You can bring not one, but two of the world’s most iconic studios inside your DAW with KIT Plugins Blackbird products. We tested the equalizer and the channel in the studio.
KIT plugins are a relatively new company on the scene, but it’s all about quality over quantity here as they strive to set a high standard for analog emulation. Based in Nashville, it is in their Blackbird products that they have created what might be out of reach for many of the world’s musicians.
Their newest product, the BB Mo-Q, is a recreation of the equalizer used at the Motown studio in the ’60s, while their BB N105 Channel Strip is an emulation of the unique Neve 8078 at the world-renowned studio, Blackbird. , where is your office. We tested these plugins in the studio.
Starting with a blast from the past, The BB Mo-Q is a straightforward emulation that was painstakingly modeled and designed to capture the heart and soul of those Motown recordings. While there isn’t much, there is just as much character that you can find if you look for any standard EQ.
It’s refreshing to see something emulated that hasn’t been done ad nauseam (*cough-1176-cough*). Motown was a hit factory line, and quick ‘print to tape’ decisions by in-house engineers (Russ Terrana was one) needed quality equipment that could be trusted. The actual hardware unit is incredibly rare to find and has been lost to the software world until now.
Their BB N105 channel strip, taken from the world famous Neve 8078 console in Blackbird, is what put the company on the map. It’s no wonder the audio community was raving, it’s this studio where the modern classics have been created. I’m talking about Dolly Parton, Kings of Leon, Beck, Taylor Swift and many more.
Upon activating the plugin, Happy’s office team was impressed when we installed and opened it. (Yes, the installation was extremely simple). This channel strip has awesome sound and looks.
We found that the extreme efforts they took to model this from saturation, EQ, noise (analog hum), distortion, depth and width were perfectly represented. Both plugins have FRM (their proprietary Gen 2 Full Range Modeling technology), which brings the full glory of analog hardware to life, claiming that the game includes frequencies from 10Hz to 96kHz.
Using both on an electric guitar and a software synth, our goal was to test that saturation, make them shine, and then transform the sound, just to show you how far you can take them. Having access to pieces of gear from these two iconic studios is really exciting and makes me want to keep working on the box!
We can’t wait to see what else KIT plugins have to offer, especially what else might come out of their Blackbird products.
Both plugins cost $99 USD and you can get them from their website kitplugins.com