Bring your mixes to life with Warm tube saturation plug-in. Warm is one of the best-kept mixing secrets, and has been used by some of the greatest names in modern mixing. 

Let’s get a better idea of what tube saturation is, and how it can benefit your mixing game. In this video tutorial, producer, engineer, and blogger Josh Carney explains the simple but extremely useful parameters of this plug-in.

Warm is available with Auto-Tune Unlimited, the ultimate collection of professional vocal effects. Subscribe now, or download your fully-featured, FREE 14-day trial of Auto-Tune Unlimited today.

What is Warm?

Warm is a soft tube emulation plug-in that can be used to enhance almost any instrument or vocal within a composition. You can use Warm to liven up dull-sounding mix elements or to thicken and add texture to your preferred sounds to taste. Soft tube saturation can also be used to give your sounds or mixes a warm, classic feel.  

Not everyone has the means or access to high-end soft tube saturation gear. Thankfully Auto-Tune’s Warm plug-in offers users an incredibly powerful and efficient soft tube effect without the burden of expensive studio equipment. n.

Soft Tube Saturation Explained

Saturation is a mixing technique that was first implemented in early analog music recordings. Saturation is an audio effect that generates harmonics over an incoming audio signal, while simultaneously adding a light compression. This technique can be used lightly to add color to mix elements, or heavily to distort them. 

Most mix engineers understand the value of valve amps and the specific warmth that they provide to almost any recorded audio signal. Saturating an audio signal through analog valves can mean the difference between hearing a sound and feeling it.

Auto-Tune’s Warm offers users two primary soft tube saturation modes:

  • Velvet – Modeled on vintage tube microphones and preamps, Velvet adds a subtle, classic soft tube saturation for soothing warmth and texture. This tube works great on vocals, synths, strings pads, and a variety of other mix elements. 
  • Crunch – Crunch generates a considerably more aggressive tube saturation, much like classic tube amplifiers. This mode can add some serious punch and grit to guitars, basslines, synths, and even drums or vocals. 

The Omni Tube feature in Warm allows you to apply tube saturation to the entire incoming signal, rather than just the transients. This switch emulates the original true reflection of classic tube amplification processing and can be used to create some more eccentric results and ideas.

Who is Warm For?

Warm can be used by anyone that wants to add life and vibrance to various elements of their mix. Much like EQ, reverb, or compression, saturation is a relatively common and universally applicable effect. This means it can be used on almost anything in a mix, and for practically every music genre or style. 

Warm features a wonderfully user-friendly and intuitive GUI. Even beginner producers should only need a few minutes to understand all the fundamental controls and parameters that come with the Warm interface. 

Many producers or engineers struggle with using plug-ins that overload their CPU and seriously hinder their mix or performance sessions. Thankfully, Warm’s compact design is exceptionally light on DSP, and users can run multiple instances of this effect simultaneously without worrying about their system or session crashing.

Have you been failing consistently at getting that main vocal to cut through your total mix? Do your drums, synths or guitars sound clean but lifeless? Warm is the perfect remedy for these kinds of issues, and so many more. Producers and engineers around the world have all welcomed the unique power that Warm provides with open arms. 

How to Use Warm

  • Open up an instance of Warm on the track/channel of the mix element that you wish to treat. 
  • Use the input dial on the left-hand side to determine the overall gain level of the incoming audio signal 
  • Select between one of two soft tube saturation modes on WarmVelvet or Crunchby clicking on the respective switches beneath their labels. 
  • Use the drive dial to set the amount of overall saturation placed on the incoming audio signal. Higher values equate to a higher saturation, with increased harmonics and distortion. 
  • Saturation will place a natural boost in volume on your affected mix. However, you can use the output dial to attenuate the overall output of your processed signal for adequate gain-staging. 
  • Use the Omni Tube mode to saturate the entire audio signal (instead of just the transients) for a much harsher and more abrasive saturation. 

Soft-tube saturation can be one of the most useful and powerful secret weapons in any producer or mixing engineer’s arsenal. The Warm soft tube saturation plug-in gives you easy access to one of the finest tools around.

Warm is one of the many vocal effect plug-ins included in Auto-Tune Unlimited, the ultimate vocal production suite. 

Vocals, guitars, basses and other sounds all benefit from the rich tube saturation Warm provides.

About Josh Carney: Josh Carney is an audio engineer, musician, and video producer with over 15 years of experience. In addition to creating tutorial videos for Antares, YouTube, Ask.Video, and MacProVideo, Josh offers recording, mixing, mastering, songwriting, and session musician studios at his studio in Tampa Bay, Florida.