TestDrive: Sound Toys Devil-Loc & Devil-Loc Deluxe Review
Based on Shure’s Level-Loc audio level controller, Sound Toy’s Devil-Loc and Devil-Loc Deluxe are simple plug-ins available in the AU, VST and RTAS flavors for Mac and PC. The Devil-Loc’s mojo is definitely suited for drums and percussion, but a couple of our evaluators found it quite satisfying on other bits of audio as well.
Sound Toys' Devil-Loc is based on the Shure Level-Loc
» Attack Time: 1.3 milliseconds
» Releases Time – Slow
— Normal: 1.7 Seconds
— Saturated: 22 Seconds
» Release Time – Fast
— Normal: 0.85 Seconds
— Saturated: 11 Seconds
Crush ‘n’ Crunch
Despite this small deficit, “it was cake” to use the Devil-Loc with Crunch and Crush being your main knobs. Crush is your compression, while Crunch provides makeup gain allowing you to overdrive the output stage for increased distortion. The compression is modeled after a FET-based reduction circuit, which provides subtle to obvious “piston pumping, over-saturated action.”
Keep It Dark
The Deluxe version adds a fast/slow Release attribute, as well as Darkness, a low-pass filter after the Crunch stage. An output mix control is also provided for parallel compression. Testers felt Darkness provided “an additional dimension to the sound” for “increased sound sculpting possibilities.”
Devil-Loc Deluxe adds Darkness, Release and Mix
As mentioned, percussion and drums are where the Devil-Loc shines, both on individual instruments and loops. It was very easy to added room ambience, “hammering pump,” or “a subtle edge to loops to allow them to cut through a mix.” While it’s very easy to “overbake the processing,” all the users made nods to “bringing out the beast” in snares and toms by carefully dialing in the sound.
“What I really like about the Devil-Loc,” recalled one reviewer, is “how well it worked in a plug-in chain.” Others mentioned experimenting on vocals where “[it] gave a nice bite to a song’s chorus” when layered, as well as “hyped dubstep bass lines to add that ‘rancid’ edge.”
Whether utilizing it on beats or experimenting on a wide variety of sources, Sound Toys Devil-Loc provides the perfect amount of evil to make your tracks come alive.
Additional low-pass filter and distortion controls…
» FutureMusic Rating: 90%
+ Sound Quality
+ Makes Drums & Percussion Loops Come Alive
+ Savvy Take On Shure Level-Loc
– No visual representation of modulation
“The Shure Level-Loc has been a secret weapon for many engineers…” —Garth Fields
“Darkness, release and mix control are definitely worth the price of admission.” —Dan Brotman
“A great way to punish Dubstep drum loops.” —Frank Wright
Sound Toys Devil-Loc Deluxe will set you back $129.