Is The Waves Magma Tube Channel Strip Worth It?

The Magma Tube Plugin Review

Tube saturation is a type of distortion that occurs in analog tube circuits when the signal level exceeds the maximum capacity of the tube. The result is a warm, harmonically rich and present sound that can add depth and dimension to a mix.


The saturation effect occurs when the tube circuit adds additional harmonic content to the signal, which enhances the perceived loudness and richness of the sound. This is due to the added harmonics filling in the gaps in the frequency spectrum and making the sound more full and well-rounded.


Additionally, tube saturation is often associated with a subtle compression effect, which can make the sound more consistent in level and help it sit better in the mix. The compression effect of tube saturation is often referred to as "glue", as it can help to bind elements of the mix together and create a cohesive sound.


So to summarize this, the warm, harmonically rich and present sound of tube saturation, along with its subtle compression effect, can help to bring a mix to life and make elements of the mix more audible and impactful.


For today's video demonstration, we will be using the new Magma Channel Strip from WAVES.


Modeled after vintage valve tube hardware and utilizing Waves True Valve Modeling technology, the Magma Channel offers a full toolbox of awesomeness that will allow you to get the authentic, warm, and classic tube sounds that define the concept of tube saturation, with just a few no-nonsense knobs.


Included in the Magma Channel Strip are three channel strip modules:

  1. Input drive/saturation,
  2. 3-band musical EQ
  3. Dynamics.


The drive/saturation module offers a warm, in-your-face sound that ranges from subtle saturation to full-on harmonic distortion.

The streamlined EQ section allows quick tone shaping, with High and Low shelves and a Mid bell knob.

Lastly, the single-knob compressor provides gentle glue to aggressive pump, and the expander/gate provides tighter sound with greater focus and clarity.


Like most Waves plugins, you can also get inspiration from hundreds of artist presets by top producers, mixing and mastering engineers, including Jacquire King, Greg Wells, and Lu Diaz.


Checkout the video below to listen to some sound examples so that you can see and hear the difference that tube saturation can make within a densely populated mix.



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