabled in Sonar
- General: Modifications to factory presets were lost when reopening session
- General: Fixed mouse wheel behaviour with second monitor setup (Windows)
- Some plugins: Value labels do not appear every time when clicking on parameter in UI
- General: Faster instantiation time for plugins (Windows)
- General: Adding support for automation highlighting in Presonus StudioOne

Version 1.0.2 (Mar 3, 2017)
- Fixed issue that generated pumping audio [BXBUGS-1810]
- Minor toolbar UI fix [BXBUGS-1834]
- General: Fixed mousewheel issue with multi-monitor environment on Windows [BXBUGS-1371]
- General: Fixed multi-instantiation of a plugin causing BitWig to crash [BXBUGS-1532]
- General: Fixed multi-instantiation of any 2 plugins in different hosts leading to crash [BXBUGS-1678]

Version 1.0.1 (Feb 7, 2016)
- Updated manual

Version 1.0
- Release version