Imperial Dust Nasty Channel [WiN]

Nasty Channel is a channel strip VST plugin that lets you easily add grit, saturation, and distortion to your tracks
  • Publisher: Imperial Dust
  • Product: Nasty Channel
  • Release: MOCHA
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • Format: VST3

As producers, we all have those moments where our meticulously mixed tracks are just begging for some extra sonic grit and aggression. Maybe your thumping kick drum needs a touch more low-end roar. Or your blistering synth lead is lacking that x-factor edge to properly annihilate speakers. Whatever the case, Imperial Dust’s Nasty Channel is the secret sauce you’ve been craving.

The brainchild of sound mangler Barclay Crenshaw, Nasty Channel is an ingeniously simple yet outrageously potent plugin for adding tasty distortion, grit, and saturated warmth to any audio signal. Under the hood lies an additive distortion circuit seemingly plucked from some forgotten doomsday machine – simultaneously combining and energizing your source material.

At its core, you’re given three main flavor enhancers to tweak – a Drive knob for sinister distortion, Body for low-end beef, and Air for blistering top-end crunch. But where Nasty Channel truly shines is in its unconventional Noise layer, which allows you to blend in an additional layer of, well, unadulterated analog nasty.

This Noise signal can be morphed into anything from a subtle hardening shimmer to utterly decimated bit-crushed mayhem. It’s like having access to an infinite supply of stomp boxes, amp sims, and tone-shaping tools – all condensed into one delightfully offensive effect. Simply unreal for adding damage and character to flat, lifeless samples or loops.

Yet as potent as Nasty Channel is, it never feels overly clinical or sanitized. There’s an almost vintage, tape-saturated quality to the way it imparts harmonics, Even when you’re pushing the effect into face-melting territories, the plug-in retains a weighty, organic vibe that meshes surprisingly well with just about any musical context.

On drums and bass, Nasty Channel is downright criminal – seemingly pulling subterranean lows and chest-rattling harmonics from another plane of existence. Thrown across a mix bus, it can add brilliant cohesion while also kicking your brickwalled dynamics square in the you-know-whats. I’ve even heard of cheeky mastering engineers using it for some terminal analog Magic on the stereo bus.

My only gripe is that with such a compact control set, it can occasionally take some finessing and back-and-forthing to find that secret sauce zone on more stubborn material. But who doesn’t enjoy getting a little filthy in the heat of creative passion?

So if your tracks are suffering from a serious lack of mid-night grit and your box of distortion tricks is running empty, do yourself a favor and get nasty with Imperial Dust’s secret sonic defibrillator. A fistful of Nasty Channel is the easiest way to wake up your anemic elements and inject new life into tired-sounding sessions. Your ears (and neighbors) will thank you.

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