Now everyone can access real vintage FX hardware using a plugin

We’re all familiar with plugins that emulate classic analogue hardware, but how about a plugin that lets you use real analogue hardware? Confused? Allow us to explain.

Access Analog is a new cloud-based service that gives musicians, producers and engineers realtime access to a collection of classic audio gear: the likes of Universal Audio’s LA-2A and 1176 compressors, the Empirical Labs Distressor and Pultec’s EQP1A. 

This is accessed in your DAW via the Analog Matrix plugin, which enables you to remotely control the physical knobs, buttons and switches on the audio hardware in realtime. These movements are translated to the gear itself using robotics, as you can see here.

A post shared by AccessAnalog (@access.analog)

A photo posted by on on Jan 28, 2019 at 2:08pm PST

The plugin enables you to create your perfect analogue signal chain - just add, remove and reorder devices as you wish.

Given that audio is being streamed from your DAW, through the hardware and then back to your DAW, we’d be interested to discover what kind of latency is involved here. You can either capture the return audio stream in realtime or choose the offline rendering option.

Payment is made based on the time you spend using Access Analog, with prices ranging from $5.99 for 30 minutes to $23.99 for three hours. 

Of course, the downside is that you can’t actually see what’s going on - you’ll have to trust that the settings you’re making are actually being implemented - and you don’t get the ‘hands-on’ part of the hardware experience, either. 

This is an interesting concept, though: you can find out more and book a session on the Access Analog website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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