SHD

Class A tube enhancer/driver - dual channel

“Gorgeous thickness and richness” (Resolution)


The MCAudioLab SHD is a class A tube enhancer built to add sweet and natural even order harmonics without compromising the tone of the original source. Fatten up your tracks, add a touch of smooth compression to your busses or push it into no-frills distortion for creative sound design: the SHD works wonders on the clean side, but it’s flexible enough for heavy drive duties too.

Tweaking the SHD is as easy as it gets, and you always keep full control over what you’re doing to the sound: this device adds nothing more than what you’re asking for using the front panel. And it’s no exception to our rule that great tone comes in clean packages: the noise floor and headroom are up to the highest performance standards.

The SHD is the perfect choice for all digital or hybrid studios who need to add richness and warmth to weak sounding tracks. Sweet tone and flexibility make it a great addition to the sonic arsenal of professional facilities, and if you’re a composer or sound designer, the SHD can become your tool of choice to breathe life into soft synths and create screaming leads.


Beyond traditional saturation

When designing the SHD, our challenge was to build a device capable of adding sweet and natural second order harmonics using a class A tube stage without fiddling with your tone or destroying the integrity of the source. Unless you want to, that is.

The SHD works in a fairly different way than standard tube drives, and that’s why we call it an enhancer: it only processes one half of the waveform, while the other one remains untouched. This unique design makes it extremely less invasive than traditional processors.

Compared to our vintage-style preamps and EQ, there’s no “instant magic” going on here. There are no transformers in the input and output stages: the SHD doesn’t add anything except the harmonics you’re dialing in. That’s how you get organic second harmonic enhancement and a pristine sound.


Set your input. Tweak the drive. Rejoice.

Three controls and a bypass switch per channel: the front panel operation of the SHD is no rocket science.
Set the Input level until the orange "MAX" LED on the vertical input meter lights up: this ensures the tube stage works with an optimal dynamic range without clipping. Now you can tweak the SHD-Level to get the desired amount of additional harmonics. Finally use the Output to set the final level of your processed signal.


From subtle to creamy

The SHD is excellent for adding analog warmth and and creating a rich, thick tone. You can track straight through it or use it to add some flavour in mixdown. If you need a cleaner sound, turn down the input to find the sweet spot where the tube stage just starts doing its job. It’s also an excellent substitute for gentle compression when you want to add body and life while still taking good care of your source material.

The SHD is extremely responsive to the original tone and dynamics: instead of processing single tracks, feel free to try it on buss groups or as a master insert, you’ll come up with very interesting results by using it as a parallel insert too.


Drive and distortion: please misuse

It’s worth exploring the amount of tones you can get out of the SHD with a more creative use. Turn up the Input level until the OVR LED lights up to push the tube stage into overdrive. And let’s face it, sometimes you just need that good old distortion. We’ve got you covered: you can make the SHD behave like a more traditional saturation unit by chaining the channels. Take the output of channel 1, flip the phase and send it back to channel 2. This way channel 2 processes the lower part of the waveform that channel 1 left untouched. Match settings with channel 1 if you’re after a traditional symmetrical clipping overdrive, or just set channel 2 controls to taste if you’re feeling creative.

And there’s a lot of space for getting nasty in sound design applications. At full drive settings the SHD produces a luscious creamy tone that’s excellent for fattening up synth leads or bass lines.


Features

- Dual channel class A tube harmonic enhancer
- High performance, extremely low noise circuitry
- No transformers in input and output stages to avoid tone coloration
- Input, SHD Level and Output controls
- 3-LED input and output meter
- True bypass switch for each channel
- Separate Ground and Earth lift switches to avoid ground loops 


 

 80x50 orange SHD2ch Demo  -  Bass / Snare

 


 

Media

MCAudioLab SHD2ch - Enhancer/distortion video tutorial (C) MCAudioLab
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