Salisbury Plugins offer Tonebox, a freeware saturation plugin with tilt EQ functionality in VST3 and AU plugin formats for DAWs on Windows and macOS.
Tonebox takes all the non-linearities and harmonic goodness you’d expect from a typical saturation effect and pairs them with a 3-band equalizer. The result is a powerful tone-shaping toolbox for adding character, depth, and a vintage vibe to your sounds.
Yes, there are so many saturation plugins out there doing a similar thing that the real question is, do we even need more saturation effects?
However, I’m a sound designer who gladly accepts any workflow enhancement. If my EQ can saturate the signal, too, count me in. As long as it sounds good and speeds up my workflow, I’m all for it.
Well, Tonebox is one such tool. It doesn’t reinvent the saturation wheel (nor does it break the wheel, Daenerys-style), but its combination of non-linear processing and tone shaping is something I find useful.
For example, I often need to saturate the signal and shape the bass frequencies when working on cinematic sound effects. A tool that does that in a single plugin instance helps me speed up the workflow.
Of course, Tonebox isn’t the only EQ saturation plugin on the market, but I like its feature set. Also, the control layout is simple and intuitive, so there’s no learning curve to talk about.
So, let’s check out Tonebox’s features.
The plugin emulates a tube amplifier with a dual mono input. The saturation sounds as you’d expect from a well-made saturation plugin nowadays. It’s smooth, and the distortion isn’t audible unless you crank the input.
The 3-band equalizer lets you adjust the low, mid, and high-frequency gain and Q. You also get a low-pass filter, a high-pass filter, and a tone control that works like a tilt EQ.
As such, Tonebox isn’t a complicated EQ, but it offers several ways to shape the signal. I love how the tilt lets me completely change the sound’s tonal balance in one quick move. After that, it’s easy to fine-tune the problem frequencies with the 3-band EQ and the filters.
If you’re looking for a versatile tone shaper that relies on saturation and EQ to color the audio, definitely give Tonebox a try. It looks like Salisbury Plugins is only offering it for free for a limited time, so download it while the offer is still available.
Tonebox is available in VST3 and AU (experimental) plugin formats on Windows and macOS.