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.
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).