Through Thursday, March 31 at midnight, you can grab SoundToys’ Devil-Loc plug-in for free, concluding a giveaway that began at the TapeOp party at South by Southwest. Devil-Loc is a nice-sounding emulation of the Shure M62. Chris Conover, in thanks for a Record beta I sent his way, points to the offer, a code (which I’ll share with readers), and mentions some ways he likes to use it – particularly, he says, on drum room mics:

It is inspired by the Shure M62 Level-Loc, which was designed to be a leveling amplifier for microphones to avoid spikes and fades. Users have discovered the M62 to have incredibly gritty, dirty, and unusual compression characteristics that made drums sound larger than life and quite aggressive.

Chris Conover at

The only bad news in all of this, aside from the expiration date, is that the plug-ins do need an iLok, if you don’t have one of those handy.

More than an opportunity to pimp SoundToys (whose work I really do enjoy as creative sound plug-ins), I think it’s a good opportunity to point to the site for which Chris is writing, It’s full of reviews, tips on mixing, interviews, and resources for sound production. It could be a great place to start to get your mind on sound work.

For their part, SoundToys will have a Deluxe version of this plug-in next month. It’s really just as interesting to learn about the history of the Shure hardware on which it’s based, if you’re not already familiar with it:

The Shure M62 Level-Loc was designed by Shure to be a leveling amplifier mostly for mics. The concept was it would keep an even level (locked level) once it hit a certain input so you wouldn’t get “fade outs or blasting”. It was super simple with only a switch for three “distance” settings based on how far from the mic you were. The M62V upped the control a bit by adding an input level knob. However, the reason it became famous was not because it did a good job of leveling, it may have, but largely thanks to SoundToys user Tchad Blake and his desire to push, abuse, and do deliciously evil things to his tracks. He discovered that pushing the Level-Loc gave you gritty, dirty, unusual compression that made drums gigantic and nasty. Both of which are good things. So we’ve taken that concept and dropped it in the simple two control Devil-Loc. Then we’ve taken it further than the original hardware with the Devil-Loc Deluxe.

Read up on the plug and the contests and giveaways going on:

Then grab the actual plug – while there’s still time – via this link:

  • I've heard nothing but good things about this plugin, but SoundToys are crazy if they think I'm going to use a plugin that requires a dongle.

    This could make sense in a professional environment where you *need* that sounds to complete contracted work. But as an amateur musician, I have the luxury of declining to work with obnoxious irritants.

    Sure, lots of people pirate software, but lots of people buy software (and hardware). I'm a software developer in my day job, and I still have zero tolerance for hardware dongles.

    I've been happy to spend my money on the following gear in the last two years:
    *Logic 9
    *Ableton Suite 8
    *NI Komplete 5
    *NI Komplete 6
    *All thee Korg NanoKontrols
    *Korg KP3
    *Korg DS10+
    *Korg M01 (imported)
    *Akai LPK25
    *Korg Legacy Collection, Digital Edition
    *Access Virus TI2 Keyboard
    *DSI Desktop Evolver
    *Novation Launchpad
    *A few SonicCouture sample paks

    My music platform is a 15" MacBook Pro. There are two built-in USB ports, one of which is usually taken by the Virus. My hub is filled with external hard drives and various USB/MIDI controllers. If your product isn't at least as cool as the Virus, you aren't getting a USB port.

    Vendors: don't even think of requiring a dongle unless it has some useful knobs to tweak or fun blinkenlights.

  • Agreed, iLoks punish the paying costumers. It's like those clips they put on the DVD's here in Holland (and Belgium).  Saying ripping DVD's is stealing… On a legit product…

    The downsides of the digital information age.

  • dongles allow me to install my software on an infinite number of computers without having any copy-protection related installation issues. i like them. it's way easier than re-authorizing whenever i modify a computer's hardware. they also allow me to install *my* software at other people's studios without worrying about the authorization status of my other machines. i'll take a dongle over, say, NI Service Center or other challenge/response systems any day.

  • Peter Kirn

    We should probably revisit the dongle issue in a separate comment thread. There's definitely been a trend away from dongles, and I hear the downside – I know there are some for my use. But there are now a variety of different copy protection schemes with which to contend, from simple, one-off serial authorization to more involved online authorization and various kinds of hardware keys. Probably not directly relevant to SoundToys here, I think. I just pointed it out so that no one was surprised.

  • I can see just b's point – if you work on a lot of different desktop computers, then carrying your auth keys on a dongle could be a big plus. Probably just another case that makes sense for commercial producers and not for us amateurs.

    To finish off this derail, when I swapped memory from 4GB back to 2GB and back to 4GB in my old Late '08 Unibody MacBook pro, I had to reauth everything. When I got a Thunderbolt machine and bumped it up to 8GB, nothing had to be reautherized.

  • Well, also in prodessional use, there is always a need for more dongles, and like peter notes; it's so many different plans, there's just too much of it atm.

    That being said; ST makes amazing sounding stuff and I look forward to hearing this. Their plugs all have this silky, round quality I simply love.

  • I wish I could hear it, but I couldn't even download the file.

    I need an account and I can't register if I don't have an iLok ID šŸ™

  • Wow, so much for it being free. :/

    It would have been nice to mention that you needed a soundtoys account, an ilok account and a dongle.

  • Ilia

    If you don't have an iLok and don't plan on getting one, you are never going to become a customer for SoundToys' other non-free (and excellent) plugins, at least while they use this copy protection method. Why should they give you anything for for free?

    Having iLok and other donlges may be a nuisance, but deliberately avoinding iLok-ed software in professional production today imposes a huge limitation.

  • you

    this is not a real give away…stick our ilock up your a## šŸ˜€
    btw….tnx to XVX the crack of SoundToys works sooo nice….viva piracy!

  • loopstationzebra


  • amnesia

    I dont understand the dongle thing. I can demo SoundToys without a dongle. get excited about the demo and then have to buy the product AND buy a dongle.

    Every software. plugin etc I own is bought and dongle free. Just about to buy Omnisphere and so happy there is no dongle.
    I will buy SoundToys when they decide to loose the dongle.

    If they dont loose it , they loose me.

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm the last person to be a fan of iLok, but I can at least say this – I know some people who really love the SoundToys stuff, it seems like really high-quality material. And unlike a host or live performance tool, this isn't something you'd likely use on the road – you can leave an iLok in your USB hub, add distortion, then bounce. So I hear the complaints about iLok, but if you do still want to use the tool, I think you'll find you can.

  • mr ecklie


  • Jon Starr

    I would much rather have my i-Lok than a Virus in terms of USB port real estate, by a very large margin. I'll never buy an NI product ever again after they screwed my little brother out of his Guitar Rig 2 license when he had to replace a failed component in his PC. He got to use it for about a month before he was SOL with hundreds of bucks down the drain. 

  • Andy

    I like this iLock thing. It makes things easier. I don't know why all people are complaining about this dongle. What's wrong with it? Last year I bought a new PC. Man I hated this stupid challenge / response procedure, because I have lots of plugins. You have to search all documents for license numbers etc.

  • I have a iLok, have my authorizations for Max 4, Pluggo 3, and Line 6 POD Farm v1. It can be a little annoying but I don't mind it so much, I just keep it stuck in a little LaCie USB hub that I use for my music do-dads. Sometimes wish all of my audio and design software used it.  I work in another studio sometimes and wanted to use POD Farm there and all they had to do was download and install it and I could bring my iLok and a thumb drive for my sessions and do work there.

    I thought about downloading the free Soundtoy — sounds cool — but then I remember I have way too many plug-ins already like the aforementioned and the Live 8 default ones… I have to know when to say when.  Smart offer though… I definitely am the person in their target audience and they almost got me to sign up.

    I'll have to keep an eye out for the Shure, never heard about it.  I'm due for a hardware regression any day now. 

  • J

    Yes it's a great plug-in.
    Regard iLoks: please use an uncrackable dongle or use no dongle at all.

  • J

    iLok software has been cracked so often, it really is an insult to paying users. We have to use that shitty dongle that gets cracked all the time. The cracked software users have al the convenience for free.

  • Andy

    As far as I'm concerned I don't care if the iLok software has been cracked or not. It's just a convenient way to store and transfer licenses from on computer to another one. And: no dongle is uncrackable.

  • Peter Kirn

    Based on my understanding of the rules, my link has no bearing on their contest entry, since they had already qualified. This is just a reader who sent a tip. I'm deleting the comment above not for that reason but because it's creepy and threatening.

  • Playing Coy

    whitewash, a small child could understand the rules. For every person that uses your unique share-code you get a point. The winner has the most points.

    You deleted the comment because it called you out for nepotism & slyness.

  • Peter Kirn

    I honestly didn't look at it close enough to notice the point system.

    I don't know the person, so it isn't "nepotism." I wasn't really particularly interested in the contest.

    I deleted the comment because you're being a dick. You want to joke about something as serious as sexual predators, go find your own site.

  • Playing Coy

    Some guy you hooked up with a Record Beta, gets you to promote his unique code – you stated this yourself. Smells like nepotism to me. Like was said in the post you deleted, you slyly went about promoting his code without even giving a hint of the competition aspect to the promotion.

    There's no not looking 'close enough' to notice this, it's the main hook of the promo.

    Carry on playing coy though, it suits you.

  • Playing Coy Coy

    Surprise Surprise, Chris won the plugin & a t-shirt.

    cos Peter wasn't ''looking closely enough'' into the promo. I guess all his articles are written with such flimsy attention to detail, right ?

  • Peter Kirn

    I read enough to watch a person trolling for no reason on a comment thread weeks after the fact.

  • Playing Coy Coy

    Trolling ? Like you say – it's weeks after your article was first published (not the announcement of the competition winners though) – so who trolls an article that, essentially, no one is reading ?
    Doesn't exactly fit in with the accepted definition of trolling.

    The message is primarily for you, and this seems like the best place to communicate that message. Don't like the message – fair enough – that does not a troll make.

    Anyway – pretty sleazy and thinly veiled nepotism on display here. Hope you're proud of yourself.

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm not going to explain myself again. The SoundToys story looked interesting; I admire what they do. I'm generally uninterested in contests.

    I'd like to ask you — how the HELL do I actually benefit from this sleazy scheme, if all the benefits wind up going to the person in question?

    And no, it's not an appropriate venue; if you want to question my integrity you can reach me via the contact form rather than airing your grievances anonymously on comments.


  • Peter Kirn

    Just to review:
    1. I don't know this person personally, beyond emails from them. The reference to the Record beta I believe is because we had some beta invites from Propellerhead we gave out.
    2. I don't get anything out of the deal – no free software, nada. 
    3. I don't get anything out of promoting the contest, either, because I'm not associated with SoundToys.

    If this is the best I can do in coming up with a sleazy, self-serving scheme, sounds like I should try harder.

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  • guest

    Here is the latest promo! Free Little Radiator PluginĀ

  • guest

    Here is the latest promo! Free Little Radiator PluginĀ

  • guest

    Here is the latest promo! Free Little Radiator PluginĀ

  • Guest

    Another FREE plugin from Soundtoys. It emulates the Altec 1566A Tube Preamp.
    Download the Little Radiator plugin here:

  • Another FREE plugin from Soundtoys. It emulates the Altec 1566A Tube Preamp.
    Download the Little Radiator plugin here:

  • Another FREE plugin from Soundtoys. It emulates the Altec 1566A Tube Preamp.
    Download the Little Radiator plugin here:

  • Jffnf

    Like… if its a toy motorcycle and it has loud noise how are you supposed to break the fucking noise?

  • Jffnf

    Like… if its a toy motorcycle and it has loud noise how are you supposed to break the fucking noise?

  • Jffnf

    Like… if its a toy motorcycle and it has loud noise how are you supposed to break the fucking noise?