elysia enjoys a reputation among audio connoisseurs as a venerated boutique manufacturer of very high-end and innovative hardware. Now another of their greatest hits, the karacter Discrete Class A Stereo Saturator, has been precisely modeled by the wizards at Brainworx and made available as a plugin. Affectionately known as “The Coloring Box” by its fans because of the various ways in which it fattens and adds sparkle to tracks, karacter’s unique sounds separate it from the pack.
karacter is actually a bundle of two plugins: karacter mix and karacter master. karacter mix provides a straightforward set of controls for treating mono and stereo tracks. The more surgical karacter master features independent controls for left and right channels or, in MS mode, mid and side channels and is optimized for processing full mixes and stereo stems and subgroups.
Both plugins give you three different saturation modes for painting your project’s tracks with colorful harmonics. Saturation mode produces a gentle fattening and emphasizes odd harmonics — perfect for mastering, and for adding subtle size to pristine-sounding instruments such as acoustic guitar and grand piano. FET Shred mode mimics the pleasing distortion of a driven tube amp; it adds a relative boost to even harmonics that transforms clinical-sounding electric guitar and bass tracks into bad boys. The third saturation mode, Turbo Boost, should have a warning label on it! Waging total destruction, it hard-clips signal tops like a weed-whacker and sounds great used for radical processing of tracks and mutilating sound design.
Choose the saturation mode you want, and then push it harder or softer using karacter’s Drive control to dial in the ideal amount of beautiful sparkle or meat-grinding grit. For floor-rattling bass tracks, crank karacter’s Color control counter-clockwise to simultaneously jack up the saturated signal’s bottom and soften its highs. Grow a scruffy beard on clean FM synth tracks by rotating the Color control clockwise. Spawn mayhem on drum overheads in MS mode by Turbo Boost-ing the kick and snare in the mid channel while keeping cymbals in the side channel sounding crystalline—or overdrive the entire kit! On full mixes, drum subgroups and stringed instruments, karacter’s Mix control lets you blend colorful distortion with your pristine input signal to produce the right balance of girth and detail. With elysia karacter, any track can be transformed into beauty or beast!