NSP has released BlackBooster, a virtual boost guitar pedal in VST plugin format for 32-bit and 64-bit host applications on Windows.
Boost stompboxes are used as the second to last element in a guitar signal chain (usually right before the guitar amp) to increase the gain to the desired level. In the software word, there are plenty of ways to substitute such a pedal, but the chances are that experienced guitar players will probably prefer using an emulated stompbox than a generic gain plugin.
NSP’s new BlackBooster plugin is based on real-world guitar pedal scheme (it’s not stated which exact model was used). The plugin features tone and output level controls, a bypass switch, an input gain control and a mono/stereo switch. The user interface is a bit small by today’s standards, although the labels and knobs are large enough to be used without issues in most cases. The performance is excellent, and the CPU hit is almost non-existent, which somewhat of a rarity nowadays.
It’s important to note that BlackBooster is not a transparent gain utility by any means. The signal is always high-passed around 400 Hz, which is a pretty standard EQ setting for electric guitars. The tone control adjusts the amount of boost (both positive and negative) around 2 kHz. As the tone dial is pushed towards its higher values, the signal becomes brighter and louder at the same time. I’ve also noticed a strange behavior (possibly a bug) in stereo processing mode. As the tone knob is pushed towards its lowest value, the right stereo channel becomes quieter than the left channel.
The plugin can be downloaded completely free of charge from the developer’s website. You’ll get a ZIP archive containing the plugin files in DLL format. Both 32-bit and 64-bit VST hosts on Windows are supported. This is NSP’s second freeware release this year, following the Over Diver od82o distortion effect from a couple of months ago.
BlackBooster is available for free download via NSP (1.52 MB download size, ZIP archive containing DLL plugin files, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).