You know those infomercials that tell you to call now – though it makes absolutely no difference when you call? This is the opposite of that.

Basically, you can buy a new 64-bit channel strip plug-in from Eventide for US$249. Or, act now, and it will cost … nothing. It’s free, through the 8th of July. I had to read this twice; I thought maybe it was an older version or an existing plug-in. It’s not. Their intro price is zero, and then it goes up to two hundred fifty bucks.

And coming from Eventide, this is especially big news, as the company has a long tradition of making some of music makers’ favorite processing algorithms.

So, if you think you might fancy a channel strip, you can skip this article and head straight to it. UltraChannel is almost an entirely plug-in suite in a single plug-in. There’s EQ and compression, of course, but also gate, delays, micro pitch control, and saturation (including some subtle saturation capabilities) – something you might use creatively as well as for mix/master workflows. You get:

  • Micro pitch functionality (from the H8000)
  • Stereo delays with variable feedback paths
  • Compressor #1: de-essing, side-chain capable
  • Compressor #2: O-Pressor “extreme” compression (compression from the Omnipressor)
  • Saturation: both what they call “Soft-Saturation” and an emulation of transformer core saturation
  • Drag-and-drop signal routing
  • EQ
  • Gate
  • Lots of presets

It’s compatible with AU, VST, and AAX64, on OS X and Windows, and it’s 64-bit.

So, what’s the catch?

You have to provide your email, and you sign up for their mailing list. (You can opt out of that once you grab the plug-in.) And you do have to use an account via iLok.com, though that’s just for authorization – you don’t need a physical iLok dongle. (You do need to install license management software, but testing it here as are various readers and no one is having any issues at the moment.)

Clarification: Let’s be clear about this. It’s a permanent license (that’s what we’re seeing in the account). It doesn’t expire when the full version goes on sale. They use iLok’s website to authorize the account, but you don’t need a dongle. (So, essentially, some people are complaining about things in comments that simply aren’t true.)

If you don’t have an iLok account, you can sign up for one; it doesn’t cost anything. The “access code” they’re asking for is the offer code, essentially, a coupon; it’s 0F736710.

Details and registration for the offer:

Video demo: