Smooth optical compression for tracks and groups
Mixland’s Vac Attack is an analog-modeled optical limiter plugin that’s intended to control the dynamics of individual tracks and groups. The vacuum tube saturation circuit introduces harmonically-rich warmth and character to vocals, drums, basses, and your stereo bus.
Based on a discontinued hardware unit
Vac Attack is based on a coveted hardware unit that was discontinued in 2020 and has since skyrocketed in value. The plugin was developed by Grammy-award-winning mixer Jesse Ray Ernster and coding ninja Eddie Lucciola.
Focus on changes in character, not changes in loudness
The Gain Link feature provided by Vac Attack links the value of the Reduction knob to the value of the Gain knob. Increasing the amount of gain reduction applied leads to an increase in makeup gain. As a result, you’re able to make level-matched A/B comparisons and focus on the beautiful character provided by this optical limiter plugin.
Non-linear gain reduction that sounds natural
Vac Attack uses an optical design that centers around a digital emulation of a light source and a light-dependent resistor. As the plugin’s input level increases, the light source brightens and causes the resistor to apply compression. Using the plugin's Knee control, you can fine-tune the rate at which the compression ratio is applied, leading to organic non-linear gain reduction.
High and low shelving EQ for easy tone shaping
A two-band push EQ with two modes, J and E, allows you to shape the tone of your tracks after compression has been applied. Whether you're looking to add warmth to your lows or sparkle to your highs, these EQ modes provide the flexibility you need. Toggle the center frequency of the LF push filter between 52 Hz (J) and 230 Hz (E). Additionally, toggle the center frequency of the HF push filter between 4.4 kHz (J) and 10 kHz (E).
Avoid pumping effects with a built-in sidechain EQ
Vac Attack includes a sidechain EQ that filters the signal running through its sidechain circuit. Using a high-pass, bell, and low-pass filter, you can affect the sidechain signal in various ways. By filtering out audio material that would otherwise trigger the limiter plugin at inappropriate times, it’s possible to dial in tight and controlled limiting, free of unwanted pumping effects.
Control tube saturation and harmonic content
Vac Attack's Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) feature adds a layer of harmonic richness to your audio, giving it a fuller sound that’s present within analog hardware. This feature is perfect for adding character to sterile digital recordings. Use it subtly for a touch of saturation, or crank it up for a more aggressive, distorted sound.
Channel linking/unlinking for detailed stereo control
By default, Vac Attack applies equal gain reduction to the left and right channels to maintain a balanced stereo image. If you're working with dual-mono audio or a balanced mix, channel linking can remain engaged for uniform processing. Unlinking the channels helps you avoid pumping effects when processing stereo files with vastly different left and right channel information.