Mercuriall Audio has introduced Tubes Creamer 808 Core, a freeware emulation of the legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive pedal that is available as a VST/AU/AAX plugin for PC and Mac based hosts.
This developer has been publishing freeware and commercial virtual guitar effects for quite some time now and they’re known for paying special attention to emulating hardware gear with as much detail as possible. Their most recent release was the U539 Free guitar amp based on closely emulated 12AX7-TS tubes.
First things first, Tubes Creamer 808 Core sounds very good. I tested it on a few guitar tracks, as well as on some other audio sources just for fun (acoustic drums, synths and vocals) and the results were excellent. The plugin features a standard set of controls for a Tube Screamer emulation (drive, tone and volume knobs), along with a high/low quality switch (4X oversampling vs no oversampling), input gain control, mono/stereo switch, and the very interesting “Mod” switch that lets you choose between the standard and modded Tube Screamer sound. The modded pedal emulation applies a slight boost to the higher mids and lows at lower drive settings.
The CPU hit is slightly higher than I’d like to see, ranging between 15% and 20% per single instance of the plugin (benchmarked on a 3rd gen i5 CPU). This won’t be a problem if you’re planning on using Tubes Creamer 808 Core a couple of times throughout the mix, but things could get a bit more complicated if you’re using more than three or four instances (which is often the case when mixing rock and metal tunes with multiple guitar layers). In this case, the best approach would be to freeze the guitar tracks once you’re happy with the tone.
Same as the Abletunes Knobs bundle which I wrote about earlier today, Tubes Creamer 808 Core is available for direct free download from the developer’s website, no strings attached. Simply hit the download link on the product page linked below to grab your free copy of the plugin. You’ll receive an EXE/DMG installer (depending on your platform) which will simply extract the required files on your hard drive. The plugin doesn’t need to be activated, either. By the way, the download page features several other freeware guitar effects developed by Mercuriall Audio that are well worth checking out.
Tubes Creamer 808 Core is available for free download via Mercuriall Audio (8.12 MB download size, EXE/DMG installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).