Free Tube Leveling Amplifier VST/AU Plugin Released By AudioTools


AudioTools has announced the release of AdHd Leveling Tool, a freeware tube leveling amplifier emulation in VST and AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.

AdHd Leveling Tool is a software emulation of hardware leveling amplifiers. While not attempting to emulate any particular hardware unit, the developers were inspired by the sound signature and gain reduction characteristics of studio classics such as the LA-2A Leveling Amplifier.

See also: Download Free VHL-3C Pultec Filter VST/AU Plugin

The user interface offers a somewhat wider range of features than what we’re used to seeing in virtual leveling amplifier plugins. Apart from the usual input gain and peak reduction knobs (which are essential parts of the leveling amplifier workflow), AdHd Leveling Tool also includes adjustable attack and release time parameters, adjustable gain reduction ratio, a side-chained high-pass filter, and a dry/wet knob. The user can also choose between two metering modes: input volume and gain reduction.

Adjustable attack and release times make AdHd Leveling Tool more versatile than its hardware counterparts. It still works best for slow and subtle gain reduction for usage on vocals, but the response times can be tweaked a bit for use on other types of signal. The addition of the mix knob makes it easier to use the plugin as a parallel processing utility.

I’m not able to compare the AdHd Leveling Tool to a classic hardware leveling amplifier for obvious reasons (erm, the cost of actually owning one), but it does sound similar to related software I tested previously. In particular, it has similar characteristics to the Cakewalk CA-2A Leveling Amplifier which was offered as a free download for a limited time back in 2016. So, if you’re looking for a freeware leveling amplifier to add to your collection, this AudioTools release is a good pick. If you’re looking for a paid yet affordable solution, you might want to check out the Black Rooster Audio Vintage Mix Bundle.

The software is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit VST and AU plugin hosts on PC and Mac. You can download it for free from the product page linked below.

AdHd Leveling Tool is available for free download via AudioTools (3.8 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS).

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


      • Same as the Antress Modern plug ins, it’s a shame, my DAW of choice has no VST bridge.
        I preferred some of the Antress plugins over commercial some VST’s.
        I tried JBridger but got rather high CPU spikes.
        I would have gladly purchased/donated if they had been maintained and updated to 64-bit..
        The Modern Amplifier, Modern DynaKiller, Modern Fire Chainer and Modern Seventh Sign came across as very usable.

  1. Pretty tasty sounding opto compression when tested smashing some drums, thick and juicy, but the release parameter seems to have no affect whatsoever (release curve is identical at any setting).

  2. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but I get very audible distortion even when driving it at minimum levels. When I replace it with another comp or bypass, the signal gets clean again. So definately this thing distorts A LOT!

  3. Yes I agree! Lot of distortion… might pass on dirtier sounds but when you put it on a clean piano track it kills the sound! If the developer is reading this please fix the distortion.

    • AdHd Audio Tools


      The developer is reading :)
      This is not intended to be a tranparent compressor, but maybe in a future update I can add a knob for the user to make it more tranparent if desired. I will have that in mind…

  4. Yeah, it seems to bring a lot of distortion expecially if you turn up the gain to get an output volume above -18 dBFS. Below that level it seems to bring less distortion and return a little more clear sound.

  5. The 1.3.2 version added vst3 and aax support.

    Also, someone complained about the exe installer, but please note that there’s the option of downloading a zip with just the vst3 and dll files.

  6. Download is still an exe file. Can’t find any zip file. And author does not replies to email. I want a manual install dll.

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